Since shuttering its doors as a movie theater in September, the historic Texan Theater in Cleveland has undergone a rebirth as a music hall. Now under the name of PWR Texan Theater, it opened to a sold-out performance on Saturday, Nov. 12, with country singer and Splendora native Josh Ward.
“This is Cleveland, y’all,” Ward said a couple of times to the audience, seemingly surprised to be playing at a venue so close to home.
To understand the significance of the opening talent being Josh Ward, who has 16 #1 hit singles in Texas, you would have to know that Ward’s next concert on Nov. 15 was at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn.
Curt Smith, owner of Pineywood Rooters, knew that Ward would cinch the opening-day success of the 300-seat theater in Cleveland. One of the next concerts on Nov. 26 features Gene Watson, another country music icon, and also is sold out.
Smith said he is not surprised that the two of the first concerts were sold out in advance. In fact, before the PWR Texan Theater opened, he predicted success in an article for Bluebonnet News, in which he said, “With all the venues for which we manage the entertainment, we’ve always envisioned expanding the entertainment promotions side and giving the artists another place to play. How do we create more for Cleveland? Cleveland doesn’t always have the best reputation, even in the music industry. People think it’s all about Conroe or Houston, but we are going to change that.”
According to Smith, Ward told him that he is looking forward to another opportunity to play in Cleveland, particularly as it provides an opportunity for his family members, friends and former classmates and teachers at Splendora High School to catch one of his shows.
“He told me after the show that he was really happy to play here and wants to come back,” Smith said.
The opening act for Ward was John Gentry, another local talent. The concert was the first time that Gentry, a military veteran, opened a show for a big artist like Ward, and he did not disappoint music fans as he and his band performed hits made popular by singers like George Strait and Keith Whitley, among others.
“John was taken aback that he was selected to be the opening act. I think John and the two guys he brought with him did a remarkable job,” Smith said.
Now that the venue is “off the ground and running,” according to Smith, PWR is lining up more performers, including Marty Haggard, son of the legendary Merle Haggard. Smith said Marty sounds and looks a lot like his dad and is certain to sell out his concert on Dec. 3.
The schedule for November and December includes concerts with Michelle Rasberry-Dean on Nov. 25, Gene Watson with special guest Hershell Golden on Nov. 26, Marty Haggard on Dec. 3, Horace Trahan and the Ossun Express on Dec. 10, and Little Skynard on Dec. 17. Smith is also in talks with groups that want to host gospel concerts and school theater shows and concerts.
Ticket prices vary depending on shows and seating, so go online to https://www.outhousetickets.com/ to purchase tickets. VIP tickets for balcony seating and stage seating are also available. VIP tickets include entry to an after-party at The Wagon Wheel, 104 S. Washington Ave., in Cleveland.
By next weekend, PWR will open its event center at 116 E. Houston near the PWR Texan Theater. The store will sell concert tickets and memorabilia, and provide show information.
For the latest information on shows, be sure to follow Pineywood Rooters Entertainment and Promotions on Facebook by going online to https://www.facebook.com/pineywoodsrootersentertainmentandpromotions or by going to https://www.pwrtexantheatre.com/
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This is amazing! Love live music, and Josh has always been a favorite! John Gentry is where the heart of music lives! He feels it all the way through when he sings and you feel it to! No one who goes to one of his concerts will ever be disappointed, there’s no limit and I’m so glad more heart & souls get to connect to his music. Keep growing PWR!