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Miller Outdoor Theatre Unveils $1.5 Million New Sound System In March

Miller Outdoor Theatre has been busy lining up part of its spring schedule. During the winter downtime, the theater has been undergoing a $1.5 million upgrade of its sound system. When the new system is installed, there will no longer be any speakers on the stage. Operations Manager Reg Burns expects the system to be ready for a trial run around March 13.

Miller will formally kick off the spring season March 23 with a Guthrie Family Reunion. Arlo Guthrie and his musical cousins like the Austin ladies in Folk Uke will gather to recall and celebrate the work of family patriarch and world-famous Depression-era folk singer Woodie Guthrie as well as perform their own works. Burns noted that there will also be a multimedia presentation running on the screen behind the performers.

March 25, the theater features the eclectic klezmer-funk-hip-hop ensemble Abraham Inc. The ensemble features world reknowned klezmer clarinet virtuoso David Krakauer, James Brown trombonist/bandleader Fred Wesley, and self-described "Jewish hip-hop beat architect" Socalled.

The Harlem Gospel Choir takes over the Miller stage March 26. This much-traveled group recently worked with Madonna on a benefit for Haiti and has a worldwide touring schedule.

While the theater is only in the early stages of booking the spring lineup, Burns did note that on April 24 Texas music icon Ray Wylie Hubbard and his band will be performing, with country music chanteuse Kelly Willis opening.

Supported by the City of Houston, all shows at Miller Outdoor Theater are free to the public.

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William Michael Smith