New Unity Theatre Production in Brenham

Unity Theatre will ring in the New Year February 10 with the second jewel in its "Gems from the Past" season, Billy Bishop Goes to War. The play appeared on Broadway, in London's West End and in over 150 independent productions in Canada and the U.S. Written and composed by John Gray in collaboration with Eric Peterson, it documents the glorious World War I exploits of real-life Canadian hero Billy Bishop.

Billy Bishop rose from being the worst student in his class at the Royal Military College of Canada (where he failed, having been caught cheating) to the status of mythic legend as a fighter pilot for the British Army, one of the few in his regiment to survive. His heroics led him to move in impressive social circles and he remains to this day one of Canada's greatest military heroes.

This high-flying ace of a show captures the humor and hellfire of an extraordinary career. The score is filled with vintage songs that sent men rushing in and out of battle. Witness the trials and tribulations of Billy as he struggles to reconcile his joy of being a pilot with the horrors of the war he's asked to fight. This tale of heroism will take you down in the trenches, up to the skies, through the halls of Buckingham Palace and inside the human spirit.

This production reunites the talents of Jim Johnson (Billy Bishop) and Michael Harren (Pianist), who created the original Unity Studio production in 2004, and is directed by Brandon Smith.

Performances of Billy Bishop Goes to War are February 9-26, 2012, including Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. Reserved-seat tickets are $25; $15 seats are available for the preview on Thursday, February 9, and for any unsold tickets 15 minutes prior to each performance. The Unity Theatre box office at 300 Church Street in Brenham is open Monday through Friday, 10 a. m.-2 p.m. and 1 1/2 hours prior to performances, by phone at (979) 830-8358 or via the web site,

Brenham/Washington County is located halfway between Houston and Austin. It is the home of Blue Bell ice cream, Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site - "The Birthplace of Texas," more than 40 bed and breakfast inns, wineries, Brenham's historic Main Street District, and more. Information about other events in the area can be found at

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