Subscription packages for the 2007-2008 season of the University Arts Series are on sale now.
The 16-event series promises a little something for everyone, including performances by noted musicians B.B. King, Doc Watson, k.d. lang and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Concerts by Wayne Newton, Peter Cetera, America and _ RAIN �€The Beatles Experience_ are also on tap. For the musical lovers, the University Arts Series offers the national tours of Gypsy , MovinOut , Chicago the Musical , Hairspray and Evita . The series also includes two performances for the entire family: The Peking Acrobats and the national tour of Annie . The University Arts Series also features a unique performance by African Footprint.
Subscription packages may be purchased in person at the Mountainlair Box Office, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and by phone at 304-293-SHOW (7469). Packages begin at a minimum of five events. Subscribers create their own package.
Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will kick off the series on Monday, Sept. 10. Nine-time Grammy winner Marsalis leads an ensemble that delves into jazz tradition with affection, musicality and drive. Together they recreate the music of the masters past and present with the energy of today. Their vast repertoire includes compositions and arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson and many more.
Mr. Las Vegas, himself, Wayne Newton will make the Creative Arts Center stage his home for one night only Sept. 23. Newtons charisma and showmanship have kept him an audience favorite for more than five decades. Accompanied by a 15-piece orchestra, Newton is sure to deliver such favorites asDanke Schoen,Red Roses for a Blue LadyandDaddy Dont You Walk so Fast.
The national tour of Americas most beloved musical, Annie , will stop at the Creative Arts Center on Oct. 14. The timeless tale of Little Orphan Annie is back�€giving a whole new generation the chance to experience this classic musical about never giving up hope. Complete with one of Broadways most memorable scores, including the ever-optimisticTomorrow, Annie is a delightful experience for the entire family.
November brings a tribute to mountain music courtesy of living legend Doc Watson. Watson, along with storyteller and musician David Holt, will bring theirHills of Homeshow to the CAC on Nov. 2. This exciting evening is full of folk tunes and mountain wisdom, featuring music from Watson and Holts Grammy-winning CD Legacy (Best Traditional Folk Recording 2002). Watson, a National Medal of the Arts and National Heritage Fellowship recipient, will also share his personal recollections of his long and remarkable Appalachian life.
November also promises to deliver what The New York Times callsthe greatest of all American musicals.The national tour of Gypsy rolls into Morgantown on Sunday, Nov. 4. From the first trumpet blast to the last hot spotlight, this musical legend packs a wallop. Theater giants Arthur Laurents, Jule Styne, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins combined forces to trace the glitzy showbiz rise of two daughters, fueled by an overbearing, ambitious stage mother, Rose. Big, brassy, energetic and heart-touching, Gypsy reaffirms Americas love of good old-fashioned entertainment.
_ RAIN �€The Beatles Experience_ is next on the University Arts Series schedule. RAIN boasts an extensive song list of Beatles favorites, ranging from beloved ballads likeLet It BeandHey Judeto classic hits includingRevolution,Come TogetherandCant Buy Me Love.This award-winning concert is a multimedia, multidimensional experience. The four onstage members of RAIN are all from the cast of the made-for-Broadway stage show Beatlemania and are not only supreme musicians, but electrifying performers in their own right. The concert is set for Nov. 7.
Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Peter Cetera will peform a unique concert Dec. 3, showcasing his mega-hits as well as timeless holiday classics from his CD You Just Gotta Love Christmas . Ceteras solo career includes such number-one hits as the Academy Award-nominatedThe Glory of LoveandThe Next Time I Fall.His career as songwriter, bass player and front man for the legendary rock group Chicago yielded such hits asIf You Leave Me NowandYoure the Inspiration.
Billy Joel and Twyla Tharps blue-collar rock ballet MovinOut opens the 2008 portion of the University Arts Series on Jan. 16. The New York Times call MovinOut a shimmering portrait of an American generation.The national tour brings 24 Billy Joel classics to electrifying new life as it tells the story of five lifelong friends over two turbulent decades.
The razzle-dazzle Broadway musical Chicago comes to the Creative Arts Center for two nights Feb. 12 and 13. Murder, greed, corruption, violence, exploitation, adultery and treachery are the cornerstones of this sultry and alluring Broadway hit. This is the story of nightclub dancer Roxie Hart who finds that the road to fame can be a trail of blood.
Richard Lorings African Footprint will bring the talent of more than 30 performers drawn from South Africas shantytowns to the CAC stage Feb. 25. African Footprint combines dance and song in an incredible spectacle. The show melds the hypnotic heartbeat of the African drum with the soulful saxophone and the haunting pennywhistle, marrying Afro- and Euro-centric music. This show has been called the Riverdance of Africa.
March kicks off with a performance from k.d. lang. lang has lent her voice to an astonishing range of material�€from Nashville tearjerkers to Tin Pan Alley torch songs, from playful cow-punk tunes to sultry, grown-up pop. She has four Grammys to her credit (Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for her duetCryingwith Roy Orbison, 1987; Best Female Country Vocal Performance, 1992; Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album for her collaboration with Tony Bennett on A Wonderful World , 2003) and has recorded more than 13 albums. This March 7th concert promises to be an unforgettable evening of music.
Broadways Tony Award-winning musical-comedy phenomenon Hairspray will take audiences back to 1962 Baltimore on March 8. This national tour is piled bouffant-high with laughter and romance as it tells the story of 16-year-old Tracy Turnblad who sets out to dance her way onto TVs most popular show. Can a big girl with big dreams�€and even bigger hair�€change the world? Audiences will have two performances to find out: a 3 p.m. matinee and a 7:30 p.m. evening show.
March also plays host to the legendary B.B. King, who for more than half a century has defined the blues for a worldwide audience. His classic licks on the well-worn guitar he calls Lucille are instantly recognizable, and with 14 Grammys to his credit, King remains a force of nature. At the age of 81, he is universally hailed as the reigning king of the blues.
Two-thousand years of tradition, perfection and spectacle will grace the Creative Arts Center stage on March 14 when The Peking Acrobats dazzle the audience with their remarkable feats. This troupe of Chinas most gifted tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists and gymnasts will perform their ancient folk art of acrobatics with graceful athleticism. Daring balancing maneuvers atop a precarious pagoda of chairs, treacherous wire-walking and powerful precision tumbling will leave the entire family wide-eyed. Having been featured in Oceans 13 , audience members will see first-hand why critics say watching The Peking Acrobats perform is likewatching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon live.
March also brings a chance to relive the �€~70s when America comes to the Creative Arts Center March 31. Their classicA Horse with No Namemade them a global phenomenon. Hits likeVentura Highway,Tin ManandSister Golden Hairbecame radio standards. Americas unique mellow harmonies and appealing blend of rock, pop and folk gave birth to a four-decade musical legacy that will never go out of style.
The University Arts Series concludes April 28 with the national tour of Evita . Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webbers legendary masterpiece won seven Tony Awards. Evita brings to life the dynamic, larger-than-life persona of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron. This exuberant production creates a gripping theatrical experience and features Webbers compelling Latin, pop and jazz influenced score, complete with the memorable songDont Cry for Me, Argentina.
Series subscription packages are available now at the Mountainlair Box Office or by calling 304-293-SHOW (7469). All performances are held in the Lyell B. Clay Concert Theatre of the WVU Creative Arts Center and begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Ticket prices vary by event and by the number of events purchased. Packages begin with a minimum of five events. Season subscribers must subscribe by August 10 to keep their seats from last season. Brochures are available at 293-SHOW and order forms may be downloaded from events.wvu.edu.
The University Arts Series is produced by WVU Arts&Entertainment. For more information, please visit us online atwww.events.wvu.edu.