Let the Show Begin
Music, dance, comedy and touring Broadway shows are highlighting the gala opening week of the Performing Arts Center at Kent State University at Tuscarawas. Beginning Saturday, Nov. 27, the Center will kick off its first season with six diverse performances.
“The opening week is a celebration and sampling of the broad range of performances that our spectacular Performing Arts Center was designed to showcase,” states Dr. Gregg L. Andrews, dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State Tuscarawas. “We are proud to offer an exciting debut schedule that includes platinum-selling pianist Jim Brickman, whose appearance here will be one of the first stops in his new national tour. We will also be featuring the nationally acclaimed dance company Luna Negra, the national tour of the sensational cultural Broadway icon Cats, the classic holiday tour of A Christmas Carol and the improvisational genius of Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood. We are also partnering with the Tuscarawas Philharmonic to take their already stellar performances to new heights made possible by their residency in our state-of-the-art venue.
“It is with great pride that we announce our opening week of extraordinary events. It is the culmination of several years of careful planning. We have brought to fruition our vision of creating a dynamic performing arts center that will enhance educational opportunities and the arts in the region we serve,” he added.
The talented Tuscarawas Philharmonic is planning a spectacular musical feast for their inaugural appearance in the center on Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. They will perform in concert with the dazzling magic of the sensational artists Cirque de la Symphonie.
Two captivating performances will be offered on Sunday, Nov. 28. At 3 p.m. the Luna Negra Dance Theater will offer a program of distinctive style that blends the discipline of ballet with the dynamic movements of contemporary dance, infused with the explosive energy of Latin and Afro-Caribbean dance forms. These sensational dancers have a reputation of delivering a breath-taking, high-energy spectacle. In addition to its performance, Luna Negra will offer a dance masterclass free to the public. Both the performance and dance class are supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from Ohio Arts Council, General Mills Foundation and Land O’Lakes Foundation.
This crowd-pleasing performance will be followed by internationally acclaimed pianist Jim Brickman in concert at 8 p.m. Brickman, a two-time Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling artist, has revolutionized the sound of solo piano with his pop-style instruments and star-studded vocal collaborations. His romantic piano sound has defined him as a marquis among contemporary instrumental hit makers. Be one of the thousands of audience members who return year after year to experience the spirit of the holiday in an unforgettable evening of music, laugher and memories.
Audiences will be enthralled by the traveling Broadway Cats, one of the world’s best-known and best-loved musicals, on Monday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. The plot is based on T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and features award-winning music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The national tour of A Christmas Carol, produced by Nebraska Theatre Caravan, will take the stage on Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 7:30 p.m. This Charles Dickens tale is one of the world’s most enduring Christmas stories. The Caravan’s Carol, which weaves traditional Christmas carols throughout the narrative, is probably the most widely produced production of Dickens’ in the nation, annually performing for more than 100,000 people in more than 60 cities across the country.
Comedic duo Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood will end the opening week’s events with an evening of hilarity on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m. Stars of the Emmy-nominated Whose Line Is it Anyway? Mochrie and Sherwood are masters at using their quick wit to deliver spontaneous comedy while interacting with audience members.
Mike Morelli, general manager of the Performing Arts Center, is excited about the center’s versatility and technical capabilities, as well as the opening week’s events and the scheduled events for the rest of the academic year. “Our community wants to see Broadway touring shows and national and international acts in comedy, music and dance without spending hours on the highway or dealing with exorbitant parking fees and unfamiliar areas,” Morelli says. “We’ve built a tremendous facility with the capabilities of handling Broadway touring shows, to Cirque acts, to shining stars of music, to international dance sensations. All of these shows will be available in our beautiful, comfortable, easily accessible Performing Arts Center that we can be proud to say is an integral part of our community.”
Additional performances are scheduled for December through May. The complete schedule will be announced in the near future. Ticket sales for all events begin in August.
Learn more about Kent State Tuscarawas.