Home » EKU Center for the Arts season features Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, Kenny Rogers

EKU Center for the Arts season features Yo-Yo Ma, Tony Bennett, Kenny Rogers

Celtic Woman will perform during the 2012-13 season at the EKU Center for the Arts.

Jill Price named interim director of performing arts venue

RICHMOND, Ky. – Some of the world’s leading entertainers will grace the Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts stage during the 2012-13 season.

The schedule for the Center’s second season includes performances by acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, legendary vocalist Tony Bennett, the all-female singing sensation Celtic Woman, country star Vince Gill, soul and gospel stalwart Al Green, the Grammy Award-winning Michael Bolton, jazz icon Branford Marsalis, as well as a celebrate-America concert by Cincinnati Pops and a Christmas-themed concert by Kenny Rogers. Also coming to the EKU stage are productions of the Blue Man Group, “STOMP,” “A Chorus Line” and “Of Mice and Men,” as well as ballet performances of “The Nutcracker” and “Cinderella.”

Rounding out the 2012-2013 season are the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi, Parsons Dance Company, The Black Watch and Band of the Scots Guards, Leahy, the Golden Dragon Acrobats in a production of Cirque Ziva, and Elvis Lives, a multi-media journey that chronicles the late entertainer’s life.

“I am truly excited about the second season of shows in the EKU Center for the Arts,” EKU President Doug Whitlock said. “The community and University can take great pride in a continued program with a variety of first-rate entertainment.”

“Our state-of-the-art facility offers unprecedented cultural and economic advantages to our community and region,” said Harry Moberly, chair of the Community Operations Board for the Center. “This center represents a partnership between Madison County, the City of Richmond, the City of Berea and Eastern Kentucky University. It is the only partnership of this kind in Kentucky. We hope you will ensure the success of your Performing Arts Center by being a patron. We guarantee you will find this outstanding venue and programming to be a most rewarding experience.”

A variety of ticket packages are available, as well as individual event tickets.  The 20-event Signature Series (which includes every event except the Yo-Yo Ma concert) ranges from $680 to $1,089. The Signature Series also includes preferred parking (a guaranteed spot in the side or back parking lots of the Center) for an additional $150.

The Show Place Series ticket package (Kenny Rogers, Blue Man Group, STOMP, A Chorus Line, Cirque Ziva, Elvis Lives, and the Black Watch and the Band of the Scots Guards)  ranges from $264 to $392. The Grand Hall Series ticket package (Cincinnati Pops, Branford Marsalis, Leahy, The Nutcracker, Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi, Parsons Dance, Of Mice and Men, Cinderella and Michael Bolton) ranges from $230 to $374.

Tickets for Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble range in cost from $80 to $115.

“The EKU Center for the Arts is now considered to be among the nation’s finest performing arts venues,” Whitlock said. When previous Center Director Debra Hoskins resigned the position in June, Whitlock credited Hoskins for “her instrumental role as the center attracted outstanding performers throughout its inaugural season” and wished her “our best as she begins the next exciting chapter of her career.”

At a meeting of the Community Operations Board on July 18, Jill Price was announced as interim director of the center. Price, director of conferencing and events at EKU, is a university representative on the board and has been actively involved with the Center since its opening. A national search is underway to name a new director of the Center.

Vince Gill will perform Oct. 18 at the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond.

For more information about 2012-2013 ticket packages and to order tickets, visit ekucenter.com, call 859-622-SHOW or 1-855-EKU-SHOW (358-7469), or visit the Center’s box office, which is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The complete 2012-13 schedule, along with the ticket cost range for each individual event, follows (all times 8 p.m. unless otherwise indicated):

— Tuesday, Sept. 11, Cincinnati Pops, a program celebrating America on the anniversary of the 9-11 tragedy, $25-$40.

— Friday, Sept. 21, Al Green, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee who has sold more than 20 million records and earned 11 Grammy Awards, $90.50-$105.50.

— Sunday, Sept. 23, 2 p.m., Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi, who have toured worldwide since the 1960s, $25-$40.

— Tuesday, Oct. 9, Parsons Dance Company, called “one of the hottest tickets in contemporary dance” by The Toronto Star, $25-$40.

— Thursday, Oct. 18, Vince Gill, Country Music Hall of Fame member and 20-time Grammy Award winner, the most of any country artist, $60-$75.

— Saturday, Oct. 27, Tony Bennett, recipient of Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and 15 Grammy Awards, $75-$125.

— Friday, Nov. 9 and Saturday, Nov. 10, Blue Man Group, “one of the most delightful performance pieces ever staged,” according to the New York Times, $55-$75. Saturday performances are at 2 and 8 p.m.

— Tuesday, Nov. 27, Michael Bolton, multiple Grammy Award-winning artist who has sold more than 53 million albums and singles, $55-$70.

— Friday, Nov. 30, “The Nutcracker,” State Ballet Theatre of Russia, $25-$40.

— Tuesday, Dec. 4, Kenny Rogers Christmas and Hits Concert, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient who has sold more than 120 million albums, $60.50-$75.50.

— Wednesday, Jan. 16 and Thursday, Jan. 17, STOMP, an eight-member percussion troupe that utilizes non-conventional “instruments,” including wooden poles, matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, lighters, hubcaps and more, $50-$65.

— Saturday, Jan. 26, “Cinderella” by The Lexington Ballet, $20-$35.

— Friday, Feb. 8, The Black Watch and Band of the Scots Guards, celebrating music of Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland, $25-$40.

— Tuesday, Feb. 19, “A Chorus Line,” winner of nine Tony Awards, including “Best Musical,” $55-$75.

— Tuesday, Feb. 26, Branford Marsalis, Grammy Award-winning saxophonist who has performed with countless jazz giants, backed by a quartet of musicians, $40-$60.

— Monday, March 4, Leahy, a Juno Award-winning Canadian group of eight brothers and sisters that performs a mix of folk, country and Celtic music, $25-$40.

— Wednesday, March 20, The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma, winner of 16 Grammy Awards and recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, $80-$115.

— Tuesday, March 26, Golden Dragon Acrobats present Cirque Ziva, showcasing traditional Chinese acrobats, dance and costumes, ancient and contemporary music, and modern theatrical techniques, $20-$40.

— Wednesday, April 3, Elvis Lives, featuring finalists from Elvis Presley Enterprises’ worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, $45-$65.

— Tuesday, April 16, “Of Mice and Men,” presented by The Acting Company, which was founded by actor John Houseman and includes noted alumni Kevin Kline, Rainn Wilson and Patti LuPone, among others, $30-$50.

— Friday, April 19, Celtic Woman, classic Irish tunes and inspirational songs, $42.50-$77.50.

Once again, patrons will also be able to enjoy a pre-event meal in the supper club in the Center’s black box theater before each program. The season menu will be posted at ekucenter.com in early September.