RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
The Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association (SOPAA) has released its schedule of shows in the 2012-13 season of its Performing Artists Series at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts (VRCFA) at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth.
“This is our best series we have had. We have nine outstanding events for the upcoming season,” said Carl Daehler, executive director of the VRCFA. “The national touring Broadway shows are all the same productions that have toured the major markets this year. We have two of the world’s most critically acclaimed recitalists, Stewart Goodyear and Sharon Isbin, and Ailey II, a truly world-class dance company. With ensembles like the Toledo Symphony, the Empire Brass, and The Ohio State University Marching Band, you simply cannot get any better than this.”
The new season begins at 4 p.m. Oct. 14 when the Toledo Symphony returns to the VRCFA, featuring Conductor Jeffrey Pollock and pianist Michael Boyd playing “Rhapsody in Blue” by George Gershwin and a selection of other American composers.
Then on Nov. 7, The Ohio State University Marching Band (known to fans as “The Best Damn Band in the Land”), with new director Jon Waters, will perform at the VRCFA at 7:30 p.m. Assistant OSU Drum Major David Pettit, a graduate of Portsmouth High School, will help lead the band onto the Vern Riffe Center Main Stage.
The Empire Brass will perform “The Sounds of Christmas” with Elisabeth von Trapp at the VRCFA at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7.
“I’ve always considered the Empire Brass my favorite; even over the Canadian Brass. They have one of the top trumpet players in the world” Daehler said.
Elisabeth von Trapp is the granddaughter of George Ritter von Trapp, who formed The Trapp Family Singers — which included Elisabeth’s father, Werner. The family’s escape from Nazi Germany was the inspiration for the film “The Sound of Music.” The family singers disbanded in 1957 when Elisabeth was 2 years old, but she grew up playing music with his father at their family lodge in Vermont.
Next on stage this season is “Shrek the Musical,” coming Jan. 31 at 8 p.m.
In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre — not a handsome prince — shows up to rescue a feisty princess. “Shrek the Musical,” based on the Oscar-winning Dreamworks film, brings the story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage. Throw in a donkey who won’t shut up, a villain with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and more than a dozen other fairytale misfits, and you’ve got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero.
Featuring a score of 19 all-new songs, dancing, and breathtaking scenery the national tour production of “Shrek the Musical” is part romance and part twisted fairytale.
“Ailey II” dance company will perform at VRCFA, with choreographer Troy Powell, on March 2 at 7:30 p.m.
“I aim to keep Alvin Ailey’s legacy alive, while keeping things young and fresh as well with this new generation of artists,” Powell said.
Started in 1974 as the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble, “Ailey II” embodies Mr. Ailey’s pioneering mission to establish an extended cultural community that provides dance performances, training and community programs for all people. Today, it has become one of the most popular dance companies in the United States.
Members of “Ailey II” will also present two dance workshops that are open to the public. Contact the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts for more information.
Following on March 7, “A Chorus Line” will be performed at the VRCFA at 7:30 p.m. featuring songs like “What I Did for Love;” “Dance Ten, Looks Three;” and the finale “One” illustrate a life in the theater.
The show debuted on Broadway in July 1975, and won nine Tony Awards and the 1976 Pulitzer Prize. The original production ran for 6,137 performances until April 1990, and was revived on Broadway in 2006 with constant productions worldwide.
Pianist Stewart Goodyear returns to the VRCFA to perform at 7:30 p.m. March 21.
Goodyear, a classical pianist and graduate of the Curtis Institute and the Julliard School, has performed with top-tier orchestras throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, and Philadelphia Orchestra, among others.
Goodyear will also present a master class for auditioned participants. For more information, contact the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts.
Then on April 1 — April Fools Day! — “The Addams Family” will be performed at the VRCFA at 7:30 pm.
The entire weird and wonderful family is here. This macabre new musical comedy is created by “Jersey Boys” authors Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, Drama Desk Award winner Andrew Lippa (“The Wild Party”), with production supervision by four-time Tony Award winner Jerry Zaks.
“The Addams Family” is about every father’s nightmare: Wednesday Addams, the ultimate princess of darkness, has grown up and fallen in love with a normal, sweet, smart young man from a respectable family. A man her parents have never met. Everything will change for the family on the fateful night they host a dinner for Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend and his parents.
The season ends April 23 with classical guitarist Sharon Isbin performing at the VRCFA at 7:30 p.m.
Known throughout the musical world as “Classical Guitar’s High Priestess,” Isbin has been a student of many teachers including the great Andres Segovia. She received degrees from Yale University and the Yale School of Music and is founder of the Guitar Department at the Julliard School. In 2001, she became the first classical guitarist to win a Grammy in 28 years and has been hailed as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time” by Boston Magazine.
Isbin has given sold-out performances throughout the world, including New York’s Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, Washington, D.C.’s, Kennedy Center, also London, Amsterdam, Vienna, Madrid and more. She is a favorite performer at the White House and has recorded albums with other artists such as Nancy Wilson, Paul Winter, Joan Baez and Mark O’Connor.
Season tickets go on sale to current SOPAA season ticket holders first, beginning June 4 until July 23. After that, season tickets and individual show tickets will be available to the public.
“All of the events are reasonably priced and are a terrific bargain when you compare the same events that play in Cincinnati, Columbus or Lexington,” Daehler said. “With the generosity of our many sponsors, we have been able to keep our subscription pricing steady over the past four years. We also will again offer senior and student discounts to all nine events. We will also be offering the Broadway, Variety and Classic mini-series this coming season.”
Tickets for individual shows are available at Ticketmaster locations and at www.ticketmaster.com, or at the McKinley Box Office in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts and by phone at 740-351-3600. Season tickets are available only at the McKinley Box Office. Discounts are available for students and children under 12.
For more information about the Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association, visit www.sopaa.org.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.