Upcoming shows’ sheer diversity may banish the winter chill with cultural delights.
The Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center’s offerings range from a Broadway classic’s Tony-winning revival to Celtic music and dance’s unbridled energy.
My feet are already tapping.
I have tunes like “Let the Sunshine In” and “Moonlight Serenade” swirling in my head — and sadly remember my dancing skills are nil when a cavalcade of energetic shows like these comes to town.
The New York Tenors, Jan. 12
It may be chilly outside, but things will warm up when The New York Tenors take to the main stage. Unlike the classical repertoire of the famed Three Tenors, Daniel Rodriguez, Andy Cooney and Michael Amante will showcase some of world’s greatest music that includes Broadway favorites, American Songbook standards and soaring opera selections.
Rodriguez, known as “The Singing Policeman” and “America's Tenor,” helped sooth the nation’s grief following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Internationally acclaimed Cooney — The New York Times christened him “Irish America’s favorite son” — has performed two sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall.
Amante, “The People’s Tenor,” is a combination of all-American good looks, romantic Italian charm and an incredible voice.
‘Hair,’ Jan. 30
When “Hair” burst onto the Biltmore Theatre stage April 29, 1968, it marked a new era in American musical theatre.
The Tony Award-winning revival coming to the Mattie Kelly Center is a fresh, exciting re-imagining of the 45-year-old classic.
The great Galt McDermot, Gerome Ragni and James Rado score is as jiggy as ever, with favorites including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sunshine In,” “Good Morning Starshine” and the exuberant title number intact.
“Hair” energetically depicts the 1960s and ’70s cultural movement that changed America forever as a group of charismatic, free-spirited young people passionately preaches a lifestyle of pacifism and free love in a society torn asunder during the Vietnam War.
The music moved original audiences and inspired subsequent Broadway revivals and countless community theatre and school drama productions.
This inspiring new production features an exuberant finale with the audience invited onstage to dance with the cast, offering a level of inclusiveness not often seen in musical theater.
‘In the Mood: A 1940s Musical Revue,’ Feb. 2
Get “in the mood,” as Glenn Miller exhorted, for the American swing era’s brassy, big band sounds. Relive when the Greatest Generation was young and the nation confronted World War II’s horror.
More than a concert, “In the Mood” is a big band theatrical swing revue chock full of songs that got folks jitterbugging on a “Jukebox Saturday Night” to the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Harry James, Erskine Hawkins, the Andrews Sisters and Frank Sinatra.
Featuring a company of 19, including the In the Mood Singers and Dancers with the sensational String of Pearls Big Band Orchestra, the show’s music arrangements, vintage costumes — including the recreation of a USO show — and choreography are as authentic as it gets.
“In the Mood” takes a retro look back at when music ranged from up-tempo big band rhythms to mellow intimate ballads, and set a mood that inspired a future filled with hope, promise and prosperity.
It was a time like no other in our nation’s history: when music moved America’s spirit and helped win a war.
Women of Ireland concert, Feb. 15
Like Celtic stage extravaganzas “Lord of the Dance” and “Riverdance,” the local audience will enjoy the talents of some of Ireland’s finest female performers and Irish dance’s zest in this internationally touring spectacle.
Ireland's traditions of music, song and dance will come alive for all ages in “Women of Ireland,” an innovative full-stage concert production displaying Ireland’s next generation of leading female talent.
The most revered qualities of Ireland’s ethnic music travel from the Irish cottage fireside and village community festival to the international concert hall in a contemporary setting featuring world championship dancers.
Want to go?
All performances are at 7:30 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Performing Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College.
Individual tickets are $35 for all productions — except “Hair,” which is $45 — and are available by phone, 729-6000, or at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org.
Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. Tickets will also be available the night of each show, space permitting, starting at 6 p.m. There is a $2 per ticket processing fee.
Contact News Bulletin Arts & Entertainment Editor Brian Hughes at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbBrian.