Rialto brings more crowd pleasers for 2013-14 season
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media June 11, 2013 10:06AM
In its 2013-14 season, the Rialto Squate Theatre will bring more variety such as Gregg Allman and the children’s show “Max & Ruby.” | Submitted photo
Oct. 4: Rocky Mountain High — A John Denver Tribute
Oct. 5: Frank Caliendo
Oct. 12: “Weird Al” Yankovic — The Alpocalypse Tour
Oct. 19: Gregg Allman
Nov. 1: George Lopez
Nov. 2: “Whose Live Anyway?”
Nov. 8: James Van Praagh
Nov. 9: The Priests
Nov. 10: Air Supply
Nov. 14: Doc Severinsen Big Band Show featuring Vanessa Thomas
Nov. 17: Spank! The Fifty Shades Parody
Nov. 21: Brian Setzer Orchestra
Nov. 25: ComEd Festival of Trees Opening Night Celebration
Nov. 26: ComEd Festival of Trees Holiday Lunch Break
Nov. 26: ComEd Festival of Trees Festival of the Vine — Wine Tasting
Nov. 27: Joliet Area Community Hospice Lights of Love
Nov. 29: ComEd Festival of Trees Teddy Bear Tea
Nov. 30: Jim Brickman The Magic of Christmas
Dec. 1: Von Heidecke’s Chicago Festival Ballet — The Nutcracker
Dec. 6: “Max & Ruby Nutcracker Suite”
Dec. 8: Joliet American Legion Band “The Sounds of Christmas”
Dec. 13: “It’s A Wonderful Life” Live Radio Broadcast
Dec. 19: “A Christmas Carol”
Dec. 20: Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra “The Magical Music of Disney”
Jan. 19: Bridal Expo 2014 at the Rialto Square Theatre
Jan. 23: “Hello, Dolly!” starring Sally Struthers
Jan. 24: The Nureyev State Ballet “Sleeping Beauty”
Feb. 9: Church Basement Ladies: “A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement”
Feb. 16: Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra- Copland Clarinet Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony
March 4: Sweet Charity
March 14: Get the Led Out (Led Zeppelin Tribute)
March 9: The Fantasticks
April 8: San Jose Taiko
April 13: Chanticleer
April 23: Green Day’s “American Idiot”
April 26: Organ Extravaganza XVIII – Music of Your Life
May 16: Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra — Bernstein’s “West Side Story” and Prokofiev’s “Romeo and Juliet”
Updated: June 11, 2013 9:40PM
The Rialto Square Theatre in Joliet has always prided itself on trying to give the people what they want.
The staff asks patrons and non-patrons alike what shows and artists they’d like to see. They solicit feedback on social media. Their mission, simply, is to offer quality shows at affordable prices, says Annette Parker, director of marketing and sales at the Rialto.
“We’ve added about 35 shows to our season,” she said. “We will be adding even more shows. We are doing something different this year. In the past we’ve only had one subscription series, and that was Broadway at the Rialto. People have been asking us why we don’t have more subscription packages. So we are trying something new. We have three additional subscription packages. We have a Sights and Sounds series, a Playhouse series, and we are partnering with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra to present an Illinois Philharmonic series. We’re excited to have them performing here at the Rialto.”
The first performance by the Illinois Philharmonic is “The Magical Music of Disney” on Dec. 20, which will serve as a fun and familiar introduction to symphony orchestras.
Comedy, classic rock and country music always do well, she said.
“That’s kind of what people want to see,” she said. “However, we had a town hall meeting online and we invited people to the theater. It was an open conversation about what we should be doing. Our job is to bring people what they want to see. And what they want to see is more movies, classical music and more indie (acts.)”
The drumming ensemble San Jose Taiko, the Grammy award-winning all-male a cappella group Chanticleer and the Irish classical music trio The Priests (who happen to all be priests) are included in the Sights and Sounds series.
“This season we’ve expanded the programming. We’re still bringing in what people want to see, but we’re also going in the direction of what people want us to bring in,” she said.
For example, ladies might want to schedule a GNO on Nov. 17 for “Spank: The Fifty Shades Parody.”
“I think ‘Spank’s’ going to do well, once people read what it is. It is a parody, so the comedy’s there,” she said. “I think people are going to find a lot of humor in the show.”
Another act that people have been wanting for years, she said, is Gregg Allman.
“We’re excited to get Gregg Allman. Blues does very well here, and the road he’s traveling down now is that bluesy, classic rock type of music,” she said.
George Lopez is another name that been on top of the suggestion list for years, she said, and fans of his comedy will get to see him live and local Nov. 1.
Fans of the paranormal will delight in seeing medium James Van Praagh on Nov. 8.
December’s Festival of Trees will see the addition of the critically acclaimed jazz artist Jim Brickman performing “The Magic of Christmas” on Nov. 30.
“Having his performance during Festival of Trees will add to the whole week’s festivities,” she said.
The Broadway Series will include a big coup for the area — Green Day’s “American Idiot,” the Tony award-winning musical, on April 23, 2014.
“We think we will expand our subscriber base or bring in a new audience to our Broadway season,” she said. “This season definitely has something for something for many different styles and tastes. I think we will be bringing in new audience members to the Rialto.”