GSU’s Center for Performing Arts’ 2012-13 season
September 19, 2012 4:51PM
"Broadway's Next H!t Musical" will kick off the 2012-13 season at the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University on Sept. 21.
THE CENTER FOR PERFORMING ARTS AT GOVERNORS STATE UNIVERSITY
Multibuy/Megabuy packages are available for the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University, off University Parkway east of Governors Highway, University Park.
Patrons can choose any three or four shows and receive the Multibuyer discount or choose any five or more shows and receive the Megabuy discount.
In addition to savings, package-holders receive ticket-exchange privileges with 72-hour notice or more, priority seating and more.
Packages are available for purchase through the box office only. The box office is open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and two hours prior to performances.
Information: (708) 235-2222,
- GSU’s Lyric Opera Preview is celebration of music
- Muntu Dance Theatre of Chicago returns to GSU
- GSU’s One More Night features ‘Speaking in Tongues’
- Crowd Pleasers for Dec. 7, 2012
- Chicago Community Trust renews ‘One More Night’ grant at GSU
- ‘Braid Tales’ at Governors State University
- Southland Area Theatre Ensemble to stage ‘Assassins’
- Gig of the Week: Davis on ‘DuSable to Obama’
Updated: January 30, 2013 4:36PM
As the Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University in University Park begins its 18th season, audiences again will experience music, dance, theater, family fare, opera and children’s programming.
The 2012-13 season will include the movements of Chicago’s Muntu Dance Theatre, the vocal fireworks of the Three Divas and multiple Emmy-winning actor Ed Asner re-creating the life of President Franklin Roosevelt.
There also will be performances by Chicago theater companies in the One More Night series and fresh multicultural showpieces from Natya Dance Theatre, Kuumba Lynx/FootworKINGz, Celtic Crossroads and DRUMLine Live.
Also, “The Nutcracker,” a perennial holiday favorite, will be back.
“This is an exciting time for the arts at Governors State University,” executive director Lana Rogachevskaya said.
“As we ... welcome freshman students in 2014, we infuse freshness into our cultural programming with relevant themes, diverse explosion of cultures, genres and styles, and topnotch powerful performers.
“I invite you to sample some of nearly 50 performances this season.
“Whether you choose to join us in an intimate cabaret setting on stage, with a glass of wine or in one of our 1,100 seats in the theater, your experience will be sure to create memories for years to come.”
One More Night, which features the best in Chicago theatrical performances, returns with four shows and is made possible by a grant from the Chicago Community Trust.
Other sponsors of the 2012-13 season are the Illinois Arts Council, Arts Midwest and First Midwest Bank.
◆ The season will start with “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” at 8 p.m. Sept. 21. Master improvisers collect made-up song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter.
The audience picks a favorite song, and the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists.
◆ The popular Opera Up Close series returns with the Lyric Opera Preview at 4 p.m. Sept. 30.
A quartet of singers will premiere highlights from the upcoming Lyric Opera of Chicago season.
Performances will include arias and ensembles from Richard Strauss’ “Elektra,” Giuseppe Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra,” Gaetano Donizetti’s “Don Pasquale,” Verdi’s “Rigoletto” and Giacomo Puccini’s “La boheme.”
◆ At 8 p.m. Oct. 12, Muntu Dance Theatre will bring its authentic and progressive interpretations of contemporary and ancient African and African-American dance, music and folklore.
In the Bantu language, “muntu” means “the essence of humanity.” “Muntu’s unique synthesis of dance, rhythm and song will uplift and inspire you,” officials said.
◆ U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus will perform a free show at 7 p.m. Oct. 30.
The U.S. Army Field Band, one of the world’s most versatile and inspiring musical organizations, represents some of the nation’s finest musical talent.
◆ At 8 p.m. Nov. 3 and 4 p.m. Nov. 4, the Southland Area Theatre Ensemble will stage a production focusing on two nobodies who decide to write an original musical, which becomes a surprising Broadway hit.
This homage to the grand tradition of backstage musicals like “Kiss Me, Kate” and “A Chorus Line” will be presented in an intimate onstage setting.
◆ The Three Divas will light up the stage at 4 p.m. Nov. 11. Desiree Hassler, Pam Williams and Joanne Jennett will try to outdo each other in this Opera Up Close production.
◆ “Speaking in Tongues: The Chronicles of Babel,” which will be presented by Maat Production Association of Afrikan Centered Theatre at 8 p.m. Nov. 17, is the first show in the One More Night series.
Culled from hours of interviews, this production explores the oral histories of an extended family living in Chicago’s now-demolished Washington Park housing project.
Three generations come together to chronicle the complex story of their lives and a uniquely American social experiment.
◆ “A Christmas Carol,” presented by TheatreworksUSA, will be staged at 11 a.m. Dec. 1. The show captures both the humorous and touching moments of the classic story with witty dialogue and fresh new songs.
In this production, Charles Dickens’ original message that the holiday season should be a kind, forgiving and charitable time still rings true.
◆ “The Nutcracker” by the Salt Creek Ballet will return at 1 and 5 p.m. Dec. 8. The retelling of young Clara’s holiday journey is a production for the entire family.
This holiday tradition will feature talented dancers, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s score, waltzing flowers, giant mice and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
◆ “The Voice! A Celebration in Song” at 4 p.m. Jan. 13 will be the next Opera Up Close presentation.
Four world-class singers will perform songs, arias and ensembles from favorite operas and Tony Award-winning musicals.
Soprano Rachael Holzhausen, mezzo-soprano Yvette Smith, tenor John Concepcion-Wall and baritone Michael Cavalieri are slated to sing.
◆ Kuumba Lynx/FootworKINGz will present “Braid Tales” featuring the South Shore Drill Team at 8 p.m. Jan. 26.
This One More Night double bill features diverse genres and styles. Attendees can sample poetry, footwork and movements influenced by classical music, hip-hop, jazz and modern dance.
This multidimensional street art production weaves real-life stories.
◆ “Assassins” will be presented by the Southland Area Theatre Ensemble at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 and 8 p.m. Feb. 2. Stephen Sondheim’s “Assassins” is an original, thought-provoking and funny production about nine people who assassinated or tried to assassinate the U.S. president.
“The winner of five Tony awards, ‘Assassins’ will leave you speechless, entertained and asking yourself what it means to be an American,” officials said.
◆ “A Night at the Operetta,” set for 4 p.m. Feb. 3, is an afternoon of music presented by Chicago Folks Operetta. Host and performer Gerald Frantzen, along with an ensemble of talented singers, will take the audience on a tour of the most beloved and some lesser-known Viennese and American operettas from the 20th century in this Opera Up Close presentation.
◆ DRUMLine Live will make its third appearance at 7 p.m. Feb. 15. DRUMLine Live is an international tour based on the bold beats and ear-grabbing energy of the Historically Black Colleges & Universities marching band tradition.
With choreographed routines and heavy doses of drum riffs, the show incorporates original compositions and soul-infused interpretations of top-40 hits.
◆ “The Flowering Tree,” to be presented by Natya Dance Theatre at 8 p.m. Feb. 16, is the third One More Night show. Chicago-based Natya Dance Theatre is one of the most critically acclaimed and culturally treasured Indian dance companies in the United States.
This is an international, multicultural production, exploring timely, cross-cultural concerns about humanity’s relationship to the natural world.
◆ Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music will take place at 2 p.m. March 9. This screening of the Academy Award-winning movie musical, in full-screen Technicolor, is shown with subtitles so the audience can sing along.
Attendees may come dressed as their favorite characters. Audience participation kits are included with each ticket.
◆ Orbert Davis’ Chicago Jazz Philharmonic will present “DuSable to Obama: Music from Chicago’s Black Metropolis” at 4 p.m. March 10 as the fourth One More Night performance. Davis will lead the CJP Chamber Ensemble in a live performance of the Emmy Award-winning soundtrack from the critically acclaimed WTTW-TV (Channel 11) documentary “DuSable to Obama: Chicago’s Black Metropolis.”
With video highlights, this presentation tells the timeless story of Chicago’s black history.
◆ “Aesop’s Dinosaur Fable: The Dinosaur and the Ant” will be presented by Bits ’N Pieces Puppet Theatre at 11 a.m. March 23. This spirited musical features singing and dancing by six giant prehistoric puppets.
With frolicking action from the 9-foot-tall dinosaur puppets and wee TryANTasaurus, this family classic teaches children that it’s better to prepare today for tomorrow.
◆ Celtic Crossroads, set for 7 p.m. March 28, will present fusions of traditional Irish melodies, bluegrass, gypsy and jazz with the rhythms of dance percussion. This concert incorporates seven world-class musicians steering Irish acoustic music into new territory.
◆ “The Piano Men — A Musical Journey through the ’70s” will feature the music of Billy Joel and Elton John at 7 p.m. May 10. Award-winning pianist Jim Witter and his band lead an expertly crafted tour of the 1970s.
He will unleash his tenor voice to help the era come to life through projected newspaper headlines, TV footage and celebrities.
◆ Ed Asner as FDR will take place at 7 p.m. April 17. The seven-time Emmy Award winner stars in this solo performance drama, which follows Franklin D. Roosevelt as he reflects on his years in office.
This show explores the life of one of America’s best-loved presidents and the events and decisions that shaped a nation.
◆ “The Wizard of Oz,” set for 11 a.m. May 4, is a family show. Attendees can follow the Yellow Brick Road on a magical journey and share Dorothy’s adventures as the stage is transformed into a world of imagination.
Presented by American Family Theater, this production features original songs and colorful costumes.
‘BROADWAY’S NEXT H!T MUSICAL’
Governors State University’s Center for Performing Arts will open its 2012-13 season with “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical,” an award-winning comic evening of music, humor and laughter.
Direct from smash-hit engagements in New York and several theater festivals, “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” will be staged at 8 p.m. Sept. 21.
Billed as the only unscripted theatrical awards show, the production features master improvisers gathering made-up, hit song suggestions from the audience and creating a musical comedy on the spot.
The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists.
Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny, according to officials.
TheaterWeek hailed the show as “brilliant” and the New York Post called “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” “remarkable.”
Time Out New York announced, “At last! A musical of, for, and by the people. …That’s entertainment!” while The New York Times called the show “hilarious.”
“Broadway’s Next H!T Musical,” under the direction of improv veterans Rob Schiffman and Deb Rabbai, has been seen recently at the Triad, Tribeca Film Festival and the New York Musical Theater Festival.
Tickets for “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” range from $15-$50 at the box office, centertickets.net or (708) 235-2222.