With everything from the best of Broadway and William Shakespeare to world-class jazz, children’s stories and amazing acrobatics, the 2007-2008 Frostburg State University Cultural Events Series has lined up an exciting season of performances for all ages.
FSU’s two performance series, the CES Jazz Club sponsored by Kauffman Music and the Main Stage Series, along with some Special Events provide an opportunity to enjoy metropolitan-quality arts presentations in beautiful Western Maryland, at affordable prices presented in easy-access venues. Tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20.
The CES season kicks off with a roller-coaster trip through 37 plays and 154 sonnets in a preview performance of “The Complete Works Of William Shakespeare (Abridged),” on Wednesday, Sept. 19, in the Lane University Center’s Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall. A Dinner Theatre Option begins at 6 p.m. with the performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. This tribute to the immortal bard condenses his life’s work into a two-hour performance by three actors. All 16 comedies become one story featuring a shipwreck, an influential duke and three sets of identical twins. Hamlet — despite complaints by the actors that there are “too many words” — is done both forwards and backwards. Don’t miss this irreverent and liberating performance.
Neil Berg’s 101 Years Of Broadway will turn the Performing Arts Center’s Pealer Recital Hall into a little bit of the Great White Way for two shows Saturday, Sept. 22, at 3 and 8 p.m. This lavish and lively spectacular by the award-winning composer Berg recreates some of the biggest moments from the best-known Broadway musical shows of the last 101 years. Stars of “Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables” light up the stage with the help of an all-star New York band, performing revivals of Broadway classics as well as selections from newer hit musicals.
Leading off the CES Jazz Club sponsored by Kauffman Music is the world-famous Count Basie Orchestra, directed by Bill Hughes and featuring Butch Miles, with special guest Nnenna Freelon, on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m. in Pealer Recital Hall. Following their yearlong celebration of Count Basie's 100th birthday, the orchestra will join six-time Grammy Award-nominated vocalist Freelon for an unforgettable evening of jazz, soul, gospel and blues. Inspired by the legacy of the brief but fruitful collaboration between Basie and the legendary Billie Holiday, Freelon and the Basie Orchestra bring their unique interpretation to those songs, inspired by Freelon's "Blueprint of a Lady: Sketches of Billie Holiday," to celebrate this chapter in the Basie-Holiday history. The Count Basie Orchestra consists of 19 musicians dedicated to continuing the legacy of one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time. Together, they will sweep you off your feet as they celebrate “Billie and Basie.”
A special Family Weekend event, Cirque Le Masque, will bring its sophisticated European-style circus to the Cordts Physical Education Center Main Arena on Saturday, Sept. 29, at 8 p.m. Cirque Le Masque has captivated audiences worldwide for more than 15 years. Combining acrobatics, dance, mime and aerial artistry with lavish costumes and unusual props, music and special effects, these performers amaze with mid-air and balancing acts featuring incredible strength, lightning reflexes, impeccable timing and theatrical artistry. This performance is recommended for all ages.
In what has become a highly anticipated CES tradition, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, led by its celebrated music director and conductor Elizabeth Schulze, will return to Pealer Recital Hall on Friday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. The MSO will present a concert in the true romantic style, featuring Smetana’s “Bartered Bride Overture” and the deeply emotional “Symphony No. 7” by Dvorák, with 20-year-old Chinese pianist Yuja Wang as the program’s centerpiece, performing “Piano Concerto No. 1” by Tchaikovsky. A recipient of the prestigious 2006 Gilmore Young Artist Award, Wang’s virtuosity and poise have critics raving, and her January 2008 Kennedy Center appearance has already sold out.
The North American Festival Of Traditional Arts on Sunday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall showcases heroes of folk music and dance from Mexico, French Canada and the Southern Appalachian region of the United States with a demonstration of our continent’s Spanish, French and English heritage. Each nationality has evolved folk music with unique singing and percussive dancing styles and traditions of instrumental virtuosity. Dancers’ feet provide rhythmic patterns that complement the music, taking you on a cultural tour without leaving your seat.
Children and adults alike will delight at the TheatreworksUSA presentation of “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” and Other Story Books, Saturday, Nov. 3, at 2 p.m. in FSU’s Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall. This sparkling musical revue based on eight popular children’s books provides a full hour of enchantment for kids, with enough intelligence and imagination to hold adults as well. Ten musical skits tell stories from such childhood favorites as “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie,” “Amazing Grace,” “Borreguita and the Coyote,” “Imogene’s Antlers,” “Martha Speaks,” “Master Man,” “Math Curse” and “Owen.”
One of the oldest and most celebrated contemporary dance companies in the world will come to Frostburg for two performances with Essential Graham: Classics From The Martha Graham Dance Company, Monday, Nov. 12, and Tuesday, Nov. 13, both at 7:30 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center’s Drama Theatre. Founded in 1926 by American dancer and master choreographer Martha Graham, this repertory demonstrates the scope and beauty of Graham’s work, with everything from the power and simplicity of her early solos and all-female group works to the complex drama of her acclaimed classics.
Celebrate the magic of the holiday season with Vivici Presents Purely Christmas, featuring FSU’s University Chorale. Four outstanding artists performing seasonal favorites such as “Let It Snow,” “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” and many more will come to Frostburg for two shows, Tuesday, Nov. 27, and Wednesday, Nov. 28, both at 7:30 p.m. in Pealer Recital Hall. Tenor Steve Amerson, Broadway star Laurie Gayle Stephenson, keyboardist Bill Cantos and Venezuelan flutist Pedro Eustache will team up with University Chorale for several holiday selections.
The CES Main Stage Series continues with preview performances of “Little Women” - The Musical on Friday, Jan. 25, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 26, at 3 and 8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center’s Drama Theatre. This remarkable new production, based on the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott, follows the adventures of Jo, Meg, Beth and Amy March as they grow up in Civil War-era America. For the very first time, this much-loved story has been brought to life as an exhilarating new musical. Filled with glorious music, dancing and heart, “Little Women” provides a richly sentimental, family-friendly night at the theater that is a perfect antidote to the mid-winter blues.
The Aquila Theatre Company returns to Frostburg a performance of Shakespeare’s epic “Julius Caesar” on Monday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Drama Theatre. Set in a world of political intrigue, the play explores the moral and political dilemma of Marcus Brutus, friend and political opponent to Julius Caesar, of the world’s most notorious leaders. Aquila’s unique production asks the audience to consider the price of democracy and the consequences that can befall a society when it is asked to defend its core beliefs.
The CES Jazz Club sponsored by Kauffman Music will bring the Terell Stafford Quintet to the Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall on Saturday, March 8, for an 8 p.m. performance. Stafford has been hailed as "one of the great players of our time, a fabulous trumpet player" by piano legend McCoy Tyner. Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge.
One of America’s pre-eminent chamber ensembles, Borealis Wind Quintet, will conclude the CES Main Stage Series on Tuesday, April 1, at 7:30 p.m. in the Pealer Recital Hall. Nominated for a 2006 Grammy Award, Borealis has received raves in “The New York Times,” “The Washington Post” and “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” and audiences love their exquisite programming: the finest of the classics, new commissions, opera arias and works for piano and wind. Irresistible energy, the highest musical integrity and five-fold charisma combine to distinguish Borealis in the chamber music field.
The CES season wraps up on Saturday, April 19, with pianist Jason Moran and the Bandwagon, a presentation of the CES Jazz Club sponsored by Kauffman Music, with an 8 p.m. performance in Windsor Hall at Town Centre. “Rolling Stone” magazine has described Moran as “…shaping up to be the most provocative thinker in current jazz.” Moran takes musical inspiration from 20th-century painters like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Egon Shiele and Robert Rauschenberg. He has been commissioned by art institutions including The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, New York’s Dia Art Foundation and Jazz at Lincoln Center to create new music. Joined by Tarus Mateen on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums, Jason Moran and The Bandwagon promises an exceptional evening.
Discounts are available for both the Main Stage and Jazz Club series as well as a Build Your Own series. Purchasing series subscriptions guarantees the best seats in the house at a discount off individual event tickets. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the FSU Cultural Events Box Office at 301-687-3137 or toll free at 1-866-TIXX-CES, or visit online at ces.frostburg.edu.
The Cultural Events Series at Frostburg State University is supported in part by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art; and in part by the Allegany Arts Council with funds from the Maryland State Arts Council.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office at 301-687-4102, TDD 301-687-7955.
Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 13 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu.