The Best in Music, Theatre, Dance Coming to Western Maryland
Once again, the Frostburg State University Cultural Events Series is bringing an exciting season of entertainment – music, theatre and dance – to Western Maryland’s backyard. Performances range from Broadway-caliber productions, Grammy award-winning performers, international singing and dancing sensations to an American Idol or two. With 13 acts, the 2009-2010 FSU Cultural Events Series promises to bring top-notch and affordable entertainment to the tri-state region. It’s the best of Broadway, world-class jazz, international music and high-energy performances.
FSU’s two performance series, the Main Stage Series and the CES Jazz Club, along with some special events, provide the opportunity for both residents and visitors to enjoy quality performances at an affordable price and in easy-access venues.
The CES seasons starts with the music, poetry and breathtaking visuals of Ensemble Galilei’s “Universe of Dreams” on Sunday, Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m., in FSU’s Performing Arts Center Pealer Recital Hall “They play with energy, splendid ensemble, good humor and imagination,” wrote The Washington Post. The renowned Celtic/early music crossover group, along with Neal Conan, host of the popular NPR program “Talk of the Nation,” and a backdrop featuring amazing celestial images captured from the Hubble Telescope will present a show blending both sight and sound, resulting in a powerful and sometimes spiritual event.
Experience the rich, meaningful music of the Kentucky Mountains as folk music sensation Jean Ritchie and Sons present the capstone performance of FSU’s Appalachian Festival. An outstanding composer, author and folklorist, Ritchie’s songs have been recorded by such artists as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, EmmyLou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. Ritchie, often called “The Mother of Folk,” tours with her two sons, performing ballads from her Scottish, Irish and English roots; the songs and hymns of her Kentucky childhood; and original works. The trio will perform at the Palace Theatre, Main Street, Frostburg, on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 8 p.m., the final event of the two-day cultural and educational festival.
World-class jazz violinist Regina Carter and her quintet bring their unique sounds to the CES Jazz Club on Thursday, Oct. 1, at 7:30 p.m. Considered one of the finest jazz violinists, Carter performs a concert of classical and newer works, flawlessly transitioning between traditional chamber jazz and finger-snapping, straight-up swing. The first event in the CES Jazz Club, Carter and her quintet will bring music to life at the Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall in FSU’s Lane University Center; the event will include a Jazz Supper Club option.
Family Weekend at FSU brings three fun-filled days of events, culminating in a concert by country music singing sensation Sara Evans on Saturday, Oct. 3. Strength, versatility and a spunky sense of adventure define this highly successful country singer/songwriter. Her drive, talent and determination, not to mention a compelling heart-in-the-throat voice have made her one of the most successful country artists of her generation. Her signature songs, “Born to Fly,” “No Place That Far,” “Suds in the Bucket” and “A Real Fine Place to Start,” all became No. 1 hits. A VIP package, including a front row seat and a meet-and-greet opportunity with the artists, is available. The Sara Evans concert will be held in the Main Arena of FSU’s Cordts Physical Education Center at 8 p.m.
Always one of the most popular events of each CES season is the concert presented by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, led by the highly regarded music director and conductor Elizabeth Schulze. Now in its 27th season, the MSO returns to the Pealer Recital Hall on Friday, Oct. 9, at 8 p.m. and includes Tomas Svoboda’s “Overture of the Season,” Antonin Dvorak’s “Symphony No. 6 in D” and Samuel Barber’s “Violin Concerto” with special guest violinist Elena Urioste.
When dancer-actor Gregory Hines passed away in 2003, the world lost an exceptional artist and ambassador of tap dance. “Thank You, Gregory!” is a tribute to Hines and other gifted legends of tap dance whose “soles” have guided and touched both the past and the present. The show celebrates such tap-dancing greats as the Nicholas Brothers, Fred Astaire, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Ruby Keeler, Ann Miller and Dr. Jimmy Slyde. “Thank You, Gregory!” will dance across the Drama Theatre stage in the FSU Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 7:30 p.m.
Audiences will find themselves transported to a sleepy Southern town in the 1930s and discover that the issues of that time – prejudice, racism and human values – are issues of all times when The Montana Repertory Theatre presents Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” at Frostburg’s Mountain Ridge High School on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7:30 p.m. This classic American story tells the tale of a town rocked with scandal when a young black man is accused of raping a white woman. Atticus Finch, an attorney and widower with two young children, stands against his fellow townspeople and defends the accused man. The full-length play offers high drama, humor and hope as the characters explore themes still relevant today.
“American Idol” brings its excitement to FSU right in time for the holidays. Four fan-favorite idols from seasons one through eight come together for “American Stars in Concert for the Holidays.” It’s a thrilling night of holiday solo, duet and ensemble performances under the musical direction of “American Idol’s” own Michael Orland. A VIP package, including a front row seat and a meet-and-greet opportunity with the artists, is available. Get in the holiday spirit on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m. in the Alice R. Manicur Assembly Hall, Lane University Center.
“Wilkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome!” sings the Emcee of the Kit Kat Club through painted lips in 1929 Berlin. “Cabaret,” the musical preview presented with Windwood Theatricals Inc., brings the Kit Kat Club and its singer Sally Bowles to the FSU Drama Theatre stage on Friday, Jan. 15, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan.16, at 3 and 8 p.m. “Cabaret” is the winner of 12 Tony Awards, including Best Musical (1967) and Best Revival (1998), and eight Oscars for the 1972 film version starring Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey. The score, written by the acclaimed writing team of John Kander and Fred Ebb, includes such well-known songs as “Wilkommen,” “The Money Song,” “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” and, of course, “Cabaret.” This performance may not be suitable for younger audiences.
“Druid: Featuring The Irish Tenors,” a concert of Irish ballads, classical arrangements and pop, vibrantly captures the essence of the Irish spirit. Coming to the FSU Pealer Recital Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m., the tenors form a cohesive musical and vocal unit that is mesmerizing and uplifting. “Druid” is a musical journey from Ireland’s pre-Christian times through oppression, famine, emigration, the “Celtic Tiger” economy and finally to the nation’s future. It stars the Irish Tenors, Ciaran Nagle, Jeremy Morgan, Robert Archibald, Kenneth O’Regan and Simon Morgan.
“Streb: RAW” is an in-your-face dance experience that combines constant action, daring movement and high energy. Described as the “Flying Wallendas of Dance,” RAW’s conditioned dancers take audiences on a journey of perpetual motion, of constant leaping, bounding and soaring. The brainchild of choreographer Elizabeth Streb, STREB Extreme Action Company brings a mixture of slam dancing, exquisite and amazing human flight and a wild action sport to the stage. This high-energy performance will be Wednesday, March 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the FSU Drama Theatre.
In its final presentation of the season, CES Jazz Club presents Cuban clarinetist and saxophone master Paquito D’Rivera and his quintet, offering an evening of cool Latin music sounds to Western Maryland audiences. Performing on Friday, April 9, at 8 p.m. in Windsor Hall at Town Centre, Downtown Cumberland, D’Rivera and his quintet will bring an explosive mixture of jazz, rock, classic and traditional Cuban music to the stage.
New this season, the Cultural Events Series’ Pre-Performance Dinner Club offers an opportunity to boost your cultural experience by adding the Dinner Club to your ticket purchase for selected events. Pre-performance dinners are available for Ensemble Galilei “Universe of Dreams,” Sept. 13; Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Oct. 9; and “Thank You, Gregory!” on Nov. 4. The dinners may be purchased individually or as a season package. Dinner Club meals include soup or salad, entrée with side dishes, dessert and coffee or iced tea. A cash bar is available throughout dinner. Dinner will be served in the Lane University Center in a private restaurant setting.
Tickets are available beginning at 9 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 24. Ticket packages and discounts are available, including the Build Your Own Series for those planning on attending several events throughout the year; Corporate Nights offering group pricing, priority seating and personalized service; and Group Sales with special rates for purchases of 15 or more tickets for a single performance. Tickets may be ordered by calling 1-866-849-9237 or 301-687-3137 or by visiting http://ces.frostburg.edu.
The Cultural Events Series is graciously supported through generous donations by such local business partners as Braddock Best Western, WFRB, Allegany Arts Council, Country Club Mall, Tri-State Hand and Occupational Therapy Inc., Marc DiNola DDS and City Lights, as well as by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. An agency of the Department of Business & Economic Development, the MSAC provides financial support and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, units of government, colleges and universities for arts activities. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency which believes that a great nation deserves great art. The Arts for Adjudicated Youth project, including the “Universe of Dreams,” Jean Ritchie and Sons, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” STREB and Paquito D’Rivera performances, is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council and by the National Endowment for the Arts. The tour engagement of Paquito D’Rivera is funded through the American Masterpieces programs of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and the Maryland State Arts Council, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts American Masterpieces: Three Centuries of Artistic Genius, a major initiative to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy. The tour engagements of Regina Carter and STREB are funded through Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s Mid Atlantic Tours program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program and the Maryland State Arts Council’s American Masterpieces Program. The tour of “Thank You, Gregory!” is made possible by a grant from Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts Regional Touring Program.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.
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.