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Arts Council’s Broadway and Beyond season overview

The Springfield Arts Council has several adjectives describing its 2013-14 Broadway and Beyond season. The one that stands out is “classic.”

Eight unique presentations, one a month, will feature everything from Broadway entertainers to flying acrobats to films created by people right here.

While the word “classic” has a comfortable feel to it, Arts Council marketing and communications director Tim Rowe said the staff looks at a wide demographic.

“Our mission is to make the arts acceptable to everybody. What we try is to offer is programming to traditional subscribers who love what we do and break the mold in some ways with family events and some aimed at audiences who aren’t traditional.”

The season debuts next Saturday, Sept. 28, when Broadway sensation Michael Feinstein returns to Springfield for the third time to perform timeless classics from the Great American Songbook.

Looking beyond that show:

She lit up your life in the late 1970s, now Debby Boone will take you to Vegas in the 1960s Rat Pack era with “Swing Thi”s on Oct. 19. She’ll reflect on growing up in the city during its golden era, interacting with Sammy, Dean and Frank and even the young Barbra Streisand and singing their hits.

It’s been one of the most treasured Broadway romantic musicals of the past 50 years, now “West Side Story” will be performed by the most recent Broadway revival cast with classic songs like “Somewhere,” “Tonight,” “Something’s Coming,” “America” and “I Feel Pretty” in its Nov. 20 performance.

Ring in the holiday season in a nontraditional way with “Take 6, The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The group Take 6 puts an a cappella vibe to seasonal favorites, blending jazz, gospel and rhythm and blues Dec. 7.

The New Year presents a classic film in a new interactive experience Jan. 25. “The Sing-a-Long-a Sound of Music” is like “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” experience for a family audience. Attendees can dress like characters from the movie and use props during certain scenes. Or just enjoy singing along with familiar tunes with lyrics shown right on the screen.

Cirque Ziva has played the Summer Arts Festival in the past, but think of that as a warm-up. The stage in Veterans Park isn’t big enough to accommodate the leaps, tosses and tumbles the Golden Dragon Acrobats will unleash across the Kuss Auditorium on Feb. 14.

Puppets can be cute and fun, and with “Puppet Up! Uncensored,” they can bring adult improv comedy. This March 13 show, featuring puppets from Muppet creator Jim Henson’s company, is for adult audiences only.

The season wraps up with a special debut event, the Real to Reel Doc Fest on April 25-27. This three-day festival showcases 12 juried feature-length and short films from all over the world as well as locally produced student films.

All shows except the film fest will be at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. Ticket price vary for each show. Season tickets are still available.

For more information, call 937-328-3874 or go to

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