Arts Council season to bring Olivia, Elvis, pop, rock and Seven

Credit: Courtesy

Credit: Courtesy

The Springfield Arts Council’s (SAC) Showtime! 44th annual winter series gives audiences something to look forward to as the days grow shorter and the nights longer.

The organization is presenting the theme “By Special Request” with five shows of classic rock and roll masters, pop legends and original sounds at the Clark State Performing Arts Center. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.

“This is our first full season since COVID, so we’re anxious to get it out and running to see how it gets received,” said Tim Rowe, SAC executive director.

One of the entertainment world’s biggest losses in 2022 occurred over the summer with the passing of Olivia Newton-John, who left a legacy of pop hits. “The Olivia Show” will open the season on Nov. 12 with Sabrina Plaisance-Sia capturing her biggest songs including “Physical,” from soundtracks like “Xanadu” and concludes with a “Grease” singalong.

Rowe had contracted with the show before Newton-John’s passing, and her death makes it even more timely.

“It’s very respectful for big fans and those who love her music and having fun,” he said.

The New Year will doo wop in with The Modern Gentlemen on Jan. 21. Former backup singers who acted as the Four Seasons for Frankie Valli for a decade, they will perform songs from doo wop era to rhythm and blues, pop and classics along with a full band.

Naturally 7 helped fill the demand for live entertainment during the pandemic by doing an online performance for the SAC. Audiences will get the full live and in-person experience on Feb. 25.

Rowe said he was looking at Naturally 7 for the Summer Arts Festival and figured they could work on the winter schedule. The group has been a big draw in Europe and has opened for Michael Buble.

“They’re an extremely talented seven-piece group that does all vocal and instrument parts with their voices, making them a really unique act,” he said. “They do pop, rhythm and blues, soul, covers and originals.”

No matter what decade you prefer, “Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock ‘N’ Roll” will give you everything from Bill Hailey and the Comets up through the MTV era on March 25.

The show has four singers from Broadway rock musicals performing songs by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Journey and more under the direction of Berg, a celebrated composer and lyricist.

The season will go out on a crowning note with “Elvis! Elvis! Elvis! – A Tribute to the King” on April 22.

As the title suggests, the show takes the audience on a journey from the early Sun Records version of Elvis in the 1950s to his 1960s movie phase and 1968 comeback special to the jump-suited final years in the 1970s.

While Elvis tributes are common, this show features world champion Elvis entertainers who were selected by peers for the title.

“We’ve had many Elvis shows, but this no doubt will show why this music still resonates with people,” Rowe said.

This series is set up to appeal to a wide range of musical tastes, and Rowe is confident people will find ones that appeal to them.

“This is a very comfortable season. When you attend, you’ll leave singing these songs,” he said.

All shows will be at 8 p.m. For more tickets or more information, go to

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