Broadway and Beyond will retake center stage in the fall of 2018.
The Springfield Arts Council will readopt the nickname identified with its series that will bring seven concerts and stage presentations to the Clark State Performing Arts Center that sums up the variety it has represented over the years.
“With this series we’re trying to address longtime subscribers and new patrons,” said Tim Rowe, Arts Council executive director. “We have music; if you enjoy live theater we have that. We have up-and-coming groups and established acts.”
During the past three seasons, Rowe has noticed the most popular Arts Council presentations are tribute shows to popular acts such as Waylon, Willie and Cash, the Everly Brothers and the Million Dollar Quartet.
The talent behind those shows will bring a different approach in “The Legendary Ladies of Country: A Tribute” to open the season Saturday, Oct. 20. It will feature tributes to the music of Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn.
“Our feedback has been the community likes and appreciates this traditional roots and country music and we’re glad to bring it in,” Rowe said.
Another high-profile tribute to the King of Pop with all the spectacle of a Las Vegas show comes with “MJ Live! Michael Jackson Tribute Concert” on Friday, Nov. 16.
With the right makeup, moves and sound, this act, a popular Las Vegas attraction, will play all the hits with backup dancers and a full band to round out the experience of the next best thing to the real Jackson. Comedian Jonathan Burns will open.
The holidays will bring a traditional favorite with “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,” Saturday, Dec. 15. Rowe said it’s a family-friendly way to ring in the season and will include traditional holiday carols as background music adding to the atmosphere.
Another popular feature of recent seasons is Irish music. A new variation comes with We Banjo 3 on Friday, Jan. 25. It’s an act Rowe has been eyeing for several years.
He said this group of Irish brothers and friends represents real roots music and has been a popular part of Celtic festivals and events all over the world and always draws a big crowd.
“BritBeat – A Multimedia Concert Journey through Beatles Music History” will take audiences on a magical mystery tour from the Cavern Club to the “Ed Sullivan Show” and from Sgt. Pepper to Abbey Road on Saturday, Feb. 23.
The Chicago-based group will combine costume changes with a multimedia presentation to enhance the music of the biggest pop group of all time.
One of the most memorable acts on “America’s Got Talent,” Sons of Serendip are four performers who cross genres and bring pop with classical style. They’ll appear on Saturday, March 30.
The season will end with a classic: “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music” on Friday, May 3.
The acclaimed national tour of the beloved musical will be a co-presentation between the Arts Council and Clark State, and has been popular with audiences at other nearby venues.
“We wanted to bring in something timeless that people really love,” Rowe said.
All shows will begin at 8 p.m.
One of the positives of the 2017-2018 season for Rowe was the demographics. Each performance drew attendees from at least a dozen or more surrounding cities.
Some concerts, such as Celtic Tenors, brought in people from other states, including Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York.
“Hopefully, some of them will come back. We welcome everyone to explore what we have to offer,” Rowe said.
Tickets for new and renewal season ticket subscribers will be available Tuesday, and individual tickets will be on sale June 25.
For more information, go to www.springfieldartscouncil.org.
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