Recycled Percussion. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Gabe Ginsberg
Photo: Gabe Ginsberg

Springfield Arts Council to bring ‘Showtime!’ to the spotlight

It sums up what the Springfield Arts Council does, simple and direct, and fits nicely as the 2019-2020 season theme – “Showtime!”

“Showtime!” will comprise six shows that will bring “America’s Got Talent” favorites, the music of beloved pop artists, the experience of Woodstock and comedy crossed with hypnosis to the Clark State Performing Arts Center.

Tim Rowe said this past season was one of the most successful and best attended in his six years as Arts Council executive director. He credits the shows being accessible to the audience with familiar music and artists and high-quality all around.

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“We recognized these shows on a Friday or Saturday night are a reason for people to go out and enjoy a night at the theater,” he said. “It reminded me of the ringmaster in ‘The Greatest Showman’ who announced ‘It’s showtime.’ They’re here to have a great time.”

The season leads off on Oct. 5 with Recycled Percussion, a group that gained attention on “America’s Got Talent,” a show that has supplied similar popular acts to the Kuss Auditorium in recent years.

The group uses buckets, power tools or other objects to add humor, gravity and athleticism. “It’s hip, high-energy and entertaining,” said Rowe.

One of pop music’s legendary singer-songwriters is paid tribute with “Tapestry – The Carole King Experience” on Nov. 2. Rowe said recent “Legendary Ladies of Country” and Carpenters tributes proved the hits of the 1960s and ‘70s are audience favorites and the seemingly endless list of songs says it all – “You’ve Got a Friend,” “Natural Woman,” “It’s Too Late” for starters.

A few years ago, one of the Arts Council’s best-attended and received shows brought together performers portraying Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash on one stage. Tributes to other similar acts from that era have also proven popular each successive year as the performers enjoy returning here and the audience reception.

“Presley, Perkins, Lewis & Cash: A Million Dollar Christmas” will assure a “Blue Christmas” and several other holiday classics on Dec. 14.

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Three musicians who helped Billy Joel sell more than 150 million records and play to sold-out arenas have taken the Piano Man’s music on the road again with “Lords of 52nd Street – Legends of the Billy Joel Band,” the first show of the new year, Jan. 25.

“This music is drop-dead identical with a guy who looks and sings just like Billy Joel,” Rowe said. “Music like this is the next generation of the Great American Songbook.”

“Hyprov” is what happens when improv comedy meets hypnosis, pairing “Whose Line is it, Anyway?” comedian Colin Mochrie – who performed here in the early 2000s – with hypnotist Asad Mecci. It will also be an alternate take for Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14.

You won’t need to wade through three days of mud, just enjoy the music with “Glen Burtnik’s Summer of Love – Woodstock Edition” that brings the season to a grand finale on April 18.

A “Summer of Love” concert celebrating the music of that period was a huge hit two seasons ago and this show will recreate not just the music of the legendary concert but other stars of the time.

“This was one of our most asked-about shows. They brought the house down and the audience was on its feet the whole show,” Rowe said.

Season ticket subscribers will also receive a complimentary ticket to another show, “Disney’s Frozen, Jr.” will be presented by the Arts Council’s Youth Arts Ambassadors Nov. 15-16 at the John Legend Theater. Rowe said it’s a way to extend its audience who may not be familiar with the talented young local performers.

Season ticket subscriptions are currently available and single tickets will go on sale on June 17. For more information, go to www.springfieldartscouncil.org/ or call 937-328-3874.

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