April 28--The Lied Center of Kansas will mark its 20th anniversary season with an eclectic mix of musical theater, world music and classical performances -- including the legendary Hal Holbrook, who returns to the area with his signature performance of "Mark Twain Tonight."
The 2013-14 season, announced this weekend, includes touring Broadway musicals making their first appearances at the performance facility on the University of Kansas campus as well as distinguished artists from the classical music world.
Season highlights include:
-- Asphalt Orchestra, Sept. 6. Specializing in "radical guerilla music," the 12-member ensemble from New York combines European classical, rock, pop and jazz in performances that include elements of spectacle.
-- Blue Man Group returns to the area for performances on Sept. 16-17. The three blue-hued humanoids combine high-energy musical performances, comedy and what might be described as refined mime.
-- Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Sept. 27. The Turkish folk musician and composer combines traditional Middle Eastern music with contemporary influences
-- "Fables on Global Warming," Sept. 28. This "performance art musical" from the Armitage Gone! Dance company incorporates animal fables from around the world in a young-audiences performance. The group was founded by artistic director Karole Armitage, the so-called "punk ballerina" who choreographed the most recent Broadway revival of "Hair." Armitage grew up in Lawrence and once danced at the Lawrence Dance Studio as well as with the old Kansas City Civic Ballet.
-- Hermes Quartet, Sept. 29. The Paris-based prize-winning string quartet was formed in 2009 by young musicians who had studied together at the Lyon Conservatory.
-- AnDa Union, Oct. 24. The 10-member ensemble from Mongolia combines vocal and instrumental performance. Instruments include horse-fiddles and two-string lutes.
-- "Mark Twain Tonight!" with Hal Holbrook, Oct. 25. The Tony and Emmy-award winning actor, whose resume includes portraying Deep Throat in "All the President's Men," has been performing as Twain since 1954. As of last year, he had given more than 2,250 performances of the piece.
-- Naoko Takada, Oct. 27. The acclaimed marimba soloist's eclectic repertoire includes European classic and pop music.
-- "red, black & GREEN: a blues," Nov. 9. Described as a hybrid theater work, this show brings together stories and voices of African Americans in a conversation about race, class, culture and environment.
-- The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Nov. 12. The quintet performs an overview of composers of the Romantic era.
-- "Memphis," Nov. 14. The hit Broadway musical is a fictional retelling of the birth of rock'n'roll in which a white DJ introduces black music to a general audience.
--The Turtle Island Quartet with vocalist Tierney Sutton, Dec. 13. The classical crossover quartet performs with the noted jazz vocalist in "The Festival of Lights," a holiday solstice celebration.
-- "The Wonderful Wizard of Song: The Music of Harold Arlen," Jan. 26, 2014. A multi-media performance combines performances by the "Three Crooners" (George Bugatti, Marcus Goldhaber and Joe Shepherd) and vocalist Antoinette Henry with rare home movies of the noted Hollywood composer working behind the scenes.
-- "The Addams Family," Feb. 12. The dark musical comedy is based on the characters created by cartoonist Charles Addams.
-- The Peking Acrobats, Feb. 18. The troupe includes tumblers, contortionists, jugglers, cyclists and gymnasts.
-- The Cleveland Orchestra, Feb. 26. Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero leads the award-winning orchestra in a program that includes Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Wagner.
-- Gleb Ivanov, March 9. The celebrated classical pianist studied at the Moscow Conservatory and the Manhattan School of Music.
-- Soweto Gospel Choir, March 29. The a capella ensemble from South Africa combines tribal, traditional, African pop and international gospel songs in a number of languages.
-- "Broadway's Next H!t Musical," April 3-4. Described as an improvised musical comedy, the performance combines improv and audience participation in an imaginary awards show.
-- The Cashore Marionettes, April 11-12. The marionette troupe offers two programs -- "Simple Gifts" and "Life in Motion" -- in two performances each.
-- The Serkan Cagri Band, April 17. Cagri, a Turkish clarinetist, performs with his seven-piece Mediterranean folk band.
In addition, the Van Cliburn Gold Medal Winner, who will be determined in the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in Forth Worth, Texas, in June will perform in concert on April 8.
For season ticket information, call 785-864-2787 or go to Lied.KU.edu.
To reach Robert Trussell, call 816-234-4765 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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