News Column

Stomp to headline Viterbo's Bright Star Season

April 28, 2013


April 28--Drummers who stomp, dancers who may inspire you to take tango lessons, and musical theater stars who shine through decadeslong careers. All of that awaits in next year's Bright Star season at Viterbo University.

It's a balancing act, says Michael Ranscht, executive director of the Fine Arts Center. He needs to find the acts his audience wants to see, on dates they are available, for a price he can afford, with a mixture of everything the arts has to offer.

When all that comes together, you get Chita Rivera, veteran Broadway star, who will perform a one-woman show about her long and varied career. Because she was in the Broadway revival of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," she will work with Viterbo students who will be staging that show later in the season.

"She's one of the icons of music theater, and that's something our students should connect to. We're trying to broaden and deepen the artistic experience," Ranscht said, so they are always trying to connect the artists in the series with Viterbo students and the greater La Crosse community.

Audiences also will experience Tango Fire, a Buenos Aires dance company whose members will dance the tango in ways "Dancing With the Stars" hopefuls could only imagine.

And then there's Stomp, that noisy burst of percussive ingenuity that Ranscht said he has been trying to book for 10 years.

"Typically, Broadway is the most difficult to schedule," Ranscht said, so everything has to fall in around that.

And, as usual, Broadway gave him the biggest headaches, with Stomp holding up the printing of the brochure as the company and Ranscht ironed out the details of the contract. But with the back-and-forth negotiating complete, the troupe will stomp its way into the Fine Arts Center April 21-22.

"They will not play arenas," Ranscht said, but they are a big enough act that he thought there was enough interest to book the group for two nights in the Fine Arts Center.


(c)2013 the La Crosse Tribune (La Crosse, Wis.)

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