Wednesday, 18 June 2014

EKU Center for the Arts Announces 2014-15 Lineup

Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts’ fourth season runs the gamut from Tony Award-winning productions to concerts by country and jazz stars, and offers new ticket pricing options and discounts.

The lineup includes concerts by country stars Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash and Josh Turner, Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and An Evening with Garrison Keillor. Also on tap are productions of “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Anything Goes” and performances by The Second City, Chicago’s sketch comedy theatre troupe that helped launch the careers of John Belushi, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.

This season has something for everyone,” Center Director Joel Aalberts said, “big name stars, shows that will appeal to our campus community, family programs and plenty of surprises.”

A Sit on Stage series with acclaimed newcomers has been added this season that will give the Center the feel of a small, more intimate venue. The audience will be seated on stage with the artist and all Sit on Stage tickets will be $20 general admission with limited seating.

Aalberts noted that the hope is to provide opportunities for everyone to experience a show at the Center, adding that a new seating chart brings new options at every price point.

“New this season is the ‘Build Your Own Subscription’ package, where you receive a discount for purchasing tickets to multiple shows – the more you buy, the larger the discount,” he explained. The package offers a 10 percent discount when tickets to five or more performances are ordered, a 15 percent discount with tickets to 10 or more performances, and a 20 percent discount with tickets to 15 or more.

The new seating plan offers different price levels by zones, rather than distance away from the stage. Discounted ticket prices will be available for senior citizens, active and retired military, students and youth at each zone level. Groups of 10 or more will receive a 10 percent discount to most events, and groups of 20 or more can save 20 percent.

“The arts are very meaningful to everyone,” Aalberts said. “It’s a way to bring people together, and we want to offer a variety of entertainment options to reach different audiences.”

Premium ticket pricing – a limited number of tickets that will include a meeting with the artist – will be available for select shows, and informative pre-show activities will be held for many of the events.

“I am excited about this year. We have some names that are big and expected, but also a few surprises that will be added later as calendars and tours continue to develop,” Aalberts said. “I’m also excited about the changes we’ve been able to bring to the new season.

In addition to the familiar stars of stage, we wanted to make a move to reach out – to students in particular – with shows like The Second City, which has been producing great comedians for more than 55 years.”

EKU students will enjoy additional perks – for almost all shows, currently enrolled students­­ will be able to purchase Zone 3 tickets for $15.

“We wanted to give them a chance to experience a variety of programs,” he added. “And, if they have an interest, they will also get a 20 percent discount for other seats at most of the shows.”

Additional events at the Center will focus on education and community support. Several Black Box Children’s Theater events will be presented by the Lexington Children’s Theatre, and a number of EKU School of Music concerts will be held at the Center.

To see a complete description of events, packages and costs, visit

Tickets go on sale Monday, May 12, at 9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at, by phone at 859-622-7469, or at the box office, open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. The Center accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash and check.

The complete 2014-15 schedule, along with ticket cost range for each individual event, follows (all times 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise indicated):

Sept. 4, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, $34-$80.

Sept. 17, Gaelic Storm, the “party band” in the blockbuster film “Titanic,” $23.50-$38.

Sept. 25, An Evening with Garrison Keillor.

Oct. 2, Under the Streetlamp, former leading cast members of the musical “Jersey Boys,” $32.50-$55.

Oct. 4, Taylor 2, repertory ensemble for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, $19.50-$33.

Oct. 16, Ben Sollee, Sit on Stage with the Lexington native, $20.

Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live, featuring many of the syndicated television show’s favorite animals, $22-$45.

Nov. 14, Josh Turner, Roughstock and Rambler Tour, $32.50-$65.

Nov. 22, The Second City, Chicago’s legendary sketch comedy theater troupe, $15.50-$28.

Dec. 5, 7 p.m., Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, $24.50-$49.

Dec. 12, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Christmas, modern swing band, $29.50-$45.

Dec. 17, Straight No Chaser Christmas, one of the world’s premier a cappella groups, $31.50-$59.

Jan. 21, Million Dollar Quartet, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, $40.50-$82.

Jan. 25, 3 p.m., Wild Kratts Live! with real-life stars of PBS’s Emmy-nominated animated series “Wild Kratts,” $15-$29 ($55 premium).

Jan. 31, Carrie Newcomer, Sit on Stage, $20.

Feb. 7, Gregory Porter, jazz and soul singer with Grammy-nominated album, $27-$42.

Feb. 11, Alton Brown Live, former food show host’s Edible Inevitable Tour, $21-$49 ($100 premium).

Feb. 24, The Hot Sardines, Sit on Stage with the jazz band, $20.

Feb. 28, Kodo, taiko drummers, $38-$55.

March 3, Anything Goes, winner of three 2011 Tony Awards, $40.50-$69.

March 5, Mike Daisey, “Life During Wartime,” world premiere event by the author, actor and monologist focuses on the lives of veterans after they come home, $20.50-$34.

March 8, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, “Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond,” two of the world’s most celebrated fiddlers, $23-$36.

March 12, Audra McDonald, five-time Tony Award winner, $40-$75.

March 19, Kronos Quartet, “WWI Chronicles,” preeminent chamber quartet presents multimedia performance event, $27.50-$43.

March 26, Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience, tribute show by premier Buddy Holly interpreter Billy McGuigan, $16.50-$29.

April 11, Pilobolus, a troupe of equal parts dancers, acrobats, mimes and theater artists, $28.50-$48.

April 14, David Sedaris, Grammy Award-nominated humorist, comedian, radio contributor and bestselling author, $31-$46.

April 24, Australian Chamber Orchestra with Martin Frรถst, clarinet, $35-$52.

April 25, Rosanne Cash, award-winning singer songwriter, $31.50-$59.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Chicago, “Mamma Mia” among Highlights for Arts Center

Performances by Chicago, Dwight Yoakam and LeAnn Rimes, as well as stage productions of “Rock of Ages,” “Mamma Mia” and “The Addams Family” are among the highlights of the 2013-14 season at the EKU Center for the Arts.

The schedule for the Center’s third season also includes concerts by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Rockapella and Jim Brickman. Other musicals on tap include “Man of La Mancha” “A Christmas Carol” and “Flashdance the Musical.”

The lineup also features musical tributes to Pink Floyd, Queen, the Bee Gees and The Beatles (“Rain”).

Rounding out the 2013-14 season will be: The Spencers Theatre of Illusion, Cirque Eloize Cirkopolis, Dinosaur Train Live, Irish Chamber Orchestra, ballet performances of “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake,” Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre, Sid the Science Kid Live, Golden Dragon Acrobats, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” “Hamlet,” and Handel’s “Messiah,” performed by the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra.

“We’re very excited about this year’s lineup,” said Jill Price, interim director of the Center. “There’s truly something for all interests and ages, and we look forward to welcoming guests from throughout Kentucky and beyond for what we believe is our best season yet.”

Last season, approximately 35,000 guests (not counting school showings and other special events) attended EKU Center for the Arts programs.

In addition to individual event tickets, five different ticket packages are available, including packages devoted to Broadway, families, children and the rock music shows. The packages offer up to a 20 percent discount over individual event ticket purchases. Those who purchase the Signature Series (every show) receive preferred seating, free parking and a 50 percent supper club discount (on a space-available basis). Costs for the Signature Series range from $1,012.70 to $1,283.90.

A complimentary shuttle bus service to and from the Alumni Coliseum lot (across the Eastern By-Pass from the Center) is available for all events.

Subscription (package) tickets will go on sale (phone or box office only) on Wednesday, June 19. Individual event tickets will go on sale (phone, box office and online) on Monday, July 15.

To see a complete description of events, season packages and associated costs, visit For more information about the 2013-14 ticket season, call 859-622-SHOW or 1-855-EKU-SHOW (358-7469), or visit the Center’s box office, which is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. daily.

Patrons can also enjoy a pre-event meal at the EKU Supper Club prior to select performances. Seating is limited, and reservations must be made in advance.

Details about programming specifically for school audiences will be announced later.

The complete 2013-14 schedule, along with ticket cost range for each individual event, follows (all times 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise indicated):

Sept. 13, The Spencers Theatre of Illusion, described as modern-day Houdinis, blending theatrical elements of Broadway with rock-concert energy, $30.

Sept. 18, Chicago, one of the most successful bands of all time, with 21 top-10 singles and five consecutive No. 1 albums, $57-$87.

Sept. 20-21, Cirque Eloize Cirkopolis, blending worlds of circus, dance and theatre, Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m., $47-$62.

Sept. 27-28, Flashdance the Musical, the movie comes to life on stage with electrifying dance numbers, Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., $47-$77.

Oct. 4, Dwight Yoakam, the Kentucky native who has sold more than 25 million records and whose 2012 album, “Three Pears,” earned widespread critical acclaim, $50.50-$70.50.

Oct. 10, “Weird Al” Yankovic, “The Alpocopalypse Tour,” and Grammy Award winning musician/comedian, $39-$49.

Oct. 24, Jive Talkin’ Bee Gees Tribute, a trio paying tribute to the hitmakers who spanned decades and musical genres with many memorable songs, $40-$52.

Nov. 2, Dinosaur Train Live!, a stage show based on the Jim Henson Company-produced PBS children’s program that embraces the fascination kids have with dinosaurs and trains, $25.

Nov. 5, Irish Chamber Orchestra, a renowned ensemble that shares the stage with two of the world’s most celebrated flutists, Lady Jeanne and Sir James Galway, $45.50-$75.50.

Nov. 12, Rockapella, one of the world’s most sophisticated and enduring vocal pop groups, $25-$35.

Nov. 20, Jim Brickman, “The Love Tour,” featuring the award-winning pianist, $35-$45.

Dec. 7-8, “The Nutcracker,” presented by the Lexington Ballet, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., $25-$35.

Dec. 8, Handel’s “Messiah,” Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra, with the Lexington Chamber Chorale and guest soloists, $25-$40.

Dec. 10, “A Christmas Carol,” a celebrated adaptation of the Dickens classic, performed by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, $35-$45.

Dec. 14, LeAnn Rimes, performing a combination of her biggest hits, new songs and holiday favorites, $50.50-$70.50.

Jan. 15, “Swan Lake,” performed by the Moscow Festival Ballet, featuring leading dancers from across Russia, $30-$45.

Jan. 18, Popovich Comedy Pet Theatre, a family-oriented blend of comedy, juggling and performing pets. Each of the show’s 15 cats and 10 dogs were once strays, rescued from animal shelters, 3 p.m., $30.

Jan. 25, Sid The Science Kid Live, bringing to life the popular PBS children’s show produced by the Jim Henson Company, $25.

Feb. 1, “The Addams Family,” the smash-hit musical comedy that brings to life one of the strangest clans ever to fill a television or movie screen, 3 and 7:30 p.m., $45.50-$85.50.

Feb. 13, Golden Dragon Acrobats, showcasing traditional Chinese acrobats, dance and costumes, electrifying music and modern theatrical techniques, $30-$45.

Feb. 18, “Man of La Mancha,” an all-new production complete with the Tony Award-winning score and book, $47-$77.

Feb. 26, “Rock of Ages,” the Tony Award-nominated Broadway musical blending classic arena-rock songs with a love story, $50.50-$70.50.

March 5, The Pink Floyd Experience, a tribute performance of the ground-breaking group’s biggest hits, complete with dazzling light and video show, $35-$60.

March 8, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” a romantic and magical tale filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers, 3 and 7:30 p.m., $35.50-$85.50.

March 19, “Hamlet,” the Shakespeare favorite performed by The Acting Company, America’s premier touring repertory theater, $35-$50.

March 22 and 23, “Mamma Mia,” the Broadway musical reprising the timeless music of 70s pop greats ABBA, Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 7:30 p.m., $45.50-$75.50.

March 26, One Night of Queen, performed by Gary Mullen & The Works, a theatrical concert paying homage to one of the greatest bands of all time, complete with dazzling lighting and special effects, $35-$52.

April 6, Experience the Beatles with Rain, including complex and challenging songs The Beatles never performed on stage, $45.50-$65.50.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

School Shows at Center for the Arts

The Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts will present five daytime shows this academic year to students from area schools.

The programs on the school show schedule are: "The Nutcracker" (State Ballet Theatre of Russia), Nov. 30, 10 a.m.; STOMP (music/dance), Jan. 17, 10 a.m.; children's music performer Barbara Bailey Hutchison (grades 1-4), March 6, 10 a.m.; Cirque Ziva (acrobatics), March 26, 9 and 11:30 a.m.; and “Of Mice and Men” (play), April 17, performance at 9:30 a.m. and masterclass at 11:30 a.m.

For all the programs except Hutchison, the cost is $10 per student, with one teacher able to attend free for each group of 20 paid students (additional adults can attend for $20 each). The cost for the Hutchison show is $5 per student, with one teacher able to attend attend free for each group of 20 paid students and additional adults for $10 each.

All participating teachers will be given a study guide in advance to prepare their students. The guides are also available at

"These events are a part of our outreach to the community," said Interim Center Director Jill Price. "It gives students the opportunity to see a performance they might not otherwise be able to see. We offer special pricing for non-college-age students only, as we negotiated these prices with the understanding they are for K-12 students and are educational shows."

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the Center box office at 859-622-7469. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Read the full article at

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Commission on Presidential Debates considers EKU Center for 2012

RICHMOND, Ky. – Eastern Kentucky University is one of 12 applicants nationwide vying to host a Presidential Debate in 2012.

If the University is accepted as a host, the event will be held in the 2,012-seat EKU Center for the Arts, expected to open this fall.  It is anticipated that a Presidential Debate would attract approximately 5,000 guests (including approximately 3,000 media personnel) to the community and area, some staying for as long as a week.

Site surveys, conducted by members of the Commission, will be scheduled for April-June.  Proposals and site surveys will be reviewed this summer, and the Commission plans to announce the 2012 sites and debates this fall. In 2007, 16 proposals were submitted and three Presidential Debates were held the following year.

The Commission on Presidential Debates was established in 1987 to ensure that debates, as a permanent part of every general election, provide the best possible information to viewers and listeners. Its primary purpose is to sponsor and produce debates for the United States presidential and vice presidential candidates and to undertake research and educational activities relating to the debates. The organization, which is a nonprofit, nonpartisan corporation, sponsored all the presidential debates in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2008.

For more information about the Commission, visit

Read full article at

Monday, 19 September 2011

Curtain rises on the EKU Center for the Arts

The Lexington Herald-Leader was there at the gala opening of the EKU Center!
via  "RICHMOND — Eastern Kentucky University's dot on the state arts map got a lot bigger Friday night with the opening of the long-anticipated EKU Center for the Arts.

"Communities and regions and states have life-changing events," university president Doug Whitlock said on the stage of the new theater before a performance by the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra. "And if I'm not badly mistaken, tonight is one of those for Richmond, Madison County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

With 2,100 seats, the theater is the largest performing arts venue in Central Kentucky — larger than Lexington's Singletary Center for the Arts at the University of Kentucky and Danville's Norton Center for the Arts at Centre College.

The EKU center will open to the public in two weeks with a Sept. 24 performance by Kentucky native and onetime Richmond resident Wynonna Judd.

On Friday night, an invited audience enjoyed Cirque de la Symphony, the Eastern Kentucky University Choir, the American Spiritual Ensemble and Nick Clooney, who narrated a performance of Aaron Copland's A Lincoln Portrait.

The crowd included many state and local arts and government officials, including Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear, U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, and Kentucky Arts Council executive director Lori Meadows.

Reflecting on the fact that the center, costing more than $30 million, was built during an economic recession, Meadows said, "It says that people want the arts in their community and that this is really important to them."

Read the full article: