The Van Wezel Announces 2009-2010 Season Of 'Fierce' Shows

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The Van Wezel Announces 2009-2010 Season Of 'Fierce' Shows

The Van Wezel's 2009-2010 40th Anniversary Season is going to be fierce! It features a lineup of the hottest stars, performers and acts for everyone. Our Great Orchestra/Classical series is unlike any other. We have confirmed some of the youngest and brightest stars in Orchestral and Classical music to date. Our Broadway series will have you visiting Xanadu at one minute then joining the cast of Mamma Mia! at a wedding on a Greek island next! The Van Wezel is excited to bring programs that reflect the diversity of the ever changing population of Southwest Florida. The Van Wezel will host a number of SchoolTime Performances and Special Events throughout the year. Last year over 21,000 students and adult learners and educators benefitted from our Education Program.

Executive Director, Mary Bensel stated "I am so thrilled to be with the Van Wezel during this exhilarating 40th Anniversary Season. To have Tony Bennett commemorate our anniversary with a special concert and party is wonderful as he has a rich history with the Hall and he is one of the true icons in the business. We have planned such a jam packed season from Stephen King making a rare appearance to Boyz II Men opening the year and the Tibetan Monks blessing the end of our anniversary with a week long residence in addition to all the new stars and shows joining beloved favorites -it truly is an incredible celebration!"

Variety Series

The Van Wezel will kick off the 2009-2010 in October, 2009 with Boyz II Men. This Grammy® Award-winning R & B Band recorded five #1 hits and have sold more than sixty million albums; hits include; "End of The Road", "I'll Make Love to You" and "One Sweet Day", just to name a few (Oct.30), sponsored by: Michaels on East; Jewel, singer-songwriter, guitarist, actress and poet has garnered three Grammy® Award nominations, an American Music Award and an MTV Video Music Award; Best known #1 smash hit "Who Will Save Your Soul" (Nov.4), sponsored by: Bright House Networks & 106.5 CTQ; Always a sell-out at the Van Wezel, The Ten Tenors will perform a diverse repertoire in concert such as Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Who Wants to Live Forever," a Bee Gees medley, and ABBA's "Dancing Queen". Join a lavish celebration of vocal power, witty onstage antics and pitch-perfect musicality with one of Australia's hottest exports on (Nov.6), sponsored by: Lakewood Ranch; The New Shanghai Circus acrobats, jugglers and contortionists defy gravity and execute breathtaking feats as they stretch the limits of human ability in this spellbinding show. If it is humanly possible (and even if it isn't) they do it with flair!

Nov.15), sponsored by: Boar's Head & Herald Tribune Media Group; Making a rare appearance at the Van Wezel is author of more than fifty worldwide best sellers. Stephen King will grace our stage to preview his new book, Under the Dome. Mr. King will be interviewed on stage by Susan Rife of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune and entertain questions from the audience. The first 250 people who purchase tickets to the show (one per order) will be able to purchase in the lobby on the night of the show a pre signed copy of Under the Dome (Nov.16); Jackson Browne, internationally known for the piano-driven "Doctor My Eyes", the upbeat "Take It Easy" (co-written with The Eagles' Glenn Frey), "Running on Empty", "The Road", "Rosie" and "The Load-Out/Stay" (Brown's send-off to his concert audiences and roadies) are just a few of the American rock singer-songwriter and musicians repertoire (Nov.18), Sponsored by Bradenton Herald; The Bacon Brothers features movie star, Kevin Bacon on guitar and vocals and brother Michael on guitar, cello and vocals. They are a dynamic force on the American music scene and one of the most popular live bands on the concert circuit. They call their sound forosoco, a fusion of folk, rock, soul and country...their fans call it Awesome! (Nov.20), sponsored by: 107.9 WSRZ; Kicking off the holiday season is Dave Koz's wondrous Smooth Jazz Christmas returning to the Van Wezel by extreme popular demand with a great new show and another special group of friends including David Benoit, Rick Braun, Brenda Russell and Peter White. Be sure to put this "Rockin' Show" on your Holiday list! (Nov.28), sponsored by: Hyatt Regency Sarasota.

The longest lived comedy team in history is The Smothers Brothers and their lasting power is a testimonial to their intuitive humor, natural warmth and the pure joy they bring to audiences of all ages (Dec. 2), sponsored by: Comcast; Linda Eder, possesses one of the greatest contemporary solo voices of our time and with her starring role in the musical Jekyll & Hyde (winning a Drama Desk Award), she became a leading lady of the Broadway stage. Van Wezel fans will be delighted that we are bringing her back with a very special Holiday concert (Dec. 9), sponsored by: Herald Tribune Media Group; That's Amore - Dean Martin & Friends Holiday Special...Many superstars have dominated the American recording scene, but none have shined more brightly than Dean Martin! See Mark Adams perfectly capture the style, the looks, the charm, the voice and magnetic appeal of Martin. He will be joined by The Barry Robinson Orchestra and the glamorous singer/dancers, The Gold Diggers, along with some very special guests (Dec.12), Sponsored by: The Dove and Bright House Networks; Sandi Patty is one of the most highly acclaimed performers of our time, with five Grammy® Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three Platinum records, five Gold records, thirty nine Dove Awards as well as, an inductee to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Sandi Patty's Yuletide Celebration is (Dec.13), sponsored by: Herald Tribune Media Group; Nebraska Theatre Caravan's production of A Christmas Carol is a first for the Van Wezel! The lavish, full-scale Broadway production boasts a cast of 27 actors and live musicians. This time tested tale artfully brings to life the England of Charles Dickens and blends his classic story with rousing arrangements of traditional carols. Both children and grown-ups alike will be delighted with this treasured theatrical event of Scrooge and Tiny Tim...God Bless Us Everyone! (Dec. 22), sponsored by: Boar's Head & Comcast; Hot! Hot! Hot! Jason Bishop; the multiple award-winning illusionist brings a fresh and funny approach to an evening of fast-paced illusions, sleight-of-hand and audience participation (Dec.27), Sponsored by: Boar's Head & The Herald Tribune Media Group; Celebrate the festive season with some of the world's greatest fiddlers when BOWFIRE Holiday Heart Strings comes to the Van Wezel for a Ho Ho Ho Down mixing greatest hits with a holiday twist. A must see performance (Dec.30), sponsored by: Michael's On East and Bright House Networks;

Celebrate the New Year with Salute to Vienna when they return for another sensational performance! Inspired by Vienna's world-famous New Year's Concert brings the same splendor, charm and beauty to North America (Jan.1); Bernadette Peters is a legend having starred on Broadway, receiving two Tony Awards and three Drama Desk Awards and she's won the Golden Globe Award as Best Motion Picture Actress in a Comedy or Musical for Pennies From Heaven, as well as performing in solo concerts and recordings. Peters is particularly beloved for her starring roles on Broadway, including Sunday in the Park with George, Into the Woods, Annie Get Your Gun and Gypsy (Jan.3), sponsored by: WSDV The Dove.

Tony Bennett, the superstar whom Frank Sinatra aptly named "the best singer in the business" will celebrate the Van Wezel's 40th Anniversary with a special party for Sarasota's jewel of a performing arts hall. With hits in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, Tony Bennett moves the hearts and touches the souls of audiences worldwide. From "Rags to Riches", "The Good Life", "I Wanna Be Around" and his signature hit "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" to his recent Grammy Award winning Duets: An American Classic, Tony Bennett is a true Living Legend. After the performance the entire audience is invited to a wine and dessert party in the Grand Foyer and on the Bayfront complete with fireworks (Jan.5), Show Sponsored by: The Van Wezel Foundation, Celebration hosted by: Gateway Bank, Michaels on East and The Van Wezel Foundation.

Join Bobby Vee-Family & Friends with special guests Brian Hyland and Shirley Alston Reeves, (Original Lead Singer of The Shirelles) and enjoy some of the most memorable solid gold favorites like "Devil Or Angel" and "Rubber Ball" (Bobby Vee); "Sealed with a Kiss" and "Tragedy" (Brian Hyland); "Soldier Boy" and "Will You Love Me Forever", (Shirley Alston Reeves) just to name a few (Jan.6), sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Jackie Mason is widely regarded as one of the greatest stand-up comics of all time. Mason's stand-up routine is more popular than ever, combining pungent political satire and insightful observations on the foibles of modern life that leave audiences laughing until they cry (Jan.14) Sponsored by: Herald Tribune Media Group; Motown Live!...in Sarasota with The Temptations and The Four Tops- Three classic Temptations songs, "My Girl", "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and "Papa Was A Rollin' Stone", are among The Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that shaped American rock and roll. The Four Tops first Motown hit, "Baby I Need Your Loving", was followed by hit after hit including "Reach Out (I'll Be There), "Bernadette", and "It's the Same Old Song" which are just a few of the many songs you'll hear. The Temps and the Tops together-Wow! (Jan.17) Sponsored by Hotel Indigo; The Glenn Miller Orchestra is the most sought after big band in the world today for both concert and dance engagements. Their recordings of "In the Mood," "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Moonlight Serenade" and "Tuxedo Junction" were all major hit records. The Glenn Miller Orchestra still plays to sell out crowds and continues to dominate the airwaves (Jan.19), sponsored by: Holiday Inn Sarasota/Bradenton Airport; Recipient of America's highest civilian honor, The 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom, Chita Rivera is truly a legend in her own time. Best known for her role as the firebrand Anita in West Side Story, she also received a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Aurora in Kiss of the Spider Woman. The Van Wezel proudly presents, Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life-a dazzling show that celebrates her own storied career (Jan. 20) sponsored by: Michael's On East; Natalie MacMaster & Donnell Leahy are two of the world's most celebrated fiddlers. They also happen to be married. Together MacMaster and Leahy, reuniting on the Van Wezel stage, are a whirlwind of fiddle-driven music, dance and song. The foot-tapping rave-ups, heart wrenching ballads, and world-class step-dancing of this collaboration leave onlookers breathless from the moment they hit the stage. (Jan.21) sponsored by: Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Capitol Steps began as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize the very people and places that employed them. They are former Capitol Hill staffers, who have worked in a total of 18 Congressional offices, representing 62 years of collective House and Senate staff experience. Having recorded 29 albums, Capitol Steps' latest comedy release is Obama Mia (Jan. 26) sponsored by: Herald Tribune Media Group; Vince Gill is one of the longest running stars of country music. The Country Music Association inducted Vince Gill as the newest member of the coveted Country Music hall of Fame in 2007 and he will be honored by the Recording Academy in the first-ever Grammy Salute to Country Music. He has received 18 CMA Awards, 19 Grammy Awards to date, more than any other male Country music artist, two Entertainer of the Year Awards and 5 Male Vocalist Awards (Jan.29) Sponsored by Hotel Indigo,SNN News 6, 106.5 CTQ, Herald Tribune Media Group.

Two great Jazz Giants Diane Schuur & Bobby Caldwell team up with a Big Band for a new program of material cultivated from the era of Swing when all great Orchestras had a vocalist and all great vocalists had a orchestra. Schuur is as eclectic as she is brilliant, recording 11 albums, two, of which were Grammy winners. Caldwell, song writer and multi-instrumentalist is known for his hit single, "What You Won't Do for Love". Two remarkable singers-one unforgettable evening (Feb.4) sponsored by: Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Tim Conway & Friends Featuring Chuck McCann & Louise DuArt will be sure to have you cracking up. Tim Conway is best known for his role on The Carol Burnett Show, an 11-year stint that garnered him five Emmy Awards®, a Golden Globe®, major accolades from critics, and three generations of fans (Feb.5); Join us for Blue Suede Shoes-The Ultimate Elvis Bash a wonderfully, exuberant tribute to "The King," starring Scot Bruce (as the young Elvis) and Mike Albert (as the more mature Elvis) as they recreate the magic embodied by the King of Rock ‘N Roll! Scot and Mike's style and charisma and their ability to get the audience involved in the show have proved to be quite the crowd pleaser (Feb.6); They are back again with a vengeance RAIN - A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES, all the music and vocals are performed totally live! RAIN covers the Fab Four from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late sixties and The Beatles long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days. RAIN is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience...a fusion of historical footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s lights up video screens and live cameras zoom in for close-ups (Feb.10); Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons meteoric rise to superstar status inspired the Tony Award winning mega hit Jersey Boys! With nineteen Top Ten hits they sold over one hundred million records world-wide. Frankie Valli, revered as one of the most distinctive voices in all of Rock ‘N Roll, scored number one hits with The Four Seasons such as "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", "Rag Doll" and more...As a solo artist his hits include "My Eyes Adored You", "Grease" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You". See the original Jersey Boy with The Four Seasons at the Van Wezel on (Feb.12), sponsored by: Sarasota Magazine, SNN News 6 & Longboat Key Club and Resort.

Legendary soul singer Gladys Knight takes the stage with a full orchestra to perform her # 1 Grammy-winning hit "Midnight Train to Georgia", along with other hits like; "Neither One of Us", "I've Got to Use My Imagination" and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me". From R&B to pop, multiple Grammy-Award winner Gladys Knight has one of the most distinctive voices in popular music and is among the industry's most dynamic live performers...bring your Valentine (Feb.14) sponsored by: Comcast and Sarasota Magazine; Join us for The 9th Annual Van Wezel Foundation Gala, to support the Van Wezel Foundation's commitment to bring the arts to the children of the gulf coast! This memorable evening will feature a dinner party in the Grand Foyer, preferred seating for the Gladys Knight performance and post show festivities (Feb.14) Sponsored by: Boars Head, Sarasota Magazine, Gateway Bank, & Northern Trust.

Joan Rivers with special guest James Naughton take the stage on Feb.16. Joan Rivers is a Tony® nominated actress; best-selling author; Emmy Award® winning television talk-show host; playwright; screenwriter; motion picture director; and columnist, Joan Rivers has done it all! Joining her is Broadway headliner and two-time Tony Award winner James Naughton, noted for his roles in Chicago and City of Angels. Two great stars and an Orchestra in one evening! Wow, What a show! Sponsored by: Herald Tribune Media Group; The Irish Rovers, international ambassadors of Irish music, have charmed and entertained people around the world, and continue to delight audiences with their exciting stage show and their timeless ability to deliver a rollicking, rousing performance of good cheer that will have you singing and clapping along (Feb.18), sponsored by: Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Patti LuPone-Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda! Tony® and Olivier® Award winner Patti LuPone stars in the concert event of the Season! She will perform songs from musicals which she could have played, should have played, did play and will play; the list of shows include Hair, Bye, Bye Birdie, Funny Girl, West Side Story, Peter Pan, and her Tony Award winning performances in Evita and Gypsy (Feb.19) sponsored by: The Fine Arts Society of Sarasota & Herald Tribune Media Group.

Last season The Irish Tenors' Holiday Spectacular sold out-now back by popular demand, The Irish Tenors will present their Spectacular Irish Show. Starring Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Karl Scully, these gifted tenors will entertain the audience with a night of music that touches the soul! (Mar.9), Sponsored by: Bright House Networks; Join Shirley Jones one of America's most beloved and prolific actresses and singers, along with the Hollywood Concert Orchestra for A Night At The Oscars®. Roll out the Red Carpet for a very special concert event of the music that made the movies (Mar.12), sponsored by: Herald Tribune Media Group; The Gershwins' Porgy and Bess 75th Anniversary World Tour features George Gershwin's radiant jazz and blues influenced score including the classic songs, "Summertime", "Bess", "You Is My Woman Now", and many more... widely recognized as an American masterpiece (Mar.15), sponsored by: Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; An Evening with Liza Minnelli will feature an incomparable Minnelli songfest, including many of her personal favorites and signature hits such as "Cabaret", "Maybe This Time", "Theme from New York, New York and many more. Minnelli will be joined by a twelve-piece orchestra (Mar.17), sponsored by: Sarasota Magazine; Classic Albums Live Presents Pink Floyd's "The Wall"; this Classics Albums Live performance of The Wall will have you believing that Pink Floyd's spirit has taken over the band! (Mar. 20); The Band of the Irish Guards & Pipes of the Royal Regiment of Scotland will bring all of the grandeur, pomp and pageantry of the British Empire to Sarasota in this rousing program. Renowned across the globe, these acclaimed ensembles will lift your spirits with mesmerizing marches, sailor ballads & Irish folk songs! (Mar. 21), sponsored by: Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Dick Fox's Golden Boys starring Frankie Avalon, Fabian and Bobby Rydell have been performing together as The Golden Boys in packed venues throughout the country since 1985. Instantly selling out the 2007-2008 season performance, the three celebs return to the Van Wezel to fill your evening with many of their all-time greatest hits songs (Mar.23), sponsored by: The Dove.

One Night of Queen Performed by Gary Mullen & The Works is a stunning 2 hour concert recreating and celebrating the music of Queen. Performed by Gary Mullen and The Works, with fantastic staging, lighting and effects this show will rock you - guaranteed (Apr.1), Sponsored by Business Network International; In The Mood A 1940's Musical aspires to promote the memory of this significant time in American history with music that helped win a war and features the In the Mood Singers & Dancers with the sensational String of Pearls Orchestra. Get In the Mood! (Apr. 2), Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Lonestar features Dean Sams, founding member of the band, Richie McDonald, singer-songwriter, vocalist John Rich and two former members of the band Canyon - Michael Britt and Keech Rainwater. With hits such as "I'm Already There", "My Front Porch Looking In", "Come Cryin' To Me", and the big hit, "Mr. Mom" and more, a Lonestar concert rocks (Apr. 3); The Beach Boys continue to create and perform with the same bold imagination and style that marked their explosive debut 40 years ago. With songs like "California Girls", "Catch a Wave", "I Get Around", "When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)", "Be True to Your School", "Help Me, Rhonda" and "I Know There's an Answer" will keep your spirit forever young (Apr 6.) sponsored by: Argosy University Sarasota & 107.9 WSRZ; Barbra & Frank; The Concert That Never Was dares to ask "what if" and audiences and critics alike are raving about this sensational Vegas hit. Sharon Owens, winner of Fox TV's Performing As, joins Sebastian Anzaldo, one of the top Sinatra interpreters in the country in a tribute to two powerhouse voices of the century Streisand and Sinatra (Apr 11) sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Celtic Crossroads is critically acclaimed as "the most exhilarating and authentic show to come from Ireland in decades - not to be missed." The show abounds with fusions of traditional Irish music, bluegrass, gypsy and jazz while pulsating with the rhythms of exciting Irish dance percussion (Apr. 14) sponsored by: Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is a contemporary swing band from southern California. Their eighth studio album, "How Big Can You Get: A Tribute to Cab Calloway", captures the essence of an American icon in a rowdy celebration of musicianship, mischief, genius, street smarts and fun (Apr.15) sponsored by: Hotel Indigo; Neil Sedaka has had a place in Rock ‘N Roll for over fifty years by writing, performing, and producing an uncountable number of songs for many famous artists, as well as, greatest hits Sedaka recorded himself. With songs like "You Mean Everything to Me", "Calendar Girl", "Stairway to Heaven", "Run Samson Run", "Little Devil" and "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" who would want to miss this performance (Apr.19) sponsored by: Bright House; Mystical Arts of Tibet is a sure-fire sell out; endorsed by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, and Richard Gere to promote world peace, this inspiring ensemble is part of a tradition that dates back 2,500 years. During their week long residency at the Van Wezel, the monks will create a magical Mandela in the Grand Foyer (Apr.23).

Saturday Morning for Kids

Stellaluna is a beloved book about a baby bat whose life is unexpectedly changed one night. King Cole Theatricals delightfully brings the story to life. (Nov.14) & The Stinky Cheeseman and Other Fairly Stupid Tales - Griffin Theatre returns to bring to life the fairy tale of Jack and the Giant while a host of familiar fairy tale characters keep getting in the way of Jack's plans especially the very annoying Stinky Cheese Man. (Apr.10), sponsored by Boar's Head, & Herald Tribune Media Group.

Broadway

Rediscover the grandeur of one of history's greatest love stories in Lerner and Loewe's timeless masterpiece, Camelot. With one of Broadway's most enchanting scores featuring the hauntingly romantic "If Ever I Would Leave You," "I Loved You Once in Silence," and "Follow Me", Camelot is the definitive musical theatre fable (Nov.29); Called "one of the funniest shows you're ever likely to see" by Entertainment Weekly, AVENUE Q features a cast of people and puppets who tell the story in a smart, risqué and downright entertaining way. Avenue Q, Broadway's smash-hit 2004 Tony Award winner for Best Musical, Best Score and Best Book, is a hilarious show full of heart and hummable tunes. Avenue Q features a cast of people and puppets who tell the story about trying to make it in NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account in a smart, risqué and downright entertaining way. Strong adult language and content and not recommended for anyone under thirteen. (Dec.10 & 11); The Wedding Singer takes us back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up, and a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room. This musical is based on the hit film starring Adam Sandler & Drew Barrymore (Jan 24); Don't miss Hairspray, Broadway's musical-comedy phenomenon that inspired a major motion picture and won eight 2003 Tony Awards including Best Musical. John Waters tale of a plump girl from Baltimore that takes on the social mores of the sixties without even denting a lock of her her ‘do. (Feb. 9); MAMMA MIA! -the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill, returns to the Van Wezel by popular demand. Now it's your turn to have the time of your life at this smash-hit musical that combines ABBA's greatest hits, including "Dancing Queen," "S.O.S.," "Super Trouper," "Take A Chance on Me" and "The Winner Takes It All," with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship for eight performances (Feb.23-Feb.28) Turned into a smash musical of the same name starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan the movie has only made fans want to see the live show more!: Neil Berg's 102 Years of Broadway is back again in an all new show featuring five fantastic Broadway stars, featuring the best loved music of Broadway, including; Cats, Beauty and the Beast, Sweeney Todd, West Side Story, Jekyll and Hyde, Jesus Christ Superstar. Songs from composers such as George Gershwin to Stephen Sondheim will be featured. (Apr.7); Xanadu, the surprise hit of the 2007 Broadway season won the Outer Critics Circle Best Musical Award , was a Tony nominee for Best Musical and was based on the 1980 cult film starring Olivia Newton-John and features songs such as Evil Woman, Suddenly, Have You Ever Been Mellow and All Over The World. The New York Times raved "Heaven on wheels!." Some lucky audience members get to sit on the stage and be part of the action. (Apr.20 & 21); The Broadway Series is sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota; Above Broadway shows are also sponsored by ABC 7.

Broadway Specials (Part of the Broadway Series)

I Love a Piano is a new musical that looks at America through the eyes of Irving Berlin. With over 60 great songs, this all-singing, all-dancing review follows the journey of a piano from Tin Pan Alley to the present as it makes its way through the lives of Americans. When it was last presented at the Van Wezel the demand was so high we had to add an extra performance. (Nov 30) Sponsored by Piano Distributors; Defending the Caveman, written by Rob Becker, is a humorous exploration of the differences between men and women and how those differences make us misunderstand each other. It was a hit on Broadway and all over the world. (Jan.15); A touching and hilarious 'tell-it-like-it-is' look at the lives of a group of female friends, Girls Night: The Musical promises to have our audience laughing, crying and dancing in the aisles! Follow five friends as they re-live their past, celebrate their present and look to the future on a wild and hilarious karaoke night out ... and you'll recognize every one of them (Feb.1); Cirque Le Masque, in their newest production, Carnivale, brings an exciting new dimension to circus arts. Drenched in colorful light and oblivious to the forces of gravity, Cirque Le Masque is a perfect blend of live theatrical entertainment and cutting edge special effects to thrill audiences of all ages. There will be ta matinee and evening performance (Mar.14); Broadway Specials are sponsored by: Wilde Lexus of Sarasota

Dance

Groovaloo won NBC's Superstars of Dance and is based on the award-winning troupe's true-to-life experiences and told by the dancers who lived them. Groovaloo combines the authenticity of A Chorus Line with the energy of Stomp as it embarks on a journey through the diverse world of hip hop (Jan.13); The Aluminum Show is a sparkling world of illusion and fantasy for the entire family. Through the use of special effects, creative mechanisms and acrobatic dance, inanimate objects come alive with the same energy, emotion and personality as human beings (Feb.2) Sponsored by: Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation; Designated as "one of seven wonders of the artistic universe" by The Washington Post, The Martha Graham Dance Company is the oldest and most celebrated contemporary dance company in the world. Dancer/choreographer Martha Graham (1894-1991) was the central figure of the modern dance movement, developing an original technique involving the expression of primal emotions through stylized body movements of great intensity (Feb.3); The Israel Ballet is the only company in Israel performing the great classical and neo-classical ballets of the international repertoire. The company has a rich and varied repertoire including several neo-classical works by renowned choreographer George Balanchine as well as those by Christian Spuck, Krzysztof Pastor, Rudi van Danzig, Jan Lincolns, Lar Lubovitz and the company's founder and artistic director Berta Yampolsky (Feb.11) sponsored by: Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation; Joffrey Ballet, was founded in 1956 by Robert Joffrey and Gerald Arpino as a uniquely American company of dancers for whom they choreographed original and socially relevant ballets. Today the Joffrey Ballet is one of the leading national and international ballet companies (Mar.8).

Orchestra/Classical:

The Ahn Trio are sisters who are redefining the art and architecture of chamber music. They breathe new life into the standard piano trio literature with commissioned works from visionary composers like Pat Metheny, Maurice Jarre and Michael Nyman. They have fused their work with that of dancers, pop singers, DJ's, electronic music artists and lighting designers to name a few (Jan.22); The Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra, one of the best orchestras in Moscow was founded in 1978 as an outgrowth of the need for the symphonic repertoire of the 18th, 19th and 20th, centuries to be broadcast throughout Russia for the benefit of its citizens (Jan.27); The Detroit Orchestra with Leonard Slatkin as Conductor and Music Director next graces our classical season. Leonard has an international reputation as one of the most extraordinary conductors of our time. He combines incredible musicianship with enormous passion for his role as visionary orchestra leader (Feb.13); Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman is beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent. He is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy of making music. (Mar.1); Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra with Hobart Earle - Music Director and Principal Conductor- The brilliant Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Hobart Earle, returns to North America for the first time in over 10 years. For their upcoming U.S. tour, the orchestra will proudly present to U.S. audiences some of their Viennese fare, in a concert format that has become extremely popular - a (Viennese) classical symphony, followed by a selection of waltzes, marches and polkas by Johann Strauss after intermission (Mar 2.); Lang Lang along with Christoph Eschenbach, Conductor and the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra will delight music enthusiasts. The Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra is comprised of the world's finest young musicians under the age of 27, hand-picked through a rigorous auditioning process. Its first-ever tour in the United States and Canada under Maestro Eschenbach, featuring inimitable Lang Lang as the soloist, is a unique opportunity for North American audiences to embark on a real musical adventure (Mar.30 ). The Orchestra/Classical Series is sponsored by: WUSF Public Broadcasting.

Also, please join us on September 13, 2009 beginning at 10am at the Van Wezel Box OffIce To kick- off single tickets being available for our full season. Be one of the first people to get the best seats to some of your favorite performances. Spread the word, "Word of Mouth" will be providing complimentary breakfast to those who come to the Box Office.

Tickets and other information

Single tickets will be available for sale on Sunday, September 13th @ 10:00 am, by mail order at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Fl 34236, by fax (941) 951-1449, on-line at www.vanwezel.org or by calling the Van Wezel Box Office ( 10am-3pm) at (941) 953-3368 or (800) 826-9303. Variety Series Subscriptions are available by choosing 4 or more shows with a 15% discount on most shows. Regular hours for the box office will begin Monday, September 14 as follows: Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm with later hours on performance days and on Sundays on performance days. Subscriptions are still available for the Broadway Series (15% discount) or build your own Broadway subscription (10% discount) and Great Orchestra Series (15% discount) by calling the Van Wezel Box Office at (941) 953-3368. Join our email Club at www.vanwezel.org and enter for a chance to win tickets each month and be the "first to know" about upcoming events and specials. To request a brochure please visit our website at www.vanwezel.org or by calling (941) 953-3368. New this year are Smart Seats which feature a very limited number of seats priced at $10 or $25 plus fees and sales tax.

 

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