Van Wezel Announces 2011-2012 Full Season
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall announces a 2011-2012 Season rife with star-studded talent. From pop culture icons Dolly Parton, Liza Minnelli, and Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, to Broadway royalty Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Audra McDonald and trailblazers Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld and Bob Saget, it's the biggest season yet! The Broadway lineup features Sarasota premieres Shrek the Musical, In the Heights, Rock of Ages and Young Frankenstein while not forgetting classic favorites such as South Pacific and Damn Yankees. The seminal Bravo! Series brings a classical edge with great orchestras including The New York Pops (Holiday Concert) featuring John Pizzarelli and Conductor Steven Reineke and the Cleveland Orchestra; phenomenal dance shows like Forever Tango with Cheryl Burke, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the stunning Joffrey Ballet, as well as unique soloists like Joshua Bell. In addition, the Van Wezel will host four spectacular Broadway Specials and offer nine SchoolTime Performances (to the children of Sarasota, Manatee, Desoto and Charlotte counties). There is something for everyone-traditional favorites and performances that push creative boundaries.
Executive Director, Mary Bensel states, "After last year's extremely successful and powerful season we wanted this year to top the last and I feel we've done it! We are so grateful to our incredible audiences who so appreciate an eclectic repertoire of great entertainment!"
A Special presentation of Summon the Heroes: a 9/11 Remembrance, proudly co-presented by the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall and the Sarasota Orchestra and partially underwritten by The Community Foundation of Sarasota County and Gulf Coast Community Foundation. Media sponsors are ABC 7, the Herald Tribune Media Group, WSMR 89.1 and a collaboration of several Sarasota/Manatee county arts organizations with concert proceeds to benefit local charities on (Sept 10 & 11).
The 2011-2012 Variety Series begins on October 5th with Henson Alternative's STUFFED AND UNSTRUNG Starring The Miskreant Puppets, a new breed of intelligent nonsense. This hilarious, live improv show gives the adult audience the opportunity to direct the show when six expert puppeteers improvise songs and sketches based on your suggestions! Naughty puppets!! Sponsored by SRQ Magazine. k.d. lang and The Siss Boom Bang with special guest Teddy Thompson will rock the house with tunes from her most recent Sing It Loud. k.d. is that rare and gifted performer whose bravura singing and playful-punk attitude practically put the "alt" in alt-country (Oct. 9). Part of the AT&T Star Series. Celtic Thunder's new concert tour Heritage pays homage to the musical culture of Ireland. The guys return to their roots with an inspired collection of songs, including the seductive "Black Is The Color," and the upbeat "Whiskey In The Jar." Tickets are going fast (Oct. 14)! Sponsored by Holiday Inn Sarasota Bradenton Airport. The iconic and irrepressible Dolly Parton is playing Sarasota for the first time ever on The Better Day Tour. Penning classic songs like "Jolene," "Coat of Many Colors," and her mega-hit "I Will Always Love You," Dolly has contributed countless treasures to the world of music entertainment. This will be, "The concert of the decade!"-- Executive Director, Mary Bensel (Oct. 16). Co-sponsored by The Helmsley Sandcastle Hotel. For more than two centuries "The President's Own" United States Marine Band has played the events that have shaped the country. This FREE concert salutes our nation with America's oldest professional musical organization (Oct. 17). Co-sponsored by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation