Kris Kristofferson Comes to Playhouse Square

Kris Kristofferson Comes to Playhouse SquareShow business wannabes are warned to "keep your day job"... just in case. But in the case of Kris Kristofferson, the Rhodes Scholar/Golden Gloves boxer gave up a Captain's rank as a helicopter pilot in the Army's elite Airborne Rangers and a turn-down of an assignment to teach at West Point...all to pursue a music career.

And while today Kris would have long been retired from an Army career, the three-time GRAMMY winner, Country Hall of Fame inductee and Golden Globe winner still practices his trade as a singer, songwriter and actor. Kris's current tour will include Playhouse Square's intimate Ohio Theatre for one 8 pm show Thurs., May 18. (Tickets are $65, $45 & $25 on sale at and 216-241-6000.

Kris sings his own hits and the hits he has written that were successes for other artists, such as "Help Me Make It Through the Night," "Me and Bobby McGee," "For the Good Times" and "Sunday Morning Coming Down."

Born in Texas and raised in a military family, he graduated college Phi Beta Kappa, as a creative writing major, prior to his graduate work at Oxford and Army career. "When I was in the army, I was one of the few people outside of his personal friends who knew about Willie Nelson," Kristofferson recalls. "I listened to a disc jockey who happened to be a Willie fan. He would play Willie's songs and talk about him all the time. By the time I got to Nashville, he was a superhero to me. For guys like me, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson were two gods we worshipped. Then Willie and I got to be best friends. I came from a position of idolizing him to finding out he's the funniest son of a bitch you could be around."

After struggling in Music City for several years, Kris achieved remarkable success as a country songwriter at the start of the 1970s. By 1987, it was estimated that more than 450 artists had recorded Kristofferson compositions.

His renown as a songwriter triggered Kris's successful career as a performer and that, in turn, brought him to the attention of Hollywood, leading to his flourishing career as a film actor. Kristofferson has acted in more than 70 films. In 1977 He won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in "A Star Is Born." He's appeared in cult favorites including the "Blade" trilogy, "Lone Star," "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries," "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," "Blume In Love," "Cisco Pike," and "Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid." Recent films include "Fast Food Nation," "Dreamer: Inspired By A True Story," "The Jacket," "Silver City," "He's Just Not That In To You," and "Dolphin Tale."

Heralded as an artist's artist, the three-time GRAMMY winner has recorded 27 albums, including three with pals Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings as part of the Highwaymen. Kristofferson has spent three decades performing concerts all over the world, in most recent years in a solo acoustic setting, which puts the focus on the songs. "There's an honesty in the sparseness. It feels like direct communication to the listener," he says. "I still have more fun when I'm with the band, but being alone is freer, somehow. It's like being an old blues guy, just completely stripped away."

In addition to many other awards, Kris Kristofferson is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, winner of the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriter Hall of Fame, and was honored with the American Veteran's Association's "Veteran of the Year Award" in 2002. Kristofferson was honored with the Johnny Cash Visionary Award from Country Music Television and in 2009 BMI lauded Kristofferson with the Icon Award. He also received the Frances Preston Music Industry Award from the T.J. Martell Foundation 2012.

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