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).

Variety Series
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

Huey Lewis & The News is that Grammy-winning rock band which defied the oddsmakers for decades with their contagious brand of straight-ahead rock n' roll. Hits like "Hip To Be Square" and "Workin' For A Livin'" have endeared many fans. Hear your favorites on the Soulsville Tour (Nov. 1). Sponsored by University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee & Bright House Networks. The Capitol Steps are the only people in Washington funnier than the politicians! This troupe of former (but not disgruntled) Congressional staffers travels the country satirizing the very people and places that once employed them (Nov. 3). Part of the Herald-Tribune Media Group's Comedy Series. Earning an unprecedented three Tony Awards before the age of 30 (Carousel, Master Class, and Ragtime) and a fourth in 2004 (A Raisin in the Sun), singer and actress Audra McDonald is an extraordinary force. Audra blends a luscious, classically-trained soprano voice with an incomparable gift for dramatic truth-telling-a gift that resonates in her film and television work (for all you Private Practice fans), as well as on stage (Nov. 6). Benise is back! The Emmy Award Winning Nights of Fire cast return with their hit world music and dance production--The Spanish Guitar--last year's near sell out (Nov. 9). Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota & Bright House Networks. Yes, Bob Saget starred in two of the most family-friendly shows network TV has ever produced (Full House and America's Funniest Home Videos), but he's also been an out-of-his-mind, stand-up comedian for over thirty years. His scene-stealing cameos in Half Baked, the Showtime series Huff, and HBO's Entourage prove it's effective when Saget embraces his decidedly adult brand of comedy. Rated R-ish. (Nov. 19). Part of the Herald-Tribune Media Group's Comedy Series. The Dave Koz and Friends Christmas Tour 2011 is a cherished Sarasota holiday tradition. Saxophonist extraordinaire Dave Koz brings together a magical combination of musicians to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year (Nov. 26)! Sponsored by Hyatt Regency Sarasota & SRQ Magazine.

Out with the old and in with the Yule! The Magic of the Holidays has never been hotter. Hit TV show, Masters of Illusion: Impossible Magic, is breaking out of the box and into live theatre! With Masters of Illusion A Magical Holiday Spectacular all the whimsy and delight of the Season it's everything you could possibly imagine--exotic animals, beautiful dancers, escapologists, comedy magic, quick-change artists, sleight-of-hand--and others that you'd never dream possible (Dec. 2). Part of the Boar's Head Family Series & sponsored by Comcast. Direct from Broadway! The internationally-acclaimed Beatles concert is back by popular demand! RAIN A Tribute to the Beatles has mastered every song, gesture and nuance of the legendary foursome, delivering a totally live, note-for-note performance that's as infectious as it is transporting ("I Want To Hold Your Hand," "Let It Be," "Come Together," "Hey Jude," and more). Every show is a sellout! (Dec. 6). Sponsored by SNN Local News 6. Miracle on 34th Street is based on the beloved 1947 movie, it is the heartfelt story about an average man claiming to be the real Santa Claus who brings about a genuine miracle, spreading a wave of love throughout New York City. Magic is possible when we believe (Dec. 13)! Part of the Boar's Head Family Series and sponsored by Bright House Networks. Actor and comedian Sinbad arrived on the comedy scene with a "hit' em in the face" style that has kept audiences laughing for two decades. Ranked by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 stand-up comedians of all time, he appeared in the TV sitcom A Different World and his own The Sinbad Show and as well as movies like Jingle All the Way and Houseguest (Dec. 16). Sponsored by Argosy University Sarasota. Part of the Herald-Tribune Media Group's Comedy Series. Join the Irish Tenors for Holiday this Christmas and celebrate the extraordinary sounds of Irish classics and stirring seasonal melodies like "Hark The Herald Angels Sing," "We Three Kings," "Joy to the World," and "O Holy Night," sung with operatic beauty (Dec. 18). Sponsored by the Baltimore Orioles and Bright House Networks. The Kenny G Holiday Concert is Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Kenny G at his very best-favorite standards that mix R&B, pop and Latin with a jazz foundation, highlighted by moving and spirited holiday tunes, and a nod to his recent Heart and Soul (Dec. 20). If the phrase "male a cappella group" conjures up an image of students in blue blazers and khakis singing traditional college songs ... think again. Straight No Chaser is reinventing the idea of a cappella music on the modern pop landscape...and their Holiday jams will knock your socks off (Dec. 22)! Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota. Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker is a classic Christmas story that creates lifelong memories for the whole family! Set to Tchaikovsky's famous music, this holiday traditions features 40 beautiful dancers in a performance that The New York Times calls a "Knockout! Expansive! Elegantly generous!" the "Kids were wide-eyed with delight!" (Dec. 28).

There is only one King of the Blues, BB King. He has released over 50 albums like blues classic "Live At The Regal," "R&B" and of course the ultra popular crossover hit, "The Thrill is Gone" (Jan. 5). Liza Minnelli gives new dimension and credibility to the word "superstar." Winner of four Tony Awards, an Oscar, a special "Legends" Grammy, two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy, Liza's infamous performances include Broadway's Chicago and The Act, on the big screen as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, and television's seminal Liza with a Z (Jan. 13). Sponsored by The Bradenton Herald. Whoopi Goldberg has become one of a small group of elite artists who have won the Grammy (Whoopi Goldberg), the Academy Award (Ghost), the Golden Globe (The Color Purple and Ghost), the Emmy (as host of AMC's Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel) and a Tony (Producer of Thoroughly Modern Millie). On Broadway she was recently one of the producers of Sister Act. She currently appears as the moderator on the long-running ABC talk show The View (Jan. 14). Sponsored by Hotel Indigo. Part of the Herald-Tribune Media Group's Comedy Series. The Golden Dragon Acrobats represent the best of a Chinese-time honored tradition and art form. A combination of award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical technique, delivers a show of breathtaking skill and spellbinding beauty (Jan. 15). Two of the most superb Elvis entertainers celebrate the life of Elvis with The Ultimate Elvis Birthday Bash, the most riveting tribute to the 'King of Rock & Roll'! Scot Bruce performs as Elvis during his early career, followed by Mike Albert, who is superb as Elvis in his Vegas years. Together, they recreate the electrifying musical excitement of the King, in a live, biographical concert guaranteed to have your audience ALL SHOOK UP! (Jan. 18). Rock out to your all-time favorite hits "This Magic Moment," "Under the Boardwalk" (Charlie Thomas and the Drifters); "A Lover's Concerto," "Attack" (Barbara Harris of The Toys); "You're the One," "The Land of Milk and Honey" (The Vogues); "16 Candles" (Tommy Mara new lead of The Crests); "Hushabye," "Don't Take The Stars" (George Galfo's Mystics) with Richard Nader's Doo Wop Rock and Roll show(Jan. 19). Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota. Audiences consider Tim Conway to be one of the funniest men in show business. From his 11 years on the classic Carol Burnett Show to his frequent 30 Rock appearances, Conway is acclaimed for his inventive style and razor-sharp timing (Jan. 22).Part of the Herald Tribune Media Groups Comedy Series. This is the closest to ABBA you'll ever get! ABBA The Concert will bring one of the greatest pop phenomenons in the history of music back to life with iconic hits "Mamma Mia," "S.O.S," "The Winner Takes All," "Gimme, Gimme, Gimme," and "Dancing Queen" (Jan. 24). Sponsored by Café Amalfi and Bright House Networks. Known for sweetly raspy vocals and an extraordinary ability to inhabit each song he performs, Kenny Rogers has sold more than 120 million records, recorded more than 65 albums, and won three Grammys during his 52 years in show business. The popularity of his timeless classics like "The Gambler," "Lady," "Lucille," and "We've Got Tonight," keep him relevant in the world of music and pop culture (Jan. 26). Sponsored by 106.5 CTQ. Multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated entertainer Michael Feinstein is one of the premier interpreters of American standards. The Sinatra Project, which earned Feinstein his fifth Grammy Award nomination, celebrates the music of "Ol' Blue Eyes," (Jan. 31). Sponsored by Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine/Bradenton.

Foreigner is one of the most popular rock acts in the world, racking up scores of smash hits, multi-platinum albums, and sold-out concert tours. From "Cold As Ice" to "Hot Blooded," "Urgent" to "Jukebox Hero," "Waiting For A Girl Like You" to the chart topper, "I Want To Know What Love is," Foreigner's thrilling mix of blustery blues and impeccably crafted pop continues to captivate generation after generation of music fans. Foreigner Acoustique, "The Classics Unplugged in Concert" (Feb. 7). The Official Blues Brothers Revue with Dan Aykroyd & Judy Belushi's Blessing brings back Chicago's greatest dynamic duo. Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty a.k.a. Jake and Elwood are men of soul! Known for their authentic rendition of the Blues Brothers Show, the show combines the music and mayhem of the original movie, with songs from popular albums by Belushi and Aykroyd (Feb. 8). Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota & Comcast. Spend An Evening with Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin, two of Broadway's theatre legends. Both Tony winners for their performances in the groundbreaking Evita, each has starred in film, television, on the concert stage and back on Broadway. The Feb. 14th performance brings these stirring entertainers together again - at last. "UNBELIEVABLE!!!"-raves Executive Director Mary Bensel . Sponsored by Longboat Key Club and Resort and Sarasota Magazine. Diana Krall has carved a permanent position at the top of the jazz charts with works like "Quiet Nights" and "When I Look In Your Eyes." Now, this striking pop-jazz diva and Grammy-winner has returned to wow Sarasota once more (Feb. 15)! Sponsored by AT&T Star Series & Comcast. Linda Eder and Tom Wopat put on one heck of a show. One of the greatest contemporary voices of our time, Linda Eder's diverse repertoire spans Broadway (Jekyll & Hyde), standards, pop, country and jazz. Tom Wopat first came to public attention in the late ‘70s on the legendary series The Dukes of Hazzard, and has starred many times on Broadway including roles in City of Angels, Catch Me If You Can, Guys and Dolls and as Frank Butler the revival of Annie Get Your Gun (Feb. 24). Sponsored by Van Wezel Foundation. Jerry Seinfeld, America's premier comedian is hitting the road in a return to his first love-stand-up comedy. Hailed as "the master stand-up comic of his generation" (Washington Post), Seinfeld has an uncanny ability to joke about the little things in life (Feb. 25). Jerry Seinfeld will also be part of the Van Wezel Foundation's gala. Dick Fox's Golden Boys Starring Frankie Avalon, Fabian, and Bobby Rydell unites three fantastic performers who emerged from the same South Philadelphia neighborhood at the same time, and went on to become world-renowned personalities! The Golden Boys spotlights all time greatest hits, "Venus", "De De Dinah ", (Avalon); " Volare," "Wild One," (Rydell); "Turn Me Loose," "Tiger," (Fabian) along with tributes to the material of Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Rick Nelson and more. Always a sellout (Feb. 26)! For more than four decades, The Irish Rovers have charmed and entertained audiences around the world with songs like "The Unicorn," and "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." ..."these international ambassadors of Irish music have maintained their timeless ability to deliver a rollicking, rousing performance of good cheer." Belfast Telegraph (Feb. 27). Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota. Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons are the original "Jersey Boys" and still the hottest ticket in town! With his three-and-a-half-octave vocal range, we can't take our eyes off of Frankie Valli or The Four Seasons, and hits like "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Grease," "Sherry," "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)" and so many more...(Feb. 29). Sponsored by Pittsburgh Pirates, The Bradenton Marauders. An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin, one of America's foremost comediennes, is sure to have you rolling in the aisles. Winner of six Emmys, two Tonys, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics' Circle Award, and a Grammy, Tomlin is sure to keep you entertained (Mar. 1). Part of the AT&T Star Series and the Herald-Tribune Media Group's Comedy Series. Pink Floyd remains one of the most influential, legendary, record-breaking rock bands of all time! Now, get ready for The Pink Floyd Experience with Animals live in its entirety! Hits like "Money," "Comfortably Numb," "Run Like Hell," have audiences raving about this epic concert (Mar. 2)! A smash hit in the heart of Broadway, A Jew Grows in Brooklyn is an engaging comedy musical that The New York Times calls "funny, touching and beautiful..." The highly acclaimed show chronicles the life of Jake Ehrenreich and his search for identity and meaning as a uniquely talented American-born child of Holocaust survivors (Mar. 4). Sponsored by Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation. Experience the talents of some of Ireland's finest female performers.... The Women of Ireland in Celtic Goddess. This innovative celebration of the music, song and dance traditions of Ireland showcases the next generation of Ireland's leading female performers (Mar. 8). Featuring musicians from Nova Scotia's Aboriginal, Black, Celtic and Acadian communities, DRUM! Electrifying Music, Rhythms and Dance is the heart-pumping fusion of music, dance, video, rhythm, and song that tells the story of the arrival and settlement of four of North America's principal founding cultures (Mar. 12). Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota. Bowfire is the total string experience! The hot new show takes its audiences on a musical journey that covers Jazz, Classical, Bluegrass, Celtic, and Rock styles with the finest lineup of fiddle and violin virtuosos ever assembled (Mar. 20). Sponsored by Boar's Head Family Series. The history of Rock N' Roll would be incomplete without Neil Sedaka's countless contributions. " Stairway to Heaven," "Calendar Girl," "Little Devil," "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen," and "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do," stand the test of time (Mar. 24). Sponsored by Van Wezel Foundation. Tony Bennett has introduced multitudes of songs from Great American Songbook, with signature hits like "Rags To Riches," and "I Left My Heart In San Francisco." His new release Duets II, features duets with Andrea Bocelli, Carrie Underwood, and Amy Winehouse (Mar. 25). Sponsored by Sarasota Magazine & Beneva Flowers.
Multi-Grammy-winner and Band Leader Extraordinare Sergio Mendes is taking his Brazilian high-energy style of Latin Jazz and joining forces with three-time Grammy-winner Jon Secada, one of the most versatile and talented singer/songwriter/performers in today's Latin and US music world. The blood pumping,feet movin' performance of Sergio Mendes with special guest Jon Secada is sure to make you levantarse y bailar! (Apr. 15). CBS hit comedy Mike & Molly stars Billy Gardell as Officer Mike Briggs and he brings his powerhouse stand-up show and the same down-to-earth point of view that made his 2011 Comedy Central's special - "BILLY GARDELL:HALFTIME" will be so hilarious (Apr. 20). Much more than a concert, In The Mood A 1940s Musical Revue brings the 40s back to life--a time when all America was listening and dancing to the combination of up-tempo big band instrumentals and intimate and romantic ballads that moved the nation's spirit (Apr. 22)! Sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota. Yanni's concerts are legendary and his live shows have amazed millions all over the world. Now, Sarasota fans can enjoy An Evening with Yanni and his world-class musicians as they take the stage to perform internationally acclaimed instrumental hits (Apr. 25).

Broadway Series
The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall's most dazzling Broadway Season yet is highlighted by ten outstanding Broadway musicals and four spectacular Broadway "specials", and are sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota and ABC 7. The 2008 Tony Award-winning "Best Musical" In the Heights is an exhilarating journey into a vibrant Manhattan community, is coming to Sarasota for the first time (Nov. 27)! Shrek, The Musical based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, will also make its Sarasota premiere, bringing the hilarious story of everyone's favorite ogre to life on stage (Dec. 14 & 15). The worldwide party musical Rock of Ages is making its Sarasota Premiere with a mix of 28 rockin' 80's tunes including Don't Stop Believin', We Built This City, The Final Countdown, Wanted Dead or Alive, Here I Go Again, Can't Fight This Feeling and I Want to Know What Love Is. The five-time 2009 Tony nominated arena-rock love story is told through the mind blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Night Ranger, STYX, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister, Poison, ASIA, Whitesnake and many more (Jan. 3 & 4) and is being made into a major motion picture starting Tom Cruise. Blast brings brass, percussion and visual performers together in a unique explosion of classical, blues, jazz, rock ‘n roll, techno-pop music and theatre. "BLAST!" is the winner of the 2001 Tony Award for "Best Special Theatrical Event" and it "stands, blows, pounds, marches, and whirls with panache."-the Boston Globe (Jan. 17). Faust, fly balls, and devilishly good fun all meet at the home plate of the seven-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Damn Yankees, filled with hit songs like "Whatever Lola Wants" and "You Gotta Have Heart" (Jan. 25). Introduce your family to the wonders of live theater with the magic, the mystery, and the "Memory" of one of the best and longest running shows in Broadway's history, Cats (Feb. 10 & 11). The classic Mel Brooks movie is alive...and it's headed here for the first time! The spectacular production of The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein is a wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend that attempts to create a monster, but not without scary and hilarious complications (Mar. 22 & 23). A timeless classic, Fiddler on the Roof has been lauded by critics again and again, and won the hearts of audiences around the world with a rousing score featuring "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," and "Sunrise, Sunset" (Mar. 28). "Beguiling Theatrical Magic!" hails the New York Post of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific. Based on the 2008 Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center Theater production, this classic musical tells the sweeping romantic story of two couples during WWII, with a beloved score that includes "Some Enchanted Evening," and "There is Nothin' Like a Dame," (Apr.3 & 4). If you're a Dancing with the Stars fan you're going to love Burn the Floor! You will feel, live on stage, all the passion, the drama and the sizzling excitement of 20 gorgeous champion dancers in a performance that The New York Times calls, "Dazzling!" (Apr. 19).

Broadway Specials
‘Hilarious' is the only way to describe Robert Dubac's The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron?You will laugh non- stop for ninety minutes as Dubac ransacks his brain to answer the age old question, "What do women want?" All while drinking a beer (Jan. 27). "It's hard to resist Tommy Tune, so why try?" raves The New Yorker. Steps in Time starring Tommy Tune, the nine-time Tony Award-winner, is A Broadway Biography in Song & Dance featuring the Manhattan Rhythm Kings (Mar. 14). The most successful touring Broadway concert in America returns for another spectacular performance at the Van Wezel. Neil Berg's 104 Years of Broadway is a dazzling, all-new show featuring some of Broadway's finest stars performing songs from the best and most beloved Broadway musicals of the past 104 years (Mar. 17)! Steve Solomon's My Mother's Italian My Father's Jewish I'm still in Therapy! The chaos the next hilarious installment in Steve Solomon's quest to defend himself against those whose sole purpose in life is to add chaos to his. We'll meet Uncle Willie, Stuttering Cousin Bob, Steve's new therapist, Cousin Sal (and Sal's parole officer), and a myriad of astounding characters we know, love and tolerate. It's another Sarasota Premiere (Mar. 19)!

New Bravo! Series

Our phenomenal new Bravo! Series opens with one of the Van Wezel's all-time favorite orchestras, The New York Pops featuring Steven Reineke, Music Director and Conductor, and Guest Artists John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey, for A Swingin' Christmas. "A musical match made in heaven," The New York Times hails on (Dec. 7).Sponsored by Piano Distributors & WSMR 89.1. Ring in the New Year with Salute to Vienna, patterned after Vienna's world famous "Neujahrskonzert." The show returns for a glorious 13th season, with a fresh, new program featuring The Strauss Symphony of America; Imre Kollár, conductor (Budapest); Hege Gustava Tjønn, soprano (Vienna-Oslo); Zsolt Vadász, tenor (Budapest); dancers from Ballett St. Pölten (Austria) and International Champion Ballroom Dancers (Jan. 1). Sponsored by WSMR 89.1. Like a tap dance without shoes, or a band without instruments, Step Afrika! body is the instrument. With a combination of kicks, stomps, claps and chants - all linked to African and modern dance practices, Step Afrika! creates intricate rhythms and sounds (Jan. 12). Sponsored byTouch of Africa located on St. Armand's Circle & WSMR 89.1. Under the leadership of Music Director, Franz Welser-Möst, The Cleveland Orchestra has become one of the most sought-after performing ensembles and is considered one of the big five of orchestras, one that sets standards of artistic excellence, creative programming, and community engagement. The program features: Yefim Bronfman, piano- Brahms: Piano Concerto No. 2; Intermission; Smetana - Ma Vlast , Shostakovich: Symphony No. 6 (Jan. 23).Sponsored by the Van Wezel Foundation & WSMR 89.1. Superstar violinist, Joshua Bell, returns to the Van Wezel for another enchanting performance. A brilliant and daring craftsman, "Bell," Gramophone states simply, "he is dazzling" (Feb. 2) and is sponsored by Van Wezel Foundation & WSMR 89.1. Forever Tango recently enjoyed its third run on Broadway. The tango inhabits a world where everything can be said with the flick of a leg, the tug of a hand, and the arch of an eyebrow, and with Cheryl Burke, the first two-time champion of ABC's Dancing with the Stars smash hit, taking the lead, the dancing is sure to be show-stopping on (Feb.9) and is sponsored by WSMR 89.1; Co-sponsored by the Fine Arts Society of Sarasota. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater's gorgeous dancers lift your spirits and perform thrilling premieres, plus return audience favorites. See for yourself why this extraordinary company is hailed as America's cultural ambassador to the world and "possibly the most successful modern dance company on the planet," The New York Times. Robert Battle is Artistic Director; Masazumi Chaya, is Associate Artistic Director (Feb. 21). It is part of the Boar's Head Family Series and sponsored by WSMR 89.1.The classical Moscow Festival Ballet will perform Swan Lake. Sergei Radchenko, Artistic Director's; full-length Ballet is in Four Acts; with music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovski; Choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov (Feb. 28). It is sponsored by Wilde Lexus of Sarasota & WSMR 89.1. The 5 Browns are firing up classical piano music! With expressive solos and complex five-piano arrangements and the program features: Rondo alla Turca, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/Greg Anderson; Piano Sonata No. 4 in F-Sharp Major, Op. 30, Alexander Scriabin; Rhapsody in Blue, George Gershwin/Jeffrey Shumway; Etude de Concert, Op. 36, Edward MacDowell; The Rite of Spring: Part One, Igor Stravinsky/Jeffrey Shumway; and segways into pop hits from Catch Me If You Can: by John Williams/Jeffrey Shumway; Over the Rainbow: Fantasy for Five Pianos by Greg Anderson; Concert Etudes Op. 40, Nikolai Kapustin; Islamey, Mily Balakirev/Greg Anderson; (Mar. 15).Sponsored by WSMR 89.1. Joffrey Ballet is "America's Ballet Company of Firsts," from first to perform at the White House to be the first and only dance company to appear on the cover of Time Magazine. The Program is: Pretty BALLET, Choreography: James Kudelka, Music: Martinu; After The Rain, Choreography: Christopher Wheeldon, Music: Arvo Part; Night, Choreography: Julia Adam, Music: Matthew Pierce (Mar. 29). Sponsored by Van Wezel Foundation & WSMR 89.1.

Information and New Additions
Single tickets will be available on Saturday, September 10 from 10am to 8pm and Sunday, September 11 10am to 6pm at the Van Wezel box office located at 777 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. You may also order tickets online at or by calling 941-953-3368 or (800) 826-9303 from 10am to 4pm.

Variety Series Subscriptions are available by choosing 4 or more shows with a 15% discount (on most shows and sections). Regular hours for the box office will begin Monday, September 13 as follows: Monday-Friday from 10am to 4pm; Saturdays from 10am until 3pm; open later hours on performance days, including Sundays. Discounts are also available for groups of 20 or more (some shows and sections are excluded). Subscriptions are still available for the Broadway Series and the Bravo! Series. Join our E-mail Club at to be the "first to know" about upcoming events and specials. To view a brochure, please visit our website at or by calling (941) 953-3368. We are proud to announce that this season's five Family Night performances will be In the Heights (Nov. 27), Shrek The Musical (Dec. 14), Step Afrika! (Jan. 12), Blast (Jan. 17), and The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein (Mar. 22). Buy one adult Family Night ticket and get a student's ticket (6-18) seats available.

The Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is fully wheelchair accessible and offers select wheelchair seating. If you require wheelchair access, please inform the Box Office or purchase wheelchair accessible seats online. For our hearing impaired patrons, the theatre is now equipped with a new Hearing Loop System, which will transmit sound directly to most hearing aids or cochlear implant equipped with telecoils (T-coils). This wonderful new addition to the Van Wezel, the first theatre in Sarasota to install the system was generously provided by the Sertoma Society. This compliments our infrared hearing system for patrons with limited hearing.

Two seasons ago, the Van Wezel updated its equipment with a new state of the art in-house sound system and motorized orchestra lift and this year has added new seats to the Hall, supported in part by a grant from the Selby Foundation, for the first time in its 42 year history.

Completing the Van Wezel's "experience" is a new café "Mattison's Bayside" which will offer a sumptuous buffet, tapas and light bites, pre and post show cocktails and a la carte items on different occasions as well as less formal dining on Mattison's Bay Front terrace for shows. Call 941-363-2074 for reservations.

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