RiverCenter announces 2013-14 season

sokamoto@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 9, 2013 

The RiverCenter for the Performing Arts has a notable lineup for the 2013-14 season, but perhaps the biggest news is the return of one of Columbus' own.

Vicky Mallory grew up in Columbus and was a frequent performer on the Springer Opera House stage. Longtime residents may remember her as Vicky Morales.

Mallory went on to star on Broadway in "Follies," "West Side Story" and "A Little Night Music." She was also on daytime dramas "The Young and the Restless" and later in "Santa Barbara" for many years.

She and her professional partner, Kurt Peterson, met in New York City when they were cast as Maria and Tony in "West Side Story" in 1968.

Now, 45 years later, the two friends will perform "When Everything Was Possible," featuring songs from the shows they performed in over the years.

The Broadway on Broadway series also will include such hits as "Memphis," "Bring it On: The Musical," "Beauty and the Beast" and "Million Dollar Quartet."

The Center Stage series include a hot jazz group, The Hot Club of San Francisco, the Moscow Ballet's "Giselle," Aquila Theatre's "Fahrenheit 451" and cellist Alisa Weilserstein and pianist Inon Barnatan.

The Wow! Discovery Series includes a performance by the Lightwire Theater, which counts Columbus native Mary Glackmeyer in its company. Although Glackmeyer will not be in the touring company.

Single Ticket Saturday, where patrons can pick their seats, is Aug. 3. Tickets go on sale at www.rivercenter.org on Aug. 4. Tickets go on sale in the box office Aug. 5.

Broadway on Broadway tickets go on sale about six weeks before the performance date.

Of the entire season, Carla Gridley-Robles, RiverCenter's promotion and booking coordinator, is looking forward to "Fahrenheit 451."

She finds the parallels between life today and Ray Bradbury's book (written in 1953) eerie. Sixty years ago, Bradbury wrote about earbuds, 24-hour banking centers and even flat-screen TVs.

Jimbo Davis, who oversees the cheerleaders at Columbus State University, is excited to see "Bring it On."

"The production of 'Bring it On' coming to RiverCenter is a great thing for this year's schedule," said Davis, Columbus State University's assistant athletic director and spirit coordinator. "Any time we can put a focus the sport/activity of cheerleading and it is popular, it's great. I think the true story behind the production is the life lessons it has in it. It's not just about cheerleading, it is working together as a team with a common goal. This is something we all do in our daily lives."

All of this season's shows will be in the Bill Heard Theatre, except for the two Cantus Columbus concerts (Dec. 16 and May 31) and the Cashore Marionettes on April 26. They will be in Legacy Hall.

Jim Rutland, RiverCenter's program and education director, says it's always interesting finalizing a season.

"It's always an adventure," he said. "I'm always trying to provide a wide variety of programming."

The RiverCenter is doing a few things differently for patrons, he said.

First, it is offering premium seating at higher ticket prices, and dinners before many shows will be served in the Patrons' Room for $25.

And for season ticket holders who find they can't go to a show, there's a program that will be a "win-win" situation, Rutland said.

If you can't go to a show, turn your ticket into the box office and you'll get a tax deduction receipt. The RiverCenter will match the ticket to either its ArtsReach program or to a children's organization like Girls Inc. or the Boys and Girls Club.

Because education is so important in the RiverCenter's mission, most of the touring Broadway shows will present master classes with high school and Columbus State University students. So will many of the artists in the Center Stage Series.

On Monday night, a preview of the season was given to RiverCenter's donors, and season ticket holders got a chance to see the new season preview Tuesday night.

"I'm interested in 'Beauty and the Beast' and 'Memphis,'" said Sherida Brannon, of Columbus.

Sally Rotunno, of Columbus, is excited to see the ballet, "Giselle," and cellist Weilserstein and pianist Barnatan.

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