RiverCenter's 2014-15 season includes 'Whose Line?' comics, 'Sister Act' and more

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comJune 11, 2014 

ROBIN TRIMARCHI rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Lauren Minter, left, director of development for the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts, announces Camelot as one of the Broadway on Broadway shows to be presented in the Bill Heard Theater during the 2014-2015 season. Minter and program director Jim Rutland, right, announced highlights of the coming season Tuesday during a reception for season ticket holders. 06.10.14

ROBIN TRIMARCHI — rtrimarchi@ledger-enquirer.com Buy Photo

Jekyll and Hyde. King Arthur. Vince Gill.

The 2014-15 RiverCenter for the Performing Arts season — announced Tuesday night — has it all, including Broadway and ballet.

Self-proclaimed “cultural junkies” Jimmy and Barbara Motos were excited about the schedule announcement, noting “Camelot” and “Jekyll & Hyde” as two of their favorites.

“We’re definitely happy with the choices they made,” said former Wynnton Elementary principal Jimmy Motos, who retired from the Muscogee County School District. “It’s also a good thing they’re increasing their education outreach by having some of the dancers and others in the classrooms.”

Programming Director Jim Rutland said the RiverCenter went outside its comfort zone while soliciting feedback for the coming slate of shows. The RiverCenter surveyed its ticket-holders, of course, but also conducted outreach on social media and even spoke with everyday people downtown.

One new feature in the upcoming season is “My Series,” which allows people to pick any six shows from the RiverCenter’s 2014-15 season and save 15 percent. And people will have more to choose from with 20 percent more shows this season.

The TSYS Broadway on Broadway series leads off with “Camelot” on Oct. 9, followed by “Sister Act,” “Anything Goes,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Jekyll & Hyde” and “Flashdance — The Musical.”

Comics Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood of “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” will perform on Oct. 18. The show will include audience participation. Rutland said if you want to be picked, grab a seat up front.

The Synovus Center Stage’s schedule includes comedian Kathleen Madigan; “Junie B. Jones,” based on Barbara Park’s book series; and Cirque Dreams’ “Holidaze.”

The RiverCenter’s music lineup includes saxophonist Branford Marsalis with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Leroy Van Dyke and Joe Bonamassa.

Glam-rock superstar band Queen will get its own tribute in “One Night of Queen” on March 17.

On Feb. 21, Vince Gill and his 11-member Time Jumpers band will perform “a really classic, bluegrass Nashville sound,” Rutland said.

The season ends next June with “The Rat Pack Is Back.”

Rutland said it’s an eclectic mix of shows, but they all promise spectacular performances.

Increased community outreach will come in the form of master classes, Q&As with performers and partnerships with area schools so that, for example, students could earn class credit for seeing “Peter and the Starcatcher.”

Executive Director Bill Bullock said he is excited about the musical “Anything Goes,” which won three Tony Awards in 2011.

The biggest show of the season, Bullock said, will be “Sister Act.”

However, Rutland said he is excited about Marsalis.

“That’s a small venue for him to be playing, honestly,” he said. “So I’m excited for people to have that intimate experience for that level of artist.”

COMPLETE 2014-2015 SCHEDULE

Go to www.rivercenter.org

Senior editor for online Stephanie Pedersen contributed to this report

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