The RiverCenter for the Performing Arts announced its 2015-2016 season this weekend for donors and the general public.
Kicking off its season at 900 Broadway on Sept. 10, Doc Severinsen was Johnny Carson's musical sidekick on "The Tonight Show" as Severinsen led the band. His band's repertoire includes Ellington and Basie standards, pop, jazz, ballads, big band classics and the show's theme.
Severinsen's band will be followed by "Skippyjon Jones Snow What" on Oct. 4, the finalists from "Last Comic Standing" on Nov. 6 and the a cappella group Straight No Chaser performing its "The New Old Fashioned Tour" on Nov. 28.
To round out the 2015 or "Act I" schedule, the RiverCenter will host "Ragtime: The Musical" on Dec. 4 and "Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas" on Dec. 15.
The RiverCenter's executive director Bill Bullock, who has served in that position for over five years, will retire at the end of June but will return to the RiverCenter to conduct the annual production of "Cantus Christmas" on Dec. 21.
For "Act II" coming in 2016, "Annie" (Jan. 19), "Rising Stars of the Metropolitan Opera" (Feb. 19), "Sleeping Beauty" (Feb. 25), "Saturday Night Fever" (March 15), "The Illusionists" (April 5), "42nd Street" (April 30) and "The American Songbook: Gems by the Gershwins and Cole Porter" (May 19) are on the schedule.
As part of the RiverCenter's ArtsReach program that serves approximately 20,000 area students, teachers and members of our underserved population, there will be four matinee performances. "Skippyjon Jones Snow What" will be at 9:30 a.m. Oct 5, "Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas" at 9:30 a.m. Dec 15, "Intergalactic Nemesis" at 10:30 a.m. Jan 26 and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" at 9:30 and 11:10 a.m. on Jan. 29.
Dr. David Levine, who is the head of neonatology for Columbus Regional Health, and his wife, Suzanne, have been season-ticket holders since the RiverCenter opened and attended Friday's announcement of the season.
"I think it's a great season," Dr. Levine said. "You know what I like? The variety this year: there's some classics and big shows -- which we love -- and then there's some new things."
Suzanne Levine said "42nd Street" topped her list as the show she's most looking forward to, noting she enjoys the Broadway shows. Dr. Levine is most excited about "Ragtime."
"I like the idea of bringing in these children's productions," Suzanne said.