RiverCenter for the Performing Arts' 2010-11 season features a strong Broadway series, as well as very diverse Variety and Classics series. The children's Discovery series isn't half-bad either.
Executive director Bill Bullock took over the helm of RiverCenter in mid-season after Enoch Morris left just before Christmas. He's thrilled with the what the season offers.
“I think it may be our best Broadway series ever,” he said at a Thursday night party for season ticket holders to announce the season. “And we have a strong variety of shows with great diversity.”
Two former RiverCenter board presidents agree.
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Calvin Smyre, who was the first board president, said the season “continues to have the best of what RiverCenter has to offer. “It is still, in my eyes, one of the jewels of Columbus. I continue to show my support.”
“I think it is wonderful,” said Ann Davis, the other former board chair. “I think it’s great. I’m very excited.”
While many arts organizations have had to raise ticket prices to keep up with price prices to either present or produce shows, RiverCenter for the Performing Arts personnel are pleased to announce not only did they not raise ticket prices, they’ve actually lowered them.
Some of the season ticket packages are 50 cents less than last year, but it is still a saving.
“This makes our product affordable,” Rutland said. “We want to be the community center for the arts. We try to be affordable for everyone.”The least expensive season ticket for the Broadway on Broadway series are $103.50-$133.50 in the balcony, he said. Compare that to last season’s $104-$210.50.
The season tickets for the 2010-11 season are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale in August.
Jim Rutland, programming and education director, and Darlene Hughes Kittrell, communications manager, were tickled by that and other options for season ticket buyers.
RiverCenter put the Classics and Variety series into one Center Stage umbrella name. There is the Center Stage Select season ticket option.
You can choose four shows from the eight provided in the two series for one price. If you want to add a “subscriber option” offering, you may. For this Select season, it’s best to work with someone in the box office because the subscriber options are different prices.
The Custom Combos allows you to design your own season ticket package. You start by choosing four shows from any series and then add other shows that you want to see.
The Broadway on Broadway series is something Rutland is proud of, he said.
“We were really fortunate to get those shows,” he said.
“Some of these shows are just off Broadway,” Kittrell said.ArtsReach is a program that allows underserved populations to see shows at RiverCenter.
Rutland is astounded how this program is growing. RiverCenter now serves more than 15 counties in Georgia and Alabama through ArtsReach.
Center Stage — ClassicsNicholas Phan: Young American tenor who recently made his Carnegie Hall debut. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 16.
Christmas with the King’s Singers: And the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. The choir from King’s College in Cambridge, England, will collaborate with the CSO for its annual holiday concert. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. Subscriber option.
A Cantus Christmas: The annual concert by Columbus’ only paid professional chorus, features the Atlanta Symphony Brass Quintet and tenor Bradley Howard. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19. Subscriber option.
Aquila Theatre Co.: The British company, now based in New York City, will present Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 25.
State Symphony Orchestra of Russia: Conductor Mark Gorenstein leads the 70-year-old orchestra in Brahms’ fourth symphony and pieces by Khachaturian and Prokofiev. Soloist Dimitri Alexeev plays piano. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4.
Moscow Festival Ballet: Founded in 1989, the company presents “Romeo & Juliet,” in a presenation by RiverCenter and the Columbus Ballet. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19.
Center Stage — VarietyAn Evening with Emile Pandolfi: The classical pianist returns to bring his entertaining blend of his mastery on the piano, with his humorous stories. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18
The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller: The popular group returns with its timeless holiday music. It sold out two years ago; we recommend you buy tickets early. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18.
Drumline Live!: Created by the team that brought us the 2002 movie, “Drumline,” this musical revue features 39 musicians and dancers. It was a hit when it came to RiverCenter two years ago. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 23. Subscriber option.
An Evening with Lucille Ball: “Thank you for asking.” This is a celebration of “the first lady of television,” Lucy. Directed by Lucie Arnaz and starring Suzanne LaRusch. 7:30 p.m. March 5.
The Del McCoury Band: With the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. McCoury’s bluegrass music meets New Orleans jazz. 7:30 p.m. March 27.
Broadway on BroadwayLegally Blonde: The musical based on the 2001 movie of the same name. It’s about Elle Woods, who goes to Harvard Law School after her boyfriend dumps her for a more “serious” woman. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9-10.
The Color Purple: Based on the 1985 movie, that was in turned based on the Alice Walker novel. It’s about a tough life of an African American woman. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 11-12. Subscriber option.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: Based on the 1991 animated feature about a young woman who finds her way through an enchanted castle to find true love. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1-2. Subscriber option.
Grease: This is the new production that just came off Broadway. Stars Eddie Mekka (Carmine from “Laverne & Shirley”) as DJ Vince Fontaine. About good girl Sandy, who falls for greaser Danny. 7:30 p.m. April 13-14.
Monty Python’s Spamalot: Loosely based on the 1975 movie, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” it won the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical. Tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they go in search of the Holy Grail. Features flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen and lots of songs. 7:30 p.m. May 4-5.
Knology DiscoveryIf You Give a Mouse a Cookie and Other Story Books: Excerpts from eight children’s stories, including “Amazing Grace,” “Borrequita and the Coyote,” “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” “Imogene’s Antlers,” “Martha Speaks,” “Master Man,” “Math Curse” and “Owen,” come to life. Recommended for children in grades pre-K-3. 7 p.m. Oct. 8.
African Children’s Choir: “Journey of Hope.” Founded in 1984, this children’s chorus is made up of children 7-12, many of whom are orphaned and all very poor. The tours allow the director of the project to educate the children to break out of the cycle of poverty. 7 p.m. Nov. 2.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: The family night preview. The perfect opportunity to introduce young children to the theater, and perhaps not disturb adults around them who do not have children. Recommended for children 7 and older. 7:30 p.m. Jan. 31. A $5 discount given to children 7-12. Subscriber option.
Click, Clack, Moo: Musical version of Betsy Lewin’s Caldecott Award-winning book. Farmer Brown is bothered by all the noises made by the animals who are protesting their working conditions. Recommended for children in grades pre-K-3. 7 p.m. March 11.
Center Stage ClassicsPackage A: Nicholas Phan, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” State Symphony of Russia, Moscow Festival Ballet. $53-$128.
Package B: Everything in Package A, plus The King’s Singers and the CSO. $76-$155.
Package C: Everything in Package A, plus A Cantus Christmas. $76-$157.
Package D: All of the offerings. $99-$184.
Center Stage VarietyPackage A: Emile Pandolfi, Mannheim Steamroller, Lucille Ball, Del McCoury with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. $77-$169.
Package B: Package A, plus “Drumline Live!” $87-$200.
Center Stage SelectPackage A: Select four from Nicholas Phan, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” State Symphony of Russia, Moscow Festival Ballet, Emile Pandolfi, Mannheim Steamroller, Lucille Ball, Del McCoury with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Package B: After selecting the four from Package A, you have the option of adding The King’s Singers with CSO, A Cantus Columbus, “Drumline Live!”
After you’ve chosen your Select Package, the box office will contact you for the total amount due. Because each show has a different price, we are not able to print every combination’s pricing.
Broadway on BroadwayPackage A: Legally Blonde, Grease, Monty Python’s Spamalot. $103.50-$133.50.
Package B: Package A, plus “The Color Purple.” $128-$168.
Package C: Package A, plus “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” $135.50-$175.50.
Package D: All of the offerings. $160-$210.
Knology DiscoveryPackage A: “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie,” African Children’s Choir and “Click, Clack, Moo.” $20-$47.
Package B: Package A, plus “Beauty and the Beast.” $47-$89.