Guess who’s coming to RiverCenter on Nov. 8?
RiverCenter for the Performing Arts announced Tuesday evening its 2019-20 season and it includes a performance by Gladys Knight during Fountain City Classic weekend, the return of dance troupe Pilobolus and the national tour launch of the 10th Anniversary Tour of RENT.
“The wonderful Gladys Knight is going to be here Nov. 8 and we’ve been looking for an entertainer like Gladys to come to RiverCenter for quite some time and this year we’re just thrilled to be able to offer her on that Friday of the Fountain City Classic,” said Norman Easterbrook, the RiverCenter’s executive director and CEO. Knight’s performance is part of the Synovus Center Stage Series.
“When we looked at the tour and that was one of the dates we thought this would be great, this would be a great way to welcome our visitors to our community and support that wonderful, festive dynamic that happens when that game is in town,” he said.
The Aug. 3 performance of RENT is part of a two-week-long tech period for the 10th Anniversary Tour. During that time, the RiverCenter will be home to cast, crew, directors and musicians for the new national tour as they rehearse and prepare the show.
Easterbook said the show will bring new revenue to the community and support economic development.
“It supports jobs, purchases hotel rooms, food and other services related to that and it’s a real wonderful kind of a new thing that we’re doing here,” he said.
RENT is part of the TSYS Broadway on Broadway Series that also includes new national tours of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “CATS” as well as shows new to RiverCenter: the Carole King musical “Beautiful,” “SpongeBob The Musical” and “Waitress”, a show currently on Broadway.
The new ArtsReach Series will also bring two free performances by military bands, Fort Benning’s annual Maneuver Center of Excellence Holiday Concert on Dec. 7 and a March 12 performance by the U.S. Navy Concert Band, Sea Chanters and Cruisers. The RiverCenter on the Road (ROTR) program, sponsored by WestRock, takes learning experiences into the schools and includes STEAM Museum, Tom Johnson’s Young Author’s Day and Ron Anglin’s F.I.G. Newton.
Easterbrook said the varied programming RiverCenter offers expands the audience’s horizons, welcomes a broader audience to the theater, gives people another way to relate to one another and another way to tell their stories.
“I often say it’s really wonderful and it’s great that we built this wonderful facility in Columbus but what happens inside the facility and the programming that originates from the facility has to support the community and the community’s development and the way that they interact with each other.”