Millikin University's Kirkland Fine Arts Center is pleased to announce its 2015-2016 Performing Arts Series. For over 40 years, Kirkland Fine Arts Center has been the place to be for live performing arts for Decatur and the surrounding area. The tradition continues this coming season with a diverse lineup that is not only family-friendly, but fun for all.
"I am very excited about the upcoming season," said Kirkland Fine Arts Center's Director Jan Traughber. "This season has very unique events that should appeal to not only our established patron base but hopefully attract new patrons as well."
Traughber added, "Working up to the 50th anniversary, the goal is to present some of the community's past favorite events during each of the upcoming seasons. Guests can share their favorite memories through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Facebook, or tweet us @kirklandFAC. Enjoy the magic of the arts at Kirkland and help celebrate the Center's wonderful heritage."
Early-order ticket options are available to all the events. If you purchase tickets for three to five separate events of your choice you receive 10 percent off your order. Purchase any six events or more and receive 15 percent off. Single tickets will go on sale to the public beginning Aug. 24 for all 2015 events. Single tickets for all 2016 events will go on sale to the public beginning Dec. 14.
For further information on purchasing tickets, contact the Kirkland Ticket Office at 217.424.6318 or visit kirklandfinearts.com
. The following is the lineup of events for the 2015-2016 season.
Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25-$40, School Age $5
Does anyone really know what time it is?
Brass Transit – Toronto's dynamic, crowd-pleasing, studio-tight Chicago tribute. The band's show includes all the hits from Chicago's golden age, 1969-1976. With world-class horns, a rocking rhythm section and vocals stacked sky high; Brass Transit transports the audience back to the freewheeling days of the 70s. The members' credits include platinum records, Emmy and Juno awards, and performances with Hall-of-Fame rock and soul acts including: The Drifters, Sam & Dave, Aretha Franklin, Ben E. King, The Marvelettes, Frankie Valli, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Del Shannon and the Mamas & The Papas. With its international audience now numbering in the tens of thousands, Brass Transit has established itself as the world's foremost Chicago experience.
Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 (Homecoming) at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $15-$20, School Age $5
Imagine the smooth soul of Stevie Wonder, the percussive power of Stomp, the funk and drive of Earth, Wind, & Fire, the hip licks of Take 6, and the brass bite of the Harry Connick Jr. Big Band, all created by the human voice alone.
Hailed "one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world" by the San Francisco Chronicle, m-pact is respected worldwide as a cutting edge trailblazer in the realm of vocal music. Emerging from an age of auto-tune and overproduction, this Los Angeles-based sextet has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the fresh, raw power of nature's "first instrument" - the human voice.
Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed with pop superstars Sheryl Crow, Boyz II Men, Kenny G, Liza Minnelli, Babyface, Rick Springfield and Jackson Browne to name a few, as well as with jazz legends from Ray Charles, Natalie Cole, Bobby McFerrin, Take 6, and the New York Voices to the Woody Herman Orchestra and the Maynard Ferguson Big Band. Over the last dozen years, their signature sound has been used in both TV themes and animated Disney feature films, and is enjoyed on syndicated radio worldwide.
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $20, School Age $5
Ian Hobson is a musician of tremendous versatility who has earned an international reputation as a pianist, conductor and educator. Hobson's programs consistently demonstrate a repertoire that spans the centuries and demands an extraordinary command of styles and scholarly vision, in addition to great keyboard prowess.
An Afternoon with Groucho
Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015 at 2 p.m.
Tickets: $15-$30, School Age $5
Award-winning actor/director/playwright Frank Ferrante recreates his PBS, New York and London acclaimed portrayal of legendary comedian Groucho Marx in this fast paced 90 minutes of hilarity. The two-act comedy consists of the best Groucho one-liners, anecdotes and songs including "Hooray for Captain Spalding," and "Lydia, the Tattooed Lady." The audience literally becomes part of the show as Ferrante ad-libs his way throughout the performance in grand Groucho style. Accompanied by his onstage pianist, Ferrante portrays the young Groucho of stage and film and reacquaints the audience with the likes of brothers Harpo, Chico, Zeppo and Gummo, Charlie Chaplin, W.C. Fields, Marx foil, Margaret Dumont and MGM's Louis B. Mayer.
Saturday Dec. 12, 2015, at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15-$25, School Age $5
They're back playing a jazzy holiday fusion. The Millikin University Faculty Jazz Sextet returns once again to get you in the Holiday spirit with their jazzy swing on Holiday classics. Upbeat and soothing favorites are sure to make everyone in the family tap their toes and sing along. Celebrate the sounds of the season during our 8th Annual Holiday concert with Millikin University's own School of Music faculty: Dave Burdick, Brian Justison, Chris Nolte, Perry Rask and Steve Widenhofer. The sextet will be joined on stage by guest vocalist and Millikin University alumni Angel Spiccia Slykas '03.
Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $15-$30, School Age $5
Like a tap-dance without shoes or a band without instruments stepping is a rising art form and an important part of America's artistic and cultural heritage. In stepping, the body is used as an instrument to create intricate rhythms and sounds through a combination of footsteps, claps and the spoken word.
The stepping tradition in the United States grew out of song and dance rituals practiced by historically African-American fraternities and sororities, beginning in the early 1900s. In addition to step shows and competitions on college campuses, today stepping can also be found in schools, churches and community organizations around the country. The form is also spreading its wings to new venues and participants, such as Latino and Asian-American Greek-letter organizations.
Step Afrika!, as the first professional dance company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, is evolving the dance form to include other styles, such as tap, modern and hip hop, and introducing stepping to new audiences around the world.
Celtic Nights-Spirit of Freedom
Friday, Feb. 19, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25-$45, School Age $5
Direct from Ireland, Spirit of Freedom tells the story of Irish independence, beginning
100 years ago with the Easter Rising. Akin to America's 4th of July, the Easter Rising of 1916 created the Ireland we know and love today. Through music, song, dance and storytelling, Celtic Nights honors the struggle of people fighting to gain freedom, independence and true democracy through music, song, dance and storytelling with pride and passion.
The cast of three male vocalists and three female singers, six of Ireland's most talented and coveted international dancers and musicians will leave the theatre ringing with the sounds of Celtic Music old and new. Songs will be sung, dances will be danced, and music will be played. Celtic Nights will capture the essence of great people from a small Island and their journey of hope and desire.
Saturday, March 12, 2016 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25-$45, School Age $5
Don't miss the Minnesota Ballet as they bring to life this favorite fairy tale, set in the lush world of Renaissance Tuscany. Cinderella's life is difficult enough with all the work she is expected to do, and her step mother means very well, but, oh, those step sisters. They have all the gawkiness and evil tricks, but Cinderella has all the grace and sweetness. The step sisters flirt with the dancing master as they try to polish up their dance steps. At the ball they try to flirt with the Prince. All seems lost for Cinderella's chance to go to the ball until the Three Graces arrive to magically produce a gown fit for a future princess and a perfect little coach fit to take her to the ball. It isn't long before the Prince has eyes only for the new arrival, he then will search the kingdom over to find the beautiful maiden who left the ball so mysteriously.
Choreographer Allen Fields has created an appealing version of the Cinderella ballet, pared down to its essentials, the story sparkling with elegant dance and livened by the evil antics of the step sisters. Cinderella is performed by the Minnesota Ballet Company, all professional dancers, but the non-dancing roles of King and Queen are filled by local community celebrities.
Dan Aykroyd, Judith Belushi and Music Director Paul Shaffer present "The Official Blue Brothers™ Revue"
Friday, April 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $20-$35, School Age $5
The Official Blues Brothers™ Revue duo is sanctioned by Dan Aykroyd and Judith Belushi to don the official hat and sunglasses and walk in the legendary footsteps of Jake and Elwood Blues. Discovered in Las Vegas, performers Wayne Catania and Kieron Lafferty capture the infectious humor and unbridled spirit of the Blues Brothers like no one since John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd walked the stage. Backed by a powerhouse band, they'll give you a show to remember, packed with classic hits from the Blues Brothers catalog, including "Soul Man," "Rubber Biscuit," "Sweet Home Chicago," and more.
Rhythmic Circus-Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!
Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $25-$40, School Age $5
Rhythmic Circus has quickly risen from an underground percussive-dance phenomenon to an innovative live performance company known for transforming their tap shoes into instruments of rhythm.
Home grown hoofers from Minneapolis hit the road with a trunk full of tap shoes, funky costumes and a big brass band, ready to burst onto the stage with Feet Don't Fail Me Now! "Heatbox" the human beatbox, joins the swinging' seven-piece funk band to accompany each tap, shuffle, and stomp with a clang, riff and refrain. It's easy to see why this troupe was a 2012 winner of the Edinburgh Festival "Spirit of the Fringe" Award. In this joyous parade of genre-hopping music and hard-hitting percussive dance, you'll be jumping out of your seat and dancing to the beat.
Kirkland Fine Arts Center
Millikin University believes that the arts are essential to the enrichment of society and a fundamental part of the educational process. Millikin's founder, James Millikin, declared that men and women should have both a classical and practical education to meet the demands of a changing society. The Kirkland Performing Arts Series supports this mission by encouraging both students and the community to participate in its programs and understand its multicultural heritage through performing arts events.
For 45 years Kirkland has been the place to be for the arts in the Decatur community and the surrounding area. Kirkland Fine Arts Center has presented amazing talent, hilarious comedy, and fascinating speakers. Some of the artists have included Pete Fountain, Duke Ellington, Patti Page, Ray Charles, Olivia Newton John and Bob Newhart. Touring companies have included RENT, CATS, Showboat, Master Class with Maria Callas, and Cirque Eloize. Speeches by distinguished guests like White House correspondent Helen Thomas, Leonard Nimoy and Colin L. Powell have been presented.
For more information on Kirkland Fine Arts Center, please visit kirklandfinearts.com
. Events at Kirkland Fine Arts Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Midwest Arts Council.