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On Sept. 8, the Kent State University at Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center 2018-19 season launches with 80’s rock tribute group BOSTYX, the first of 25 diverse and high quality performances. The season will also feature Broadway shows, comedians, family shows and additional concerts.
“This season is highlighted by our Broadway Series,” said Dr. Brad Bielski, dean and chief administrative officer of Kent State Tuscarawas. “With all of our Broadway shows, we’re able to get the same national tours that are going to cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Detroit. This season, we’re fortunate to have the smash-hit Jersey Boys for two performances in October as well as the family favorite ELF the Musical, the 20th Anniversary Tour of RENT and the classic The King & I.”
Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons in the Tony Award®-winning true-life musical phenomenon, JERSEY BOYS. From the streets of New Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this is the musical that’s just too good to be true. Featuring the legendary Top Ten Hits: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and “December, 1963 (Oh What A Night).” JERSEY BOYS contains “authentic, profane Jersey Language”.
Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF the Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Upon reaching adulthood, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.
In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece is a timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love. RENT contains mature content.
One of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s finest works, THE KING AND I is a “breathtaking and exquisite” musical, based on the 2015 Tony Award®-winning Lincoln Center Theater production. Set in 1860’s Bangkok, the musical boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting To Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance” and “Something Wonderful.”
Headlining the diverse Music Series are Grammy winners Michael W. Smith and Diamond Rio as well as country star Lorrie Morgan and direct from Ireland, We Banjo 3, originators of Celtgrass music. Also on the season is ARRIVAL from Sweden, considered by many as the best ABBA show in the world.
“One of the best parts of my job is connecting national touring artists with local students,’ said David Mitchell, PAC general manager. “This season we’ve been able to coordinate with three different artists to spend extra time in the area and have a real impact. Backtrack is an a cappella group who has appeared on the Steve Harvey Show and has numerous viral videos online. Composer and piano player Jason Farnham will visit local elementary schools in February and the insanely talented Collision of Rhythm will offer a workshop for area high school percussionists.”
Several comedians will also be part of the season. “The entertainment business is an interesting thing,” explained Mitchell. “You never know when an artist is going to explode in the public consciousness. One such artist is comedian and online sensation Heather Land. Within the past eight months, she’s garnered over 2.5 million Facebook followers and her online videos have received over 300 million views. She’s selling out 2,500 seat venues all over the country this summer and we’ve been lucky to get on her fall tour schedule.”
Another comedy offering this year is a combined show with blue-collar comedians Jon Reep & Etta May. Jon is known to millions as the “Hemi guy” and Etta May is often described as “Minnie Pearl with a migraine.”
Family shows that are part of the PAC season include Christmas Wonderland, PBS Kids favorite PEG + CAT LIVE!, and the theatrical thrill-ride Cirque Éloize Saloon: A Musical Acrobatic Adventure.
“I’m thrilled to continue our Come Hear Series for another year,” said Mitchell. “Designed to introduce our audiences to new artists they otherwise might not get a chance to experience, we received great feedback from everyone who came to a show last season.” Artists scheduled for the Come Hear Series include The Vindys, The Suitcase Junket and Adelee & Gentry. Mitchell added, “I’m excited to announce that WJER has come on board as a sponsor of this series. They’ll add these artists into their on-air rotation so people can get a taste of the great music these artists create.”
The popular Cabaret Series also returns and features performances by Moustache Yourself, Blue Drivers, Hey Mavis and the Michael Shirtz Quartet. The cabaret tickets are $49 and include dinner.
“For the fourth year, Michael Taylor Insurance & Financial, Inc., will sponsor the upcoming season,” added Bielski. “We are also grateful for the Tuscarawas County Community Foundation increasing their sponsorship level this season joining Alonovus and becoming Platinum Sponsors. For the fourth consecutive year AquaBlue Inc. will be sponsoring our Cabaret Series and House of Stones continues as a Gold Sponsor for the third year. These partnerships enable us to keep our PAC ticket prices affordable and accessible to those who want to attend our shows.”
A complete list of performances and ticket prices are online at www.kent.edu/tusc/pac. PAC members will be able to purchase tickets to the 2018-19 season from May 18 to June 3. Pre-sale packages, six shows or more, can be purchased June 4 - 10. Single show ticket sales begin June 11. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Performing Arts Center box office, by calling 330-308-6400 or online at www.kent.edu/tusc/pac. The box office is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Free and convenient parking is available for all shows. The Performing Arts Center at Kent State Tuscarawas is located at 330 University Dr. NE, in New Philadelphia.