timberland boots junior among Phillips Center acts
Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Joshua Bell with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and former Doobie Brother Michael McDonald will fill the upcoming University of Florida Performing Arts Season with renowned sounds while Broadway musicals such as Chorus Line and will add visual splash as well.
The 2017 2018 season, which will kick off with the a cappella quartet Sweet Honey in the Rock on Sept. 14, also will feature such disparate performances as a blues pairing of Taj Mahal and Keb Mo (Sept. 27), the ukulele dynamo Jake Shimabukuro (Feb. 9, 2018), the dance powerhouse Pilobulus performing “Shadowland” (Feb. 23) and a host of additional classical music and dance performances ranging from the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra with cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan to the Martha Graham Dance Company.
The lineup of 45 plus performances at the Phillips Center and the University Auditorium, announced Wednesday night by UF Performing Arts Director Brian Jose, also will include Boots, which won the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical, the Ukrainian folk music ensemble Dakhabrakha and Tango Fire, the Argentine troupe known for its fiery style of dance movement.
The return appearance by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Marsalis will be for a holiday show on Dec. 6, while the return appearance by Bell, another longtime favorite of local audiences, will be his first in Gainesville with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the London based chamber ensemble he has led since 2011.
McDonald, who along with the Doobie Brothers is also known for his solo career and his studio work with Steely Dan, will make his first performance for UF Performing Arts on Feb. 20.
Jose, in his second year at UFPA, said the upcoming season also will offer a range of performances that, while they may not have the star power of some of the season better known acts, should nonetheless leave audiences charged and dazzled.
think we have the big names and the big shows, so we pushing the envelope in some areas and letting audiences try something different, Jose said.
season was our 25th anniversary, and much of that season paid homage to the artists that had been here over 25 years, he said. I like to do with this season is highlight some artists that I think we need to see here in Gainesville; artists that are bringing new and interesting art forms, with new and interesting takes. audience members peruse the 2017 2018 lineup, they will find of names you know but I think there are some performances that I like people to take a chance on, he said.
Those include comedian Adam Strauss one man show Mushroom Cure, in which the storyteller and OCD sufferer recounts his true encounters with clandestine chemists, an exploration he was inspired to undertake after reading a scientific study that suggested hallucinogenic mushrooms might relieve the symptoms of OCD sufferers like himself.
is to me what I think we can do with performing arts; we connecting with the arts and medicine program, Jose said. many people out there either have or know somebody who is dealing with OCD or OCD issues, where this is a platform to talk about it. It not telling you one way or another; it opening the door for a conversation, with some humor. also points to such theatrical productions as “The Other Mozart,” which will come to the Phillips Center on Oct. 23 24.
“It a one person play about Mozart sister, Nannerl, who was arguably a better musician,” Jose said. “She was older and she toured with the hierarchy. premiere with an Oct. top contemporary choreographers on Nov. 5; and 600 Highwaymen: Fever, a show Jose saw in New York that he said must be seen to be believed and appreciated.
don want to give too much away, he said about the production, which will be offered over five days in the Phillips Center smaller Squitieri Studio Theatre from Feb. 6 10. just say that it immersive and you part of the performance. I thought it was powerful, but it also timely. back on his first season with UF Performing Arts, Jose said last season handful of cabaret style performances in which the audience sat on the Phillips Center stage with the performers was such a hit that he has doubled the opportunities for audience members to attend an upcoming one.
Now called at the Phillips Center, each of this season four such performances will feature jazz artists like the Benny Green Trio (Sept.
Audience members will sit at tables so close to the performers that Jose said the evening would have listeners feel like they were almost sitting in a performer living room.
the artist, that changes the environment, Jose said. I find that artists, especially those that are used to playing the Vanguard or Birdland, they used to that and they feed off that intimacy, and I find that they share more, naturally. preview of the new season, which featured video clips shown to 300 plus attendees Wednesday night at the Phillips Center, had many planning their schedules immediately afterward for which artists they wanted to see.
Steve and Carol Shey, longtime donors of UF Performing Arts, were among them. “It’s certainly eclectic,” Steve Shey said about the season. “That’s the word.”
Carol Shey quickly offered two words about who she wanted to see: “Joshua Bell.” Steve Shey added that the couple will likely take in about 15 to 18 performances in the season.
While a number of donors and sponsors were in the audience, Wednesday’s event also marked the first time that such season announcements have been open to the public. ticket buyers attending such a preview at the Phillips Center for the first time included Halima Sultana, a native of Bangladesh who was there with her daughters, Temima Nuzhat, 12, and Irma Rahman, 8.
Temima said she was already looking forward to seeing the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Cinderella” on April 5.
really want to see Temima said, “because I never seen that kind of theater before; I only seen the movie.”
Gainesville native Chris Takashima, who attended Wednesday’s announcement with her husband, Russell Takashima, said the couple moved back to Gainesville from Orlando three weeks ago. Both said they were taken with the variety of musical acts on the season.
“There were a couple of things that I didn think I would be interested in, and I was very interested in,” said Chris Takashima, pointing to Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo, who will appear in an Upstage performance on March 30 with saxophonist Ken Peplowski.
She also liked the sound of another Upstage performer, jazz vocalist Alicia Olatuja, who will appear Nov. 17. “I would have blown right past that,” she said, had it not been for hearing the sound of the singer’s voice, she said.