UB Center for the Arts Announces Programs for the 2000-01 Season

By Kelli Bocock-Natale

Release Date: September 14, 2000

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The Center for the Arts 2000-01 season will feature entertainment for audiences of all ages, including a performance by Sharon, Bram & Friends.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Center for the Arts has announced its 2000-01 season, which includes a broad spectrum of programs ranging from cutting-edge dance companies and distinguished speakers, to compelling theater, family entertainment and unique musical concerts.

The KeyBank Dance Series will feature three dance performances, including Ailey II! at 8 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Mainstage Theatre. This professional dance company, which performed to a sold-out house at UB last season, merges the spirit and energy of the country's best young talent with the passion and vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers.

The series will continue with Margie Gillis, whose riveting solo concerts have been applauded by audiences and praised by critics around the world. She will bring her one-of-a-kind dancing to UB at 8 p.m. Feb. 23 in the Mainstage.

Known for their raw physicality, Doug Varone and Dancers will perform at 8 p.m. April 7 in the Mainstage. The group has emerged as a powerful force and one of the most exciting dance companies in the country, with music that ranges from rock to classical, and movements from poignant tension to playfulness and sheer fun. The company also will be in residence at UB during April, and the Center for the Arts will offer a series of outreach activities to area schools and community centers. For more information on resident activities, call 645-6921.

This will be the third season that KeyBank has sponsored the dance series in partnership with the Center for the Arts. Exclusive discount coupons are available one month prior to each performance at all Western New York KeyBank locations.

The season also will include a special dance performance by the American Ballet Theatre Studio Company at 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 in the Mainstage. This classical dance company will feature 13 young and potentially outstanding dancers performing works by new and established choreographers. This performance is made possible by New York State Assemblyman Paul A. Tokasz, chair of the Tourism, Arts and Sports Development Committee, and Sheldon Silver, New York State Assembly speaker.

Parents and children will have the opportunity to journey into their imaginations with CFA's Family Adventure Series, a program that offers affordable and age-appropriate productions with child-friendly curtain times. This series is sponsored by Target.

The whole family is invited to sing along with Sharon, Bram & Friends at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Mainstage. Entertaining children and families since 1978, Sharon and Bram create quality, award-winning music for children and have recorded 15 gold and platinum albums. Their signature family sing-along show has played to capacity crowds in major concert halls and summer festival in Canada and the United States. In addition to concerts, millions have enjoyed their television series, which TV Guide rated as No. 2 of the top-10-quality programs for children. This performance is recommended for children ages 9 and under.

Also back by popular demand will be the Jack Frost Holiday Revue at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Dec. 9 in the Mainstage. The performance will include the world-renown POKO Puppets in a holiday musical extravaganza that will feature the black-light, space-age adventures of "Little Red Rocket Hood" and a rollicking country-western "Three Little Pigs," as well as a sing-along with Jack and a cuddly Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a larger than life "Frosty the Snowman" and the full company in "March of the Toy Soldiers." This show is recommended for children ages 10 and under.

Anne of Green Gables, a musical based on Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic novel, will be performed at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. March 4 in the Mainstage. It is the story of Anne Shirley, a young orphaned girl with tremendous spirit and an even greater imagination who is sent to Prince Edward Island to live with the Cuthberts—Mathew and his sister, Marilla—who had requested a boy to help them with their chores around the farm. Anne strives to gain the love and trust of the Cuthberts by proving her worth and making Avonlea her home. This performance is recommended for ages 8-13.

Families and students are invited to join Little Red Riding Hood, Grandma and the Wolf at 10:30 a.m. March 29 and 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. March 30 in the Mainstage for a rollicking, frolicking, fun-filled hour of action, laughter and bright music. The performance of "Little Red Riding Hood" will be presented with eye-catching sets and costumes, polished professional performers, a witty script and hummable music. There's even a happy ending for the wolf! Recommended for ages 9 and under.

The School-Time Adventure Series offers Western New York teachers and their students the opportunity to see a wide variety of theater, music and dance at affordable prices, with all seats only $5. This series is sponsored by Target.

In addition to the 10:30 a.m. performances of "Little Red Riding Hood," the School-Time Adventure Series will include:

• Sharon, Bram & Friends will entertain children and teachers with their musical concerts at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 9 and 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. Nov. 10 in the Mainstage. Recommended for grades PreK-4.

• The Kennedy Center will present "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Dec. 7 in the Mainstage. From the moment he wakes up with gum in his hair, things just do not go Alexander's way! Recommended for grades K-4.

• A brand new musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk," featuring song and dance, good humor, wholesome values and a magical beanstalk that grows before your eyes, will be performed at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 7 in the Mainstage. This performance is recommended for grades PreK-3.

• "Come Back, Amelia Bedelia" will be performed at 10:30 a.m. March 5 and 6 in the Mainstage. The Omaha Theatre Company has adapted this favorite written by Peggy Parish about a charming—but extremely literal-minded—maid who has been making children laugh for more than 35 years. Recommended for grades K-4.

CFA also will host a number of special events throughout the season.

Metropolitan Entertainment Group will present Alison Krauss & Union Station at 8 p.m. Oct. 6 in the Mainstage. At the age of 16, Krauss released her debut recording as a bluegrass fiddle player. By age 18, she earned her first Grammy nomination, and a year later won her first of 10 Grammies. However, it was her beautiful singing voice that led to her commercial breakthrough in 1995 when she released "Now That I've Found You: A Collection," which went double platinum.

Balé Folclórico da Bahia will perform "Carnival 2000" at 8 p.m. on Oct. 24 in the Mainstage. The only professional folk dance company in Brazil, the company's many national and international tours have earned it a prestigious reputation around the world. The 32-member troupe of dancers, musicians, and singers performs a repertory based on "Bahian" folkloric dances of African origin and includes copoeira (a form of martial arts), samba and those that celebrate Carnival.

Jazz guitarist Charlie Hunter returns to the UB at 8 p.m. on Oct. 13 in the Mainstage. Combining elements of jazz, rock and blues, Hunter plays a unique eight-string guitar that allows him to cover deep rich bass lines simultaneously with chordal accompaniment and single-note melody lines.

Solo piano player Jim Brickman will perform at 8 p.m. on Nov. 5 in the Mainstage. Considered one of the most remarkable success stories of the 1990s, he is a staple of adult-contemporary, pop, country and smooth jazz radio and his live performances are noted for their eloquence and expressiveness. Co-presented by UB Department of Athletics.

Béla Fleck and the Flecktones will return to UB at 8 p.m. on March 13 in the Mainstage for an unprecedented third year. Appealing to fans of pop, funk, jazz, rock, folk, classical and bluegrass, this unique and talented group is noted for its incredible live performances. The performance is made possible by The Bernice Poss Memorial Fund.

The Distinguished Speakers Series will feature former U.S. Senator and astronaut John Glenn, 8 p.m. Oct. 11, Alumni Arena; Mary Higgins Clark, best-selling author of 13 suspense novels, 8 p.m. Nov. 16, Mainstage, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin, April 26.

The Off Center Series, which offers unique, versatile and progressive entertainment, will feature MacHomer at 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Nov. 3 in the Center for the Arts Atrium. Best described as "The Simpsons do MacBeth" and written and performed by Rick Miller, this one-man vocal spectacular features more than 50 voices from TV's favorite dysfunctional family in a hilarious performance of Shakespeare's bloodiest tragedy. More than 300 hand-painted slides and an original musical score, both by Miller, accompany the show, which stars Homer Simpson as MacHomer and Marge as Lady MacHomer.

Seen & Heard (Cello Movement Theatre) will perform at 8 p.m. on Nov. 4 in the Black Box Theatre. Described as "Lily Tomlin meets Victor Borge," Seen & Heard is the genre-bending collaboration between cellist/composer Stephen Katz and dancer/truthsayer BJ Goodwin. They merge choreography, dramatic characterization and multi-tracked cello scores into theater that borders on clowning.

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present dynamic and innovative performances by talented young actors, dancers and choreographers throughout the 2000-01 season.

Performances will include Zodiaque Fall Dance Concert, Oct. 12-15 and 19-22, Drama Theatre; Friedrich Duerrenmatt's "The Visit," Nov. 9-12 and 16-19, Drama Theatre; "Assassins" by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, Nov. 15-19, Black Box Theatre; StudioWerks Dance Ensemble, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, Black Box Theatre; Zodiaque Spring Dance Concert, Feb. 15-18 and 22-25, Drama Theatre; "Nine book" by Arthur Kopit and music/lyrics by Maury Yeston, Mar. 29-Apr. 1 and 5-8, Drama Theatre; "America Hurrah" by Jean-Claude Van Itallie, April 4-8, Black Box Theatre, and Young Choreographers Showcase, April 27-29, Black Box Theatre.

Tickets are on sale and prices vary for each show and/or series. Student discounts and group rates are available. Tickets are available at the Center's Box Office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and at all Ticketmaster outlets. To charge, call 852-5000; for information, call 645-ARTS; for group information, call 645-6771. Information also is available on the Center for the Arts Web site: http://www.arts.buffalo.edu.