VAN WERT – Get ready, because here it comes! The 2014-15 Season has been officially unveiled. The Niswonger Performing Arts Center, along with Season Sponsors Statewide Ford Lincoln and Van Wert Federal Bank, ?are bringing stars of yesterday, today and tomorrow to the stage?.? ?The 2014-15 season is hand selected to captivate audiences with ?u?nparalleled entertainment, education and inspiration.
?It all begins on Saturday, Oct. 4. From The Grand Ole Opry to Carnegie Hall, The Community Concert Series takes off with The Annie Moses Band. This musical ensemble known for their virtuosic strings and creative re-imaginings of American classics has a unique musical style that spans classical crossover, Americana, folk, and jazz influences.
Then, ?Peter Yarrow, of the iconic and much-loved folk group, “Peter, Paul, and Mary” takes center stage on October 9 as he shares stories and song in the very intimate setting of the Niswonger. Joined by his friends, “Mustard Retreat”, listen to music that cures what ails you and reminisce with "Puff The Magic Dragon". Peter will also share his message on "Anti-Bullying" with middle school students from the region during the day.
International flavor comes to the Niswonger on Oct. 13 with The Habaneros from Cuba. This unique quintet is comprised of virtuoso clarinetist, Alden Ortuño Cabezas and a string quartet of members from the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba. Rare images of their beautiful Cuban homeland will display throughout the lively performance. Travel the globe in the comfortable confines of the Niswonger.
?Make way for Broadway!Broadway's most revered songs are recreated like never before on Oct. 18 by the powerful vocal collaboration of inspirational quartet, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound paired with renowned Broadway sensation J. Mark McVey from “Les Miserables.” Featuring these great songs: “Climb Every Mountain”, “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat”, “Get Happy”, “Sunrise, Sunset”, “Bring Him Home”, “Blue Skies”, “I Got the Sun In Morning”, “Blow Gabriel Blow”, “Seasons of Love” and “Old Man River”. This new show will be an uplifting night for people of all ages and will literally bring the audience to their feet with unimaginable Broadway vocal quality. Broadway Hit after Broadway Hit will make this night a Niswonger experience like no other.
Guard your heart from being stolen on Nov. 1 by the incredibly cute and talented Olate Dogs. This “America’s Got Talent” winner has been touring the nation with their show featuring rescue dogs that can jump rope, ride scooters, balance on wheels, and even do back flips! Led by Richard Olate and his son Nicholas Olate, the Olate Dogs are a high-energy, fast-paced theatrical act filled with doggie friendly and amazing pet tricks.
Then, it will be a night of celebration, on Nov. 7, when Dallas Brass returns triumphantly to the Niswonger stage, joined by big band vocalist with Frank Sinatra flavor? Bryan Anthony, and a stage filled with high school musicians in a huge concert finale. Known for their entertaining concert selections ranging from classical to Broadway and jazz, Dallas Brass will help the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation honor a very special person on this memorable night?.?
The Niswonger proudly presents country’s music’s finest on Nov. 15: Josh Turner. This double-platinum-selling singer, songwriter and disciple of traditional country music, a mentor to up-and-coming artists, and one of the youngest members of the Grand Ole Opry has a voice as deep as his commitments. Josh's most recognizable hit-makers earned numerous CMA, ACM and GRAMMY nominations since the release of his debut album, “Long Black Train.” Having sold more than five million albums and garnered four No. 1 hits, "Your Man," "Would You Go With Me," and "Why Don't We Just Dance", Josh will explode onto stage with his signature voice and light up the season like a "Firecracker".
Christmas is a treasured time at the Niswonger as families throughout the region steal away from the hustle and bustle and relax together for memory making entertainment from the Niswonger stage of inspiration. The Christmas Season begins with the classic family favorite, “The Nutracker” performed by The Ballet Theatre of Toledo on Dec. 6. This lavish and spectacular ballet choreographed by Nigel Burgoine is legend and will keep you on the edge of your seat with some unexpected surprises from the original classic. Delight the family with a night of seasonal artistry filled with "Sugar Plum Fairies" and oh-so-sweet memories.
Get jazzy This Christmas. It's A Peter White Christmas on Dec. 9. Friend saxophonist Mindi Abair and smooth jazz trumpet player Rick Braun jam with Peter White to deliver an over-the-top Christmas show that will thrill all ages. Peter White, known as one of the most versatile and prolific acoustic guitarists on the contemporary jazz landscape combines lyricism and energy for a night fused with jazz, pop and classical guitar that is a Christmas dream come true. The overwhelming reviews of this Christmas show prove that JAZZ is for everyone.
Music icon and legendary storyteller, Kenny Rogers brings his soulful voice to the Niswonger audience this Christmas on Dec. 12. Kenny Rogers, known for sweetly raspy vocals and an extraordinary ability to vividly inhabit each song he performs, has sold more than 120 million records worldwide and recorded more than 65 albums during his storied 52 years in show business. His long list of timeless classics includes an impressive 24 #1 hits. For over five decades, the gifted singer, songwriter, musician, producer, actor, photographer and entertainer has delivered memorable songs, drawing fans from many different backgrounds. Cherish the season this Christmas with Kenny Rogers who will perform classic Kenny selections and Christmas favorites?.
The first ever holiday on ice show will captivate on Dec. 15. The Holiday Ice Spectacular is guaranteed cool family fun. This fast-paced variety show is as glamorous as it is hilarious! The Holiday Ice Spectacular delivers chills and thrills that only an ice show can. The show is a 'snow globe come to life', where there is a little something special for audience members of all ages. Give your holiday a special thrilling edge.
The Christmas season culminates in a soulful way with Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. on Dec. 19. This dynamic musical duo has enjoyed monumental success through the years as recording artists, performers and authors. Receiving seven Grammy Awards and earning 15 gold and three platinum records, Marilyn and Billy have also enjoyed starring roles on television and stage and have performed to sold-out crowds around the world. Combining the hits from their 40 years in the entertainment industry with harmonized Christmas classics that set hearts on the meaning of the season, Christmas is complete.
Polar obsessions take center stage on Jan. 25th when Paul Nicklen, National Geographic explorer, Canadian biologist and photographer brings his life expeditions to the stage. Paul has captured global attention with his daring explorations. Whether he is ice diving among leopard seals in Antarctica, covering hundreds of miles of terrain in -40F temperatures, or mastering aerial shots from his ultralight plane, Paul has specialized in photographing polar regions since 1995. He has worked for National Geographic for 15 years producing 15 features but is also shared in hundreds of other publications around the world. We warmly welcome to our world stage one of the most prestigious photojournalists of all times, Paul Nickl?e?n.
The world's first country music vocal band and Season 4 winners of NBC's “The Sing Off,” Home Free, arrives Jan. 31. This five-man a cappella sensation has wowed audiences around the nation and will bring their high-energy show peppered with quick-witted humor that meshes Nashville standards with pop hits dipped in country flavor.
Get Your Funny On Feb. 7 at the Niswonger. Actor and comedian Sinbad arrives with a "hit 'em in the face" style of comedy that has kept audiences laughing in the aisles for the past two decades. Family friendly and wicked-funny, the basis of Sinbad's humor comes from everyone he's met, everything he's seen and everything he's done. Ranked by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 standup comedians of all time, this night will keep you laughing for all the right reasons.
?Broadway's “Anything Goes” sails into the Niswonger on Feb. 15 with nightclub singer Reno Sweeney en route from New York to England. Her pal Billy Crocker has stowed away to be near his love, Hope Harcourt, but the problem is Hope is engaged to the wealthy Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. Joining this love triangle on board the luxury liner are Public Enemy #13, Moonface Martin and his sidekick-in-crime Erma. With the help of some elaborate disguises, tap-dancing sailors and good old-fashioned blackmail, Reno and Martin join forces to help Billy in his quest to win Hope’s heart. Bring the whole family out for some musical fun and comedy in this fast-paced, farcical show that goes overboard with rivoting Broadway vocals and dance.
"GO DADDY-O". Swing it with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on Feb. 21. This contemporary swing revival band from Southern California made famous with notable singles, "Go Daddy-O", "You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight", and "Mr. Pinstripe Suit" is known for their swinging styles of the '40s and '50s complete with Rat Pack lingo and zoot suits. Their unique creation of swing- and jazz-oriented sound appeals to a wide audience of listeners looking for that zing-filled edge of something different. We DARE you to stay in your seat when this Biggest Baddest band takes the stage.
Two of TV’s all-time biggest stars share an evening with the Niswonger audience on March 8. Barbara Eden of “I Dream of Jeannie” and Hal Linden of “Barney Miller” star in a modern American classic: Boy meets girl. Girl writes to boy. Girl and boy correspond throughout their lives. “Love Letters,” A.R. Gurney’s beloved play about two people who grow up in love with each other's writing, is as much a celebration of the power of the written word as it is to love itself. Poetic, elegant, funny and profoundly touching, “Love Letters” shows that, despite how things seem, what divides us is rarely as powerful as what connects us. Experience the personalities that kept us riveted to our TV screens and laughing through the years.
Bursting on the scene on M?arch? 21 is the wildly popular Christian recording artist Newsboys – hot off their “God’s Not Dead” project where the song "God's Not Dead" became a national sensation despite already being No. 1 radio hit on the Billboard AC Monitored chart two years ago prior. The “God’s Not Dead (Like A Lion)” soundtrack now be counted among an elite list of Christian tracks ever to secure such pop status. Newsboys have found an expanded audience thanks to the film’s massive exposure. But this Austrailian band is not new to music; they have released 16 studio albums, six of which have been certified gold. Newsboys keep the audience energized and the spirit moving with their rock energy and bold faith. Experience what "Roaring Like A Lion" means with the Newsboys.
What do you get when you cross a bodybuilder with a concert pianist? Leon Bates! This extraordinary world touring pianist is a favorite of audiences throughout the U.S. He found his love for music at the age of 6 and has continued his talent all the way to Carnegie Hall. He has soloed with orchestras, including the Philadelphia Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Join us as Leon Bates performs on our own Baldwin SD10 concert grand for this beautiful concert. Mr. Bates will also be conducting a master class for piano lovers and a seminar on the incredible contributions of African-American composers to American music.
Direct from its smash hit Broadway run and a triumphant 55-city North American tour, the multi award-winning musical “Memphis” will bring breathtaking Broadway to the Niswonger stage on March 28-29. In the underground nightclubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, the soul of a new era is dawning as the first incredible sounds of rock ‘n’ roll, blues and gospel are emerging into the mainstream. Falling in love with a beautiful club singer, one young man’s vision to bring her voice and her music out of the clubs and onto the airwaves of America will fly in the face of cultural divides and spark a music revolution that will shake the world. “Memphis” will leave audiences exhilarated by its explosive blend of electrifying music, soaring emotion and roof-raising energy.
Hey kids! Something furry this way comes on Sunday, April 12. The Berenstain Bears LIVE! in “Family Matters, the Musical” brings everyone's favorite bear family to life in a thrilling theatrical experience that kids as well as their parents will treasure for many years to come. As always, Bear Country is not without its complications: Brother Bear's grades are slipping, Sister Bear still has a few things to learn about making new friends, and Papa Bear just can't stop eating junk food. Thankfully, we can always depend on Mama Bear and her loving patience to help set things right. The newest Off-Broadway musical for mamas, papas, and young cubs in NYC, The Berenstain Bears LIVE! will give boys and girls of all ages the chance to fall in love with these characters, just as their parents did when they were growing up.
The StepCrew fills the stage with excitement and energy as they perform Irish Stepdancing, Ottawa Valley Stepdancing, and modern tap. These six dynamic performers excel in traditional forms of dance and create brand new, modern fusions of all three styles. As if dancing weren’t enough, The StepCrew boasts three world-class fiddlers backed up by an amazing five piece ensemble comprised of some of the most talented and respected musicians in the Celtic music scene today. Audiences rave that the StepCrew is a brilliant visual and musical display of the most talented dancers seen. It’s refreshing to see a performance of this style based on pure ability! This crew will be sure to get you out of your seat with their dazzling energy.
They're BACK! On April 19, travel back to 1979 with those Church Basement Ladies in the “Last Potluck Supper.” It is the day of the church’s centennial celebration, and past parishioners have gathered to share hot dish, bars, and stories from the last 100 years. As the women work in the kitchen, these shared memories burst into life through a series of flashbacks. And, once again, your favorite church basement ladies dis it all up with grace, hilarity, and some brand new musical numbers that are sure to get your toes tapping. Don't miss this final performance from the Ladies who have come to feel a bit like family.
They sing for "all the people". The 2014-15 season would not be complete without the iconic music of The Temptations on April 25. As members of the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and listed as one of the top 50 bands of all time in Rolling Stone Magazine, The Temptations have four Grammy Awards, 18 No. 1 Billboard singles, 23 top 10 singles and 10 top 10 albums. With great songs, and a 15-piece band, the live stage show is an experience that continues to wow audiences around the world. The Temptations constantly enlist new fans as they continue to deliver their Motown vocal sound that made them famous. “Get ready, cause here they come”.
Inspiring, diverse and filled with musical artistry, the 2014-15 season will be an entertaining journey from beginning. Join us every step of the way, select a bundle of events or find your favorite among the 27. We understand the difficulty in choosing just one. We offer buying solutions that help you get more of the entertainment you want and SAVE.
Season tickets go on sale as early as June 19. Members are first to select their event tickets and reserved seats.
The Grand Series?, including all shows at a 20% discount,? goes on sale July 1-3?.?
?The Select Series (bundling three or more events and saving 10-15%) goes on sale July 8.
Individual events go on sale approximately 90 days prior to the event date.
New this year is a FRIEND Membership that has access to individual event tickets one week prior to release date.
Please contact the Niswonger Box Office at 419-238-6722 or visit NPACVW.ORG to find out more about membership and ticket sales and savings opportunities.