The Norton Center for the Arts is proud to welcome audiences to a new season of incredible performing arts at Centre College. With the belief that the arts have a powerful ability to galvanize and transform a community, the Norton Center is committed to serving as a catalyst that energizes the city and the region, offering opportunities for dialogue, discovery and delight with its lineup of 2016-17 performances.
Again this year, the Center will offer one subscription series, with audiences able to choose from performances at both Newlin Hall and the Weisiger Theatre that fit their schedule and interests, as well as receive higher discounts for the more shows they select.
“The Norton Center continues its 40-plus-year tradition of presenting the greatest artists, past and present,” said Norton Center Executive Director Steve Hoffman. “Our patrons have come to expect exceptional theatre, exquisite dance and eclectic music performances all within the intimacy of our two venues. This year is no exception as we invite you to experience a carefully selected season of truly amazing talent, all conveniently made available in central Kentucky.”
Howie Mandel and Nick Cannon • Sept. 24, Newlin Hall
The season will kick off when America’s Got Talent judge and host, Howie Mandel and Nick Cannon, team up to bring the comedy show of a lifetime during Centre’s Family Weekend. Mandel has been an unstoppable force since entering show business over thirty years ago, appearing in movies such as Gremlins, St. Elsewhere and Take it All. Cannon, best known for his role in the TV series All That and leading role in the 2002 movie Drumline, is not only a successful comedian but a writer, producer, director and author. Sponsored by Community Trust Bank, presented in partnership with the Centre College Student Activities Council.
The Complete History of America (abridged): Election Edition • Oct. 1, Newlin Hall
In homage to election season, the Norton Center will next present the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s slapstick sketch comedy performance The Complete History of America (abridged): Election Edition, a ninety-minute roller coaster ride through the glorious quagmire that is American history, with “guest appearances” by past presidents, presidential frontrunners and maybe the President himself.
Aoife O’Donovan & Willie Watson • Oct. 13, Weisiger Theatre
The Weisiger Theatre performance schedule begins with an Americana double bill of singer/songwriters Aoife O’Donovan and Willie Watson. Aoife has collaborated with mega-stars such as Chris Thile, Alison Krauss and Yo-Yo Ma and her performance will feature works from her latest album. Willie, an original member and founder of the band Old Crow Medicine Show, combines subtle banjo and guitar accompaniments with soaring vocals not to be missed. Sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda.
The Manhattan Transfer & Take 6 • Oct. 21, Newlin Hall
For Homecoming Weekend, the Norton Center will welcome back The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 in a combined performance that highlights each group’s tremendous breadth. The Manhattan Transfer’s original members Janis Siegel, Alan Paul and Cheryl Bentyne, with newcomer Trist Curless, will honor founding member Tim Hauser as they perform iconic material from their remarkable career and share some new creations in this collaboration. Take 6’s crystal-clear harmony, innovative arrangements and funky grooves demonstrate why this sextet is recognized as the pre-eminent a cappella group in the world. Sponsored by Farmers National Bank.
Sound the Trumpets! • Nov. 18, Weisiger Theatre
Danville, Ky., resident and trumpet superstar Vince DiMartino will take the Weisiger stage in November with fellow trumpet master John Foster of Australia in a light-hearted romp through the history of one of the most vibrant and recognizable instruments. The program will feature a variety of instruments, all belonging to the trumpet family, such as the conch shell, shofar, digeridoo and English slide trumpet and music styles including music of the Civil War, New Orleans jazz, pops and classical. Sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda.
A Rockin’ Christmas with Brenda Lee • Dec. 3, Newlin Hall
Join Lee and her band as she makes her Norton Center debut this holiday season in a concert filled with beloved classics and Christmas favorites that’ll get your spirits rockin’! A legendary and award-winning vocalist, Lee is beloved around the world for a litany of classic hits like “I’m Sorry” (which has sold over 20 million copies) and “Break It To Me Gently,” while her perennial holiday classic, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” wins new fans every year and even reached #1 on the Billboard Christmas charts in 2015—a remarkable 55 years after its initial release in 1960. Sponsored by Ephraim McDowell Health.
René Marie • Jan. 14, Weisiger Theatre
Jazz lovers will appreciate the vocal vibrancy and self-possessed boldness of René Marie in Weisiger Theatre in January 2017. Guided and tempered by powerful life lessons and rooted in jazz traditions laid down by Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and other leading ladies of past generations, René and her live band, Experiment in Truth, borrow elements from folk, R&B and even classical and country music to create a captivating hybrid style. Sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda.
ERTH’s Dinosaur Zoo Live • Jan. 20, Newlin Hall
Families of all ages should get ready for the ultimate playdate–65 million years in the making–as ERTH’s Dinosaur Zoo Live offers a breathtaking tour though a pre-historic time. Audiences can observe, meet and interact with an eye-popping collection of amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other creatures presented in a theatrical performance that will thrill and entertain while stimulating imaginations in ways forever connecting us to their world. Sponsored by Sodexo.
Alonzo King LINES Ballet • Jan. 25, Newlin Hall
Dance fans will enjoy the highly acclaimed Alonzo King LINES Ballet, known for its collaborations and pairings of music from all over the globe. With breathtaking movement, beautifully executed by King’s extraordinary dancers, King’s visionary choreography is renowned for connecting devoted audiences to a profound sense of shared humanity. Sponsored by DecoArt, Southern Company and Milton & Sandy Reigelman, with additional support from South Arts, the Kentucky Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Association • Jan. 28, Newlin Hall
“Who’s peeking out from under a stairway?” Relive the swingin’ ’60s with 2016 America’s Pop Music Hall of Fame inductee, The Association. With #1 hits including, “Never My Love,” “Cherish” and “Windy,” they have sold 80 Million records, tapes, CDs and DVDs, earning six gold and three platinum discs, along with seven Grammy® Award Nominations.
Into the Woods • Feb. 9, Newlin Hall
Broadway fans, be sure to mind the wolf, heed the witch and honor the giant in the sky during this extraordinary musical about the power of wishes and what really happens after they come true. Into the Woods, a Tony® Award-winning musical classic by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, is a witty and wildly theatrical reinvention. Including dazzling songs like “Children Will Listen” and “No One Is Alone,” this thrillingly clever new version made Ben Brantley of The New York Times fall “head over heels.” Sponsored by Bob Allen Motor Mall and Macy’s.
Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen • Feb. 18, Newlin Hall
Legendary stage and screen actor Ben Vereen returns to the Norton Center in February for an inspiring and enlightening evening of versatility and creativity. A Tony® and Drama Desk Award Winner for his role in Pippin, this performance will offer a unique blend of artistry, combining a tribute to Broadway, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. Vereen brings together excerpts and memories from his long history in show business, portrayed through song and dance, stories of his life and a great deal of humor. In partnership with the Centre Diversity Office.
The Venice Baroque Orchestra with violinist Nicola Benedetti • Feb. 20, Newlin Hall
Also in February, The Venice Baroque Orchestra with violinist Nicola Benedetti will perform Baroque masterworks from Italy and England, including Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” The Venice Baroque Orchestra is recognized as one of the very finest period instrument ensembles in the world, and Benedetti’s interpretations of Vivaldi have been called “teasingly wistful one minute, electrifying and explosive the next” (The Scotsman).
The Music Maker Blues Revue • Feb. 24, Weisiger Theatre
With the popular resurgence of Americana, blues and traditional music, The Music Maker Blues Revue artists serve as musical masters. This performance is being held in conjunction with the exhibition “Our Living Past,” a collection of tintype photographs from Tim Duffy, founder of Music Maker Relief Foundation, in the Norton Center Grand Foyer January through March 2017. Both projects began with the goal of helping a small group of tenured, Southern musicians still performing the musical traditions of the 19th and early 20th century America. They’ve busked on the sidewalks of High Point, N.C., received standing ovations at Carnegie Hall, and traveled from Argentina to Australia, Europe to Guatemala and across the U.S. The Revue pleases all types of fans, from the “boogiers to the bookworms.” Sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Other Mozart • March 10, Weisiger Theatre
The final performance in the Weisiger Theatre is a one-woman tour-de-force: The Other Mozart. This is the true and untold story of Nannerl Mozart, the sister of Amadeus–a prodigy, keyboard virtuoso and composer who performed throughout Europe with her brother to equal acclaim, but whose work and story faded away, lost to history as she acceded to the role of wife and mother, according to the social dictates of her time. Sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda.
Odd Squad Live! • March 12, Newlin Hall
From the Daytime Emmy® Award-winning hit television series on PBS KIDS comes Odd Squad Live!, a show focused on two young agents, Olive and Otto, who are part of the Odd Squad, an agency with a mission: to save the day whenever something unusual happens. Audiences will see their favorite Odd Squad agents on screen give out exciting assignments, and audience members just might get called up on stage to the mathroom!
Kenny Rogers: The Gambler’s Last Deal with Special Guest Linda Davis • April 8, Newlin Hall
The Norton Center will close its season in early April with Grammy® Award-winning country superstar and music icon Kenny Rogers. Embarking on what will be his final world tour with a show that will celebrate his musical legacy, in “The Gambler’s Last Deal with Special Guest Linda Davis” our audience will join the millions of fans around the world who have heard him sing songs from his catalog of 24 number-one hits, including “The Gambler,” “Lucille,” “Coward of the County,” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town,” “Lady,” “Islands in the Stream,” “She Believes In Me,” “We’ve Got Tonight,” “Daytime Friends,” “Through The Years,” “You Decorated My Life,” and “Buy Me A Rose.” Sponsored by AARP.
June 26, 2016