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 2017-18 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.
“We are proud to continue to offer the community a full spectrum of performing arts, hand-picked from the world’s finest artists,” said Norton Center Executive Director Steve Hoffman. “Instead of our selecting pre-determined series’ from which audiences can choose, we are once again encouraging patrons to be creative and curate their own series–one that reflects their personal interest and level of adventure. Once again, the more shows that are selected, the higher the discount will be and audiences can select shows across both Newlin Hall and the Weisiger Theatre.”
Martina McBride • Sept. 8, Newlin Hall
The season will kick off with a much-anticipated performance by multiple Grammy®-nominee Martina McBride. Over the course of her career McBride has had twenty Top 10 singles and six #1 hits including her 2016 single, “Reckless.” McBride has earned more than 15 major music awards, including four wins for Female Vocalist of the Year from the Country Music Association and three wins from the Academy of Country Music for Top Female Vocalist. Martina has also used her soaring vocals and celebrity to raise awareness for domestic violence, and was awarded the 2015 Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award. Sponsored by Community Trust Bank and PEPSI.
Noam Pikelny • Sept. 16, Weisiger Theatre
The Weisiger Theatre performances, sponsored again by Stuart Powell, open with what is sure to be a awe-inspiring performance by young banjo virtuoso Noam Pikelny. A founding member of the Punch Brothers, three-time Grammy®-nominee, and recipient of the first annual Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass, Pikelny will return to Danville for his second Norton Center appearance and Weisiger Theatre debut. The performance will feature both original music from his latest album, Universal Favorite and explosive covers that showcase Noam’s unique, sublime approach to the instrument, in an intimate, solo setting. Weisiger Theatre performances are sponsored by Stuart Powell Ford Lincoln Mazda.
Edgar Winter Band • Oct. 7, Newlin Hall
The hair; the sax and a keyboard in flight: Edgar Winter Band lands at the Norton Center this fall, bringing their rambunctious flair and devastating groove. Edgar Winter and his band mates have been celebrated across the globe for such masterful recordings as “Tobacco Road,” “Frankenstein” and “Free Ride.” With over 20 albums and numerous collaborative efforts to his credit, not to mention his introduction of playing the keyboard around his neck, Edgar Winter has not been satisfied to ride the wave of popular music stardom. His music is always evolving and he is a master at stretching his skill and imagination to produce amazing results. He continues to thrill audiences with his live performances, always remaining on the cutting edge of music and style and his future looks even brighter than his past. Sponsored by PEPSI.
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with André Watts, piano • Oct. 14, Newlin Hall
The Norton Center’s first classical offering of the new season will feature the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with André Watts, piano. A standard-bearer of innovation and artistic excellence, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is one of the world’s foremost chamber orchestras, having recorded 71 albums and premiered over 40 commissioned works since 1972. For their Norton Center debut, Orpheus is joined by superstar pianist André Watts who returns to the Norton Center after 27 years. Much-honored, Watts has played before royalty in Europe and heads of government all over the world; was awarded the Avery Fisher Prize in 1988; and at age 26, was the youngest person ever to receive an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University. Watts brings his elegant luster to Mozart’s first great Piano Concerto, No. 9, the “Jeunehomme.” Program also to include works from Beethoven and Vijay Iver.
LIV ON: Olivia Newton-John, Beth Nielson Chapman and Amy Sky • Oct. 15, Newlin Hall
International superstar and multiple Grammy® Award-winner Olivia Newton-John, Grammy®-nominee Beth Nielsen Chapman and SOCAN Award-winner Amy Sky come together to perform LIV ON, a collaborative production intended for those who wish to transcend loss while walking a journey toward new-found meaning and hope. LIV ON grew out of the three artists’ personal experiences with loss and illness, which they all survived, to “LIV ON” and celebrate each day with a depth of gratitude. In this unique concert experience, Newton-John, Chapman and Sky will perform their most famous and popular songs along with music from their collaborative project. Sponsored by Ephraim McDowell Women’s Breast & Health Wellness Center.
Kool & The Gang • Oct. 20, Newlin Hall
This year, Kool & The Gang are invited to town to celebrate Homecoming Weekend. That’s right—there’s a party goin’ on right here! Join the band for a night of song, celebration and good times. With over 70 million albums sold worldwide thanks to songs like “Celebration,” “Cherish,” “Jungle Boogie,” “Summer Madness” and “Open Sesame,” they’ve earned two Grammy® Awards, seven American Music Awards, 25 Top Ten R&B hits, nine Top Ten Pop hits and 31 gold and platinum albums. So, come on, let’s all celebrate and have a good time! Sponsored by Farmers National Bank.
Flip FabriQue • Oct. 26, Newlin Hall
Hold onto your seats! Flip FabriQue is going to send the auditorium into flight. With their exciting, high- spirited and hilarious production, Catch Me! (Attrape-moi), the Quebec-based circus troupe makes their Norton Center debut. Catch Me! is a gravity defying spectacle featuring acrobatics, a trampo-wall, hula hoops, juggling and aerialist techniques in a crowd-pleasing cirque sensation for adults and children alike. This troupe of seven incredible artists playfully performs amazing feats of agility and skill in a fast-paced, innovative show that has been lauded for its technical ability and panache. Veterans of esteemed companies such as Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Éloize, the Flip FabriQue troupe, says the New York Times, “projects an irrepressible spirit of fun and, yes, it’s catching.”
A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder • Nov. 8, Newlin Hall
Getting away with murder can be so much fun…and there’s no better proof than the knock-͚em-dead hit show that’s earned unanimous raves and won the 2014 Tony Award® for Best Musical: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder! Direct from New York, Gentleman’s Guide tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives (all played by one fearless man) who stand in his way. All the while, Monty must juggle his mistress, his fiancée and the constant threat of landing behind bars! Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance—and be done in time for tea. Sponsored by Macy’s.
Henry Butler • Nov. 18, Weisiger Theatre
The second performance of the Weisiger Theatre series features acclaimed New Orleans jazzer Henry Butler. The musical breeding ground for such giants of traditional jazz as Louis Armstrong, King Oliver and Jelly Roll Morton, The Big Easy also gave rise to a present-day giant, the pianist and singer Henry Butler – a super virtuoso and ebullient performer who embodies the buoyant spirit of his birthplace. Butler can play it all, from early to modern jazz, with plenty of New Orleans R&B peeking through as well. Blinded by glaucoma as an infant, Butler began his musical studies early in life, and has since built an international reputation as an astonishing keyboard artist and a stylistically inclusive performer. If you liked last season’s Music Maker Blues Revue, you’ll love Butler’s solo performance; traditional New Orleans jazz is in the best of hands.
Jessica Lang Dance • Jan. 20, Newlin Hall
Audiences of all ages and backgrounds will be left breathless as New York-based Jessica Lang Dance makes its Norton Center debut. With a repertoire rich in stunning movement, compelling visuals and beautiful cinematic composition, this Bessie Award-recipient seamlessly incorporates striking design elements and transforms classical ballet language into artfully crafted, emotionally engaging contemporary works. Funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council.
The American String Quartet with Tom Sleigh and Phil Klay: Personal Reflections of War: In Words and Music • Feb. 9, Weisiger Theatre
In a unique and timely program, the American String Quartet, Phil Klay, and Tom Sleigh present Personal Reflections of War: In Words and Music. The performance will include iconic works created in response to war, by Bach, Barber, Bartok and Shostakovich, in rotation with poems and short stories written by Klay and Sleigh. Phil Klay is a National Book Award-winning author and US Marine veteran; Tom Sleigh is an award-winning poet and war correspondent; and the American String Quartet has spent decades honing the luxurious sound for which it is famous, performing in all fifty states and concert halls worldwide. In this groundbreaking program, the artists, together, will examine the effects of war on individuals—their hearts, minds and souls. Sponsored by the Humana Visiting Professors Program at Centre College and funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Kentucky Arts Council.
The Hillbenders’: The Who’s Tommy, a bluegrass opry • Feb. 16, Weisiger Theatre
The Weisiger series continues with the Hillbenders’ energetic folk rendition of the greatest rock opera of all time in The Who’s Tommy, a bluegrass opry. Forty-five years after its original release, this classic of classic rock has now been fully realized as a full-length bluegrass tribute featuring Springfield, Missouri’s The HillBenders, bringing a new perspective to Tommy while paying total respect to its creators. Audiences can expect to hear banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass and guitar play with the same energy and vision as The Who did with a full rock band and orchestra.
RENT • Feb. 18, Newlin Hall
In 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. Now, this Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®-winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th-anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, 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 timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters— love. Sponsored by Applied Behavioral Advancements.
GlobalFEST: The New Golden Age of Latin Music, featuring Las Cafeteras and Orkesta Mendoza • Feb. 21, Newlin Hall
GlobalFEST: The New Golden Age of Latin Music features the infectious indie-mambo and vibrant Son Jarocho of Las Cafeteras and Orkesta Mendoza. Mexican-American communities are emerging as hotbeds of musical creativity, blending upbeat styles that reflect shared cultural identities. Orkesta Mendoza and Las Cafeteras are two of today’s most exciting groups forging inspired new paths for Latin and Latin-American music. Their rousing socially-conscious messages, in English and Spanglish, tell stories of a community that is looking for love and fighting for justice and have audiences dancing in their seats. Sponsored by Sodexo.
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella • Feb. 25, Newlin Hall
Princes, princesses and step-sisters alike will enjoy the Tony Award®-winning musical, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Delighting audiences with its surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale, this lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations, and all the moments you love—the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more—plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood in this hilarious and romantic experience for anyone who’s ever had a dream.
Tierney Sutton Band: The Sting Variations • March 1, Weisiger Theatre
Sting fans and jazz aficionados will love eight-time Grammy®-nominee Tierney Sutton’s latest offering, The Sting Variations. Known for her lush singing of American standards, Sutton and her Tierney Sutton Band now turn to the music of Sting and the Police. Their latest offering, nominated for “Best Jazz Vocal Album” during the 2017 Grammy® Awards, brilliantly transforms pop classics such as, “Message in a Bottle,” “Driven to Tears,” “Walking in Your Footsteps,” “Fragile” and “Every Breath You Take,” among many other hits and surprises. Tierney’s remarkable, genre-transcending voice and her genuine love for music and people will make this evening tough to miss.
Mr. Popper’s Penguins • March 5, Newlin Hall
Direct from New York and London’s West End comes the smash hit Mr. Popper’s Penguins, based on the book by Richard and Florence Atwater. Painter and decorator by day, Mr. Popper spends his time dreaming of Antarctic adventures. He is astounded when one day a packing crate arrives on his doorstep and a penguin waddles out! With original songs and spectacular performing penguin puppets, this delightful, action-packed musical adaptation of Richard and Florence Atwater’s popular book (also made into a Hollywood film starring Jim Carrey) is the perfect family treat!
Trace Adkins • March 10, Newlin Hall
Also in March will be Trace Adkins performing a mix of his most well-known songs and those from his newest album. Adkins’ trademark baritone has powered countless hits to the top of the charts, cumulatively selling over 10 million albums. The Grammy®-nominated member of the Grand Ole Opry is a TV personality, actor, author, and spokesman for the Wounded Warrior Program and the American Red Cross. This March performance will be one Kentuckians won’t want to miss! Sponsored by Ephraim McDowell Health.
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, The Musical • April 29, Newlin Hall
Young families will love this world-premiere musical based upon the best-selling book, Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site. Bedtime is approaching, and this team of construction vehicles needs to get their rest. But Crane Truck is getting cranky, Cement Mixer takes too long with bath time and Dump Truck just isn’t sleepy! Excavator and Bulldozer find that preparing for bed is a job in itself! Will they ever get some shut-eye before tomorrow’s day of work? Audiences will also have the opportunity to enjoy getting up close with trucks, construction vehicles and other BIG machines for a small additional fee at our Mighty Machine Park, a block from the Norton Center on the day of the performance.
One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody • May 11, Weisiger Theatre
Why so serious? The Norton Center will close the 2017-18 season and Weisiger series with One Man Dark Knight: A Batman Parody, an irreverent homage to the Dark Knight Trilogy. Two-faced super-nerd Charles Ross, the madman behind One Man Star Wars and One Man Lord of the Rings, lovingly tears Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece a new one in his latest one-man show. No costumes, no sets, no Batmobiles. Ross takes you on a comedic joyride, from Batman’s origins to his epic battles against Gotham’s super-villains. Hold on to your utility belt!
All 2017-18 Norton Center Season subscriptions are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale beginning Monday, Aug. 7. Purchase tickets, request a brochure, or learn more… please visit the Norton Center for the Arts website. Patrons are also encouraged to join the Norton Center’s Facebook and Twitter for news and announcements.
June 25, 2017