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Harris Center’s third season brings back classics, plus new and exciting events

FOLSOM — Bringing artists from all over the world, and from almost every genre, the Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College (formerly known as Three Stages at Folsom Lake College) will offer hundreds of performances in 2013-14.

Beginning in late July 2013 and extending into spring 2014,  the new season includes world-class performers like Kenny Loggins, Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander and Savion Glover; Broadway productions such as ”Peter and the Starcatcher,” “The Addams Family” and “Bring It On – The Musical” (all of which are appearing in the capital region for the first time ever); and an unprecedented season of dance in Folsom that kicks off with Alonzo King LINES Ballet and also features Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Bellydance Superstars, Ballroom with a Twist and return visits of the popular Moscow Festival Ballet’s Swan Lake and Diavolo Dance Theatre.

Tickets for the initial round of announced shows in the 2013-14 season will be available for sale beginning July 8, and may be purchased online, by phone or in person. The phone number is (916) 608-6888. Complete information about shows, ticket prices, performance times and more will be available at HarrisCenter.net on July 8. Patrons buying tickets to five or more Harris Center Presents events will receive a 15 percent discount over single ticket prices.

Opened in February 2011 as Three Stages, the facility was renamed in 2013 to honor Dr. Brice Harris, chancellor emeritus of the Los Rios Community College District, for his many contributions to the capital region, including the vision and leadership he provided in opening this regional arts center. The Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College is a $50 million facility built with a combination of state, regional, local and private funds. The Harris Center has three intimate theaters, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a state-of-the-art performing arts venue, situated on the Folsom Lake College campus at 10 College Parkway, Folsom. more than 300,000 patrons have attended events at the Harris Center/Three Stages since the inaugural performance in 2011, with 150,000 attending during the 2012-13 season alone.

Complementing the stellar international lineup at the Harris Center are the Partners of the Harris Center — a who’s who of regional arts organizations from El Dorado Musical Theatre to the Sacramento Guitar Society to the Folsom Symphony and more. Many of their events are also on sale at this time, and the entire season of Partners events will be announced in August, when additional Harris Center events will also be announced in the 2013-14 season brochure. Patrons are encouraged to sign up to receive the Season Brochure by mail at HarrisCenter.net.

Coming in 2013-14

The Big Stage

Big shows, familiar names — all will perform on Stage One at the Harris Center. Aug. 5-7, Kenny Loggins returns with the Blue Sky Riders opening. On Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 Rhythmic Circus performs “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” one of the most popular tap shows since Tap Dogs. On Oct. 23, the center hosts An Evening with Jason Alexander. The winner of six Emmys for his portrayal of George Costanza on NBC’s “Seinfeld,”  Alexander offers a unique and hilarious dose of comedy in an entertaining variety show format. On Oct. 30, Dan Aykroyd, Judy Belushi and Musical Director Paul Shaffer present The Official Blues Brothers Revue, paying homage to Chicago’s rich history of blues, gospel and soul music. Nov. 1-3, 2013, Ballroom with a Twist takes center stage, featuring “Dancing with the Stars” celebrity pros joined by “American Idol” and “So You Think You Can Dance” finalists. Nov 12-13 finds two-time Grammy winner Peter Nero performing on Tuesday The Gershwin Project and on Wednesday Classic Connections.

From Broadway

“We have an amazing line up of new Broadway shows coming this season,” notes Executive Director Dave Pier, “with shows that are fresh out on national tours and haven’t been seen in this region before.” The stellar list of performances begins on Sept. 8 with Todd Ellison and his “Classic Broadway” show. Ellison will return to the Harris Center on June 6, 2014, with Romance of Broadway. Oct 18-20, will see “Ring of Fire,” a musical revue of Johnny Cash’s storied life, from his early days in the cotton fields of Arkansas to the Grand Ole Opry. On Nov. 26 & 27, the Harris Center will bring “The Addams Family” to Stage One. It was immediately one of Broadway’s biggest hits, and the Harris Center is proud to bring the show about America’s spookiest and funniest family to the capital region for the first time.

Currently back on Broadway for its third run, Luis Bravo’s “FOREVER TANGO” debuts at the Harris Center Jan. 3-5, 2014, with 14 world-class tango dancers, a vocalist and on-stage eleven piece orchestra. March 7-9, 2014, “Bring It On—The Musical,” inspired by the film of the same name, celebrates the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through the thrill of extreme competition. Nominated for the 2013 Tony Award for Best Musical, it will be staged for the first time in the capital region at the Harris Center. On March 25 & 26, 2014, the Harris Center is deeply honored to present  ”Peter and the Starcatcher,” also new to the Sacramento region. Winner of five Tony Awards, this is a swashbuckling prequel to “Peter Pan.” May 23-25, 2014, from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Tennessee comes “Memphis,” a hot Broadway musical with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. It was the winner of four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Artists from around the world

All the world is a stage, and the Harris Center offers artists from all over the world. Coming right up on July 28, Summer Guitar Fest offers three artists of diverse backgrounds in a seamless show featuring Laurence Juber, selected by Sir Paul McCartney himself as lead guitarist for Wings, with Mimi Fox and Pierre Bensusan. Sept. 20-22, Hungarian State Folk Ensemble comes to Folsom. The ensemble is regarded as one of the greatest folkloric dance ensembles in the world. On Oct. 5, Gamelan Sekar Jaya performs with music and dance range from traditional Balinese repertoire to cutting-edge compositions. On Oct. 9, comes a truly multicultural performance rooted in Hawaii: :Malana Ko Aloha” (Keep Your Love) with Keola Beamer (“the best slack key guitar player on the planet!” — Willie Nelson), pianist Geoffrey Keezer, renown Native American flautist R. Carlos Nakai and Moanalani  Beamer performing hula and ancient Hawaiian instruments. On Oct. 14, Bellydance Superstars perform DanZara, a new standard for bellydance. On Oct. 27, Fiesta del Día de los Muertos will be performed by Danza Floricanto.

Also returning to the Harris Center is this Folsom favorite: On Jan. 8, 2014, Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica Blowout pays tribute to Sonny Boy Williamson II, with John Mayall, Rick Estrin, Little Charlie Baty, Curtis Salgado, Mark Hummel and others. On Jan. 18, 2014, Golden Dragon Acrobats presents “Cirque Zíva.” Comprised of acrobats, athletes, actors and artists who have trained since childhood, they amaze with acrobatic feats with simple props: plates, jugs, bicycles, umbrellas and more. On Jan. 23, 2014, International Guitar Night returns with Italy’s Pino Forastiere, Jon Gomm from England, founder Brian Gore and Quique Sinesi from Argentina.

Jan 29 & 30, 2014, finds a glittering production of Celtic Nights – Journey of Hope, with six of Ireland’s most prominent vocal talents complimented by six of its most accomplished step dancers. Stepping off into edgier territory, on March 4 & 5, 2014, brings Siro-A “The Digital Technodelic Experiment.” Six performers from Sendai, Japan, combine electro beats with visual effects, motion, light, dance choreography and elements of comedy. On March 11, 2014, SamulNori takes Stage One. And on March 15, 2014, the triumphant return of “An Irish Hooley!” a raucous, rave-up of an Irish night with rip-roaring music, song, and dance.

Jazz

Just around the bend, on Aug. 11, Arturo O’Farrill and The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra perform. The next generation of Brubeck comes to Folsom on Sept. 19 with The Brubeck Brothers – A Tribute to Dave Brubeck. On Nov. 19, Pacific Mambo Orchestra with Tito Puente Jr. take the stage. On Dec. 2, Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Group returns. Nine-time Grammy award-winning Palmieri continues to thrill with his legendary style as a bandleader of Salsa and Latin Jazz orchestras, as he has for more than 50 years.

On Feb. 26, 2014, A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald  will be performed by The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, utilizing a prized and rarely performed repertoire: original arrangements done for Ms. Fitzgerald in the 1940-50s by superstar arrangers Billy May, Count Basie, Van Alexander, Billy Strayhorn and others.

Classically inclined

Jeffrey Siegel’s popular Keyboard Conversations returns for four “concerts with commentary” — Aug. 23, Bach and the Romantics; Oct. 26, The Miracle of Mozart;  March 19, 2014, The Glory of Beethoven; and May 18, 2014, Mistresses and Masterpieces. On Oct. 16, The Acting Company performs “Hamlet.” Founded in 1972 by John Houseman, the company has garnered critical acclaim on a national scale through 137 productions and 39 seasons of classic, contemporary and new plays.

On March 10, 2014, one of Russia’s leading ensembles Chamber Orchestra Kremlin returns.

Dance and movement

The Harris Center/Three Stages features a dramatically expanded offering of dance for the 2013-14 season, beginning on Sept. 27 with Alonzo King LINES Ballet. Comprised of 40 accomplished dancers and musicians, Pacífico Dance Company performs on Oct. 4. On Oct. 24 & 25 Complexions Contemporary Ballet — Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson ─ bring a groundbreaking mix of methods, styles and cultures. With a history spanning over three decades, Shanghai Ballet has created a new folk-styled ballet production “The Butterfly Lovers,” following the presentation of its legendary “The White Haired Girl.” “The Butterfly Lovers” will be performed Oct. 31.

On Jan. 22, 2014, Hover Space will be performed by Printz Dance Project, featuring 10 to 12 dancers; a dance fusion of contemporary, jazz, acrobatic and hip hop movement on, above and beneath the Hover Stage — the 16-foot by 12-foot floating, tilting and always-moving stage. On Feb. 4-6, 201, Moscow Festival Ballet performs “Swan Lake.” Led by legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet Sergei Radchenko, MFB has amassed the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies into this independent new company. On March 12 & 13, 2014, former child prodigy Savion Glover will perform STePz, taking tap dance to new heights while fusing traditional music selections of the past with his self-proclaimed tap style and energy of the future. And on March 21 & 22, 2014, Diavolo Dance Theater returns — an internationally renowned company that reinvents dance, re-imagines theater, and redefines thrills by taking movement, athletics, and daring to the extreme.

Back in the day

Celebrating beloved traditions across several eras, beginning Aug. 27-29 with “In The Mood,” a terrific musical review of the 1940s Swing Era, featuring a 15-piece big band orchestra plus singers and dancers; their performances at the Harris Center launch the show’s 20th Anniversary tour.  On Sept. 13 comes a Reunion of the Doo Wop Stars with Danny & The Juniors (“At The Hop,” “Rock & Roll Is Here To Stay, “Twistin’ USA”); Leon Hughes Coasters (“Yakety Yak,” Charlie Brown,” “Poison Ivy”); The Chordettes (“Mr. Sandman,” “Lollipop”) and The Vibrations (“Hang On Sloopy”).

On Jan. 12, 2014, Deana Martin: A Tribute to Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra features the daughter of the iconic entertainer. On March 30, 2014, the perennial Folsom bestseller It’s Magic! returns, delighting magic enthusiasts for more than five decades with many of the top professional magicians worldwide. On March 23 & 24, 2014. The Pink Floyd Experience brings its two-hour tribute show, performed live with six musicians and more than $2.5 million worth of production equipment.

What the The Hit Men are is not is a tribute band, nor a cover band. They were the Four Seasons who sang with Frankie Valli; they were the Shondells who sang with Tommy James. They performed, arranged and composed some of the best-loved songs of the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s: “Oh What a Night,” “Who Loves You,” “Silence is Golden,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Mony, Mony,” “Peace Train,” “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” “You’re So Vain,” and “Younger Girl.” And onstage June 8, 2014, they share great back stories and anecdotes from their days on tour and in the studio with these big names in pop and rock and roll.

Home for the holidays

Nov. 29 through Dec. 1, the Harris Center welcomes An Irish Christmas, a celebration of Christmas in Ireland with glorious music, traditional dance, storytelling, laughter and plenty of Irish soul. And on Dec. 26-29, Moscow Classical Ballet brings “The Nutcracker” back.

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