UAFS announces 33rd Season of Entertainment

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 106 views 

A performance by a well-known singer and actress and musicals that span stories from the 17th century to modern day make up the list of touring events in Season of Entertainment 33, the annual entertainment extravaganza sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
The season also includes nine UAFS concerts and productions. Stacey Jones, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events, said the schedule is “one of the best seasons UAFS has ever put forward.”
The touring schedule includes a performance by Audra McDonald on Nov. 1, “Memphis” on Nov. 16, “Man of La Mancha” on Feb. 4, “Bring It On: The Musical” on Feb. 17 and “The Addams Family” on April 5.
“Anchored by Audra McDonald, which our music faculty thinks is one of the best things that has ever happened here, Season 33 just can’t be beat,” said Jones. “We’re presenting ‘Bring It On,’ which was nominated for two Tony Awards; ‘Memphis,’ which won several Tonys; ‘Man of La Mancha,” which is a staple of theatre for years and years; and ‘The Addams Family,’ which is a great family fun show. There’s nothing weak in the package.”
The $220 Season tickets are available through Aug. 30 by calling the UAFS Box Office at 479-788-7300. Individual show tickets go on sale Sept. 2. The Season runs from Oct. 14 through April 29.
“To me, Audra McDonald is what sets Season 33 apart from other Seasons,” said Jones. “She is literally a super star in her field. She was a featured singer this year at the Tony Awards and is currently the host of the PBS ‘Live from Lincoln Center’ program.”
Jones called McDonald “one of the most talented singers” he has ever heard.
“She has sung with every major orchestra in the country and won five Tony Awards,” he said, calling McDonald and what she will present while in Fort Smith by a one-word description: classy.
McDonald, whose performance on Nov. 1 will run the gamut from Broadway to opera, also has two Grammy Awards to her credit and played Dr. Naomi Bennett in ABC’s “Private Practice” for four years. Her latest solo album, “Nonesuch,” was released in May.
Jones said “Memphis” on Nov. 16 is a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical that deals with a white man dating a black woman in the 1950s. It follows the tale of a radio disc jockey who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break.
“And everybody knows the song ‘Impossible Dream’ from ‘Man of La Mancha,’” said Jones. The Feb. 4 musical tells the story of Don Quixote and his quest, always hilarious and often heartbreaking. The theatrical charade is filled with knights, ladies and a loveable nut for a hero.
Jones said “Bring It On: The Musical,” slated for Feb. 17, is based on a high school cheerleading competition, revealing the challenges and unexpected bonds formed through the thrill of competition activities.
“Several people who have seen it think it’s a fun show,” he said. “The cast performed at the Tony Awards. They are top notch.”
“The Addams Family” musical on April 5 ran on Broadway from March 2010 through December 2011 and immediately became one of Broadway’s biggest hits.
“The little girl on ‘The Addams Family’ is now all grown up, but it’s the Addams family we all grew up loving,” said Jones.

The storyline is every father’s nightmare – a daughter falling in love with someone the parents have never met – but it gets even more complicated in the bizarre and beloved family situations which ensue.
The musical is based on characters created by legendary cartoonist Charles Addams, who had a prolific career spanning six decades.
The complete Season 33 calendar includes:
Oct. 14: UAFS Symphonic Band Concert.
Oct. 17-19 & 21-22: Theatre @ UAFS production, “Lend Me a Tenor.”
Oct. 24: UAFS choral concert.
Nov. 1: National Touring Event — Audra McDonald.
Nov. 16: National Touring Event — “Memphis.”
Nov. 19: UAFS jazz concert.
Dec. 2: Season’s Greetings concert.
Feb. 4: National Touring Event — “Man of La Mancha.”
Feb. 13-15: Theatre @ UAFS production, “Crimes of the Heart.”
Feb. 17: National Touring Event — “Bring It On: The Musical.”
April 5: National Touring Event — “The Addams Family.”
April 8: UAFS jazz concert.
April 17: UAFS Symphonic Band Concert.
April 28: UAFS choral concert.

Touring shows are at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of “Memphis,” which starts at 8 p.m. The shows are held at the Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center at the Fort Smith Convention Center, 55 S. 7th St. UAFS vocal and instrumental music concerts are at 7:30 p.m. at the Arkansas Best Performing Arts Center. Theatre @ UAFS performances will be held at Breedlove Auditorium, with all shows at 7:30 p.m.