The University of Arkansas at Fort Smith’s 35th annual Season of Entertainment will feature concerts by a Grammy Award-winning musician and a Tony Award-winning actress, two classic musicals, and a lineup of theatrical and musical productions by UAFS students and faculty members.
The yearlong lineup of entertainment includes concerts by LeAnn Rimes Nov. 12 and Patti LuPone Jan. 28, as well as the touring shows “Ragtime” Nov. 23 and “Million Dollar Quartet” Feb. 25.
Rimes, a two-time Grammy Award winner, will treat audience members to a night of country music. Rimes burst onto the country music scene in 1996 at the age of 13 with her album “Blue.” Since then, she has released nine more albums and sold more than 37 million records worldwide.
In her concert “Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda,” Tony and Grammy Award-winner Patti LuPone will perform songs from musicals in which she starred, as well as numbers from musicals in which she could’ve, would’ve, and should’ve starred. A mainstay of American musical theater, LuPone has performed in Broadway plays and musicals including “Les Miserables,” “Sweeney Todd” and “Anything Goes.” She has also forged a career in television, with appearances on shows including “Law & Order,” “Oz,” “Will & Grace,” “Ugly Betty,” “Glee” and “30 Rock.”
Stacey Jones, associate vice chancellor for campus and community events, said LuPone is a great addition to the season.
“When you bring in someone like Patti LuPone, one of the top singers in New York, it says a lot about the quality of our programming,” Jones said. “Her coming to Fort Smith is a major feat, and we couldn’t be more excited to have her coming.”
Set in New York at the turn of the century, “Ragtime” tells the story of three characters united by their desire for a better future through a Tony Award-winning score. “Million Dollar Quartet,” a musical inspired by the true story of a night when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins came together for a recording session, features 21 rock and roll hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Great Balls of Fire,” and “I Walk the Line.”
The season also showcases two productions by Theatre @ UAFS – “All My Sons” and “The 39 Steps” – in addition to jazz, choral and symphonic band concerts.
“Our season has a great balance to it. There’s something for everybody,” Jones said. “I think the Season of Entertainment is exactly what it says it is – a season of entertainment with a good mix of everything.”
Season tickets are $180 and go on sale July 1 at the UAFS Box Office in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center. Individual show tickets go on sale Sept. 1. The season runs from Oct. 13 through April 26.
The complete Season 35 schedule includes:
Oct. 13: UAFS Choral Concert, 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
Oct. 15-17, 19-20: Theatre @ UAFS production: “All My Sons,” 7:30 p.m., Breedlove Auditorium.
Oct. 26: UAFS Symphonic Band Concert, 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
Nov. 12: National Touring Event — “An Evening with LeAnn Rimes,” 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
Nov. 17: UAFS Jazz Concert, 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
Nov. 23: National Touring Event — “Ragtime,” 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
Nov. 24: Campus Lighting, 7 p.m., UAFS Campus Green.
Dec. 1: Season’s Greeting Concert, 7 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
Jan. 28: National Touring Event — “Patti LuPone: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda,” 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
Feb. 11-13, 15: Theatre @ UAFS production: “The 39 Steps,” Breedlove Auditorium. The Feb. 14 performance will take place at 2:30 p.m., with all others occurring at 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 25: National Touring Event — “Million Dollar Quartet,” 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
April 4: UAFS Symphonic Band Concert, 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
April 14: UAFS Jazz Concert, 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
April 26: “A Grant Night for Singing,” 7:30 p.m., ArcBest Corp. Performing Arts Center.
For more information or to reserve tickets, contact the Box Office at 479-788-7300.