Blinn College is bringing toe-tapping tunes and breath-taking ballet to Brenham during the 2017-18 Performing Arts Series.
Fresh off the conclusion of a second season that drew rave reviews, Blinn College has announced four incredible shows for the 2017-18 season that promise fun for the entire family.
“After just two seasons, the Performing Arts Series at the O’Donnell has quickly established itself as a beloved Blinn College tradition,” says Dr. Mary Hensley, Blinn College District President/CEO. “We look forward to continuing that tradition with another outstanding selection of award-winning performers.”
The season kicks off Sunday, Oct. 1, when Grammy Award-winning Asleep at the Wheel comes to Blinn’s Dr. W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center. Founded by Ray Benson in Paw Paw, W.V., 46 years ago, the Austin-based band has sold more than 1.5 million records, recorded 20 studio albums, posted 20 singles on the Billboard country charts, and won 10 Grammy Awards.
Now traveling as an eight-piece band with the addition of Katie Shore (fiddle, vocals), Dennis Ludiker (fiddle, mandolin), and Connor Forsyth (keyboard, vocals), Asleep at the Wheel brings a newfound energy and a unique country style to the stage.
Blinn will bring “Snowkus Pocus” to the O’Donnell Center stage on Sunday, Nov. 26. In this fantastical production, Young Brianna is whisked away to an enchanted winter wonderland where she encounters the colorful characters that inhabit this magical world. The tale is told through dazzling cirque, breath-taking ballet, and incredible acrobatics – sure to melt the audience’s heart.
“Snowkus Pocus” is produced by Cirque-tacular Entertainment, a premier New York City-based acrobatic and specialty entertainment company. Its work has been enjoyed in more than 70 countries in conjunction with the most recognized brands, venues, and arts organizations in the world.
On Feb. 8, 2018, the Performing Arts series brings Tony Award-winning Broadway musical “Million Dollar Quartet” to Brenham audiences. Inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins for the first and only time, “Million Dollar Quartet” is a must-see for music lovers.
On Dec. 4, 1956, Sam Phillips brought the four young musicians together at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions of all time. “Million Dollar Quartet” brings that legendary night to life with an irresistible tale of broken promises, secrets, betrayals, and celebrations featuring timeless hits such as “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “I Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going’ On,” “Who Do You Love?” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Hound Dog.”
The 2017-18 Performing Arts Series will conclude Friday, April 13, 2018, with m-pact, hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “one of the best pop-jazz vocal groups in the world.” Respected worldwide as a cutting-edge trailblazer in vocal music, this Los Angeles-based sextet has cultivated a new generation of ears hungry for the raw power of nature’s first instrument – the human voice.
Touring renowned fine arts halls and jazz festivals across four continents, m-pact has performed alongside Sheryl Crow, Boyz II Men, Kenny G, Liza Minnelli, Rick Springfield, Ray Charles, and Natalie Cole. Over the last dozen years, their signature sound has been used in TV themes and animated Disney feature films, and is enjoyed on syndicated radio worldwide.
Prior to the performance, m-pact will host workshops for Blinn vocal, music, and theatre students.
Blinn recently concluded its 2016-17 Performing Arts Series featuring The Texas Tenors, “The Wonder Bread Years Starring Pat Hazell,” The World Famous Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, and “Live From Nashville.”
“It is so wonderful to be able to enjoy this wide range of musical and theatrical performances in Brenham,” says Page Michel, President and CEO of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce. “Thank you, Blinn College, for bringing such great entertainment to our community!”
In addition to providing incredible entertainment for the community, Blinn’s Performing Arts Series also is a unique academic program. At Blinn, theatre students unload trucks, focus the lights, plug in microphones, and are responsible for running much of the show in partnership with tour artists and crew, and under the supervision of Blinn Technical Theatre Arts Director Kevin Patrick.
“Being able to work on the Performing Arts Series has given me the opportunity of a lifetime,” says theatre student Brian Francis. “Theatre is an aspect of life I truly love and being able to work these shows has allowed me to achieve on of my goals: to work on professional shows in the U.S. I can’t wait to finally take the next step and actually be in one of these shows.”
Dr. Marcelo Bussiki, Dean of Blinn’s Division of Visual/Performing Arts & Kinesiology, says, “As an artist and educator, it is very rewarding to see our theatre majors assist with the technical setup for our shows. By bringing to the College professionally run national and international shows, we are offering priceless exposure and educational opportunities to our future theatre professionals.”
Season tickets for the 2017-18 season are $100, and include tickets to all four shows. Renewing season ticket holders can upgrade to premier season tickets, which include special receptions prior to each performance, for free April 1-30. Beginning May 1, new season ticket purchasers can upgrade to premier season tickets for an additional $40.
Single ticket sales begin June 1 for all events. Individual tickets are $30. Discounts are available for children ages 10 and under ($15), and groups of 10 or more ($26). Blinn employees can purchase tickets for $20 and Blinn student rush tickets are $10. Single reception tickets will be available up to five days prior to the event for $20.
The season schedule is subject to change. For more information regarding season Blinn’s Performing Arts Series, please visit www.blinn.edu/performingartsseries.