FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Date:  May 31, 2001

                                                                             Contact:  Debi Edwards, 206-6150

Riverdance and Fiddler on the Roof highlight Sangamon Auditorium’s fall schedule

SPRINGFIELDThe University of Illinois at Springfield’s Sangamon Auditorium announces its fall 2001 Performing Arts Series. Dynamic concerts, masterful dance, and Broadway smashes will grace the stage beginning in September.

Subscriptions and individual tickets for the fall series will be on sale through the mail via the On Stage magazine, which is scheduled for distribution the week of June 3. RIVERDANCE tickets will go on sale over-the-counter at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 18; tickets for the remaining events go on sale over-the-counter at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 23. The Ticket Office is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; telephone (217) 206-6160 or (800) 207-6960. 

The fall line-up is as follows.

          Acclaimed actress, comedian, singer, and pop culture arsonist Sandra Bernhard will perform her one-woman show “Because I Said So … Straight Talk from Ms. Sandra,” at 8 p.m. Friday, September 21, sponsored by the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Bernhard’s searing commentary on topics such as fashion; the funerals of Princess Diana and Gianni Versace; pop and rock singers Liza Minnelli, Mariah Carey, and Courtney Love; and the pretensions of globe-trotting hip and famous personalities have left sold-out audiences cheering. Her sardonic wit and veiled irony are magnified even further by poetry readings and the performance of original and classic songs. Ticket prices are $32 (Gold Circle AA-H), 27, 23, 20, and 16.

          The Philadelphia Dance Company, Philadanco, has established itself as one of America’s foremost dance ensembles and will perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, September 29, sponsored by the Persian Rug Center. Celebrating its 31st season, the company continues to thrill audiences throughout the world with adventurous choreography, bright new talent, and dances treasured by aficionados everywhere.  Philadanco will present Messages from the Heart, a modern production created by four female choreographers, which explores the connectedness and sanctity of body, mind, and spirit and the cultural traditions that inform the female response. Ticket prices are $29, 26, 24, and 15.

Ragtime, the four-time Tony Award-winning musical based on E.L. Doctorow’s best-selling novel, is a timeless tale of innocence lost and freedom won. Ragtime will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, October 5, and at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, October 6, sponsored by American General Financial Group.  This Broadway hit is a panoramic portrait of three remarkable families: one upper-middle class white, one socialist immigrant Jewish, and one Harlem black. As the characters embark on personal voyages of self-discovery, their lives become dramatically intertwined with one another, as well as with real-life historical characters including Henry Ford, Harry Houdini, J.P. Morgan, and Booker T. Washington. Ticket prices are $36, 33, 31, and 18 for the matinee and $39, 36, 34, and 20 for the evening performances.

Cultural enthusiasts will enjoy a rare treat from Bayanihan – Philippine National Dance Company as it brings Filipino culture into the limelight at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 13.  Bayanihan, which roughly means “togetherness” in Tagalog, is a 43-year-old company of 45 dancers who have performed to rave reviews throughout the world. The famous dance group reflects the beauty and wealth of color of its tropical country.  Ticket prices are $25, 22, 20, and 13.

Nat “King” Cole – the man, the myth, the music – is brought to blazing life in Unforgettable: The Nat King Cole Story, to be performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, October 20, sponsored by SIU Physicians & Surgeons/SIU Foundation. Written by Clarke Peters, creator of Five Guys Named Moe, this rousing new musical stars Monroe Kent III as Nat King Cole, the beloved superstar whose appeal transcended the boundaries of race, culture, and geography. Cole’s life story is peppered with his incredible hits like “Mona Lisa,” “Route 66,” “Paper Moon,” “Orange Colored Sky,” “Too Young,” and “Unforgettable.” Tickets are $28, 25, 23, and 14.

Those who enjoyed the San Francisco Western Opera Theatre’s production of The Barber of Seville in 1996 and Carmen in 1997 will be delighted with the talented company’s return to Sangamon Auditorium. Performing yet another classic opera, Mozart’s Così fan tutte, the company brings to life the

traditional opera experience through exceptional vocalists, spectacular sets and costumes, and a live orchestra. Così fan tutte will be performed at 8 p.m. Friday, October 26, sponsored by Friends of Sangamon Auditorium. Sung in Italian with English supertitles, Così fan tutte is a comedic look at the twists and turns of romantic love. Tickets are $36, 33, 31, and 18.

The revolutionary reinvention of John Kander and Fred Ebb’s hit musical Cabaret, winner of four 1998 Tony Awards including Best Revival, will be the divinely decadent theatrical event of the season!  This production brings the seedy glamour of the legendary Kit Kat Club to Springfield at 8 p.m. Friday, November 2, and Saturday, November 3, sponsored by Springfield Clinic. Cabaret is based on the true-life observations of Christopher Isherwood, who wrote The Berlin Stories about his experiences in Berlin between 1929 and 1932. With music and lyrics by Kander and Ebb and book by Joe Masteroff, Cabaret tells the story of an English woman’s romance with an American writer, set against the background of a crumbling Germany at the start of the Third Reich. The show features some of the best-known songs in musical history, including “Willkommen,” “Tomorrow Belongs to Me,” “Money,” and “Cabaret.”  Ticket prices are $39, 36, 34, and 20.

RIVERDANCE – THE SHOW, the original international phenomenon currently on a standing-room-only tour of North America, comes to Springfield for the first time in a limited eight-performance engagement on November 20-25, sponsored by Watts Copy Systems. Composed by Bill Whelan, produced by Moya Doherty, and directed by John McColgan, RIVERDANCE is a celebration of Irish music, song, and dance, which focuses on the evolution of Irish dance, as well as its similarities with – and influences on – other cultures. The phenomenon of RIVERDANCE draws on Irish traditions and combines the richness of the music with the magic and sensuality of the dance. This extraordinary show features an international company which has taken the world by storm. Ticket prices are $49, 39, and 25 for 7 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; $55, 45, and 28 for 2 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and 7 p.m.

Sunday; $59, 45, and 28 for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Media sponsor is WSEC-TV 14/65.

Christmas with the Mantovani Orchestra and Chorus is scheduled for 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, December 8, sponsored by CILCO.  Like Santa’s workshop, Mantovani’s Christmas concerts are rich in the size and variety of their offerings: big and dramatic (ballet selections by Tchaikovsky), festive and fun (“Santa’s Sleigh Ride”), devotional (“Ave Maria”), humorous (“March of the Toys”), and traditional music with melodies always made special by the indelible stamp of the maestro’s cascading strings.  Ticket prices are  $23, 20, 18, and 12 for the matinee and $25, 22, 20, and 13 for the evening performance.

Rekindle the flame in the hearth with stories, dance, music, and song from Ireland in A Celtic Christmas at 8 p.m. Friday, December 14, sponsored by the Springfield Business Journal/Prime Time.  Tomáseen Foley’s A Celtic Christmas recreates the joy and innocence of a night in a remote farmhouse in the west of Ireland in the days before the motor car, the television, and the telephone, when the old traditions still glowed like embers in the fireplace. What the people gave to each other at that time was always something of themselves – they had little else – a riveting traditional dance, a lovely old song, wild music, and above all, stories. A Celtic Christmas is a loving creation of such a night by some of the most gifted exponents of the Celtic arts performing today. Ticket prices are $21, 18, 16, and 11.

Fiddler on the Roof, the world’s most beloved musical, is back on tour with a celebrated new production starring the quintessential Tevye, Theodore Bikel, and stops in Springfield for five performances February 22-24, sponsored by Isringhausen Imports. This landmark musical shares the tale of Tevye and his five daughters in the impoverished Russian village of Anatevka in the days before the revolution. Winner of nine 1965 Tony Awards and the 1965 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, Fiddler on the Roof has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide since its 1964 Broadway opening. A generation later, Fiddler remains the ninth longest-running show in Broadway musical history. Bikel, who has played Tevye over 1,600 times in his career, returns to the role to celebrate one of the most cherished characters in theater history. Bikel’s other memorable stage performances include Tonight in Samarkand, The Rope Dancers, The Lark, and Captain Von Trapp in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music. His numerous television and film credits have garnered him an Emmy Award as well as an Academy Award nomination. Ticket prices are $49, 43, 40, and 25 for 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; $46, 40, 37, and 23 for 2 p.m. Saturday and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday.