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Musical heavyweights, circus performers, Broadway hits and more featured in 2012-2013 Spotlight Series!

by on June 20, 2012

The Fredericton Playhouse proudly announced its 2012-2013 Spotlight Series season last night to an eager audience of returning Spotlight members. The series features professional performances in music, theatre, and dance in a variety of genres. Consisting of 35 world-class performances in 11 themed series, this season promises a stellar line-up of entertainment that will offer everything from ground-breaking theatre, to musical favourites, to stunning dance performances, to several family friendly shows, as well as returning audience favourites.

The season starts off with the sultry and beguiling Jill Barber – a co-presentation with the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. The ever-enchanting Canadian chanteuse is inspired by the great ladies of song like Ella Fitzgerald and Edith Piaf, weaving a romantic spell over the audience with her unmistakable contralto. Also worth noting is a special presentation of folk-icon Arlo Guthrie, whose current tour marks what would have been Woody Guthrie’s one hundredth birthday.

Our dance offering is ready to impress this season with four powerful and emotionally moving works by internationally acclaimed Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the fresh and energetic stylings of Montreal’s Cas Public, an ensemble of 24 exquisite dancers for Ballet Jörgen’s Swan Lake, and an energetic and exciting performance of the street dance form that’s taken the world by storm: Bboyizm.

Also hitting the Playhouse stage is an exciting new Variety series, which will delight audiences with the vocal illusion talents of comedienne and ventriloquist Lynn Trefzger. the spellbinding and breathtaking feats of New Shanghai Circus, and another hilarious offering from the hit Late Nite Catechism franchise.

Many fan favourites also remain in the program, such as our popular Kidstage series for young audiences, and the very successful Classic Albums Live series, which opens with a bona fide rock classic: Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones.

The Canadian Theatre series will unveil a riotous and live action interpretation of Star Wars in One Man Star Wars Trilogy featuring funny-man Charles Ross, as well as a darkly funny and original work by 2b theatre done in the style of a graphic novel, and a delightfully silly and entertaining recital of sneeze poems performed and arranged by director, translator, playwright and actor Peter Froehlich in MERZ.

Audiences will also be amazed by the Vocal Ensembles series, which showcases beloved Canadian vocal quartet The Nylons, an angelic holiday choral experience with The Moscow Boys Choir, and the intricate rhythms and harmonies of native South African Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A new East Coast series will also showcase a few local favourites including Natalie MacMaster and a Maritime Christmas celebration with The Rankin Sisters.

Of particular note is the ever-popular Broadway series, which has expanded to two productions this season. Not only will patrons have the chance to see long-time Broadway hit and Tony-nominated Rock of Ages, but The Playhouse is thrilled to present the American tribal love-rock musical HAIR, which boasts famed songs “Age of Aquarius” and the title track “Hair”.

“We’ve really brought together an amazing mix of performances this year,” said Executive Director Tim Yerxa. “We’re excited to share some very unique artists that will amaze our audiences, and to bring back a few favourites. We have not one but two large-scale musicals this year, a few more intimate onstage performances, and everything from comedy to sultry jazz, to East Coast favourites; and from resonating global sounds to ground-breaking Canadian theatre. There is something for everyone and we’re extremely proud of the season we’ve programmed this year.”

The award-winning venue simultaneously launched the fourth year of its Spotlight Membership program, which is designed to give patrons easier access to the shows they want to see at a discounted price. Member benefits include early access to the best seats in the house, special pricing on all Spotlight Series and all Spotlight Partner performances (Theatre New Brunswick, New Brunswick Country Showcase and Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada.) Membership advantages also include $10 access to all enrichment activities within the Experience More! program.

“We’re thrilled that our Spotlight membership program has received such a high level of participation since its inception,” said Yerxa. “With the purchase of one membership, patrons can buy up to six discounted tickets per performance, which puts money back in their pockets after only a couple of shows.”

Spotlight Memberships are on sale now and only members can purchase tickets to Spotlight Series performances until August 20, when regular priced tickets go on sale. “Spotlight Members have the huge advantage of getting their tickets early and picking the best seats,” said Yerxa.

35 upcoming performances were announced in all. Each performance is detailed in the Spotlight Series season guide, available at the Playhouse box office or online at theplayhouse.ca.

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