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Cheryl Crouch
IU Bloomington Auxiliaries

Maria K. Talbert
Indiana University Auditorium

Last modified: Monday, April 27, 2009

IU Auditorium 2009-2010 season to feature Yo-Yo Ma, Frankie Valli, top Broadway shows

April 27, 2009

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- IU Auditorium at Indiana University announces its 2009-2010 season, an eclectic, cutting-edge mix of Tony Award-winning Broadway shows, beautifully crafted classical music performances, and holiday traditions scheduled to run from September through April.

From the sweet sounds of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons on Sept. 26, to Broadway's family-friendly Beauty and the Beast on March 2-4, and the spectacle of Cirque Dreams Illumination onDec. 11, the new season includes an array of unforgettable performances.

"We're proud to present a season of unparalleled performance quality and a variety of entertainment options," said Doug Booher, director of IU Auditorium. "I'm especially excited about our upcoming artistic ventures with the incredible Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and our new partnership with The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the world's finest."

This season, new subscription packages will enable patrons to become subscribers by choosing five shows and either delaying part of the payment through the "50-50 Payment Plan" or, for IU employees, paying through payroll deduction. For more on subscriber benefits, visit or call 812-855-1103.

2009-2010 IU Auditorium Season:

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons
September 26, 8 p.m.
General Public: $39-$54
IU Bloomington Students: $20-$39

One of the most successful vocal groups of the '60s, The Four Seasons scored a series of smash hit singles between 1962 and 1967 featuring the falsetto of the legendary Frankie Valli. During the band's nearly 40-year career, Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons sold more than 100 million records. Hits include "Big Girls Don't Cry," "Sherry," "Walk Like a Man," "Dawn (Go Away)," "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and "December 1963 (Oh What a Night)."

Rain: A Beatles Tribute
October 15-16, 8 p.m.
General Public: $35-$55
IU Bloomington Students: $18-$40

"Rain: The Beatles Experience," is a multimedia, interactive show featuring five different scene and costume changes, three video screens and live camera projection, with TV commercials and historical video footage from the 1960s. Rain delivers a perfect, note-for-note live performance, with no pre-recorded tapes or sequences.

The first set incorporates black-and-white images to re-create the Beatles' stage set from the 1964 Ed Sullivan show. After a brief interlude of songs from A Hard Day's Night, the band is transported to Shea Stadium, where nearly 56,000 fans witnessed the group's highest-attended concert at the time. Live video technology provides views of the band from various angles, as members of the audience are projected onto the main screens.

The third set features the music and colorful costumes of the "Sgt. Pepper" era, in which Rain members appear to step off the famous album cover. Strains of Indian music and a description of the "Summer of Love" usher in songs from the band's "spiritual awakening" in 1967-68. Another spot-on album cover is re-created for Abbey Road, closing with selections from the "Golden Slumbers" medley through "The End" -- the swan song of the Beatles' too-short, magnificent career.

Dennis James

Dennis James

Dennis James Host Halloween
October 29, 8 p.m.
General Public: $13-$18
IU Bloomington Students: $7-$15

Bloomington audiences are in for a spine-chilling Halloween treat as world-renowned pipe organist Dennis James returns to IU Auditorium to accompany legendary English filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail, a 1929 thriller originally shot as a silent film. James -- an alumnus of IU's Jacobs School of Music -- matches the on-screen action with the eerie, resonating tones of the IU Auditorium organ's 4,500 pipes. Adapted from a play by Charles Bennett, Blackmail features Anny Ondra as Alice White, a young woman who flirts with a handsome artist (played by Cyril Ritchard) in front of her police officer boyfriend, Frank Webber (John Londgen), with ultimately fatal results.

Released 80 years ago on the cusp of film's conversion from a silent to a sound medium, Blackmail was originally released in both versions -- at the time, it was hailed as "the first British all-talkie film". In recent years, James was commissioned to create a new solo theatre organ score for the premier U.S. tour of the rarely seen, but more critically acclaimed, silent version. Blackmail cemented Hitchcock's reputation as Britain's finest director, and was the second of his films to use devices now thought of as classically "Hitchcockian" -- a beautiful blonde heroine, a dull policeman, a chase near a familiar public landmark (the British Museum), a murder, suspense . . . and a cameo by the director himself.

The Wizard of Oz

"The Wizard of Oz"

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The Wizard of Oz
November 10-11, 7:30 p.m. (Family Friendly)
General Public: $37-$59
IU Bloomington Students and Children: $19-$40

Widely considered the greatest family musical of all time, The Wizard of Oz is touching down in Bloomington in a magical production based on the Royal Shakespeare Company's celebration of the 1939 MGM movie.

Director Nigel West, choreographer Leigh Constantine and set and costume designer Tim McQuillen-Wright use the glamour and elegance of art deco Hollywood as the visually stunning, technicolor backdrop. Dorothy, Toto and their friends, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, are transported "Over the Rainbow" to adventures in Munchkin Land, the Haunted Forest and the Emerald City. Featuring Harold Arlen's classic songs "Over the Rainbow," "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead" and "If I Only Had A Brain," audiences can travel down the yellow brick road for an unforgettable evening at the theater.

Chimes of Christmas
December 9, 7:30 p.m. (Family-Friendly)
General Public: $14-$20
IU Bloomington Students and Children: $11-$15

Each year, IU's prestigious Jacobs School of Music presents "Chimes of Christmas" to a packed house, with rousing performances by the IU Wind Ensemble, the Trombone Choir and the Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers, the nation's premier collegiate show choir. The show includes all of your favorite Christmas classics along with inspiring, spiritual, fun (and sometimes funny) new songs the whole family can enjoy. You may have the chance to sing along to some carols . . . and maybe, just maybe, there will be a visit from the jolly old elf himself.

Cirque Dreams Illumination
December 11, 8 p.m.
General Public: $32-$48
IU Bloomington Students: $17-$32

In the magical world of Cirque Dreams Illumination, seemingly ordinary characters, dressed as firemen, electricians and trash collectors, among other city dwellers, perform extraordinary feats against a backdrop of towering buildings and twinkling lights. Trash collectors balance on cans, firemen leap tall buildings and intertwined aerialists create romance in the air as other performers twist their bodies together to form a human railroad crossing and a hip-hopper puts down his boom box to show off his "hand balancing" moves.

An international cast of more than 20 acrobatically gifted artists performs seemingly impossible feats to the beat of an original urban score, donning more than 100 costumes throughout the show. In one part of Illumination, audience members are even invited on stage to be directed in a simulated silent movie.

Cleveland Orchestra
January 20, 2009, 8 p.m.
General Public: $43-$59
IU Bloomington Students: $24-$43

In January, IU Auditorium will host The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the finest orchestras in America and one of the most revered, critically acclaimed symphonic ensembles in the world. Founded in 1918 under the direction of the great Russian-American conductor Nikolai Sokoloff, the group is thriving today under the baton of Austrian conductor Franz Welser-Möst, entering its 92nd year with polished, passionate and ever-innovative music that's in a class by itself.

The orchestra presents a wide range of programming, featuring symphonies by Beethoven, Bruckner, Mahler, Mozart, Shostakovich and Richard Strauss, as well as annual concert performances of opera -- including Verdi's Don Carlo and Falstaff, Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel, and Richard Strauss's Elektra -- and partnership programs with universities and The Cleveland Youth Orchestra. In Bloomington, the orchestra will feature renowned violinist Leila Josefowicz as a soloist. The program will include music by Wagner, Brahms and Adés.

Jesus Christ Superstar
February 10-11, 8 p.m.
General Public: $37-$59
IU Bloomington Students: $19-$40

Today, it's one of the most popular, enduring works ever created for musical theater, featuring the much loved songs "Superstar," "Everything's Alright" and "I Don't Know How to Love Him." When it debuted in 1971, though, Jesus Christ Superstar was so controversial that it originally appeared as a record because most producers were afraid to touch such a daring production.

The show opened to great acclaim on Broadway in 1971 as the first professional stage-produced musical by legendary writing team Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. It went on to win five Tony nominations and inspired a 1973 film by Academy Award-winning director Norman Jewison. The original Broadway cast recording topped the American album charts three times. Set in two acts, Jesus Christ Superstar tells the story of the final week in the life of Jesus of Nazareth as seen through the eyes of his disillusioned disciple, Judas. The show chronicles Jesus' entry in Jerusalem, the unrest caused by his preaching and popularity, his betrayal by Judas, the trial before Pontius Pilate and his ultimate crucifixion.

Whether you've never seen it before or have seen it several times, the current production of Jesus Christ Superstar, featuring some of the show's original stars from the '70s, is resonant today, inspiring standing ovations wherever it plays across the country. Ted Neely, who plays Jesus in the current production also headlined the first touring company of the show in 1972 and met his wife while making the Jesus Christ Superstar film in Israel in the 70s. Neely recently told The Flint Journal: "The simplicity of the message is right there. Sometimes people have problems understanding it from the pulpit. Somehow, this piece has made it more understandable."

Bill T. Jones Dance
February 25, 8 p.m.
General Public: $25-$33
IU Bloomington Students: $13-$23

Dancer. Choreographer. Director. The multitalented, Tony Award-winning Bill T. Jones brings his passionate, innovative dance-theatre to the heartland with Fondly Do We Hope . . . Fervently Do We Pray, a multimedia production commemorating the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial.

The show honors Lincoln's memory by investigating what he meant to different people, celebrating his lasting contributions and envisioning the America that might have been if Lincoln had completed the Reconstruction.

Commissioned by Chicago's Ravinia Festival, and co-commissioned by IU Auditorium and New York's Lincoln Center, the show features an actor and Jones' diverse dancers accompanied by a live, original score for cello, guitar, piano, and voice with a striking stage design incorporating the films of Janet Wong. The program's uplifting libretto is drawn from Shakespeare, the Old Testament, the poems of Walt Whitman, and Lincoln's own words. The phrase taken from Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address to title the work, Fondly Do We Hope . . . Fervently Do We Pray captures the vision of the piece: an examination of what Lincoln and his time mean today, and our hopes for the future.

What happens when Bill T. Jones and his dancers take the stage is theatrical genius filled with passion and hope. See for yourself the performer whose choreography the New York Times has called "a magic mirror, into a complex, dreamlike world in which . . . imaginations run playfully, riotously wild."

Beauty and the Beast
March 2-4, 7:30 p.m. (Family-Friendly)
General Public: $38-$60
IU Bloomington Students and Children: $20-$41

Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film Disney's Beauty and the Beast, this hit Broadway show has won the hearts of more than 35 million people worldwide. A classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes. Dazzling production numbers including "Be Our Guest" and the beloved title song, Disney's Beauty and the Beast, tell the story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an evil enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. Experience the romance and enchantment of Disney's Beauty and the Beast at IU Auditorium.

Yo-Yo Ma

Photo by Stephen Danelian

Yo-Yo Ma

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Yo-Yo Ma
March 23, 8 p.m.
General Public: $46-$65
IU Bloomington Students: $24-$45

Multiple-Grammy Award winner Yo-Yo Ma, considered the world's finest cellist, brings his rich, smooth tones and signature phrasing to Bloomington this spring with a recital that should not be missed. One of the best-selling recording artists in classical music, Yo-Yo Ma's discography contains more than 75 albums -- including 15 Grammy Award winners -- that reflect his expansive interests and range. His successful recordings often defy categorization, among them Hush with Bobby McFerrin, and Appalachia Waltz and Appalachian Journey with Mark O'Connor and Edgar Meyer. His most recent recordings include Paris: La Belle Époque, with pianist Kathryn Stott; Appassionato, which contains some of the world's most romantic music; and New Impossibilities, a live album recorded with the Silk Road Ensemble and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Born to Chinese parents living in Paris, Ma began to study the cello with his father at age four. He and his family soon came to New York, where he spent most of his formative years, later studying with Leonard Rose at the Juilliard School and graduating from Harvard University. In addition to performing at President Obama's inauguration this year, Ma has performed with and conducted master classes for members of the Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra. In 2006, Secretary General Kofi Annan named him a U.N. Messenger of Peace. In trying to articulate the profound beauty of his performance, the Columbus Dispatch wrote, "The love of music and the infectious joy of playing it are the things you remember about Ma as you leave one of his performances. It's as though he opens a window that lets the very heart and soul of the composer fly freely out into the hall on the notes he's played."

The Punch Brothers
April 7, 8 p.m.
General Public: $25-$28
IU Bloomington Students: $13-$19

If you haven't heard of the Punch Brothers yet, you probably will soon. The increasingly popular band, fronted by twenty-something mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile, formerly of Nickel Creek, plays a unique fusion of bluegrass, jazz and classical music, with a hint of folk rock. Thile formed the band in 2006 with four talented musician friends, Chris Eldridge (guitar), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Gabe Wichter (fiddle), and Paul Kowert (bass). The group -- named for the Mark Twain piece "Punch, Brothers, Punch" -- is already performing to sold-out crowds around the world, with its first album, PUNCH, receiving a Grammy Award-nomination.

The Punch Brothers perform with equal parts humor and fearlessness, improvising on stage like the great jazz masters and incorporating songs from contemporary artists (Radiohead, the Strokes), classic rock (the Beatles), and classical music (Bach) with their own original tunes. See an incredible live performance by an up-and-coming band that, according to the New York Times, "expands the frontier of an emerging style of what might be called American country-classical chamber music."

Avenue Q
April 27-28, 8 p.m. (Mature Content)
General Public: $37-$59
IU Bloomington Students: $19-$40

A hit Broadway musical about life in New York City, Avenue Q combines people and puppets with a hilariously irreverent, Tony-winning book and score. Avenue Q tells the story of Princeton, a bright-eyed college grad who moves to NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. The only apartment he can afford is way out on Avenue Q, where everyone's looking for the same things he is -- a decent job, a stable relationship and a "purpose." Princeton eventually learns to embrace the ups and downs of city life and realizes that "the real world" isn't so bad, after all. Among his neighbors are Brian, an unemployed comedian, and his fiancée, Christmas Eve, a therapist with no clients; Nicky, the slacker with the heart of gold and his roommate, Rod, a republican investment banker with "a girlfriend in Canada;" Trekkie Monster, a reclusive Internet addict; and Kate Monster, a cute kindergarten teaching assistant.

Avenue Q was created by Jeff Marx, Robert Lopez, and Jeff Whitty, who wanted to create a show that appealed to people like them. "We tried to pinpoint why it was that people our age didn't go to musicals," said Marx. While this Broadway show isn't one for the kids, it makes for a night of smart, risqué and downright entertaining fun.