The 2013-14 Central Lakes College (CLC) Cultural Arts Series has a winning recipe for local audiences: Mix a large portion of rock ‘n’ roll with classical dance, add a dash of drama and blend in folk and soul music.
The series kicks off at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 13 in the Tornstrom Auditorium with “Floydian Slip” — a Pink Floyd tribute show performed by The Fabulous Armadillos. “Floydian Slip” is the first in an eight-event classic rock series that is a major part of the series as a whole.
“I moved the classic rock series to Tornstrom because each is a big show in itself, and will attract a larger audience than I can fit into the Chalberg Theatre,” said series producer Patrick Spradlin. “In the past I’ve sold these kinds of shows out in a hurry, and had to add second performances, but always on the same night. The result for the audience was an abbreviated show, which I didn’t think was particularly fair or exciting.”
The classic rock series includes performances by Transit Authority, the premiere Chicago tribute band, on Oct. 12 and Legends of Liverpool to perform the Beatles music on Nov. 9. “This is the only Beatles tribute show with a direct bloodline to the original Beatles,” said Spradlin. “Louise Harrison, George’s sister, chose the members of this band and does their media appearances.”
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Xmas Spectacular hits town for what has become a holiday staple on Dec. 4; Steeling Dan, a tribute show of the music of Steely Dan, will perform Jan. 18, 2014; The music of U2 is the sound of Under a Blood Red Sky, appearing on March 8, 2014; Rumours and Dreams, a Fleetwood Mac show, makes an encore return on April 5; and the Armadillos close the series with their Doobie Brothers show, “Takin’ it to the Streets” on April 24, 2014.
“If the classic rock series was the entire season, that might be enough,” says Spradlin. “But I realize that not everyone enjoys that genre, so I’ve added other events as well.”
Bob Weick returns to perform his one-man show “Marx in Soho,” a play by Howard Zinn, at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 3. Zinn stated that he wrote the play to “show Marx as few people knew him, as a family man, struggling to support his wife and children.” The play depicts Marx resurrected to defend the ideals of communism from the dehumanized version of it practiced in the former Soviet Union and to defend humanity from capitalism.
The Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre of Minneapolis performs at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 in the Chalberg Theatre. One of the few American Spanish dance companies that present both traditional flamenco programs as well as original theater flamenco works; the company is comprised of an ensemble of international artists, dancers and musicians who are renowned for bringing the power, passion and virtuosity of the art of flamenco to American audiences.
Returning to Brainerd during the holidays will be The Steele Family with their show, “This Must be Christmas,” on Dec. 21.
“This is a holiday show the entire family will just love,” said Spradlin. “The Steeles performed this show for over 20 years in the Twin Cities before deciding to stop. But we still get them at Christmas, no one else does. It’s a wonderful show.”
The Illusion Theater of Minneapolis will tour with its production of “Jeffrey Hatcher’s Hamlet” on March 21, 2014, written and performed by the playwright. Hatcher is known as much for his screenwriting credits as for his plays, including the screen adaptations of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” “Three Viewings” and “Stage Beauty.”
“I am in negotiations with at least two other artists for the spring, including a folk artist who has appeared here twice before and a group whose appearance I had to cancel last year,” said Spradlin. “So, even this isn’t the entire Cultural Arts Series.”
The CLC Theatre Department is also producing three shows this season, including “Jack the Ripper: Monster of Whitechapel” opening Oct. 24; “I Hate Hamlet” opening Feb, 13, 2014; and “Equus” opening May 1, 2014.
Tickets to individual Cultural Arts Series events or CLC Theatre events are now on sale through the CLC Theatre Box Office at 855-8199 or online at clcmn.edu/arts. Group rates and packages are also available.