Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has announced scheduled performances for its 1997-98 season. For the first time, Krannert will include all its major performances in one brochure. The season brochure includes Krannert Center's resident producers (Illinois Repertory Theater, Illinois Dance Theater and Illinois Opera Theater) and the Marquee season of guest artists.
"Having all our programs listed in one place makes it easier for our patrons to know what is happening at Krannert Center this season," said Rebecca McBride, associate director for marketing and public services. "It also reflects our multiple missions of education, presentation and production, all under one roof."
Krannert Center resident producers
Produced by the UI department of theater, Illinois Repertory Theater presents plays in both the Colwell Playhouse and the more intimate Studio Theater.
In the Colwell Playhouse this season, the company focuses on classical masters, presenting a new adaptation of Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities," the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "The Pirates of Penzance" and Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Modern voices highlight the Studio Theater Series, which includes "Shooting Stars," a play by Molly Newman about a women's basketball team in the 1960s; "Fires in the Mirror," Anna Deavere Smith's gripping exploration of the Crown Heights riots of 1991; and "Reckless," a wildly imaginative comedy by Craig Lucas. Two special events are planned in the Studio Theater in April: a festival of short plays by playwrights living in downstate Illinois, and a production of "Wiley and the Hairy Man," Susan Zeder's play for young audiences, which also will tour area communities before being presented at Krannert Center.
Illinois Dance Theater, produced by the UI dance department, presents three Studio dance productions and a mainstage program in the Colwell Playhouse. Studiodance I features works by dance faculty members and friends, including works by Beverly Blossom, professor emerita and Bessie Award-winner. Studiodance II presents works by graduating MFA students, and Studio dance III is an adjudicated program of works by graduate and undergraduate students. The main stage production, Festival '98, features collaborative works by resident faculty choreographers with Japanese paper sculptress Kyoko Ibe. Also programmed is a work by San Francisco-based choreographer Joe Goode.
Produced by the UI School of Music, Illinois Opera Theater presents three classics from the operatic repertoire in Krannert Center's Tryon Festival Theater. The season opens in November with Mozart's "The Magic Flute," continues in February with Puccini's beloved "La Boheme," and concludes in April with Lehar's captivating Viennese operetta, "The Merry Widow."
Krannert Center Marquee Season
The Marquee Season encompasses the popular Foellinger Great Hall Series, the Chamber Music Series, the Sunday Salon Series and the Marquee Choice Series.
Presenting world renowned classical musicians, this year's Foellinger Great Hall Series includes the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with guest conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach; a duo recital by guitarist Christopher Parkening and baritone Jubilant Sykes; violinist Itzhak Perlman; the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam, led by its music director Riccardo Chailly; and the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, Hobart Earle, music director and conductor.
On the Marquee Chamber Music Series are the Raphael Trio, the Canadian baroque orchestra Tafelmusik, the Juilliard String Ouartet, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Marsalis/ Stravinsky, a joint project of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Jazz at Lincoln Center in which Wynton Marsalis composes a new work using the same instrumentation as Stravinsky's "L'Histoire du Soldat." Krannert Center is one of 13 sites to host the premiere tour of the new work, which will be performed with "L'Histoire du Soldat" by artists of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and trumpeter Marsalis.
Featuring outstanding young talent, the Sunday Salon Series presents winners of several major awards: marimbist Makoto Nakura, winner of the Young Concert Artists Auditions; the winner of the 1997 Naumburg International Piano Competition; the Brentano String Ouartet, which appears as winner of the first ever Cleveland Quartet Award; the Gold Medalist of the 1997 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; and the Krannert Center Debut Artist, a student selected by competition each year from the UI School of Music.
The Marquee Choice Series covers a wide range of artistic expression. Dance events include Ohio Ballet's "The Jungle Book," performed with the Dhananjayan's Bharata Kanlanjali Dance Company of India; the Guangdong Modern Dance Company, China's only modern dance troupe; Trinity Irish Dance Company from Chicago; and the Georgian State Dance Company from Russia. In addition to Ohio Ballet's "the Jungle Book," family audiences will also enjoy magician and clown Tomás Kubínek and the amazing Peking Acrobats from China. Family performances are recommended for ages 4 and older.
Marquee Choice Theater offerings are "Grand Hotel des Etrangers," a fascinating blend of Theater, poetry and technology in which live actors and virtual characters interact on stage, and the ever popular Reduced Shakespeare Company, which returns with its latest production, "The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged)."
Musical programs on the Marquee Choice series include the Nashville Mandolin Ensemble, led by former UI Music Professor Paul Martin Zonn; traditional music stars Robin and Linda Williams and Their Fine Group; sitarist Kartik Seshadri; jazz singer Nancy Wilson; the New England Ragtime Ensemble; and Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band.
Krannert Center continues its popular Marquee Cabaret, with two events in the Studio Theater: Quebecois singer/ songwriter Richard Seguin and jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood, a native of Urbana, who performs with his trio and vocalist Stephanie Browning.
In a Marquee Choice special event, Krannert Center and Sinfonia da Camera present the premiere performance of a newly restored version of John Philip Sousa's comic opera "El Capitan." Ian Hobson conducts and Nicholas Di Virgilio directs this minimally staged performance with Sinfonia da Camera, the UI Chorale, UI Brass Band and guest soloists, including baritone Douglas Webster as El Capitan.
For more information about the 1997-98 season or to receive a copy of the 1997-98 season brochure, contact the Krannert Center Ticket Office at 333-6280 or 800/KCPATIX (527-2849); Fax 244SHOW (244-7469); TTY 333-9714 (for patrons who are deaf, or hearing- or speech-impaired).