Four New Shows Added to Arts Center Calendar
MATTIE KELLY ARTS CENTER - FOUR NEW SHOWS ADDED FOR 2014
Four new national and touring events have been added to the 2014 schedule for the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. The region’s premiere performing arts venue is located on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College. All new shows will appear at 7:30 p.m. in the center’s magnificent 1,650 seat mainstage theater. The new events for early 2014 are in addition to those national and local events already on the center’s cultural arts calendar. New shows include:
• Direct from Branson, Missouri -- Comedian Jim Stafford and entertainer Moe Bandy appearing January 21 for a heartwarming evening of country music and homespun humor;
• The world famous Glen Miller Orchestra appearing in concert February 12 to benefit the Niceville High School Band program;
• “Generations: A Collection of Black American Music”, a regionally produced production, appearing February 28 during Black History Month; and,
• The national tour of the phenomenal “Ladysmith Black Mambazo” appearing March 21 to benefit public broadcasting affiliate WUWF.
The center’s current lineup of national touring Broadway shows also includes “Bring it On: The Musical” on January 23 and the Tony Award winning “Memphis: The Musical” on February 22, as well as the Las Vegas concert event “The Rat Pack Is Back” on March 8 to benefit the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. A full slate of college productions, recitals, and symphony concerts is also offered. Tickets for all events are available by phone or web from the Center’s Box Office at (850)729-6000 or www.mattiekellyartscenter.org. See the center’s website for a complete event listing, ticket prices and other information.
JANUARY 21, 2014 - JIM STAFFORD & MOE BANDY: THE GRAND TOUR. Enjoy a taste of Branson, Missouri when critically acclaimed comedian Jim Stafford joins forces with renowned entertainer Moe Bandy for a heartwarming evening of country music and homespun humor in their Grand Tour on January 21 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville. “Jim Stafford & Moe Bandy – The Grand Tour” will appear in the center’s mainstage theater and is billed as a “good old-fashioned musical comedy and variety show with a little vaudeville thrown in.” Tickets range from $25 to $45 and are on sale now from the center’s Box Office at (850) 729-6000 or online at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org.
Jim Stafford creates hilarious antics from everyday life and satirizes the obvious with his music and comedy, while Moe is your original “good ol’ boy” coming from a background of bull riding and steel working before making it big in country music. Famous for his million-selling records, “Spiders & Snakes”, “Cow Patti”, and the infamous “My Girl Bill”, Jim Stafford combines hysterical comedy with masterful performances on the classical guitar and heart-warming stories of the human spirit.
Moe Bandy’s songs range from bluegrass to classic country, and his show includes a touch of his famous comedy routines as well. His long string of hits include “Bandy The Rodeo Clown”, ”Till I’m Too Old To Die Young”, “Americana”, “Hank Williams You Wrote My Life”, “It’s A Cheatin’ Situation”, “Just Good Ol’ Boys”, “Barstool Mountain”, “I Cheated Me Right Out of You”, “I Just Started Hatin’ Cheatin’ Songs Today”, “Rodeo Romeo”,”You Haven’t Heard the Last of Me”, “Holding The Bag” and dozens of other chart-toppers.
FEBRUARY 12, 2014 – GLEN MILLER ORCHESTRA The world famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will appear February 12, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville in a concert to benefit the Niceville High School Band Program. Tickets are on sale now through the school and the Mattie Kelly Arts Center’s box office for $20 each.
The legendary Glenn Miller was one of the most successful of all dance bandleaders back in the Swing Era of the 1930’s and 40’s. Following Miller’s death, interest and popular demand led the Miller Estate to authorize the formation in 1954 of the present Glenn Miller Orchestra, which has performed for decades. Today, the 18 member ensemble continues to play many of the original Miller big band arrangements as well as some more modern selections arranged and performed in the Miller style and sound. The Niceville High School Big Band Jazz Ensemble will also perform a song with the orchestra at this event. For tickets, contact the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at (850) 729-6000 or purchase online atwww.mattiekellyartscenter.org.
FEBRUARY 28, 2014 - “GENERATIONS: A COLLECTION OF BLACK AMERICAN MUSIC” A unique, regionally produced musical production that pays homage to some of the most influential African American artists of the past and present – “Generations: A Collection of Black American Music”, appears February 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the mainstage theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College.
The events features the songs of Aretha Franklin, The Jacksons, Earth, Wind and Fire, and many more. The production begins its journey of discovery with a soul stirring pre-1900’s negro-spiritual and progresses all the way to the 2000’s -- making a stop at each decade along the way. A talented regional cast opens each decade with a monologue, exploring the status, emotion, whereabouts, and accomplishments of Black society during the specific eras, and then the bigger picture is made clearer through a marvelous array of music.
Advance tickets are on sale for $20 from the show’s production team at contact (850) 499-3627 or for $25 each from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office at (850) 729-6000 or online atwww.mattiekellyartscenter.org.
According to show producers, “Generations: A Collection of Black American Music” tells the beautiful story of the optimistic and triumphant approach to African American success, and the stateliness and sophistication of a nation. “We had a tremendous response to a recent preview event at which we gave a small taste of the depth and talent this event will showcase,” noted producer Mike Smith. “This show will make you smile, cry, want to sing out loud, dance, reminisce, or simply shout ‘AMEN!’” For more information see the “Generations: A Collection of Black American Music” page on Facebook or call (850) 499-3627.
MARCH 21, 2014 - LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO The world-renowned Ladysmith Black Mambazo performs in the mainstage theater at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville on March 21 at 7:30 p.m. to benefit public radio affiliate WUWF. Tickets are on sale now by phone (850) 729-6000 or web www.mattiekellyartscenter.org. Assembled in the early 1960s in South Africa by Shabalala, then a young farmboy-turned-factory-worker, the group took the name Ladysmith Black Mambazo from the name of Shabalala’s rural hometown – Ladysmith. The group borrows heavily from a traditional music called isicathamiya (is-cot-a-ME-Ya), which developed in the mines of South Africa, where black workers were taken by rail to work far away from their homes and their families. Poorly housed and paid worse, the mine workers would entertain themselves after a six-day week by singing songs into the wee hours on Sunday morning. When the miners returned to the homelands, this musical tradition returned with them.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo’s ambitious discography currently includes more than 50 recordings. Their philosophy in the studio has always been as much about preservation of musical heritage as it is about entertainment.
In the mid-1980s, Paul Simon visited South Africa and incorporated Black Mambazo’s rich tenor/alto/bass harmonies into his Graceland album – a landmark 1986 recording that was considered seminal in introducing world music to mainstream audiences. A year later, Simon produced Black Mambazo’s first U.S. release, "Shaka Zulu", which won a Grammy Award in 1988. Since then, the group has been awarded two more Grammy Awards and has been nominated a total of fifteen times. According to Simon, “It isn’t merely the grace and power of their dancing or the beauty of their singing that rivets the attention, but the sheer joy and love that emanates from their being."
In addition to their work with Paul Simon, Ladysmith Black Mambazo has recorded with numerous artists from around the world, including Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, Melissa Etheridge, and many others. Their film work includes a featured appearance in Michael Jackson’s "Moonwalker" video and Spike Lee’s "Do It A Cappella". They’ve provided soundtrack material for Disney’s "The Lion King, Part II" as well as Eddie Murphy’s "Coming To America", Marlon Brando’s "A Dry White Season", Sean Connery’s "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen", James Earl Jones’ "Cry The Beloved Country" and Clint Eastwood’s "Invictus". A film documentary titled "On Tip Toe: Gentle Steps to Freedom, the story of Ladysmith Black Mambazo", was nominated for an Academy Award.