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The Interactive Beatles Experience at Diana Wortham Theatre

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The sights and sounds of the 1960s and the most important music of a generation come alive as the British invasion returns with Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience, Friday, September 19, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. Yesterday and Today kicks off the 2014/2015 Mainstage Season at Diana Wortham Theatre.

Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience is a foot-stomping, sing-along sensational night, bringing back songs that are woven into the cultural tapestry of the 20th century, with a set list compiled according to the audience’s requests and performed by the McGuigan brothers exactly as it was originally recorded: no wigs, no faked accents, no pretense. “Once you take those elements away,” says creator Billy McGuigan, “you get down to the most important part: the magical music.

The band plays the Beatles’ catalogue note for note. Prior to the performance, the audience is encouraged to fill out a request form with their favorite Beatles song and the reason why they chose the song. Those requests are organized five minutes before show time and ultimately create the set list for the evening, with the stories providing the evening’s narrative.

Show founders Billy, Ryan, and Matthew McGuigan have toured the country with Yesterday and Today since 2007, offering a unique, interactive concert experience – born out of the idea that everyone has a story or particular memory attached to the legendary music of The Beatles.

The McGuigan brothers united their musical talents, charms, and passion for performing to create the ultimate living tribute to the greatest man they’ve ever known: their father. Originally from Largo, FL, the McGuigan brothers were just 21, 18, and 15 years old in 1996 when their father, William (“Bill”) McGuigan, passed away after a courageous battle with leukemia. Part of Bill’s legacy for his boys was sharing his love – and extensive catalogue – of Beatles’ music; Bill owned every album, even the obscure ones. Little did any of them know that it would turn out to be one of the greatest gifts a father could pass on to his children.

Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Nancy Houha & William Hilson and Dianne & David Worley; and by Mainstage Music Series Sponsors Henry LaBrun, First Citizens Bank, The Omni Grove Park Inn, and Ward and Smith, P.A.; with additional support from Media Sponsors WNC magazine, Rock 105.1, 97.7 The Brew, and WTZQ AM 1600.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and White Duck Taco, and into a large interior courtyard with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2014/2015 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Swannanoa Solstice Annual Holiday Concert

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – Award-winning recording artists Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock lead the annual holiday concert A Swannanoa Solstice, Sunday, December 22 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville, with festivities beginning in the lobby prior to the performances with complimentary Wassail. In this annual winter holiday celebration, world-renowned musicians Petteway and White along with Bullock and a host of special guests share holiday songs old and new, religious and secular, joyful and poignant, in a warm and intimate winter concert.

Presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, A Swannanoa Solstice again offers two performances in order to meet the audience demand for this popular winter gathering and concert.

This year’s special guests include:

  • Sheila Kay Adams, National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship winner, world-renowned Appalachian storyteller, traditional ballad singer, banjo player and author;
  • The Twisty Cuffs, local Cape Breton-style stepdancers;
  • Piperjones and his Merry Band, Highland bagpipers featuring piper E.J. Jones;
  • Host and emcee Doug Orr, president emeritus of Warren Wilson College and founder of A Swannanoa Solstice

A Swannanoa Solstice showcases all manner of seasonal sounds and festivities, with well-mastered Celtic and Appalachian songs and music on guitar, mandolin, fiddle, piano, Celtic harp, Irish bouzouki, vocals and world percussion. Through music and storytelling and poetry, the featured artists explore shared winter traditions from the area, the country, and from around the world. The melodies played by Petteway, a virtuosic acoustic guitarist, draw from a broad variety of cultural influences from Middle East tonalities to Scottish jigs. White, on piano, mandolin, guitar, Celtic harp and percussion, draws on her classical background to create beautiful and compelling original compositions and arrangements of traditional favorites. Bullock, a multi-instrumentalist who plays the guitar, mandolin and bouzouki is hailed as a master musician whose style skillfully embraces Celtic and Classical music.

More about the artists:

Grammy winner Al Petteway and his wife and musical partner Amy White perform an exciting blend of original, traditional, contemporary Celtic- and Appalachian-influenced music.  Their repertoire offers extensive instrumental work featuring acoustic guitars, mandolins, Celtic harp, piano and world percussion as well as a fine touch of vocals. They have been Artists in Residence at Warren Wilson College and The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. Their award-winning signature sound is heard often on public radio programs and has been used in soundtracks for independent films, most notably Ken Burns’ Emmy-winning PBS documentary, The National Parks-America’s Best Idea. While living in the Washington, D.C. area, Al & Amy won a grand total of 50 Wammies from the Washington Area Music Association in the Folk, Celtic and New Age categories. They received a coveted Indie Award for their CD Gratitude (2001) and Al won a Grammy for his solo fingerstyle guitar contribution to the pop instrumental compilation, Pink Guitar (2004). The readers of Acoustic Guitar magazine voted him one of the top fifty guitarists of all time. Al is the coordinator of Guitar Week for the world famous Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and was given the “Master Music Maker” award for his contributions to the program in 2013. Amy’s 2012 release, Home Sweet Home, was in the top ten on the national folk/roots charts and held the number one spot in North Carolina for more than a month in 2012. Al’s most resent release, It’s Only The Blues, was selected by the editors of Acoustic Guitar Magazine as one of the top ten essential albums of 2012. Al and Amy are both stock photographers with National Geographic Creative, and their photographs are represented in The National Geographic Society’s Image Collection, where Al worked as an image editor for 18 years. These photos are translated onstage during A Swannanoa Solstice in photographic backdrops of the Southern Appalachians in winter repose. Al and Amy make their home on top of the Elk Mountains range in nearby Weaverville, NC.

Hailed as a “Celtic guitar god” by the Baltimore City Paper, guitarist/mandolinist/citternist Robin Bullock is a winner of Editor’s Pick and Player’s Choice Awards from Acoustic Guitar Magazine, the Association for Independent Music’s prestigious INDIE Award (with the world-folk trio Helicon), multiple Washington Area Music Association WAMMIE Awards, a Governor’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, and a bronze medal at the National Mandolin Championship in Winfield, Kansas. His twelve solo and collaborative recordings include two holiday CDs, A Guitar for Christmas and Christmas Eve is Here, and his most recent, Majesty and Magic: Music of Bach, Dowland and Carolan for Solo Guitar. In addition to his solo work, Robin also tours internationally as sideman with Grammy-winning folk legend Tom Paxton, including Tom’s 2010 and 2012 “Together at Last” tours with Janis Ian. A native of Washington, D.C. and a longtime resident of France, Robin now makes his home in Black Mountain, NC.

A Swannanoa Solstice is presented annually in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and is made possible by Performance Sponsors Bill & Marilyn Hubbard, Henry LaBrun, Marrion & Rockwell Ward, and Arby’s, with additional support from Media Sponsors The Laurel of Asheville and WCQS 88.1 FM.

The new entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is marked by the location of the theatre’s new marquee between 12 and 14 Biltmore Avenue. Patrons enter the theatre through the breezeway between Marble Slab Creamery and Circle in the Square restaurants, and into a large interior courtyard for Pack Place with multiple glass doors to the theatre’s lower lobby and new box office. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2013/2014 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

Diana Wortham at Pack Place Classes, Discussions, and Performances

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville, North Carolina announces the schedule for its 2013/2014 Intersections Series, a series held in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre. Featuring a full season of classes, discussions, and performances, Intersections is an opportunity for patrons to connect more deeply with the arts, artists, and each other. The Forum, a large multi-purpose space adjacent to the theatre and accessible from the theatre’s main lobby, is the venue for all Intersections events unless otherwise announced.

Performances: The Intersections Series features two performing artists in the 2013/2014 season. The ultimate troubadour Jim Malcolm (November 20, 2013) performs “Just Flown In From Scotland.” Malcolm warms the soul with masterful guitar and harmonica peppered with funny stories and engaging wit. And Dirty Barbie (January 23-25, 2014) written, directed and performed by Denise Stewart is a fun and poignant one-woman show that speaks to the secret lives of girls, the way we play, and the unsupervised side of childhood. Tickets are available through the Diana Wortham Theatre at www.dwtheatre.com and (828) 257-4530.

The Sing Together Series is designed for family and friends to celebrate the joy of music and singing in spirited sessions with musicians Beth and Jim Magill. All skill levels are welcome. Bring family and friends, make new friends and create community through song. The 2013/2014 Sing Together Series offers themed gatherings from October 2013 to May 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre including: 60s Folk Revival (adults, October 11, 2013), Winter Songs (families, December 13, 2013), Freedom Songs & Spirituals with guest artist Becky Stone (adults, February 7, 2014), Get Your Irish On (families, March 7, 2014), Campfire Songs (families, April 11, 2014), and Mitch Miller (adults, May 23, 2014). $10 adults/$8 children 12 and under; children 2 and under are free.

The Book Discussion Group is an opportunity for book lovers to gather regularly for lively and insightful discussions on selected books. Meet new friends as you deepen your literary experience. Dates for the 2013/2014 Book Discussion Group are September 17, 2013; October 15, 2013; November 12, 2013; January 21, 2014; February 18, 2014; March 18, 2014; April 15, 2014; and May 20, 2014. Visit www.dwtheatre.com for book selections and updates.

The Craft Group, presented in partnership with Handmade in America, meets monthly to create a work of art under the direction of a local artist. Dates for the 2013/2014 Intersections Craft Group are: September 10, 2013, Indigo Shibori Dyed Cotton Scarves with Linda LeBelle; November 5, 2013, Ceramic Tea Pots with Donna Flanery; December 10, 2013, Holiday Crafts with Ruth Ingram; February 4, 2014, Gifts from the Heart with Ruth Ingram; March 11, 2014, topic t.b.a.; April 8, 2014, Light Up Your Intentions Candle Making with Kate Stockholm; and May 13, 2014, topic t.b.a. Check Diana Wortham Theatre’s website for updated information.

Pre-performance discussions are once again offered in association with the Mainstage Dance and Theatre performances. Ticket holders of these performances are invited to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of select performances in the Mainstage Series by attending this free pre-performance discussion, lead by a professional from the community or an associate with the creative staff of the performing artist. Pre-show discussions are held at 7:00 p.m. prior to the performance and include: Shakespeare on Trial on November 23, 2013; Eisenhower Dance on January 17 & 18, 2014; and Aquila Theatre in Fahrenheit 451 on January 31, 2014, and in Twelfth Night on February 1, 2014. A Master Class will be offered with The Chase Brock Experience on March 22, 2014. More details regarding this opportunity will be made available on the Diana Wortham Theatre website.

To obtain more information on the Diana Wortham Theatre’s Intersections Series, reserve a space in a class or group, or purchase performance tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

 

Broadway’s Next Musical Hit at Diana Wortham Theatre

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre Board of Directors presents Broadway’s Next H!T Musical – New York City’s original, award-winning improvised musical comedy – in a special benefit evening for the Diana Wortham Theatre, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, April 27 at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville. In Broadway’s Next H!T Musical, every lyric, melody, and jazz hand is made up on the spot to create the show. Master improvisers gather made up, “hit song” suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical — complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore.

The benefit is preceded by a special VIP reception with refreshments and decadent desserts at 7:30 p.m. and concludes with a post-performance meet-and-greet with the cast. The benefit evening is sponsored by Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., and is presented by the Diana Wortham Theatre’s Board of Directors to provide vital financial support for the ongoing programs of the theatre.

“I saw this show in New York City and immediately thought it would be a fun, engaging show for the annual benefit,” says John Ellis, Managing Director for Diana Wortham Theatre. “It isn’t often that an audience is able to see a new show created in front of their very eyes. It’s a great evening.”

Under the direction of improv veterans Rob Schiffman and Deb Rabbai, Broadway’s Next H!T Musical has appeared at The Triad, Tribeca Film Festival, and the New York Musical Theater Festival, to name a few. The New York Times hails the show as “Hilarious!” and the New York Post calls it “Remarkable…Something that few improvisers anywhere have the talent, experience and wit needed to successfully do…An ‘A-list’ of seasoned improvisers.” With memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists galore, this show continues to delight audiences everywhere it goes.

Located in the heart of the Pack Square Cultural District on historic Pack Square in downtown Asheville, Diana Wortham Theatre offers live performances of music, theatre and dance throughout the year by nationally touring artists (the Mainstage Series), as well as a wide array of performances by professional and avocational regional arts groups such as the Asheville Lyric Opera, The Asheville Ballet, Ballet Conservatory of Asheville, the annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, and Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, and Renaissance Asheville Hotel. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

To obtain more information on the special benefit performance of Broadway’s Next H!T Musical on April 27 or to purchase tickets — VIP Tickets (7:30 pm Reception plus Orchestra-level Seating): $75; Regular (Performance Only; Balcony Seating): $50 — call the theatre’s box office at (828)257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com. A portion of the ticket price is a tax-deductible contribution to the theatre.

Celebrated Aquila Theatre at Diana Wortham Theatre in February

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – New York and London based Aquila Theatre presents back-to-back performances of Edmund Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, 8:00 p.m. Friday, February 1 and Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, 8:00 p.m. Saturday, February 2 at Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place in downtown Asheville. Aquila Theatre is one of the foremost producers of touring theater and is widely renowned for bringing a thoroughly modern sensibility to great classics throughout the United States and abroad. The company delights audiences with innovative takes and clever staging of strong scripts. Over the past several Mainstage Series seasons, Asheville audiences have come to know and anticipate the annual repertory offering of this creative company on the intimate stage of the Diana Wortham Theatre. Managing Director John Ellis notes the appeal of the “two plays in two days” weekend: “Many audience members attend both Aquila performances for the rare opportunity to see the same actors perform different characters, sometimes very opposite in nature, on successive evenings.”

On February 1, Aquila presents Edmund Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac, one of the most famous romantic adventures in world literature. Cyrano is an excellent French soldier and swordsman who is besotted with the beautiful and alluring Roxanne, yet because of his famously huge nose he feels he can never truly win her heart and keeps his love a secret. Beautifully funny, poignant and often heart wrenching, Cyrano de Bergerac promises to be a wonderful evening of live theatre of the highest caliber.

On February 2, Aquila breathes new life into one of Shakespeare’s most challenging comedies, The Taming of the Shrew, telling the story of the timeless battle of the sexes. Bianca Minola, the beautiful daughter of a lord, is eligible for marriage but cannot be courted until her elder sister, Katherina, finds a husband. With its inventive style and versatile cast, Aquila breathes fresh life into one of Shakespeare’s most challenging yet enduring comedies.

Intersections Pre-show Discussions: For insight and increased enjoyment of the plays, ticket holders can attend free pre-performance discussions in The Forum at Pack Place at 7:00 p.m. before each performance.

In addition to its evening performance, Aquila Theatre presents the full-length production of The Taming of the Shrew as part of the 2012/2013 Matinee Series for Students and Families on Monday, February 4, 2013. Performances in the Matinee Series for Students and families are open to school groups, homeschoolers, community groups, and families. The matinee performance of The Taming of the Shrew is sold out

Aquila Theatre’s performances of Cyrano de Bergerac and The Taming of the Shrew are funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council. The performances are made possible by Performance Sponsors Maureen & Frank Hantke, and by Mainstage Theatre Series Sponsors First Citizens Bank and Ward and Smith, P.A., with additional support from Media Sponsors WCQS 88.1FM and WNC magazine.

The Diana Wortham Theatre at Pack Place is located in the same complex as the Asheville Art Museum and the Colburn Earth Science Museum and is within walking distance of many shops and restaurants. The intimate theatre seats just over 500 and boasts exceptional acoustics and sightlines, making it the premier performance space in all of Western North Carolina. The Mainstage Series is supported by a grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency. The Mainstage Series 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Citizen-Times, Creative Energy, Laurey’s Catering and Gourmet-to-go, the North Carolina Arts Council, Renaissance Asheville Hotel, and Blue Moon Water. To obtain more information on the Mainstage Series or to purchase tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com.

To obtain more information about Aquila Theatre in Rostand’s Cyrano de Bergerac (February 1, 2013) and Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (February 2, 2013) at Diana Wortham Theatre or to purchase tickets (Regular $35; Students $30; Children 12 & under $15), call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com. Student Rush tickets ($10 for students with valid I.D.) are sold the day of the show, based on availability.

Diana Wortham Theatre Presents Mountain Heart Nov 9

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Join Diana Wortham Theatre on November 9 at 8 pm for Mountain Heart. Mountain Heart is fearlessly revolutionizing the way acoustic music is presented and played: its name has been synonymous with cutting-edge excellence in acoustic music circles since the group’s creation in 1999. One of the most highly awarded groups ever assembled, Mountain Heart has won or been nominated for multiple Grammy, ACM, CMA and IBMA awards. Versatile, multi-genre superstars, they have shared the stage with the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Merle Haggard, Brad Paisley, Alison Krauss, Levon Helm, and John Fogerty — but it is the group’s high-energy sound, fresh and unmistakably their own, that has audiences clamoring.
Tickets: Regular $30, Student $25, Child $15
Groups of 10-19: $27 each
Groups of 20 or more: $25 each

Diana Wortham Theatre Presents The Importance of Being Earnest

Saturday, January 28th, 2012

ASHEVILLE NC – Diana Wortham Theatre presents The Importance of Being Earnest. Crammed full of larger-than-life characters and with comic timing as sharp as Wilde’s witticisms, Aquila’s Earnest is unmistakable fun. This delightful and tantalizing production overflows with humor, elegance, romantic comedy, and insights into the flamboyant lifestyle of the fashionable British upper classes — as Wilde’s Algernon admits, “If I am occasionally over dressed, I make up for it by being always immensely over educated.” Count on creative staging and the beautiful use of physical humor for over-the-top merriment.


Tickets: Regular $35, Student $30, Child $12
Groups of 10-19: $32 each
Groups of 20 or more: $30 each

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Asheville’s Diana Wortham Theatre Announces Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

ASHEVILLE, NC – Catch the Upright Citizens Brigade Touring Company, the greatest producer of comedians in America and whose touring troupe brings its very funny improv and sketch comedy to clubs, theatres, and now our own Ashvegas (the upright citizens of which they may rip to shreds). Named “Hot Farm Team” by Rolling Stone, this group births some of the funniest actors and writers found on Saturday Night Live, The Office, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, 30 Rock, and more – “ . . . the type of manic, original, inventive stuff I’m always interested in” (Conan O’Brien). Intended for adult audiences only. Performance September 24, 2011 at Diana Wortham Theatre, 8 pm.