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Diana Wortham Theatre Events

Friday, August 7th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, North Carolina announces the schedule of performances for the 2015/2016 Mainstage Series. The Mainstage Series presents a wide range of top touring artists in music, theater, dance, comedy, and other performing arts in an intimate, 500-seat hall. To start the season off, talented vocalist and one of the stars of the critically acclaimed documentary 20 Feet From Stardom Lisa Fischer takes the stage September 18 at 8:00 p.m. Setting the tone for Lisa Fischer’s performance is the Opening Night Reception, sponsored and catered by Pack’s Tavern at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets for all performances are on sale at 10:00 a.m. on August 20th and are available at www.dwtheatre.com as well as from the box office at (828) 257-4530. The theatre offers flexible multi-show discount packages starting with as few as three performances. Savings range from 10% to 20% off Regular prices depending on the number of performances; multi-show packages are available through the Diana Wortham Theatre box only at 828-257-4530.

MAINSTAGE SERIES

Lisa Fischer — Friday, September 18, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Lisa Fischer’s remarkable voice has landed her countless roles on stage, including spots with the Nine Inch Nails, Tina Turner, The Rolling Stones, and Aretha Franklin, as well as a role in the award-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom. Now she’s on to a new leg of the journey, with a not-to-miss one-night tour stop in Asheville to open the Mainstage Season.

Red Moon Road — Friday, September 25, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

An endearing folk trio hailing from Canada, Red Moon Road combines banjo, guitar, and mandolin to bring energetic sounds to its modern roots tunes, complete with exquisite harmonies and masterfully told stories.

The Passing Zone: The Passing Zone Saves the World — Saturday, October 3, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

America’s Got Talent finalists and recipients of eighteen gold medals from the International Jugglers’ Association Teams Competition, The Passing Zone’s act is full of good-natured ribbing, juggling chainsaws, and witty improvisation.

Tom Paxton — Saturday, October 10, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Share one last live performance in Asheville with the folk icon as he says farewell to life on the road with folk classics such as “The Last Thing on My Mind” and “Ramblin’ Boy,” and more of Paxton’s silly songs, romantic tales, and protest anthems.

Alison Brown Quartet— Friday, November 6, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Returning with ever-popular tunes as well as new hits, the Alison Brown Quartet brings traditional banjo picking together with jazz and Irish music, transforming toe-tapping bluegrass songs into sonically smooth combinations.

MOMIX Botanica — Tuesday & Wednesday, November 17 & 18, 2015, 8:00 p.m.

Dance, light, and motion make MOMIX’s Botanica an astonishing performance of athleticism and multimedia art.

A Swannanoa Solstice — Sunday, December 20, 2015, 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Celebrate the season with this holiday tradition, featuring award-winning recording artists and multi-instrumentalists Al Petteway, Amy White, Robin Bullock, and special guests as they create a mix of seasonal music, masterful storytelling, and poetry.

Koresh Dance Company: evŸoŸluŸtion — Friday & Saturday, January 22 & 23, 2016,

8:00 p.m.

The roots of human interaction are uncovered in this intense and intricately beautiful choreography by Koresh Dance Company, a favorite among Mainstage audiences.

The Hot Sardines — Saturday, January 30, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Hot jazz returns to the forefront of music in a night filled with big band enthusiasm and new-time energy as the Hot Sardines capture the raucous speakeasy sounds of the pre-World War II jazz era.

Aquila Theatre Company in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Friday, February 5, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

A night of mystery and intrigue awaits all those who attend this masterful portrayal of one of the most brilliant detectives in all of literary history. Join Holmes, Dr. Watson, and other colorful characters as the Aquila Theatre brings them back to life in a witty, fast-paced adaptation.

Aquila Theatre Company in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet Saturday, February 6, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Guided by Shakespeare’s famous prose, the timeless story of forbidden love and warring families is brought to life by the talents of the Aquila Theatre.

MUMMENSCHANZ: The Musicians of Silence — Thursday, February 11, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Oversized props and whimsical innovation take the stage without a sound in this wonderfully entertaining display of shadow, light, and sculptural masks, appropriate for all ages.

YAMATO The Drummers of Japan — Thursday & Friday, February 18 & 19, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Yamato brings a brand new show to the Mainstage on its world tour, “Bakuon” – Legend of the Heartbeat, complete with its trademark taiko drumming, infectious enthusiasm, and jaw-dropping skill.

Lucky Plush Productions Trip the Light Fantastic: The Making of SuperStrip — Friday & Saturday, February 26 & 27, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Part comic strip and part silent film, dancers, superheroes, and graphic novel characters collide in this richly layered dance production that bounces effortlessly from the dancers, to projected video, and back.

Lúnasa with special guest Tim O’BrienSunday, February 28, 2016, 7:00 p.m.

Lúnasa joins its fresh Irish melodies with the beloved music of Appalachia in a performance with master folk and bluegrass musician Tim O’Brien.

The Cashore Marionettes — Saturday, March 5, 2016: Simple Gifts, 2:00 p.m.; Life in Motion, 8:00 p.m.

The mesmerizing work of Joseph Cashore and his marionettes walk through the many phases of life to stunning works by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss and Copland in two shows, a matinee for families of all ages and an evening performance for older children and adults.

Altan – Thursday, March 10, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Join this traditional Irish band as it weaves an evening of jigs and reels, touching melodies, and even explores the ancient bonds between Irish music and bluegrass roots.

stephaniesĭd— Saturday, March 19, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Best known for its outstanding mix of songs and irresistibly infectious live performances, this pop-noir trio combines jazz, rock and pop to churn out wondrous and highly original tunes.

Dervish Friday, March 25, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

From jam sessions at neighborhood pubs in Ireland to performing for the Chinese government, Dervish is on a mission to spread traditional Irish music to every corner with a myriad of ballads, reels and melodies.

Rhythmic Circus — Thursday & Friday, March 31 & April 1, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Groove to the beat with genre-hopping music and percussive dance highlighted by taps, shuffles and stomps and punctuated by the refrains of the seven-piece brass band, not to mention a human beat-box.

Jesse Cook Friday, April 15, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Guitar virtuoso Jesse Cook intertwines flamenco and jazz rhythms with styles from around the globe, with songs from his newest project, One World.

Aaron Goldberg Trio — Saturday, April 30, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

From Brazilian ballads to roaring bebop, this trio’s ability to bring wit and explosive chops to every song makes for a wild night of masterful jazz.

Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill — Friday, May 27, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Indulge in the music of American guitarist Dennis Cahill and Irish fiddle player Martin Hayes as they explore the rising and falling melodies that become fiery, spellbinding performances.

MATINEE SERIES

Diana Wortham Theatre’s Matinee Series provides professional, curriculum-related shows at affordable costs, each season providing around 9,000 children the opportunity to experience the theatre, works by professional dance companies, comedic acts, and the musical talents of renowned performers. The series is extremely popular with children, families, and teachers throughout Western North Carolina.

Skippyjon Jones: Snow What, Theatreworks USA – Tuesday, October 12, 2015, 10:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.; Wednesday, October 13, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

Based on the book by Judy Schachner, Skippyjon Jones (the Siamese cat who thinks he’s a Mexican Chihuahua) heads off to his closet for the real adventure of Snow White with the help of the Seven Chimichangos.

Hamlet, Warehouse Theatre – Wednesday & Thursday, October 28 & 29, 2015, 9:30 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.

Follow the thrilling tale of the prince of Denmark in one of Shakespeare’s most well known quests for identity, love and justice.

The Lightning Thief, Theatreworks USA – Thursday & Friday, November 12 & 13, 2015, 10:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.

Experience the adventures of Percy Jackson in this hour-long musical adapted from the book by Rick Riordan.

MOMIX Botanica – Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 10:00 a.m.

Dance, light, and motion make MOMIX’s Botanica an astonishing performance of athleticism and multimedia art.

Koresh Dance Company – Friday, January 22, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

The roots of human interaction are uncovered in this earthy show with intense and intricately beautiful choreography by Koresh Dance Company.

Aquila Theatre Company in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – Monday, February 8, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

Guided by Shakespeare’s famous prose, the timeless story of forbidden love and warring families is brought to life in a full-length production by the talents of the Aquila Theatre.

MUMMUNSCHANZ: The Musicians of Silence – Thursday, February 11, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

Oversized props and whimsical innovation take the stage without a sound in this wonderfully entertaining display of shadow, light, and sculptural masks.

YAMATO The Drummers of Japan – Friday, February 19, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

Yamato brings a brand new show to the Mainstage: “Bakuon” – Legend of the Heartbeat, complete with its trademark taiko drumming, infectious enthusiasm, and jaw-dropping skill.

The Cashore Marionettes, Simple Gifts, Friday, March 4, 2016, 10:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.

The mesmerizing work of Joseph Cashore and his marionettes walk through the many phases of life to stunning works by Beethoven, Vivaldi, Strauss and Copland.

Junie B.’s Essential Survival Guide to School, Theatreworks USA – Thursday & Friday, April 14 & 15, 2016, 10:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.

Junie B. Jones lays down the ultimate tips to surviving school (and gets into a bit of trouble too!) in this production by Theatreworks, USA.

 

Henry and Mudge, Theatreworks USA – Wednesday & Thursday, May 4 & 5, 2016, 10:00 a.m. & 12:00 p.m.

Follow the adventures of Henry and Mudge as they navigate new neighborhoods and the fun of being a pet owner, based on the best-selling book series by Cynthia Rylant.

 

INTERSECTIONS – SING TOGETHER

Sing Together celebrates the joy of music and singing in spirited sessions with musicians Jim and Beth Magill. All skill levels are welcome; no experience required. In The Forum off the main lobby.

 

Celebrating The Kingston Trio – Friday, October 9, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

Come reminisce over the ‘60s folk hits of the legendary Kingston Trio; matching striped shirts optional.

Winter Songs – Friday, December 11, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

This family-friendly hour of singing, apple cider, cookies, and crafts warmly welcomes the holiday season.

Freedom Songs & Spirituals – Friday, February 12, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Special guest Becky Stone explores the Freedom Train through song, with inspirational music that brought strength to people on the journey from slavery, all the way up to the Civil Rights Movement.

Circle & Improvisational Songs – Friday, April 22, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

Sing into spring with special guest Susan Lachmann in a round of spontaneous vocal inventions and creative expression.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre 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 which lead 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 2015/2016 Season Sponsors are the Asheville Scene, Blue Moon Water, Creative Energy, 67 Biltmore Downtown Eatery & Catering, 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.

88th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the country’s longest running folk festival, now in its 88th year of highlighting mountain culture, returns this summer for three full evenings: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, August 6, 7 and 8 at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville. Tickets are on sale now.

With introductions beginning at 6:50 p.m. and the show beginning at 7:00 p.m. nightly, the festival formally showcases an amazing repertoire of mountain performers – old-timers as well as the newest generation of bluegrass and mountain string bands, ballad singers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers – who share music and dance that echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage. The festival begins Thursday, August 6 with Hometown Appreciation Night. In keeping with the grassroots flavor of the festival, local families and individuals are encouraged to attend to help kick off the first night of the festival.

 

Audiences at each of the three performances will see an extensive line-up of the cream-of-the-crop musicians, ballad singers and dancers; each evening features at least four dance teams from the very young to the young at heart. The popular and long-standing house band, the Stoney Creek Boys, returns to perform each evening. And each night of the festival features both well-known musicians and new talent alike, representative of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and its continuing traditions.

 

Proceeds from ticket sales for the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival help to cover the costs of the eight Shindig on the Green events each summer, including goods and services such as sound equipment and technicians. These operating costs average several thousand dollars per Shindig evening. The Folk Heritage CommitteeTM produces Shindig on the GreenTM and the Mountain Dance and Folk FestivalTM in order to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

2015 Mountain Dance and Folk Festival Performance Schedule

(Line-up subject to change. Check www.dwtheatre.com for updated line-up.)

Thursday, August 6: Carol Rifkin and Jerry Sutton, Masters of Ceremonies; Introduction by Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with buck dancers); Dance Team: Fines Creek Cloggers; Betty Smith; Buncombe Turnpike; Roger Howell and Friends; Sons of Ralph; Don Pedi; Dance Team: Folk Heritage Smooth Dancers; Dance Team: Stoney Creek Cloggers; Carol Rifkin, Jeanette Queen & John Fowler; The Peg Twisters; Spirit Fiddle; Dance Team: Green Valley Cloggers; Clearwater Connection; Dance Team: J Creek Cloggers; Whitewater Bluegrass Company.

Friday, August 7: Laura Boosinger and Kevin Hamlin, Masters of Ceremonies; Introduction by Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with buck dancers); Dance Team: Cole Mountain Cloggers; Richard Hurley; Spirit Fiddle; Appalachian Consort; Joe Penland; Dance Team: Dixie Darlins Cloggers; Denise O’Sullivan; Bobby Hicks; Maggie Lauterer and Zack Allen; Gabriel’s Creek; Dance Team: Appalachian Mountaineers Cloggers; Laura Boosinger; The Buckner Family; Dance Team: Blue Ridge Heritage Cloggers; New Broad River Band.

Saturday, August 8: Glenn Bannerman and Richard Hurley, Masters of Ceremonies; Introduction by Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with buck dancers); Dance Team: Mountain Tradition Cloggers; The Ross Brothers; Bryce Parham and Kathryn Brickey; Dance Team: Bailey Mountain Smooth Dancers; Phil and Gaye Johnson; Crooked Pine; Dance Team: Bannerman Family and Friends; Dance Team: Southern Mountain Fire Cloggers; The Griggs; Southern Highlanders; Bobby Anderson and Blue Ridge Tradition; The Trantham Family; Dance Team: Bailey Mountain Cloggers; The Waymasters; Spirit Fiddle; Bearwallow.

Parking:  Festival patrons can park off-street, at the parking garage on Biltmore Avenue – which also provides wheelchair access to the Festival – or at the various parking garages located throughout downtown Asheville.

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival is presented by Asheville’s Folk Heritage Committee which also produces its sister event, the 49th Annual Shindig on the GreenTM, a free gathering held each year at Pack Square Park on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage, with a stage show and informal jam sessions on Saturday evenings – remaining Shindig events in 2015 are on August 15, 22, 29; and September 5. Both events rely on the generosity and shared talent of the region’s finest old-time musicians and mountain dancers, as well as the all-volunteer Folk Heritage Committee and corporate and individual donors.

Raffle: The much-sought-after annual raffle items for the 2015 Shindig season are: a historic dulcimer handcrafted by celebrated Western North Carolina woodworker, James David Sams, mounted in a beautiful display frame by Blackbird Frame & Art and accompanied by an antique turkey quill used by renowned balladeer and dulcimer player, Virgil Sturgill – both dulcimer and quill may be removed for playing – valued at $1,500; and a 66” x 86” handmade twin-size quilt, featuring Sheepfold blocks set on point in a variety of red and cream fabrics and finished with heirloom-quality machine quilting, created by local quilting collaborative, Mountain Jam Circle – valued at $850. Raffle tickets are available at each Mountain Dance and Folk Festival evening and all eight Shindig on the Green evenings, and the winning tickets are pulled during the final Shindig on the Green on Saturday, September 5.

Sponsors: The Folk Heritage Committee produces Shindig on the Green’s 49th Summer Season and the 88th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival with support from the following Corporate Sponsors: Acoustic Corner; Acoustic Sound Production; Alan’s Jewelry & Pawn; Americare Pharmacy Consultants; Asheville Citizen-Times; Biltmore®; Brian C. Hunter, CPA, P.A.; City Bakery; CWS – Consolidated Waste Services; Deutsch & Gottschalk, PA; Elly Wells Marketing + Project Management; Fox Dental Associates; Graybeard Graphics; Greybeard Realty; Henco Reprographics; Lenoir-Rhyne University; Luella’s Bar-B-Que; Mast General Store; Mission Health; Mountain Jam Circle; Okie Dokies Smokehouse; Pack’s Tavern; Parsec Financial; RomanticAsheville.com Vacation Guide; Shay Brown Events; Skyland Auto Group; State Farm Insurance – Diane Bauknight; Telco Community Credit Union; Togar Rugs; Town Hardware & General Store; and Yesterday Spaces. Media Sponsors are: 880 AM The Revolution; 88.7 FM WNCW; 99.9 FM Kiss Country; The Laurel of Asheville; Mountain Xpress; News Radio 570 WWNC; Rapid River Magazine; Smoky Mountain Living; Smoky Mountain News; and WNC magazine. Ongoing support of Shindig on the Green is provided by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Asheville, and Buncombe County.

Ticket Information: Tickets (Regular $22; Children 12 and under $12; Groups of 10 or more $17 per person; 3-night package $54 for adults and $24 for children) for the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival are available from the Diana Wortham Theatre box office: (828) 257-4530 or online at www.dwtheatre.com/mountain-dance-and-folk-festival-2015.  For more information on the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival or Shindig on the Green, visit www.folkheritage.org or call the Folk Heritage Info Line: (828) 258-6101 x345.

Red Moon Road at Diana Wortham Theatre

Saturday, July 25th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Inspired by the great outdoors of Nova Scotia, Red Moon Road is Canada’s most endearing acoustic folk trio. Drop-dead gorgeous vocals from lead singer Sheena Rattai and brilliant performances on banjo, mandolin, and guitar help contribute to the group’s energetic sound. Flush with charm and wisdom, the three musicians effortlessly blend immaculate songwriting and finely honed musical skills. From living rooms to folk fest stages, the three have charmed fans from coast to coast. Their lush and lively take on modern roots is peppered with bright stage banter, exquisite harmonies, and masterfully told stories that make for a delightful evening.

Tickets: Regular $32; Student $27; Child $20

Carl Sandburg’s American Songbag at Diana Wortham Theatre

Friday, April 10th, 2015
ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville announces a new Intersections Sing Together: Carl Sandburg’s American Songbag, Friday, April 17 at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre. Participants can experience American folk music — songs representing the hearts and voices of thousands of men and women — performed, collected, and preserved by the renowned poet and national icon.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) earned three Pulitzer Prizes for his collection The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg, Corn Huskers, and for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. His 1927 anthology of folk music, The American Songbag, was widely popular and influenced a number of musicians even before the folk music revivals of the 1940s and 1960s. Sandburg said, “The American Songbag comes from the hearts and voices of thousands of men and women. They made new songs, they changed old songs, they carried songs from place to place, they resurrected and kept alive dying and forgotten songs.” Connemara, Sandburg’s home of 22 years in Flat Rock, NC, is preserved by the National Parks Service and is home to the annual Carl Sandburg Folk Music Festival.
Led by musicians Beth and Jim Magill, the Intersections Sing Together Series is designed for family and friends to celebrate the joy of music and singing in spirited sessions, bringing community together through song. All skill levels are welcome; no experience is required. The Forum, a large multi-purpose space adjacent to the theatre and accessible from the theatre’s main lobby, is the venue for all Sing
Together events.
Musicians Beth and Jim Magill lead the Intersections Sing Together series, which launched in 2012. Beth is a professional flute and tin whistle player and teacher. As a studio musician she has appeared on numerous recordings and NPR’s Mountain Stage. Jim is an award-winning songwriter and instrumentalist on guitar, cittern and mandolin. He is the founding director of The Swannanoa Gathering Folk Arts Workshops at Warren Wilson College, and in 1994 was awarded the first Fellowship in Songwriting and Composition from the North Carolina Arts Council.
The Intersections Sing Together sessions take place at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre. $10 adults/$8 children 12 and under; children 2 and under are free. To obtain more information on the Diana Wortham Theatre’s Intersections Sing Together Series or to buy tickets, call the theatre’s box office at (828) 257-4530 or visit www.dwtheatre.com/intersections-sing-together.

Grammy Award-winning Quartet New York Voices at DWT

Monday, April 6th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Vocal acuity and seamless harmony are the hallmarks of the Grammy Award-winning quartet New York Voices, who performs at Diana Wortham Theatre Saturday, April 11 at 8:00 p.m.

Known for close-knit voicings, inspired arrangements, and unparalleled vocal blend, New York Voices has refined its musical story to a high art. The group’s deep interests rooted in jazz, Brazilian, rhythm and blues, classical, and pop offer a sumptuous mix of the traditional and the contemporary.

New York Voices’ live performances have the reputation of being an audio/visual delight due to the group’s vocal blending, creative arrangements, and infectious enthusiasm.  “New York Voices lives up to its reputation as the most exciting vocal ensemble in current jazz,” says the Boston Herald. “To collect such quality voices in one group is rare enough, yet the real trick of New York Voices is how well they mesh.”

Chameleon-like musicianship allows New York Voices to move seamlessly from setting to setting: from orchestral/big band to more intimate lineups, the consummate performers wow audiences in small and large venues alike. Formed in its current lineup in 1994, two projects they collaborated on received Grammy awards (one with the Count Basie Orchestra, the other with Paquito D’Rivera). The group continues to make numerous guest appearances and tour internationally, appearing at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Kennedy Center, and more.

New York Voices is:

Kim Nazarian is a co-founding member who collaborates frequently on other innovative projects. She is one of the featured voices on Bobby McFerrin’s the multi-Grammy Award nominated VOCAbuLarieS album, and she partnered with the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and the Manchester Craftman’s Guild on a concert tour dedicated to the late, great Ella Fitzgerald.

Peter Eldridge is also a founding member of New York Voices. He has released four solo albums, and his vocals and compositions have been featured on the albums of many others artists including Nancy Wilson and Denise Donatelli.

Darmon Meader is recognized in both the jazz vocal and instrumental worlds as a highly respected vocalist, arranger, and saxophonist. He is a co-founder, musical director, chief arranger, composer, producer, saxophonist, and vocalist with New York Voices.

Lauren Kinhan joined New York Voices in 1992 and has contributed many compositions to the group’s catalog. Kinhan has recorded three solo albums, most recently 2014’s Circle in a Square, which was partially funded by a successful Kickstarter campaign.

New York Voice’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Nancy Houha & William Hilson; 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, WCQS 88.1 FM, and WTZQ AM 1600.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre 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 main 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, Everyday Gourmet, 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.

Wanderlust: From Here to Timbuktu Festival

Monday, January 19th, 2015

ASHEVILLENC – Winner of “Best of Fest” awards at North America’s two biggest fringe festivals in Winnipeg and Edmonton, Martin Dockery’s Wanderlust: From Here to Timbuku transports audiences from a world of daily grind to a 5-month solo trek across West Africa, with three performances in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre, January 22-24, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. The show is part of the theatre’s Intersections Series and is a special event in conjunction with the 2015 Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.

In this comical, multi-award winning, true-life odyssey, playwright and performer Martin Dockery brings listeners along with him on his own seemingly directionless journey when he quits his dead-end job as an office temp in New York City and buys a one-way ticket to an unknown land on another continent. It’s a voyage that takes him from a stingray-infested island off the coast of Africa, through the Sahara, to a barren hut outside of Timbuktu, as Dockery believes that fate will necessarily reward him with an epiphany — any epiphany at all. “As rivetingly hilarious as they are,” says Ottawa’s Fully Fringed, “Dockery’s stories also illustrate many basic, beautiful, uplifting human truths.”

 

There is no script for Wanderlust; rather it is a tale told extemporaneously each night. Dockery uses a full stage to perform the story while simultaneously narrating it. “He acts out his adventures (as opposed to simply recounting them) with enormous energy, immediacy, and physicality,” describes NYTheatre.com. “He brings his experiences entirely to life, supplying a thrill that feels more actual than vicarious.” The audience is taken along for the ride as Dockery negotiates the terrors, the absurdities, and the giddy moments inherent in traveling far from home, on an ever-more-desperate search for love, meaning, and a compass.

 

Wanderlust: From Here to Timbuktu is the first of six (so far) solo storytelling pieces created by New York performer Martin Dockery. After five years of honing his short-form storytelling craft at open mics all around New York City, Dockery was approached by Jean-Michele Gregory with the idea of creating an full-length solo piece. After a series of workshop performances, Dockery took Wanderlust on the road in 2009, and the show has been a success ever since. In the past four years, Wanderlust has been performed over 200 times in cities all across the US, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. Wanderlust has garnered innumerable 4 and 5 star reviews, plus “Best of Fest” awards at North America’s two biggest fringe festivals, Winnipeg and Edmonton. In 2011, Wanderlust also won the prestigious Critics Circle Award at the world’s 2nd largest theater festival, the Adelaide Fringe.

Martin Dockery’s Asheville performances are made possible by Media Sponsor WCQS.

Tickets are available through the Diana Wortham Theatre box office at www.dwtheatre.com and (828) 257-4530.

Diana Wortham Theatre Shana Tucker and Her Band

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

ASHEVILLE NC – Transcending genre distinctions with her fusion of jazz, contemporary folk, and soul, singer/songwriter and cellist Shana Tucker and her band play Diana Wortham Theatre Saturday, January 17 at 8:00 p.m.

Her 2011 debut solo recording, SHiNE, and subsequent interview on public radio, grabbed the ear of a Cirque de Soleil producer who quickly invited her to Las Vegas to join the world-class musical ensemble for Cirque du Soleil as cellist and mezzo-soprano for KÀ, the unprecedented, gravity-defying production by Cirque at the MGM Grand. Tucker now balances her indie artist career with her continuing role for Cirque du Soleil, splitting her time between Durham, NC in the east and Las Vegas in the west.

Through well-crafted lyrics, subtle, lingering melodies, and compositions that boast a unique, satisfying blend of humor and gravity, Shana Tucker’s music veers from acoustic pop to cabaret jazz to folk and R&B.

“Her voice alone would support a career,” says a review by INDYWEEK.com. “What makes Tucker special is her adherence to the cello, boldly taking the instrument into new territory.”

A classically trained musician who studied at Howard University and the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music, Tucker will often stand and pluck her cello like a string bass. “I can’t deny the classical training; it inspires my cello sensibilities,” says Tucker. “But I like the thump of walking blues and old-timey bass lines. It’s like a delicious coffee blend, bold and robust, with subtle undertones of bittersweet.”

For her Asheville performance, Tucker performs an eclectic mix of original music, original covers, and jazz standards that span the decades. Joining her on stage is Nick Rosen on piano, Keith Ganz on guitar, Stephen Coffman on drums, and Pete Kimosh on bass.

For insight and increased enjoyment, ticket holders may attend a free pre-performance discussion with Shana Tucker and pianist Nick Rosen in The Forum at Diana Wortham Theatre at 7:00pm prior to the 8:00pm performance. Seating is limited and offered on a first come, first served basis. We regret that we may not admit patrons to the discussions after 7:10 p.m.

Shana Tucker’s Asheville performance is made possible by Performance Sponsors Michael & Catty Andry and Carol & Bob Deutsch; 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 Sponsor WNC magazine.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre 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.

Diana Wortham Theatre Swannanoa Solstice Holiday Concert

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – Award-winning recording artists Al Petteway, Amy White, and Robin Bullock lead the annual holiday concert A Swannanoa Solstice, Sunday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville, with festivities beginning in the lobby prior to the performances with complimentary wassail and cookies, and music by The Piper Jones Band during intermission. In this annual winter holiday celebration, now in its 12th year, 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;
  • The Piper Jones Band, featuring E.J. Jones on Highland bagpipes, Rosalind Buda on bombarde, and Frances Cunningham on bouzouki
  • Matthew Bell on the Irish bodhrán and the Scottish marching snare drum
  • 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 the soundtracks for a number of Ken Burns’ films, most notably the 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 rendition of Henry Mancini’s The Thornbirds Theme featured on 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 2014 release, Mountain Guitar, features solo acoustic guitar and paints a musical portrait of the southern Appalachian Mountains. 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 Majesty and Magic: Music of Bach, Dowland and Carolan for Solo Guitar. His most recent release, Alone and Together, is a collaborative effort with fingerstyle guitarist, Steve Baughman. Robin also tours internationally as sideman with Grammy-winning folk legend Tom Paxton, including Tom’s “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 Dan & Anna Garrett, Bill & Marilyn Hubbard, and Marrion & Rockwell Ward; and by Mainstage Special Attractions Series Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz and Wells Fargo; with additional support from Media Sponsors The Laurel of Asheville, WCQS 88.1 FM, and WTZQ AM 1600.

The entrance for the Diana Wortham Theatre 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 restaurants, 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.

Diamond Brand Outdoors “Step Out and Shop” benefit Diana Wortham Theatre

Monday, November 24th, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – The Diana Wortham Theatre and Diamond Brand Outdoors have announced their fourth annual “Step Out and Shop” event at Diamond Brand Outdoors’ new downtown location at 51 Biltmore Avenue in the Aloft Hotel.  Hosted by Diamond Brand Outdoors, the event will be held Thursday, December 4, from 5:00 until 8:00 PM.

A long-standing supporter of Diana Wortham Theatre and sponsor of the theatre’s Mainstage Dance Series, Diamond Brand presents this evening of shopping with a storewide 20% discount* off its finest selection of brand name fashions, outdoor gear, and accessories.  10% of all store sales will be contributed to the theatre.

While shopping, guests will enjoy an evening of music by the Sara Fields Trio, known for their mix of swing and classic jazz standards. Savory and sweet hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the Aloft Asheville Downtown Hotel’s culinary team.

According to Catherine Gay, an owner of Diamond Brand Outdoors, the Diana Wortham Theatre is a vital part of WNC and an indispensable contributor to the arts in this state. “We are especially excited to host this year’s event at our new downtown location as we are now neighbors with the theatre, and theatre patrons can enjoy the beautiful downtown area while experiencing the evening!” she said.  “We look forward to introducing patrons and guests to our new, innovative ‘adventure boutique,’ which features an array of wonderful new outdoor gear and gift items in a remarkable setting, just in time for the holidays.”

“Diamond Brand Outdoors cares deeply about our community and the Diana Wortham Theatre is an important part of that community,” Gay continued.  “It is a privilege for us to support the theatre in its endeavors to further the arts and to positively impact the lives of its patrons.”

Proceeds from the evening’s sales will provide vital financial support for the ongoing programs of the Diana Wortham Theatre. Located in the heart of downtown Asheville and a block away from the new Diamond Brand location, the Diana Wortham Theatre offers live performances of music, theatre and dance throughout the year.  The theatre features 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 Ballet, Asheville Lyric Opera, Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, Asheville Puppetry Alliance, Ballet Conservatory of Asheville, and the annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. In addition, the Diana Wortham Theatre serves over 9,800 regional students with its Matinee Series for Students and Families.

For more information on the Diana Wortham Theatre, visit www.dwtheatre.com.  For more information on Diamond Brand Outdoors, follow them on Facebook at Diamond Brand Outdoors and Diamond Brand Outdoors Downtown; or on Instagram at diamondbrand_outdoors; or visit www.diamondbrand.com.

*Discount not valid on boat purchases. Available on in-stock items. Promotion may be discontinued at management’s discretion.

Prague’s Cirk La Putyka Slapstick Sonata at DWT

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

ASHEVILLE NC – A delightful troupe from the international circus arts scene, Prague’s Cirk La Putyka brings its dazzling Slapstick Sonata to Diana Wortham Theatre on Friday and Saturday, November 7 & 8, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. Set to the music of Mozart, Handel, Shostakovich and others, Slapstick Sonata is a beautiful blending of visual poetry, physical comedy and contemporary circus “somewhere between absurd and surreal.”

Transcending acrobatics, contemporary dance, puppetry, concert, and sport, Cirk La Putyka’s performances feature a twenty member, multi-talented cast of dancers, actors, acrobats, mimes, musicians, and comediennes, all top professionals in their chosen discipline. “We are delighted to bring Cirk La Putyka to Asheville, a city with a burgeoning circus arts and fringe scene of our own,” says John Ellis, Managing Director of Diana Wortham Theatre. “The inventive performance art disciplines of Cirk La Putyka are right in line with the unique artistic exploration and expression found at the likes of the Lexington Avenue Arts and Fun Festival and the Asheville Fringe Festival. Cirk La Putyka Director Maksim Komaro is also Artistic Director of Circo Aereo and one of the driving forces of circus art in Finland and abroad.”

Cirk La Putyka created Slapstick Sonata in collaboration with Circo Aereo, the international contemporary circus group that performed to awe-struck audiences at Diana Wortham Theatre during two previous Mainstage Seasons. The result is a performance that brings together orchestral music with slapstick comedy from silent film era, creating a very literal combination of high art and popular culture.

Under the brilliant direction of Artist Director Rostislav Novák and Managing Director Vit Novák, Cirk La Putyka was established in 2009 and has toured throughout Eastern Europe as well as in France, Germany, Scotland, the United Kingdom, Scandinavia, and Australia. At present, there are five productions in the company’s repertory, all performed in rotation in their home theater in Prague as well as on tour. Cirk La Putyka has worked with well-known groups and artists such as Maksim Komaro, Cirkus Cirkör (Tilde Björfors), Jan Rosén, Cahin Caha (Daniel Gulko), Bonaventura Gacon, The Race Horse Company, Compaignie XY, actors from Cirque de Soleil, and the French National Circus School.

Cirk La Putyka’s Asheville performances are made possible by Mainstage Special Attractions Series Sponsors Joel & Deborah Bohan Berkowitz and Wells Fargo; with additional support from Media Sponsors The Laurel of Asheville, 880AM The Revolution, and News Radio 570 WWNC.

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.