Several big-name acts are headlining the Penn State Center for Performing Arts 2019-2020 season — including Tony Award-winning musical “The Book of Mormon,” premiering Oct. 8-13.
“From return engagements and debuts by an amazing array of renowned artists and companies, I am so excited about the coming season and can’t wait to open our doors and let the performances begin,” CPA Director George Trudeau said in a press release.
Single tickets for “The Book of Mormon” and all CPA presentations will go on sale starting at 8 a.m. July 18, according to a CPA press release. The show’s seven-performance run includes 7:30 p.m. showings Oct. 8-12 and 2 p.m. showings on Oct. 12 and 13.
For Broadway musical-lovers, the lineup also includes the 20th anniversary run of “Rent” on Nov. 19; “A Bronx Tale” on Oct. 30; “Jersey Boys” on Jan. 28, 2020, back for a second tour stop at Penn State since its 2015 Happy Valley premiere; and “The Color Purple,” the musical based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Alice Walker and award-winning Steven Spielberg film, on April 15.
But classical and contemporary music-lovers will also have a piece of the fun — legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman will appear in an autobiographical program Nov. 14 called “An Evening with Itzhak Perlman,” featuring his longtime pianist Rohan DeSilva. The program will feature musical performance, personal anecdotes from Perlman and film excerpts from the documentary “Itzhak.”
Other notable performances include: the Penn State debut of American singer Lizz Wright on Feb. 5; the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine performing works by Camille Saint-Saens and Johannes Brahms on Feb. 11; Hong Kong Ballet’s performance of “Alice (in Wonderland)“ on April 24; funk-jazz legend Maceo Parker and his big band performing on Sept. 26; Grammy Award-winning ensemble Kronos Quartet with Iranian singer Mahsa Vahdat on Feb. 18; and a rescheduled performance of “Night Train 57,” a sensory-friendly comic folk opera that was postponed last season, on April 5.
There is a common theme that runs through several of the acts in the upcoming season — this season’s focus is called “The American Experience: Through an African American Lens.”
“The Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State provides opportunities to learn and understand each other through interacting with artists and experiencing the passionate, authentic expression of their culture and history,” said a press release from the CPA. “This season, we have curated eight presentations that tell the stories of African-American life in the United States throughout several centuries. Through music, dance, and theater, we will share in the telling.”
Those eight performances are: Imani Winds and Catalyst Quartet performing “(im)migration: music of change;” Maceo Parker and his big band performing “It’s All About Love; Harlem 100: Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance” featuring Mwenso and The Shakes and special guests Brianna Thomas, Michela Marino Lerman and Vuyo Sotashe; 50th Anniversary tour of the Dance Theatre of Harlem; Step Afrika! performing “Drumfolk;” Lizz Wright; Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performing“Masters of Form: From Mingus to Monk;” and “The Color Purple” premiere.
For a complete list of CPA presentations, visit https://cpa.psu.edu//events. All events are held in Eisenhower Auditorium, unless otherwise specified.