Eastern Kentucky University Center for the Arts’ fourth season runs the gamut from Tony Award-winning productions to concerts by country and jazz stars, and offers new ticket pricing options and discounts.
The lineup includes concerts by country stars Lyle Lovett, Rosanne Cash and Josh Turner, Tony Award-winner Audra McDonald and An Evening with Garrison Keillor. Also on tap are productions of “Million Dollar Quartet” and “Anything Goes” and performances by The Second City, Chicago’s sketch comedy theatre troupe that helped launch the careers of John Belushi, Steve Carrell, Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.
“This season has something for everyone,” Center Director Joel Aalberts said, “big name stars, shows that will appeal to our campus community, family programs and plenty of surprises.”
A Sit on Stage series with acclaimed newcomers has been added this season that will give the Center the feel of a small, more intimate venue. The audience will be seated on stage with the artist and all Sit on Stage tickets will be $20 general admission with limited seating.
Aalberts noted that the hope is to provide opportunities for everyone to experience a show at the Center, adding that a new seating chart brings new options at every price point.
“New this season is the ‘Build Your Own Subscription’ package, where you receive a discount for purchasing tickets to multiple shows – the more you buy, the larger the discount,” he explained. The package offers a 10 percent discount when tickets to five or more performances are ordered, a 15 percent discount with tickets to 10 or more performances, and a 20 percent discount with tickets to 15 or more.
The new seating plan offers different price levels by zones, rather than distance away from the stage. Discounted ticket prices will be available for senior citizens, active and retired military, students and youth at each zone level. Groups of 10 or more will receive a 10 percent discount to most events, and groups of 20 or more can save 20 percent.
“The arts are very meaningful to everyone,” Aalberts said. “It’s a way to bring people together, and we want to offer a variety of entertainment options to reach different audiences.”
Premium ticket pricing – a limited number of tickets that will include a meeting with the artist – will be available for select shows, and informative pre-show activities will be held for many of the events.
“I am excited about this year. We have some names that are big and expected, but also a few surprises that will be added later as calendars and tours continue to develop,” Aalberts said. “I’m also excited about the changes we’ve been able to bring to the new season.
“In addition to the familiar stars of stage, we wanted to make a move to reach out – to students in particular – with shows like The Second City, which has been producing great comedians for more than 55 years.”
EKU students will enjoy additional perks – for almost all shows, currently enrolled students will be able to purchase Zone 3 tickets for $15.
“We wanted to give them a chance to experience a variety of programs,” he added. “And, if they have an interest, they will also get a 20 percent discount for other seats at most of the shows.”
Additional events at the Center will focus on education and community support. Several Black Box Children’s Theater events will be presented by the Lexington Children’s Theatre, and a number of EKU School of Music concerts will be held at the Center.
To see a complete description of events, packages and costs, visit ekucenter.com.
Tickets go on sale Monday, May 12, at 9 a.m. Tickets can be purchased online at ekucenter.com, by phone at 859-622-7469, or at the box office, open 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays. The Center accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash and check.
The complete 2014-15 schedule, along with ticket cost range for each individual event, follows (all times 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise indicated):
Sept. 4, Lyle Lovett and his Large Band, $34-$80.
Sept. 17, Gaelic Storm, the “party band” in the blockbuster film “Titanic,” $23.50-$38.
Sept. 25, An Evening with Garrison Keillor.
Oct. 2, Under the Streetlamp, former leading cast members of the musical “Jersey Boys,” $32.50-$55.
Oct. 4, Taylor 2, repertory ensemble for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, $19.50-$33.
Oct. 16, Ben Sollee, Sit on Stage with the Lexington native, $20.
Nov. 7, 7 p.m., Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild Live, featuring many of the syndicated television show’s favorite animals, $22-$45.
Nov. 14, Josh Turner, Roughstock and Rambler Tour, $32.50-$65.
Nov. 22, The Second City, Chicago’s legendary sketch comedy theater troupe, $15.50-$28.
Dec. 5, 7 p.m., Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical, $24.50-$49.
Dec. 12, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy Christmas, modern swing band, $29.50-$45.
Dec. 17, Straight No Chaser Christmas, one of the world’s premier a cappella groups, $31.50-$59.
Jan. 21, Million Dollar Quartet, Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, $40.50-$82.
Jan. 25, 3 p.m., Wild Kratts Live! with real-life stars of PBS’s Emmy-nominated animated series “Wild Kratts,” $15-$29 ($55 premium).
Jan. 31, Carrie Newcomer, Sit on Stage, $20.
Feb. 7, Gregory Porter, jazz and soul singer with Grammy-nominated album, $27-$42.
Feb. 11, Alton Brown Live, former food show host’s Edible Inevitable Tour, $21-$49 ($100 premium).
Feb. 24, The Hot Sardines, Sit on Stage with the jazz band, $20.
Feb. 28, Kodo, taiko drummers, $38-$55.
March 3, Anything Goes, winner of three 2011 Tony Awards, $40.50-$69.
March 5, Mike Daisey, “Life During Wartime,” world premiere event by the author, actor and monologist focuses on the lives of veterans after they come home, $20.50-$34.
March 8, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, “Visions from Cape Breton and Beyond,” two of the world’s most celebrated fiddlers, $23-$36.
March 12, Audra McDonald, five-time Tony Award winner, $40-$75.
March 19, Kronos Quartet, “WWI Chronicles,” preeminent chamber quartet presents multimedia performance event, $27.50-$43.
March 26, Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience, tribute show by premier Buddy Holly interpreter Billy McGuigan, $16.50-$29.
April 11, Pilobolus, a troupe of equal parts dancers, acrobats, mimes and theater artists, $28.50-$48.
April 14, David Sedaris, Grammy Award-nominated humorist, comedian, radio contributor and bestselling author, $31-$46.
April 24, Australian Chamber Orchestra with Martin Fröst, clarinet, $35-$52.
April 25, Rosanne Cash, award-winning singer songwriter, $31.50-$59.