Garrison Keillor returns to Bass Hall Oct. 30!

A Prairie Home Companion's Garrison Keillor returns to Bass Hall for his one-man show on Oct. 30.

A Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor returns to Bass Hall for his one-man show on Oct. 30.

Performing Arts Fort Worth presents An Evening with Garrison Keillor at Bass Performance Hall on Thursday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $33 and are on sale NOW.

In a rare solo performance, the acclaimed host of A Prairie Home Companion shares hilarious anecdotes about growing up in the American Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon and “late-life fatherhood.”

Garrison Keillor was born in 1942 in Anoka, Minnesota, and began his radio career as a freshman at the University of Minnesota, from which he graduated in 1966. He went to work for Minnesota Public Radio in 1969, and on July 6, 1974, he hosted the first broadcast of A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul. The show ended in 1987, resumed in 1989 in New York as The American Radio Company, returned to Minnesota, and in 1993 resumed the name A Prairie Home Companion. Over 17 million listeners on more than 900 public radio stations now hear the show each week.

Keillor’s most recent role was playing himself in the movie adaptation of his show, A Prairie Home Companion (June 2006). It features Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin as the singing Johnson sisters, Lindsay Lohan as Streep’s daughter, Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly as singing cowboys Lefty and Dusty, and Tommy Lee Jones as the Axeman, who is dispatched by the radio station’s new corporate owners in Texas to shut down the show.

He is also the author of many books, including Lake Wobegon Days (1985); The Book of Guys (1993); The Old Man Who Loved Cheese (1996); Wobegon Boy (1997); Me: By Jimmy “Big Boy” Valente As Told to Garrison Keillor (1999); Love Me (2003); Homegrown Democrat (2004); Pontoon (2007); Liberty: A Lake Wobegon Novel (2008); and Life Among the Lutherans (2009).

In 2013, Keillor released his first book of poetry called O, What a Luxury: Versus Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound. This volume is written with his characteristic combination of humor and insight on love, modernity, nostalgia, politics, religion, and other facets of daily life.

Keillor has received numerous awards, including a Grammy Award for his recording of Lake Wobegon Days. He has also received two Cable ACE Awards and a George Foster Peabody Award. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and recently was presented with a National Humanities Medal by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1994, he was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame at Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications.

With Philip Brunelle, he has performed with many orchestras, including the Chicago, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Dallas, and National symphonies. He has appeared at Wolf Trap, Carnegie Hall, and other major concert halls as a member of The Hopeful Gospel Quartet, and he has performed on his own in one-man shows across the country and on tour broadcasts of A Prairie Home Companion.

To charge tickets by phone, call (817) 212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at http://www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. Ticket office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

ONCE closing on Broadway, heading to North Texas!

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal in the national tour of ONCE.

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal in the national tour of ONCE.

ONCE, winner of the 2012 Tony Award for Best Musical, will play its final show on Broadway on January 4, 2015, producers announced Tuesday.

But North Texas audiences will get a chance to see the most-awarded show of the 2012 New York theater season when the ONCE U.S. tour visits Bass Performance Hall and AT&T Performing Arts Center.

The show will make its North Texas debut at AT&T’s Winspear Opera House Dec. 17-28, followed by a week-long run at Bass Hall Feb. 18-22.

Featuring an ensemble of actors who play their own instruments on stage, ONCE tells the story of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights, but their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than either realize.

Based on the 2007 Academy Award-winning film, ONCE opened to critical acclaim March 18, 2012. It won eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The production also won Best Musical from the New York Drama Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle and Lucille Lortel Awards as well as the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. The score was written by the movie’s stars and Academy Award-winning composers for “Falling Slowly,” Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova.

An Australian production of ONCE recently opened in Melbourne, and later this year the U.S. tour will play a multi-week engagement in Japan. The first non-English language production will open in Seoul, South Korea in December. A Toronto production will open in February 2015. Also in development are productions in Sweden, Brazil, Holland, Greece, The Czech Republic, Thailand and Ireland as well as a Japanese-language production.

Tickets to ONCE are available as part of season ticket packages. For more information, visit http://www.basshall.com and http://www.attpac.org.

ELF makes North Texas debut, kicks off 2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass season!

ELF makes its North Texas debut Nov. 18-23 at Bass Performance Hall! Photo: Joan Marcus.

ELF makes its North Texas debut Nov. 18-23 at Bass Performance Hall! Photo: Joan Marcus.

Performing Arts Fort Worth is thrilled to kick off its 2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass season with the Broadway holiday musical ELF! The show makes its North Texas debut at Bass Performance Hall Nov. 18-23.

Exclusive PRE-SALE tickets go on sale Thursday, Oct. 2 at 10:00 a.m.! The pre-sale link will be posted on our Facebook page at 10:00 a.m. Thursday!

ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.

Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF features songs by Tony Award nominees Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin (The Wedding Singer), with a book by Tony Award winners Thomas Meehan (Annie, The Producers, Hairspray) and Bob Martin (The Drowsy Chaperone). The production will feature direction by Sam Scalamoni and choreography by Connor Gallagher.

Eric Williams stars as Buddy and Ken Clement as Santa in the Broadway musical ELF. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Eric Williams stars as Buddy and Ken Clement as Santa in the Broadway musical ELF. Photo: Joan Marcus.

Playing the title role of “Buddy” is Eric Williams. The show will feature Maggie Anderson (Jovie); Jesse Sharp (Walter); Lexie Dorsett-Sharp (Emily); Tyler Altomari and Harper Brady (Michael); Whitney Hayes (Deb); Joel Stigliano (Mr. Greenway); Ken Clement (Santa); and Jerrial Young (Macy’s Manager). Ensemble members include Mara Gabrielle, Timothy Grady, Billy D. Hart, Amanda Grace Holt, Jacob January, Erin Kei, Marie Lemon, Ryan Patrick Lingle, Tyler John Logan, Brian Padgett, Nicole Pavone, Nick Silverio, Maria Cristina Slye and Mia Weinberger.

The New York Times says that ELF is “A SPLASHY, PEPPY, SUGAR-SPRINKLED HOLIDAY ENTERTAINMENT!” USA Today calls ELF “ENDEARINGLY GOOFY!” Variety proclaims, “ELF is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults!”

Additional information about ELF is available at http://www.ElfTheMusicalOnTour.com.

Performance times are at 7:30pm Tuesday-Friday, Nov. 18-21; 1:30 and 7:30pm Saturday, Nov. 22; and 1:30 and 6:30pm Sunday, Nov. 23.

Following Thursday’s PRE-SALE, tickets will go on sale to the public at 10:00 a.m. Friday, Oct. 3. To charge tickets by phone, call (817) 212-4280 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll free) outside Fort Worth; or order online at http://www.basshall.com. Tickets are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. Ticket office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. For group sales, call 817-212-4248.

“NICE WORK” TOUR LAUNCHES IN NORTH TEXAS NEXT MONTH!

The national tour of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT launches in North Texas in September. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

The national tour of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT launches in North Texas in September. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.


NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, the award-winning musical comedy that played Broadway from 2012-2013, will launch its national tour in North Texas next month. The tour kicks off at the Music Hall at Fair Park September 2-14, presented by Dallas Summer Musicals. Then the tour rolls into Fort Worth, where it’ll play at Bass Performance Hall September 16-21, presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth.

It’s the Roaring Twenties, and a cast of outrageous characters gather in New York to celebrate the wedding of wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter. But things don’t go as planned when the playboy meets Billie Bendix, a bubbly and feisty bootlegger who melts his heart. The champagne flows and the gin fizzes!

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT is filled to the brim with classic songs, including “But Not For Me,” “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and “Someone to Watch Over Me.” This sparkling, madcap tale combines laughter, romance and high-stepping Broadway magic for an evening bursting with girls, glamour and the glorious songs of Gershwin.

The musical comedy features music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a book by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe DiPietro (Memphis) inspired by material by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse. The production features direction and choreography by three-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes), recreated by David Eggers.

The creative team also includes Shoko Kambara (scenic design, based on the original Broadway scenic design by Derek McLane), Martin Pakledinaz (costume design), Amy Clark (costume coordinator), Paul Toben (lighting design, based on the original Broadway lighting design by Peter Kaczorowski), Keith Caggiano (sound design, based on the original Broadway sound design by Brian Ronan) and Paul Huntley (hair and wig design).

Cast members rehearse for the upcoming tour of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Cast members rehearse for the upcoming tour of NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.

Alex Enterline and Mariah MacFarlane will star as wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter and feisty bootlegger Billie Bendix, respectively. The tour will also feature Reed Campbell as Cookie McGee, Aaron Fried as Duke Mahoney, Stephanie Gandolfo as Jeannie Muldoon, Stephanie Harter Gilmore as Duchess Estonia Dulworth, Benjamin Perez as Senator Max Evergreen, Rachael Scarr as Eileen Evergreen, Thomas Schario as Chief Berry and Barbara Weetman as Millicent Winter.

Rounding out the company are Jessica Bare, Christian Bufford, Elyse Collier, Carl DeForrest Hendin, Nick Jones, Kristina King, Alison Morooney, Sarah Primmer, Kevin Michael Raponey, Chelsea Jane Ryan, Justin Schuman, Heather Stinson and Chris Woods.

For Dallas tickets: Single tickets, priced from $15-$85, are available at The Box Office, 5959 Preston Royal Shopping Center #542 in Dallas, or at any Ticketmaster outlet. Tickets are also available online at http://www.ticketmaster.com or http://www.dallassummermusicals.org.
Groups of 10 or more receive a 15% discount and priority seating. Please call 214-426-GROUP (4768) or email groups@dallassummermusicals.org.

For Fort Worth tickets: Single tickets, priced from $38.50-$99, are available online at http://www.basshall.com, over the phone at 817-212-4280 or in person at the Bass Hall Box Office.

Groups of 10 or more receive a 10% discount. For group sales call 817-212-4248 or email groupsales@basshall.com.

For more information, please visit http://www.dallassummermusicals.org and http://www.basshall.com.

THE BOOK OF MORMON IS COMING TO BASS HALL!

WINNER! TONY AWARD – BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! NEW YORK DRAMA CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD – BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! DRAMA DESK AWARD – BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! OUTER CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD – BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! DRAMA LEAGUE AWARD – BEST MUSICAL
WINNER! GRAMMY AWARD – BEST MUSICAL THEATER ALBUM

“THE BEST MUSICAL OF THIS CENTURY.
Heaven on Broadway! A celebration of the privilege
of living inside that improbable paradise called a musical comedy.”
Ben Brantley, THE NEW YORK TIMES

NATIONAL TOUR OF


COMING TO BASS HALL IN 2015-2016 SEASON!

The National Tour of THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of nine Tony Awards ® including Best Musical, will play in Fort Worth at Bass Performance Hall as part of Performing Arts Fort Worth’s 2015-2016 Broadway at the Bass season.

2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass season ticket holders will have priority access* to tickets ahead of the general public!

THE BOOK OF MORMON features book, music and lyrics by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Parker and Stone are the four-time Emmy Award-winning creators of the landmark animated series, “South Park.” Tony Award-winner Lopez is co-creator of the long-running hit musical comedy, Avenue Q. The musical is choreographed by Tony Award-winner Casey Nicholaw (Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Drowsy Chaperone) and is directed by Nicholaw and Parker.

THE BOOK OF MORMON is the winner of nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Book (Trey Parker, Robert Lopez, Matt Stone), Best Direction (Casey Nicholaw, Trey Parker), Best Featured Actress (Nikki M. James), Best Scenic Design (Scott Pask), Best Lighting Design (Brian MacDevitt), Best Sound Design (Brian Ronan) and Best Orchestrations (Larry Hochman, Stephen Oremus); the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical; five Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album; four Outer Critics Circle Awards, including Best Musical, and the Drama League Award for Best Musical.

THE BOOK OF MORMON features set design by Scott Pask, costume design by Ann Roth, lighting design by Brian MacDevitt and sound design by Brian Ronan. Orchestrations are by Larry Hochman and Stephen Oremus. Music direction and vocal arrangements are by Stephen Oremus.

The Original Broadway Cast Recording for THE BOOK OF MORMON, winner of the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album, is available on Ghostlight Records.

*2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass season ticket holders are entitled to renew their seats for the 2015-2016 season featuring THE BOOK OF MORMON and other titles to be announced later.

For more information, visit http://www.BookofMormonTheMusical.com.

Follow THE BOOK OF MORMON on Twitter and on Facebook.

CINDERELLA cast announced!

Paige Faure and Andy Jones will star in the national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein's CINDERELLA.   Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Paige Faure and Andy Jones will star in the national tour of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Producers of the Tony® Award-winning musical Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA have announced additional casting for the first national tour, coming to Bass Performance Hall next summer, June 23-28, 2015.

Ready to sweep Cinderella off her feet, Andy Jones will play the role of Prince Topher. Andy was a member of the original Broadway company of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA and understudied the role of Prince Topher. He currently appears in Bullets Over Broadway The Musical.

The show’s producers are Robyn Goodman, Jill Furman and Stephen Kocis. The shows will be presented at Bass Performance Hall by Performing Arts Fort Worth, as part of the 2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass series. Dallas Summer Musicals will also present the tour at Fair Park Music Hall June 9-21, 2015.

The tour cast will also feature Kecia Lewis (Leap of Faith, The Drowsy Chaperone) as Marie, The Fairy Godmother, Blake Hammond (First Date, Sister Act) as Sebastian, Aymee Garcia (Shrek The Musical, Avenue Q) as Charlotte, Ashley Park (Mamma Mia!) as Gabrielle, David Andino (50 Shades! The Musical) as Jean-Michel and Antoine Smith (Memphis) as Lord Pinkerton.

It was previously announced Paige Faure, Broadway’s current reigning princess, will launch the tour in the title role this fall. Rounding out the ensemble are Adrien Arrieta, Adrian Badoo, Summer Broyhill, Audrey Cardwell, Jennifer Evans, Alexandra Frohlinger, Richard Gatta, Jordana Grolnick, Eric Anthony Johnson, Danielle Jordan, Bruce Landry, Ben Lanham, Stephanie Jae Park, Blakely Slaybough, Paige Williams, Thad Turner Wilson, John Yi and Alexandra Zorn.

With its fresh new take on the beloved tale of a young woman who is transformed from a chambermaid into a princess, this hilarious and romantic Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA combines the story’s classic elements – glass slippers, pumpkin, and a beautiful ball along with some surprising twists.

More than just a pretty face with the right shoe size, this Cinderella is a contemporary figure living in a fairytale setting. She is a spirited young woman with savvy and soul who doesn’t let her rags or her gowns trip her up in her quest for kindness, compassion and forgiveness. She not only fights for her own dreams, but forces the prince to open his eyes to the world around him and realize his dreams too.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA has music by Richard Rodgers, lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, a new book by Douglas Carter Beane and original book by Oscar Hammerstein II. The musical is directed by Mark Brokaw and choreographed by Josh Rhodes. Music adaptation, supervision and arrangements are by David Chase and orchestrations are by Danny Troob.

One of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most popular titles, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA was written for television, debuting in 1957 starring Julie Andrews. In 2013, the show made its long-overdue Broadway debut. Along with CINDERELLA, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s legendary musicals include OKLAHOMA!, Carousel, The King and I, South Pacific and The Sound of Music.

Mr. Beane’s book for Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA blends masterfully with the musical’s cherished score with songs including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

The creative team includes scenic design by Tony® Award nominee Anna Louizos, costume design by six-time Tony® Award-winner William Ivey Long, lighting design by Tony® Award-winner Kenneth Posner and sound design by Tony® Award nominee Nevin Steinberg.

For more information please visit http://www.basshall.com.

Bass Hall Like You’ve Never Seen It Before

The Bass Hall spot booth, where sound and lighting technicians from tours leave their "signatures.&quot

The Bass Hall spot booth, where sound and lighting technicians from tours leave their “signatures.”

Dione Kennedy, President & CEO of Performing Arts Fort Worth

Dione Kennedy, President & CEO of Performing Arts Fort Worth

Today, our President & CEO Dione Kennedy blogs about the latest lighting and sound upgrades we’ve installed in the auditorium of Bass Performance Hall, in hopes of making the Hall’s wonderful acoustics even more so. These upgrades took us high above the stage, in secret rooms, on hidden beams, places the public has never seen. Until now, that is. We hired local photographer Jill Johnson to capture images of these seldom-seen nooks and crannies, as Dione explains below.

There’s never really a “slow time” at Bass Performance Hall. If nothing is happening on the stage, you can bet there’s something happening above or below it.

Last year, we here at Performing Arts Fort Worth cleared the calendars of Bass Hall, Van Cliburn Recital Hall and McDavid Studio to make sound and lighting upgrades. We strive to bring you the best the entertainment world has to offer, using the best audio and visual razzmatazz that the technical industry has to offer.

To help orchestrate these tasks, we brought in David Lawler, an old friend of the Hall who has guided us through upgrades since 1999, and technicians from J.R. Clancy, one of the leading companies in stage rigging. Over the course of several weeks, our Production and Building Services teams worked with Lawler and J.R. Clancy techs on these upgrades, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the end results. You’ll now notice crisper sound and sharper lights in all three spaces.

The biggest change we made was in sound, as we converted from analog to digital. Robert Earl Keen’s Texas-sized guitar riffs will be bigger and bolder. And when Hal Holbrook whispers a quiet, dramatic line in “Mark Twain Tonight,” you’ll hear every nuance in every utterance, as this upgrade boosted speech intelligibility.

A peek at the Bass Hall stage, from the center of the dome. Photo by Jill Johnson. (Click to enlarge)

A peek at the Bass Hall stage, from the center of the dome. Photo by Jill Johnson. (Click to enlarge)


We also overhauled our lighting, replacing some of our longtime theatrical lighting fixtures with state-of-the-art, color-changing LED lights. At the same time, we also had our routine rigging inspection and shell-ceiling maintenance done.

This was fun but sometimes harrowing work that found our teams high above the stage, nine stories from the ground.

Ongoing work in the Hall includes upgrades to our spotlights, which are housed in what we call a “spot booth.” This is a teeny-tiny room, hidden away from plain sight, where up to four people man the spotlights that “follow” the performers onstage.

Those who work the spotlights for touring Broadway shows often stencil the name and date of their tours somewhere in our spot booth – an old theater tradition.

Phantom of the Opera and Memphis left behind their stenciled "signatures." Photo by Jill Johnson.

Phantom of the Opera and Memphis left behind their stenciled “signatures.” Photo by Jill Johnson.

Broadway tours such as Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, West Side Story and The Lion King have left behind their colorful signatures in our spot booth, and we thought it would be fun to show them to you. Since that area of the Hall is inaccessible to the public, this may be the only time you get a glimpse of this magical little spot.

The incredible images below, taken by our house photographer Jill Johnson, should give you a good idea of how goose-bump-raising all of this work can be.

I do hope that you’ll come see us soon, so you can fall in love with Bass Hall all over again, as I certainly did after I experienced all of these incredible technical upgrades.

Enjoy Jill’s images below. See you at the theater.

Performing Arts Fort Worth Technical Director Doug Kirk (left) and J.R. Clancy technician John Eckert carefully walk on red steel beams, 90 feet above the Bass Hall stage.

Performing Arts Fort Worth Technical Director Doug Kirk (right) and J.R. Clancy technician John Eckert carefully walk on red steel beams, 90 feet above the Bass Hall stage.

The stage right pin rail, where large ropes are used to hoist scenery, lights, stage effects and, sometimes, people.

The stage right pin rail, where large ropes are used to hoist scenery, light, stage effects and, sometimes, people.

Technical Director Doug Kirk chats with us on one of the technician rails, hidden from the view of the audience.

Technical Director Doug Kirk chats with us on one of the technician rails, hidden from the view of the audience.

A secret door that leads to a secret “access room,” currently used for storage.

Our four spotlights are named after the Three Stooges. Say "Hi" to Moe. Larry, Curly and Shemp are up here, too.

Our four spotlights are named after the Three Stooges. Say “Hi” to Moe. Larry, Curly and Shemp are up here, too.

Signatures from Miss Saigon's tech team, from 2005.

In our spot booth, tech teams from Miss Saigon left behind their stenciled signature, 2005.

Signatures from the second national tour of West Side Story, 2013.

Signatures from the second national tour of West Side Story, 2013.

Mamma Mia!, Fosse and 9 to 5.

Mamma Mia!, Fosse and 9 to 5.

Texas Ballet Theater's The Nutcracker, through the years.

Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker, through the years.

Doug looks as tiny as ant as he works on turnbuckles in the Hall.

Doug looks as tiny as an ant as he works on turnbuckles in the Hall.

Doug checks out the forestage reflectors. These reflectors direct early reflections from within the orchestra shell to the front positions of the seating area, enhance on-stage hearing for players situated on the pit lift forward of the proscenium, improve ensemble hearing in the orchestra pit and provide reinforcement of low power string instruments.

Doug checks out the forestage reflectors. These reflectors direct early reflections from within the orchestra shell to the front positions of the seating area, enhance on-stage hearing for players situated on the pit lift forward of the proscenium, improve ensemble hearing in the orchestra pit, and provide reinforcement of low power string instruments.

Not visible to the public, a beam signed by Perry R. Bass at the Hall’s “topping out” ceremony. In building construction, “topping out” is a construction tradition held when the final beam is placed atop a structure during its building.

The team that worked on sound and lighting upgrades included (clockwise): Doug Kirk, Technical Director Audio Systems; Carey Rogers, Assistant Director of Building Services; Steve Truitt, Technical Director; and

The team that worked on sound and lighting upgrades included (clockwise): Doug Kirk, Technical Director Audio Systems; Carey Rogers, Assistant Director of Building Services; Steve Truitt, Technical Director; and J.R. Clancy technician John Eckert.

All photos by Jill Johnson.

THE VOICE finalist SASHA ALLEN to star in PIPPIN national tour, coming to Bass Hall in ’15!

Sasha Allen, a fourth season finalist on NBC’s “The Voice," will star in the national tour of PIPPIN. Photo: NBC.

Sasha Allen, a fourth season finalist on NBC’s “The Voice,” will star in the national tour of PIPPIN. Photo: NBC.

The producers of the Tony Award-winning hit Broadway musical PIPPIN have announced casting for the U.S. national tour, which comes to Bass Performance Hall July 21-26, 2015 (the show will also play at Dallas Summer Musicals July 7-19, 2015).

The tour will feature Sasha Allen (a finalist on the fourth season on NBC’s The Voice) as Leading Player, Kyle Selig (THE BOOK OF MORMON tour) as Pippin, Tony Award winner John Rubinstein (created the role of “Pippin” in the 1972 original Broadway production) as Charles, Sabrina Harper (Pippin, original Broadway Revival cast) as Fastrada and Kristine Reese (WICKED on tour) as Catherine. The company also includes Skyler Adams, Sascha Bachman, Bradley Benjamin, Dmitrious Bistrevsky, Mark Burrell, Mathew deGuzman, Fernando Dudka, Mirela Golinska, Kelsey Jamieson, Preston Jamieson, Lisa Karlin, Alan Kelly, Melodie Lamoreux, Tory Trowbridge, Mackenzie Warren and Borris York.

Additional casting, including the role of Berthe, will be announced soon.

This all-new production of Roger O. Hirson and Stephen Schwartz’s PIPPIN is directed by Tony Award winner Diane Paulus and features choreography by Tony Award nominee Chet Walker in the style of Bob Fosse and circus creation by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based circus company Les 7 doigts de la main (also known as 7 Fingers).

With a book by Hirson and music and lyrics by Schwartz, PIPPIN features music supervision and arrangements by Nadia DiGiallonardo, orchestrations by Tony Award winner Larry Hochman, scenic design by Tony Award winner Scott Pask, costume design by Tony Award nominee Dominique Lemieux, lighting design by Tony Award winner Kenneth Posner, sound design by Tony Award nominees Jonathan Deans and Garth Helm.

PIPPIN tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory? The show is noted for many Broadway standards including “Magic To Do,” “Corner of the Sky,” “Glory,” “No Time at All,” “Morning Glow,” and “Love Song.”

The original production of PIPPIN, directed by Bob Fosse, premiered on Broadway in 1972. It won five Tony Awards and five Drama Desk Awards, and ran for close to 2000 performances before closing in 1977. This production of PIPPIN debuted at American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) in Cambridge, MA where it ran December 5, 2012 to January 20, 2013. It opened on Broadway on April 25, 2013 and went on to win four 2013 Tony Awards including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Director of a Musical. This production also received Best Revival of a Musical honors from the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League. The New Broadway Cast Recording for PIPPIN is available on Ghostlight Records.

PIPPIN is a part of Performing Arts Fort Worth’s 2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass season. The series also includes KINKY BOOTS, ONCE, ELF, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA and DIRTY DANCING, along with add-on’s CHICAGO and Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Season tickets are now on sale! Call 817-212-4450 or visit http://www.basshall.com.

Broadway or Bust: Texas Wesleyan student wins trip to New York to see Tony Awards rehearsal!

Texas Wesleyan student Jacob Sanchez won a trip to New York to see the Tony Awards rehearsal. Photo by Chuck Greeson/Texas Wesleyan University.

Texas Wesleyan student Jacob Sanchez won a trip to New York to see the Tony Awards rehearsal. Photo by Chuck Greeson/Texas Wesleyan University.

We’re not sure who was more excited – Jacob Sanchez for winning a trip to New York to see the Tony Awards rehearsal, or us when he agreed to blog about it for us. The stage is yours, Jacob!

My name is Jacob Sanchez and I’m a senior theatre major at Fort Worth’s Texas Wesleyan University. This past April, I entered a contest sponsored by NewYork.com to win a trip to the Tony Awards rehearsal in New York City. The contest, titled The Ultimate Broadway Fan Showdown, had Instagram and Twitter users submit a Broadway-themed photo with a caption of why we were the ultimate Broadway fan and include the hashtag #bringmetobroadway. I was chosen as a Top 30 finalist and the public was able to vote on whichever picture they thought should win. Thanks to over 8,300 votes, I won the trip and NewYork.com flew me and a friend out to New York City to see the Tony Awards rehearsal earlier this month. The great folks over at Performing Arts Fort Worth asked me to document my trip, so here is a quick recap of that amazing weekend!

Part of our prize was a dinner for two at New York’s latest premier steakhouse, NYY Steak. So after getting in that Friday night we had dinner at this very high-profile restaurant. I had a delicious 20 oz. New York Strip and (for the sake of humility) let’s just say the steak won that battle! Afterwards, we headed to our first show on the trip. We saw BULLETS OVER BROADWAY, the new musical written by Woody Allen based on his film of the same name. Award-winning director Susan Stroman of THE PRODUCERS fame helmed this hilarious show set in the 1920s about what you’re willing to sacrifice for your art.

Jacob met BULLETS OVER BROADWAY's Betsy Wolfe.

Jacob met BULLETS OVER BROADWAY’s Betsy Wolfe.

The cast included Zach Braff in his Broadway debut, Marin Mazzie, Betsy Wolfe (who I love!), Helene Yorke, and Tony Award nominee Nick Cordero, among a slew of other amazing triple-threats. This was my friend Kaila’s first trip to New York and it was such a great show to call her “first”!

On Saturday, we saw the Tony Award-winning revival of PIPPIN and the new original musical IF/THEN starring Idina Menzel. I also saw PIPPIN last summer with the original revival cast and I cannot wait for Fort Worth (and Dallas) audiences to experience this magical and extraordinary production. It’s got everything you want in a musical and even some death-defying acrobatics and wondrous illusions that’ll leave you breathless. Tony-winning director Diane Paulus is brilliant and so deserving!

IF/THEN was a musical so original that it kept you engaged the whole time as you wondered what was going to happen next as Elizabeth, played by the talented Idina Menzel, sought through a world of endless possibilities. It was so amazing watching Idina live on stage and even more so to have her autograph my poster at the stage door! Her voice is truly astounding.

The beautiful stage at Radio City Music Hall.

The beautiful stage at Radio City Music Hall.

Then came Sunday (Tony Day!) as we readied for the big Tony Awards rehearsal at Radio City Music Hall. The lines were huge that morning as we waited to get in, but luckily I was the first in line and (according to Kaila) the first one to walk through the door for the rehearsal!

The best part of the rehearsal was getting to see all of the performances, surprises, and even hear all the jokes before anyone else! Everyone attending sat in the first balcony so we were not far from the action at all! The audience went wild as Hugh Jackman entered, bouncing like Tigger on his way to the stage, and the celebrity presenters in attendance like Lucy Liu, Zachary Levi, Fran Drescher, Orlando Bloom, Bradley Cooper, Rosie O’Donnell, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, among several others.

Afterwards on our way to see the matinee of VIOLET starring Sutton Foster, we bumped into Tony Award-winning costume designer and Chair of the American Theatre Wing, William Ivey Long. We got to talk to him about his designs and how we loved his work in BULLETS and how we were excited for the CINDERELLA tour to stop by Bass Performance Hall. He asked us where we went to school and what we were studying; it was really cool how he was so interested in where we were from and how we got there.

So then there’s VIOLET with Sutton Foster. There was something so remarkably special about seeing her perform right in front of us (and we were sitting so close to the stage). I had never seen her live before but in everything I’ve heard her in, you can tell she’s earned her place in the Broadway community as a true triple-threat, this show included. VIOLET is a character and show so different than what we all know her from, especially those musical comedies. This is Sutton at her best. Grab the two-disc original Broadway cast recording if you can because you won’t regret it!

Jacob with Tony Awards nominee Kerry Butler at the Tonys Watching Party.

Jacob with Tony Awards nominee Kerry Butler at the Tonys Watching Party.

That night, I sat down in Times Square for the Tony Awards Viewing Party hosted by Tony-nominee Kerry Butler and current WICKED star Justin Guarini. It was so awesome to be sitting in a “room” with hundreds of other Broadway fans watching the Tonys. Before NY1 interviewed me and a couple of other fans on the local news, Broadway stars Corey Cott (NEWSIES), Liana Hunt (NEWSIES), Lindsay Mendez (DOGFIGHT, WICKED), Kyle Dean Massey (PIPPIN), Chris Jackson (HOLLER IF YOU HEAR ME, IN THE HEIGHTS) were interviewed and at least two of them called this day the “Super Bowl” for Broadway fans.

And it’s so true. We were cheering on the winners and applauding like crazy after the performances. When they say that the Broadway community is so loving and supportive, it also includes the fans and I was so proud to be amongst those in the crowd who call themselves fans, as well.

I was upset not being able to catch this year’s Best Musical winner A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER but I’ve been listening to the cast recording on a loop just because of how smart, witty, and bloody brilliant it is! But I got to see their Tony Awards performance live which (almost) makes up for it! Hopefully I’ll be able to see it next May when Wesleyan gets to go back to New York for our annual Playmarket reading, but who knows… maybe it’ll come to Bass Performance Hall by then…? ;-)

Thanks to everyone for your support, especially those of you who kept voting for me! It really was the trip of a lifetime and the best way for the “Ultimate Broadway Fan” to experience New York City! Go see a Broadway show! Or if you can’t make it to NYC, subscribe to Bass Performance Hall’s just-announced 2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass season… I hope I can! HAHA!

You can see more photos from Jacob’s adventures in New York here.

Introducing the 2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass Season!

KINKY BOOTS will kick up its heels at Bass Hall Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2015. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

KINKY BOOTS will kick up its heels at Bass Hall Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2015. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Performing Arts Fort Worth proudly announces its 2014-2015 Broadway at the Bass Season at Bass Performance Hall, featuring award-winning shows direct from Broadway.

Five of the six shows will be on their first national tours: ONCE, the musical love story that took Broadway by storm, winning eight 2012 Tony Awards, including Best Musical; the new touring production of the beloved Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA; DIRTY DANCING, based on the hit movie of the same name; PIPPIN, the 2013 Tony winner for Best Musical Revival; and KINKY BOOTS, the 2013 Tony winner for Best Musical. Rounding out the season is the holiday favorite ELF, making its North Texas debut.

In addition, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and CHICAGO will return as Broadway add-on specials, along with two shows in the intimate McDavid Studio – DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY and THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON?

This season also marks a first for Performing Arts Fort Worth and Dallas Summer Musicals, as the two organizations will come together to co-present four of these titles: CINDERELLA, DIRTY DANCING, PIPPIN and KINKY BOOTS. The shows will play at the Music Hall at Fair Park in Dallas for two weeks, then come to Bass Performance Hall for limited, one-week engagements.

Season tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Friday, June 13. Packages start at $226.60. For more information, please call 817-212-4450 or visit http://www.basshall.com.

BROADWAY AT THE BASS

The humorous and heartwarming Christmas story, ELF, comes to life at Bass Hall Nov. 18-23, 2014. Photo: Joan Marcus.

The humorous and heartwarming Christmas story, ELF, comes to life at Bass Hall Nov. 18-23, 2014. Photo: Joan Marcus.


ELF
November 18-23, 2014
Based on the beloved 2003 New Line Cinema hit, ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF.
Stuart Ward as Guy, Dani De Waal as Girl, in ONCE.

Stuart Ward as Guy, Dani De Waal as Girl, in ONCE.

ONCE
February 18-22, 2015
Winner of 8 2012 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the 2013 Grammy Award for “Best Musical Theater Album”, ONCE is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, ONCE tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights. But their unlikely connection turns out to be deeper and more complex than your everyday romance. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, ONCE draws you in from the very first note and never lets go. It’s an unforgettable story about going for your dreams, not living in fear and the power of music to connect all of us.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA comes to Bass Hall June 23-28, 2015.  Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA comes to Bass Hall June 23-28, 2015. Photo by Carol Rosegg.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA
June 23-28, 2015
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the creators of THE SOUND OF MUSIC and SOUTH PACIFIC that’s delighting audiences with its contemporary take on the classic tale. This lush production features an incredible orchestra, jaw-dropping transformations and all the moments you love – the pumpkin, the glass slipper, the masked ball and more – plus some surprising new twists! Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover some of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s most beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this hilarious and romantic Broadway experience for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream… or a really great pair of shoes.
Amanda Leigh Cobb and Josef Brown are having the times of their lives in DIRTY DANCING, based on the cult hit film of the same name. See it live  July 7-12. Photo by David Scheinmann.

Amanda Leigh Cobb and Josef Brown are having the times of their lives in DIRTY DANCING, based on the cult hit film of the same name. See it live July 7-12. Photo by David Scheinmann.

DIRTY DANCING
July 7-12, 2015
DIRTY DANCING is an unprecedented live experience, exploding with heart-pounding music, passionate romance, and sensational dancing. Based on the film seen by millions across the globe, this worldwide smash hit tells the classic story of Baby and Johnny, two fiercely independent young spirits from different worlds who come together in what will be the most challenging and triumphant summer of their lives. The show features the hit songs, “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life.” London’s Sunday Express says, “This crowd-pleasing stage adaptation hits the jackpot!”
PIPPIN makes its Bass Hall debut July 21-26, 2015.

PIPPIN makes its Bass Hall debut July 21-26, 2015.

PIPPIN
July 21-26, 2015
Join us… for this magical, unforgettable production The New York Times declared “Astonishing! A PIPPIN for the 21st Century.” The 2013 Tony Award-winner for Best Musical Revival is back for the first time since it thrilled audiences 40 years ago. With a beloved score by Tony nominee Stephen Schwartz (GODSPELL, WICKED), PIPPIN tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory? This captivating new production is directed by Tony-winner Diane Paulus (HAIR and THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS). PIPPIN features sizzling choreography in the style of Bob Fosse and breathtaking acrobatics by Les 7 Doigts de la Main, the creative force behind the nationwide sensation TRACES.
The Tony Award-winning KINKY BOOTS is here Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2015. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

The Tony Award-winning KINKY BOOTS is here Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2015. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

KINKY BOOTS
October 27-November 1, 2015
KINKY BOOTS is the exhilarating Broadway musical that will lift your spirits to new high-heeled heights! Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, this inspirational story follows a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. Together, this unlikely pair finds that they have more in common than they ever dreamed possible… proving that when you change your mind about someone, you can change your whole world. Inspired by a true story, KINKY BOOTS features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. Come join the sold-out audiences who’ve discovered why – sometimes – the best way to fit in is to stand out!

BROADWAY SPECIALS

Darick Pead as Beast and Hilary Maiberger as Belle in DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, returning to Bass Hall Jan. 14-18, 2015. Photo by Amy Boyle.

Darick Pead as Beast and Hilary Maiberger as Belle in DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, returning to Bass Hall Jan. 14-18, 2015. Photo by Amy Boyle.

DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
January14-18, 2015
Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, the smash hit Broadway musical, is coming back to Fort Worth! Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, this eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song. Experience the romance and enchantment of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at Bass Performance Hall!

CHICAGO makes a triumphant return to Fort Worth April 3-4. Photo: Paul Kolnik.

CHICAGO makes a triumphant return to Fort Worth April 3-4. Photo: Paul Kolnik.

CHICAGO
April 3-4, 2015
A true New York City institution, CHICAGO has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping-song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. No wonder CHICAGO has been honored with six Tony Awards, 2 Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations. It’s also no surprise that CHICAGO has wowed audiences all around the world, from Mexico City to Moscow, from Sao Paulo to South Africa. Whether you’re looking for your first Broadway musical, whether you’ve seen the Academy Award-winning film and want to experience the show live on stage or whether you’ve seen it before and want to recapture the magic, CHICAGO always delivers.

DIXIE’S TUPPERWARE PARTY
April 8-19, 2015, McDavid Studio
Back by Popular Demand!
Dixie Longate, the fast-talking Tupperware Lady, packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway, London & Melbourne by storm! Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol’fashioned Tupperware Parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. Loaded with the most up-to-date products available for purchase, see for yourself how Ms. Longate became a member of the illustrious “#1 Tupperware Seller in the World” Club, as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products! “Not your grandmother’s Tupperware Party!”—NBC Today Show. ADULT CONTENT WARNING: Contains strong adult content and language. For mature audiences only. Suggested for ages 16+.

Robert Dubac’s THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON?
May 27-31, 2015, McDavid Studio
‘Hilarious’ is the only way to describe THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON? You will laugh non-stop for ninety minutes as Robert Dubac ransacks his brain to answer the age old question, “What do women want?” All while drinking a beer.

Dubac has crafted an hysterical one man multi-character show that tackles the babble of the sexes with precision and wit. With a shrug of his shoulders or a crook of his neck, Robert Dubac seamlessly transforms himself into five alter egos – each offering their own brand of misguided advice on how to straddle the gender gap.

Hailed by critics and audiences alike, THE MALE INTELLECT: AN OXYMORON? Is a rare thing; a clever combination of theater and stand-up comedy that is laugh-out-loud funny, provocative and insightful all at once. There are two types of people who should rush and see it – men and women!

Season tickets are available now! For more info, click here!

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