Lyric season has something for everyone

Friday, May 30, 2014

Shelley Koppel
Staff writer

MARTIN COUNTY — The Lyric season, as always, has a little noise, a little funk, and a little something for every taste. Last week’s story gave details on the Nostalgia and Broadway series. For this week, the focus is the best of the rest of the season.

Clint Black makes his Lyric debut Nov. 20-21. The superstar singer/songwriter is known for selling more than 20 million albums, but fans may not know that he is proficient on the drums and harmonica as well as the guitar. The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China present “Cirque Peking” in a kick off to the holiday season Dec. 1. A familiar trio, “A Peter White Christmas,” with guests Rick Braun and Mindi Abair, returns with old holiday favorites and some of their own compositions Dec. 12.

Steve Solomon brings his show, “Cannoli, Latkes and Guilt” to the Lyric Jan. 6. The writer and star of “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy” brings a new show that’s the best of his other shows and has new material, as well.

Lyric favorites Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. return Jan. 7. The seven-time Grammy winners are always a popular ticket. “Vocal Trash” comes to the stage Jan. 15. The group has been described as ‘Glee meets Stomp,’ and the urban-themed production is full of singing, drumming, comedy and break-dancing.

It is hard to believe, but 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of Arlo Guthrie’s “Alice Restaurant.” He returns to the Lyric Jan. 26-27 with the 50th anniversary tour, a new program that explores uses humor to explore the history of American folk music in the 20th century.

Violinist Anne Akiko Meyers comes to the Lyric Jan. 29, playing the famed “Molitor” Stradivarius, the most sought-after violin in the world. The instrument is believed to have belonged to Napoleon and is rarely heard in public. The Capitol Steps bring political punditry to the stage Jan. 30 in a show in which partial proceeds will benefit Volunteers in Medicine.

Vince Gill returns to the Lyric, this time as part of Grammy-nominated group The Time Jumpers, for which he plays electric and acoustic guitar and sings. The Feb. 5 performance features the 11-piece group of elite musicians that also includes Dawn and Kenny Sears and Ranger Doug” Green.

Fans of dance will have the opportunity to see a great dance company and a Tony-award-winning dancer. Ailey II, an offshoot of the famed Alvin Ailey Dance Company, is renowned for taking the spirit and energy of young performers and melding that with the vision of emerging chorographers. They will perform Feb. 9-10. Savion Glover, one of the youngest performers ever nominated for a Tony, for his work in “Black and Blue,” returns to the Lyric Feb. 24. He won a Tony for the choreography of “Bring in ‘Da
Funk, Bring in ‘Da Noise,” and played a young Jelly Roll Morton in “Jelly’s Last Jam” on Broadway.

Regis Philbin brings an evening of big-band music Feb. 15 as he performs with an orchestra. Blues legend John Hammond brings his barrelhouse sound to the Lyric stage Feb. 19. The Blues Hall of Fame acoustic guitar player performed was a fixture in New York City’s Greenwich Village, performing with artists like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Dr. John and Duane Allman.

Lyric audience favorite Sarge returns to the Lyric Feb. 27 with a performance that includes singing, comedy and piano-playing. The multi-talented performer has
been seen on Comedy Central and HBO.

Pure Prairie League, one of the earliest and most successful country rock bands, takes the Lyric stage March 6. “Potted Potter: The Unauthorized Harry experience-A Parody by Dan & Jeff,” has the longest name of any show. The Olivier Award-nominated parody of all of the “Harry Potter” books is suitable for ages 6 to Dumbledore. It
comes to the Lyric March 7-8.

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, husband and wife and master fiddlers, bring their native Canada to the Lyric in “Visions from Cape Breton and beyond” March 19-20.

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals brings the pop-soul sound of the group that sang “Groovin’ “and “Good Lovin” to the Lyric March 24. Local legend Doc Grober returns with his Mudcats March 26 with a tribute to Louis Armstrong. LTD: Livingston Taylor, Tom Chapin and The Jammin’ Divas come together for folk music for the 21st century March 27.

John Loesser, the lyric’s executive director, said that shows will continue to be added. “We’ll probably add about 10 shows over the summer,” he said. “A lot of pop artists don’t book that far out.”

In other Lyric news, Loesser noted that the theater would be closed for renovations from June through October and will re-open sometime in November with yet to-be announced special festivities. “It will be a nice facelift,” he said. ‘We’re remodeling the lobby, there will be new seating in the lobby, new entrances, technical improvements and a new lobby bar. All the orchestra level seating is being replaced with top-of-the line chairs with cup holders. Seats will be in the same locations as the old ones.”

Sales for the new season go on sale the day after Labor Day, although members can purchase them now. Anyone can become a member and purchase tickets immediately. Memberships start at $35.

“Over the summer, there will be a box office at the Stuart Coffee Company next door to the Lyric,” Loesser said. “You can also order online.” For membership and ticket information for the upcoming Lyric Theatre season, visit the website, Or call the box office at (772) 286-7827. The number will remain operational
Lyric season has something for everyone