Theater, ballet, jazz and classical performances are also slated.
Broadway musicals and Grammy Award-winning pop acts highlight the 2019–20 season of performances scheduled at the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.
The fall 2019 schedule includes performances by Grammy winner Michael Bolton (Sept. 17), jazz group the Huntertones (Oct. 10), alternative pop act Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors (Oct. 28), woodwind ensemble Windscape (Nov. 19) and The Mid-Town Men Holiday Hits, which features a reunion cast from the Tony Award-winning musical Jersey Boys (Dec. 7).
The spring 2020 lineup includes legendary Grammy winners The Righteous Brothers (Feb. 8), Broadway musicals Beautiful: The Carole King Story (March 29) and An American in Paris (April 13), jazz artists Presidio Brass (April 16) and dance musical Stomp (April 21).
“The Ford Center has a tradition of bringing in musicals, and I want to expand that genre with more appearances each season,” said Julia Aubrey, Ford Center director. “We have something for everyone this season. Once you experience a show in the Ford Center, you will want to return for more.”
The pop acts have been scheduled as a new initiative to offer a more varied selection of shows and encourage new patronage.
“Michael Bolton and The Righteous Brothers are international stars, and we are fortunate to have the chance to hear them right here in Oxford,” Aubrey said. “Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors was suggested to me by a focus group of young professionals in Oxford.
“I am partnering with the Lyric to bring artists generally seen in that venue to the Ford Center as a new environment for pop artists. We plan to continue this collaboration in the future.”
Other performances scheduled include:
- Oct. 1: Architecture in Motion by modern dance troupe Diavolo
- Nov. 2: Pete the Cat children’s musical
- Nov. 12: 1984 by Aquila Theatre Company
- Feb. 18: Carmen/Romeo & Juliet by Russian National Ballet
- April 16: All That Brass by jazz artists Presidio Brass
“My suggestion would be to try at least one show in every series,” Aubrey said. “The Artist Series includes some fabulous musical and theatrical groups that you would not otherwise have the opportunity to see and hear. Diavolo is an especially exciting visual spectacle that many saw on America’s Got Talent.”
Aubrey said that bringing in Pete the Cat was important to her.
“I want to be able to provide appropriate live theatrical experience for our area children,” she said. “We are planting the seed for a lifelong appreciation for the arts.”
Aubrey said she hopes to add one more internationally famous pop star during the season.
“I am working to bring that artist in the spring and hope to announce that very soon,” she said.
For ticket information and reservations, visit https://fordcenter.org/events/.
By Edwin B. Smith