Blue Man Group, Jim Belushi highlight Lied Center season

2013-05-07T17:50:00Z 2013-05-08T18:20:37Z Blue Man Group, Jim Belushi highlight Lied Center seasonBy JEFF KORBELIK / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

Lincoln showed its appreciation for dance during the 2012-13 performing arts season, especially when major companies made their way to the Capital City.

The Lied Center for Performing Arts saw a 30 percent increase in dance attendance, including a sold-out audience for the Joffrey Ballet in March.

That prompted Lied Executive Director Bill Stephan and Artistic Director Ann Chang to program a mix of classical and modern dance for the 2013-14 season.

Companies performing during the new season include STREB, billed as the Evel Knievel of Dance; the Moscow Festival Ballet dancing “Cinderella”; and the Martha Graham and Lily Cai Chinese dance companies.

“We’ve been strategically growing dance,” Stephan said. “Ann and I committed to bringing in the greatest dance groups in the world. We had Paul Taylor (in 2009) and Alvin Ailey (in 2011). We’ve had a great response from our patrons.”

Dance is one part of 30 shows and 51 performances for the 2013-14 season. The current season, which concludes June 14 with “Whose Live Anyway,” featured 35 shows and 54 performances.

The Lied is on track to balance its operating budget -- set at $4.23 million this fiscal season (July 2012 to June 2013) -- for the fourth consecutive year, Stephan said.

The Lied opens its season with the return of the “Blue Man Group” for four performances Sept. 27-29. The “Blue Man Group” is among five Broadway offerings, which also include “Memphis,” the 2010 Tony Award winner for best musical.

The season “unofficially” opens Sept. 6, when singer-songwriter Susan Werner returns to perform a free concert on the Lied mainstage, singing songs from her new American-farmer-inspired album, “Hayseed.” Season ticket subscribers have first crack at the free tickets.

Big-name artists for the season include actor Jim Belushi with the the Chicago Board of Comedy (Nov. 15); banjo great Bela Fleck, performing with Abigail Washburn and the Del McCoury Band (Feb. 13); Brazilian-born pianist Arnaldo Cohen (March 21); and Emmy Award winner Wayne Brady (March 22).

The “big get,” however, is the Cleveland Orchestra, considered by music critics to be one of the top two orchestras -- the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is the other -- in the country. The 100-piece ensemble will perform Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 on Feb. 27. It will be its first concert at the Lied.

“Ann and I have been working on the Cleveland Orchestra for several years,” Stephan said. “Anybody who goes to the concert will be changed and redefined by the symphony experience.”

The Lied also will make its stages available to other artists and organizations during the 2013-14 season, including Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra, the Lincoln Midwest Ballet Company for its annual “Nutcracker” production and the Interdisciplinary Arts Symposium at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Lied will collaborate with IAS in presenting the Martha Graham Dance Company on Jan. 28.

The Lied will co-present Celtic Thunder with NET Television on Oct. 25. Tickets are available now but are not a part of season-ticket packages. The performing arts center also will host a live broadcast Oct. 19 of Garrison Keillor’s “Prairie Home Companion,” with tickets going on sale July 1. It, too, is not part of season-ticket packages.

Lied season tickets and brochures are available now to last year’s season-ticket subscribers. They will become available to everyone Friday and can be viewed online at liedcenter.org or picked up at the box office, 301 N. 12th St. A season subscription consists of a ticket purchase of four or more events.

Individual tickets will go on sale Aug. 20.

Following is a rundown of the 2013-14 season by genre with individual ticket prices. (Student tickets are half-price.) Dates are subject to change.

Broadway

* “Blue Man Group,” Sept. 27-29 (four performances). Tickets: $58, $50 and $45.

* “Memphis,” Nov. 12-13 (two performances). Tickets: $59, $52 and $45.

* “Rock of Ages,” Feb. 15 (two performances). Tickets: $59, $52 and $42.

* “Hair,” March 15 (one performance). Tickets: $52, $48 and $40.

* “West Side Story,” April 4-5 (three performances). Tickets: $59, $52 ad $45.

Classical

* Van Cliburn Gold Medalist, Oct. 23. Tickets: $26.

* The Cleveland Orchestra, Feb. 27. Tickets: $85, $75 and $45.

* Arnaldo Cohen (piano), March 21. Tickets: $32.

Dance

* “Dynasties and Beyond,” Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company, Oct. 2. Tickets: $36 and $28.

* Martha Graham Dance Company, Jan. 28. Tickets: $36.

* STREB, April 11. Tickets: $38 and $34.

* “Cinderella,” Moscow Festival Ballet, May 1. Tickets: $39, $34 and $29.

World & Jazz

* Take 6, Jan. 16. Tickets: $36 and $32.

* Ireland's Dervish, March 11. Tickets: $36 and $26.

* Soweto Gospel Choir, March 25. Tickets: $38 and $28.

* “Ancestral Groove,” David Krakauer & the Madness Orchestra, March 29. Tickets: $34.

* “The Nat King Cole Tribute,” Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli, April 23. Tickets: $42 and $36.

Theater

* “I Love Lucy Live on Stage,” March 7-9 (four performances). Tickets: $58, $45 and $30.

* “Love, Loss and What I Wore,” Oct. 16-20 (Johnny Carson Theater, seven performances). Tickets: $36.

* “The Church Basement Ladies: A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement,” April 25-27 (four performances). Tickets: $30.

Family

* “Dream Carver,” Swazzle, Nov. 5. Tickets: $16.

* “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and other Eric Carle favorites, March 4. Tickets: $16.

Holiday

* Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Dec. 3-4 (two performances). Tickets: $55, $49 and $45.

* Canadian Brass Christmas, Dec. 19. Tickets: $42, $36 and $28.

Folk

* Susan Werner, Sept. 6. Tickets: FREE

* Bela Fleck, Abigail Washburn and Del McCoury Band, Feb. 13. Tickets: $45, $35 and $25.

* April Verch, April 16. Tickets: $18.

Popular

* Riders in the Sky, Oct. 30. Tickets: $25 and $19.

* Jim Belushi and the Chicago Board of Comedy, Nov. 15. Tickets: $45, $35 and $25.

* “Winter Dance Party,” The Official Buddy Holly Tribute, Feb. 22. Tickets: $38, $32 and $28.

* Wayne Brady, March 22. Tickets: $50 and $42.

Reach Jeff Korbelik at 402-473-7213 or jkorbelik@journalstar.com., or follow him on Twitter at @LJSjeffkorbelik.

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