The District Board of Trustees of Okaloosa-Walton College approved a tentative season of national shows for the college's Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center at the board's March 18 meeting. OWC trustees authorized the college to move forward to finalize contracts for a slate of popular Broadway and Artist Series touring shows. The board is expected to review the final schedule of shows at their May meeting.
Dr. Cliff Herron, Executive Director for the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, presented the tentative schedule and indicated that season tickets will go on sale this summer, following approval of the final slate of shows. Included in the anticipated schedule of national shows are:
Dancing Queen - October 25, 2008: A 1970's music tribute stage show based on the hits of ABBA, with the Bee Gees, Village People and other 70s jams thrown into the mix.
Jungua:Descendents of the Dragon - November 8, 2008: The amazing skills of China's finest acrobats and martial arts masters combine with lavish costumes to create a feast for the eyes with an explosion of Chinese culture in kungfu, acrobatics, music and dance.
American Spiritual Ensemble - February 7, 2009: Some of the finest vocalists in the United States will present dynamic renditions of classic spirituals, jazz and Broadway numbers highlighting the Black experience and the tradition of the American Negro spiritual.
Hubbard Street Dance Company - February 23, 2009: Critically acclaimed for its exuberant, athletic and innovative repertory, this renowned company of professional dancers will display unparalleled versatility performing works by master American and international choreographers.
Nunsense - December 4, 2008: The 25th Anniversary National Tour of the Broadway comedy smash hit Nunsense will star Sally Struthers in a show that has become an international phenomenon.
Oliver - December 16 & 17, 2008: Hailed the world over as one of the best-loved family musicals of all time, Oliver brings to the stage some of Charles Dickens' most unforgettable characters along with one of Broadway's most memorable scores in a heartwarming tale of young orphan Oliver Twist.
25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - January 12, 2009: With two Tony Awards and a load of Drama Desk and other awards, this new Broadway Musical comedy has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal as "perfect in every possible way - a bona fide crowd pleaser" and "irresistible, riotously funny and remarkably ingenious - gold stars all around" by The New York Times.
The Drowsy Chaperone - January 21, 2009: Get ready to be transported to a magical, wonderful world, with the new musical comedy with tons of laughs and the most 2006 Tony Awards of any musical on Broadway. The show features a stellar creative team led by Second City's Bob Martin and Don McKellar.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels - March 10, 2009: Set on the glorious, glamorous Riviera, this delicious musical comedy follows two con artists as they take on the lifestyles of the rich and shameless - and end up with a lot more than they bargain for. Based on the popular movie by the same title and called "one of the liveliest, funniest, best-performed musicals in years!" by the New York Post.
OWC Trustees also approved a series of family and children's shows, most of which will be performed during the day for various school groups. One special family event, the internationally acclaimed Moscow Cat Circus is tentatively scheduled to perform at a Saturday matinee on March 21, 2009 for the entire community.
With 35 cats, one dog and five clowns, the Moscow Cat Circus promises to be a delightful treat for the entire family. Hailed as the only entertainment of its kind in the world, the show features non-stop action by a group of talented felines performing original and astounding acrobatic feats, integrated into a non-verbal, colorful and fun-filled family show. Making its U.S. debut, in New York City, with American audiences two years ago, Moscow Cats has been embraced by the media and fans alike. With appearances on Good Morning America, Good Day New York, Inside Edition, Montel Williams, and Regis and Kelly Show -the Russian cats have been the talk of the country.
The series of national shows for matinee performances to school groups includes: Nate the Great on October 20, The Ant and the Elephant on November 12, Junie B. Jones on March 26, and Bob the Builder on April 14.
Herron noted that patrons should monitor the Mattie Kelly Arts Center website for an announcement in May of the final slate of shows and for the opening date for Broadway season ticket sales. This season, the center had a record of 8 out of 9 national show performances to sell out of advance tickets. Herron explained that the Mattie Kelly Arts Center presents a full schedule of events year round and that tickets are now available for all events at the center scheduled in April, May, June and July. Patrons may contact the box office at (850) 729-6000 or on the web at www.owc.edu/arts to request tickets to current events, view the events calendar - which also includes several upcoming free events, or to be placed on the mailing list for next season's shows.