July 31, 2008

LEWISBURG, Pa. — A Celtic Christmas. A Korean tea ceremony. A Latino dance company. The Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell University will host performances by artists from around the globe during the 2008-09 season.

"The season brings performances representing the nations of Korea, Ireland, and Hungary as well as the U.S. cities of New York and Los Angeles to the region's premier concert hall," according to Bill Boswell, executive director of the Weis Center.

"We invite everyone to take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy one or many of the outstanding performances hosted by the center and Bucknell each year."

The 2008-09 season opens on Friday, Sept. 12, with American pianist Ursula Oppens performing music by Chopin and Schumann, William Bolcom and Elliott Carter.

Oppens, who has won equal renown as an interpreter of the established repertory and a champion of contemporary music, has performed with virtually all the world's major orchestras, in most of the great concert halls, and at many important music festivals.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company will present "The Complete History of America (abridged): Election Year Edition," on Saturday, Sept. 27. The program is a rollercoaster ride, relating 600 years of U.S. history in 6000 seconds, from the Bering Straits to Baghdad, from the New World to the New World Order.

"Altar Boyz,” the Off-Broadway hit musical, will be performed on Friday, Oct. 17. The sweet harmonies and spectacular dancing in this musical-comedy spoof about a fictitious Christian boy-band make this winner of the 2005 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical pure fun.

On Saturday, Oct. 25, the Turtle Island Quartet and the Assad Brothers guitar duo will perform a unique concert they call "String Theory," a trip around the world with music ranging from Africa and India to the Appalachian Mountains, from the rhythmic poetry of the Balkans through the warmth and passion of Brazil to the hard-swinging elegance of Gypsy jazz ala Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli, and everything in between. The concert coincides with the University's Homecoming celebration.

International artists
On Saturday, Nov. 8, the Weis Center will host "Tea Music," a reflection of the symbolic sounds of Korean culture with music related to the images or color, flavor, and beauty of Korean tea, blended with many Korean art forms including tea ceremonies, dance, music and scroll painting, and performed by a company from Korea.

The Hungarian Virtuosi Orchestra with Miklos Szenthelyi, musical director and violin soloist, and Judit Faludi, cello soloist, will perform music by Handel, Paganini, Kreisler and Tchaikovsky on Friday, Nov. 21.

Cherish the Ladies will perform their "Celtic Christmas" celebration concert on Saturday, Dec. 6. Taking its name from an Irish jig, the group initially won recognition as the first and only all-female traditional Irish band and has grown into an ensemble with a unique blend of virtuoso instrumental talents, beautiful vocals, captivating arrangements, and stunning step dancing.

Spring semester events
Luna Negra Dance Theatre will open the spring semester events on Friday, Jan. 30. Devoted to the creation and presentation of contemporary dance by Latino choreographers, Luna Negra Dance Theater blends ballet and modern dance techniques, strongly flavored by Latino and Afro-Caribbean dance forms.

The Czech Symphony Orchestra with Jennifer Frautschi, violin, and Derek Han, piano, will perform music by Martinu, Bruch, and Smetana on Friday, Feb. 6.

Having become a local favorite, the spectacular young Finnish pianist Paavali Jumppanen returns for a residency at Bucknell which will include a concert of sonatas by Beethoven and Liszt, preludes by Jouni Kaipainen, and more on Saturday, Feb. 21.

The Wind Soloists of New York will perform music by Mozart and Rossini as well as two rarely heard works by Richard Strauss on Friday, Feb. 27.

Guest residencies
"Jumppanen will be in residency at Bucknell for three weeks from Feb. 2 through 21, and the Wind Soloists of New York will be in residency Feb. 23 through 27," said Boswell. "Both residencies are made possible with support from the Kushell Music Endowment of Bucknell University, and will feature additional events open to the public including Gallery Series performances, workshops, masterclasses, etc."

The season closes on Friday, March 27, with "War of the Worlds & The Lost World," L.A. Theatre Works' presentation of two masterpieces of science fiction and adventure. The live radio-theatre style show recreates the breathless pace and convincing details of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds as it was originally performed by Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre of the Air in 1938. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's campy adventure The Lost World follows a scientific expedition deep into the Amazon jungle – and back in time.

Free family matinee events
The Weis Center Series wouldn't be complete without some Saturday afternoon shows for children.

The Paper Bag Players will perform on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 1 p.m., in the annual holiday performance made possible through the generosity of Janet Weis.

“Jazz for Kids!” with the David Leonhardt Jazz Group begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7. This family matinee concert (with audience participation) is made possible through the generosity of Clayton and David Lightman and members of the Weis Center Green Room Board.

Tickets available beginning Sept. 2
Tickets for reserved seating for series evening performances are $20 or $25 depending on the event; all evening performances begin at 8 p.m.  Discounts for senior citizens and students are available.

The Weis Center Box Office opens Monday, Sept. 2, for regular hours weekdays 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Weis Center and in the Bookstore, located on the ground floor of the Elaine Langone Center. Tickets and information also are available one hour prior to each performance.

Beginning Sept. 2, tickets can be charged on the Internet at www.bucknell.edu/boxoffice/ or by calling 570-577-1000.

Contact: Office of Communications

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