Posted: June 26, 2009
Newly renovated Virginia G. Piper Theater
to open on Oct. 24 with benefit concert by
Tony Award winner Kristin Chenoweth
(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) – After more than a year of renovation and renewal, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is embarking upon a new era with the opening of its state-of-the-art Virginia G. Piper Theater and a star-studded 2009-10 season of dance, jazz, classical and world music, theater and satire. Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth will be the first to perform on the new stage as part of the Oct. 24 ARTrageous Celebration, a benefit for the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA).
The new 852-seat Virginia G. Piper Theater will offer the latest lighting and acoustic technology as well as dramatic improvements in sightlines, climate control, seating and audience accessibility. Most importantly, the theater’s intimate character, which has long been its hallmark, has been thoughtfully enhanced. Outside the theater, the updated and renamed Dayton Fowler Grafman Atrium has likewise been transformed into a more welcoming and comfortable space that offers visitors many improved amenities, such as a new box office, mezzanine and café managed by Arcadia Farms. Commissioned by the Scottsdale Public Art Program for the atrium, a radiant work by artist Kana Tanaka will feature more than 100 blown-glass pieces illuminated with fiber-optic lighting.
"With the completion of the Virginia G. Piper Theater’s renovation, a new era has dawned at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts," remarked Dr. Jeffrey N. Babcock, artistic director of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. "Going forward we will introduce initiatives that will enhance the depth and quality of our programs while building artistic and institutional equity in the Center. This season, our presentations will extend beyond the stage to create a total experience that begins the moment you arrive."
Highlights of the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Art’s 2009-10 season will include performances by legendary trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, who will headline the first Scottsdale Latin Jazz Festival; comedians Jason Alexander, John Cleese and Martin Short; the Martha Graham Dance Company and Paul Taylor Dance Company; singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright; musician Herb Alpert and singer Lani Hall; Michael Feinstein’s Sinatra Project; Grammy Award-winning cellist Yo-Yo Ma; the dynamic Shen Wei Dance Arts as part of the new Destination China series; the 40th Scottsdale Arts Festival; the Talk Cinema film series; and much more.
Series and single tickets for all performances will go on sale starting on June 25 at 8 p.m. with seating priority given to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ Premier and Presidents Club members, followed by members purchasing series tickets to four or more different performances (seated July 9), non-members purchasing series tickets (seated July 23) and single ticket buyers (seated August 13). Information on membership and series and single ticket sales is available through the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts box office at (480) 994-ARTS (2787) or online at www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org.
SCOTTSDALE LATIN JAZZ FESTIVAL
One of the most dynamic and vivacious performers of our time, virtuoso jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval will headline the first Scottsdale Latin Jazz Festival, performing in the Virginia G. Piper Theater on Nov. 14. The festival also will feature a Latin ballroom dance competition and two afternoon celebrations of Latin arts, music and cuisine on the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, including amphitheater concerts by the talented, young Mexican singer-songwriter Ximena Sariñana on Nov. 13 and the high-voltage Miami-based ensemble Tiempo Libre on Nov. 14. Brazilian singer Claudia Villela will close the festival with an amphitheater concert on Nov. 15.
A recipient of the 2010 NEA Jazz Masters Award, the nation’s highest honor for jazz music, pianist Kenny Barron will bring his trio to Scottsdale on Dec. 12. The leader of the pioneering Tijuana Brass, Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Herb Alpert and his wife, Grammy-winning vocalist Lani Hall, will showcase their one-of-a-kind chemistry while performing a treasury of American and Brazilian jazz and popular standards on Jan. 30. One of the most prominent virtuosos in the contemporary instrumental jazz field, guitarist Al Di Meola will perform with his World Sinfonia on Feb. 19. Celebrated drummer Jimmy Cobb and saxophonist Jimmy Heath will headline the Generations Band, a multi-generational, all-star ensemble that brings together legendary jazz musicians and the brightest young stars of today, on March 11. Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano will lead his dynamic new ensemble UsFive on March 27, and world-renowned pianist Marcus Roberts will perform with drummer Jason Marsalis and bassist Roland Guerin on April 30.
ART IN MOTION
Long recognized for its commitment to contemporary dance, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will welcome five leading companies as part of its Art in Motion series. The acclaimed Denver-based Cleo Parker Robinson Dance Ensemble will perform Rivers of Hope, a program of classic works that includes the deeply evocative Blood Memories by African-American choreographer Donald McKayle, on Oct. 30. The revolutionary Paul Taylor Dance Company will offer two separate programs of new and classic works on Nov. 18–19. A perennial favorite of Scottsdale audiences, the uncanny dancer-illusionists of MOMIX will showcase selections from some of the company’s most dazzling productions in Best of MOMIX on Jan. 21–22. The groundbreaking Martha Graham Dance Company will present two evenings of classic works on March 19–20 with Prelude and Revolt, a multi-media theatrical event complete with narration, projections and performances of Graham’s seminal works spanning the years 1906–36. Performing works by the foremost Latino choreographers, the vivacious Ballet Hispanico Company will thrill audiences on April 9–10.
Through its exciting new Destination China series, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will take audiences on an exciting journey of discovery through the art, culture and history of the world’s most populous country. Internationally recognized as the premier touring Chinese acrobatic troupe, The Golden Dragon Acrobats will perform astonishing feats of acrobatics and dance with spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theater on Dec. 5. A finalist at the 13th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, where she earned widespread praise for her masterful performance, pianist Di Wu will give her first Scottsdale recital on Feb. 10. One of the country’s most well-informed and thoughtful observers on China and Tibet, Orville Schell will share his insights and experiences as part of a symposium on China on Feb. 11–12. Combining modern dance with theater, Chinese opera, philosophy, art and architecture, the dynamic and imaginative young company Shen Wei Dance Arts will mark its Scottsdale debut on Feb. 13 performing selections from The Re- Triptych, including Part I: Tibet, a deeply personal and spiritual dance incorporating traditional Tibetan chants and a stunning, full-stage mandala, and Part III: The New Silk Road, a celebration of China’s vast and divergent religious traditions, languages and cultural histories.
Funny man and Monty Python alumnus John Cleese will bring back his one-of-a-kind sense of humor for a special two-night engagement on Nov. 20–21. The hilarious singing comedians of the Capitol Steps will return for their annual Thanksgiving weekend visit on Nov. 27–28, performing songs and skits from their latest album, Obama Mia! Seinfeld’s Jason Alexander will star as Donny Clay, "America’s Fourth Leading Motivational Speaker, in an Evening of Music, Comedy, Personal Growth and Partial Nudity," on Jan. 9 at Celebrity Theatre. Known to millions of public radio fans as the host of A Prairie Home Companion, writer and humorist Garrison Keillor will share anecdotes and stories on Jan. 28 at Celebrity Theatre. America’s foremost radio theater company, L.A. Theatre Works will present The RFK Project, an important new docudrama chronicling the challenges, victories and defeats of the Civil Rights Movement through the experiences of Robert Kennedy, on Feb. 6. Known for his standout performances on Saturday Night Live, Emmy Award-winning actor and comedian Martin Short will offer a musical evening of comedy, bringing together many of the characters who made him famous, on March 5–6. Best-selling author and master satirist David Sedaris will return by popular demand for a reading of his latest works and a book signing on May 1. Celebrating her ninth season performing at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, AriZoni Award-winning actress Patti Hannon will again star as Sister in Late Nite Catechism and Late Nite Catechism III: ’Til Death Do Us Part, both performed weekly in Stage 2, and in the holiday hit Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold from Dec. 1–27.
MUSIC THAT MOVES
One of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation, Rufus Wainwright will give a concert opened by Joan as Police Woman on Nov. 7. On Dec. 19, Windham Hill’s Winter Solstice: Night Sky Essays will feature four of the studio’s chart-topping artists in one superb concert: world musician Samite, pianist Liz Story, multi-instrumentalist Barbara Higbie and guitarist Sean Harkness. Canadian guitarist Jesse Cook will present an evening of his intoxicating rumba flamenco on Jan. 15. Performing on Feb. 20 at the Celebrity Theatre, Michael Feinstein, backed by a swing orchestra, will share timeless romantic songs from his Grammy-nominated album, The Sinatra Project, a classy tribute to Frank Sinatra and other great singers of the post-war, pre-rock years. The Tony Award-winning actress and singer Christine Ebersole will perform a cabaret-style show with celebrated pianist and arranger John Oddo on Feb. 26. The most popular big band around, The World-Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra will return to Scottsdale for an evening of classic swing on Feb. 27. One of the brightest stars on the African continent, Sengalese master musician Baaba Maal will perform songs from his latest album, Television, on April 22.
One of the preeminent cellists of our time, Yo-Yo Ma will perform a selection of Bach’s Suites for Unaccompanied Cello on Dec. 4. Recently named The Juilliard School’s graduate resident string quartet, the Afiara String Quartet will make its Scottsdale debut on Jan. 23. The recipient of a 2008 "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, violinist Leila Josefowicz will give a recital with pianist John Novacek on Feb. 5. The internationally acclaimed Alexander String Quartet will be joined by guest lecturer Robert Greenberg and guest artists Angela Choong on viola, Yuan Zhang on cello and Eli Eban on clarinet in two unique all-Brahms programs on April 24–25.
2009-10 VIRGINIA G. PIPER CONCERT SERIES
Presented by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, the 2009-10 Virginia G. Piper Concert Series will offer a season of Van Cliburn International Piano Competition gold medalists, including the most recent winner: the extraordinarily gifted 19-year-old Chinese pianist Haochen Zhang, the youngest participant in the 2009 Cliburn Competition, who will make his Scottsdale debut on Oct. 25. Subsequent recitals will feature the 1981 gold medalist André-Michel Schub on Jan. 17; Ralph Votapek, who won the gold medal at the first Cliburn Competition in 1962, on Feb. 21; and 1997 gold medalist Jon Nakamatsu on March 7.
A soloist with the world’s great orchestras, pianist Jeffrey Siegel will celebrate his 30th season of Keyboard Conversations in Scottsdale with a special series devoted to the 200th birthday of Chopin. In this unique "concert with commentary" series, Siegel discusses the music with the audience as part of each recital. His charming wit, eloquent insights and virtuoso performance will delight newcomers to classical music and seasoned aficionados alike. 2009–10 Keyboard Conversations programs will include: Chopin for Lovers on Dec. 1, Chopin the Patriot on Jan. 12, Chopin the Storyteller on Feb. 23 and Chopin and the Future on March 23.
The Talk Cinema film series will move to Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts for its 2009–10 season. Created in 1992 by film critic Harlan Jacobson, Talk Cinema offers sneak previews of independent and foreign films before their theatrical release. Screenings are followed by moderated conversations hosted by distinguished guest speakers, including critics, filmmakers and other industry experts. The series will offer eight screenings in Stage 2 on Oct. 27, Nov. 17, Dec. 14, Jan. 19, Feb. 9, March 16, April 27 and May 11.
FESTIVALS AND CELEBRATIONS
Now celebrating its 40th year, the award-winning Scottsdale Arts Festival will take place on the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall on March 12–14. It continues to be one of the top-ranked arts festivals in the country with nearly 200 jury-selected artists from throughout North America, live music and entertainment, fun activities for kids and families, delicious cuisine and much more. One of the Valley’s most exclusive and intimate culinary events, Dine Out with the Chefs: A Celebration of the Culinary Arts will return for its fourth year on Oct. 4 with an expanded roster of acclaimed chefs, entertainment and other surprises. The 23rd season of Sunday A’Fair will feature free concerts and performances by the Valley’s top entertainers on selected Sunday afternoons from January to April. Presented by the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation and produced by the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with Culture Quest Scottsdale and the Scottsdale Convention & Visitors Bureau, Native Trails will feature performances of traditional Native American music and dance on selected afternoons from January to April. Additional events and performances will be announced throughout the 2009-10 season, including the popular Concerts Under the Stars in the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall Amphitheater.
LOCATION AND PARKING
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts is located at 7380 E. Second St. in downtown Scottsdale, four blocks south of Indian School Road and three blocks east of Scottsdale Road. The amphitheater is located on the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall at 75th Street and Main Street. Free parking is available in the public parking garage located to the west of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and directly behind Los Olivos restaurant on Wells Fargo Avenue. Additional free parking is available at the Old Town Parking Corral at East Second Street and Brown Avenue and at the Civic Center Library parking garage located on Drinkwater Boulevard at East Second Street.
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts offers performance accommodations to enhance audience members’ experience, including: American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation or live audio description with two weeks advance notice. Assisted listening devices and wheelchair seating are always available. Visit the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ Web site at www.scottsdaleperformingarts.org or contact the box office at (480) 994-ARTS [TDD: (480) 874-4694] for further details. Please inquire about services when ordering tickets.
Attend with family and friends, or bring a group from your business, civic or religious organization. Save $3 per ticket and at least $30 in handling fees when purchasing 15 or more tickets to the same event (subject to availability; some restrictions apply). Instead of $2.50 per single ticket, the handling fee is only $7.50 total for group orders.
Full-time students may purchase half-price tickets one hour before events/performances (subject to availability; limit one single ticket per full-time student; some restrictions apply). Must present current valid student I.D. in person at the patron services box office. No phone orders.
SCOTTSDALE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Opened in 1975, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts presents a dynamic, culturally diverse season of dance, jazz, classical and world music, theater and satire. Approximately 1,000 performances, educational programs, festivals and other events are showcased annually serving more than 300,000 people and contributing substantially to Scottsdale’s high quality of life and vibrant arts scene. Performances take place in the Center’s 852-seat Virginia G. Piper Theater and 136-seat Stage 2 as well as the 2,000-seat amphitheater on the grounds of the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall. The Center’s youth education and outreach programs reach more than 40,000 school children each year, and its free programs are available to the entire public. Open daily and during performances, The Store @ Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts offers hand-crafted jewelry, accessories for the home, toys for imaginative young minds, recordings, books, greeting cards and more.
The Scottsdale Cultural Council, a private nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, is contracted by the City of Scottsdale, Arizona, to administer certain City arts and cultural projects and to manage the City-owned Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art and Scottsdale Public Art Program. The programs of the Scottsdale Cultural Council are made possible, in part, by the support of members and donors and grants received from the Arizona Commission on the Arts through appropriations from the Arizona State Legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.
HOW TO REACH US
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
7380 E. Second St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Box Office: (480) 994-ARTS (2787)
TDD: (480) 874-4694
Fax: (480) 874-4699
Public Relations Manager
Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts
Phone: (480) 874-4626