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Dinosaurs, West Side Story Coming to Penn State

Only building more anticipation for next school year, the Center for Performing Arts at Penn State released the specifics of its 2013-2014 season today. And it doesn’t disappoint. From musicals and dance to prehistoric reptiles, here are some of the highlights:

Dinosaurs, Rawr

THERE WILL BE A DINOSAUR PETTING ZOO. Yes, in April, ERTH’s Dinosaur Zoo ™ will allow people of all ages to get close and personal with large animal puppets during a fun, informative presentation. For dinosaur lovers, this may be CPA’s best year ever as Dinosaur Train Live!, a stage production based on the PBS Kids show, will stop by Eisenhower Auditorium in October.

Straight from Broadway West Side Story

Several Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals old and new will be taking the stage next season. Among them are Leonard Bernstein’s classic West Side Story in November, ’80s rock extravaganza Rock of Ages in January and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast in February. Also, BRING IT ON: THE MUSICAL, which apparently exists, will be in town for one night only in April.

Classical Favorites

If classical’s your thing, the St. Lawrence String Quartet and Brentano String Quartet will both conclude their fruitful three-year Classical Music Project partnership with the university in October and February, respectively. As part of a continuing celebration of Bach, Apollo’s Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra will play the composer’s captivating Brandenburg Concertos Nos. 2-6 in November. Other highlights include the Vienna Concert-Verein Orchestra in February and Mosaic in December, which will showcase a variety of School of Music talents.

Foreign Imports

From Mongolia to Japan, CPA has booked a fair number of world acts worth seeing in the coming year. It doesn’t get more iconic on the world scene than a Moscow Festival Ballet performance of Swan Lake next March. World-renowned French/Brazillian hip-hop company Compagnie Käfig will dance in February, while ten-member Anda Union will showcase Mongolia’s sounds in September.

For fans of Afghan author Khaled Hosseini, there’s a unique one-man performance of Kite Runner in October. Yamato: The Drummers of Japan will make its third Eisenhower appearance on a 20th anniversary tour in November as well.

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow

The CPA season kicks off on September 12 with a stunner — MOMIX’s Botanica, a dance-illusion piece showcasing natural phenomena. Quebec-based Cirque Eloize will also inspire with Cirkopolis in September, with its imagery based on films like Metropolis and Brazil.

Get Vocal

There’s reason to sing. Anything Goes Broadway star Sutton Foster will sing through showtune favorites as part of a Valentine’s Day weekend debut. The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra will feature New York Voices in April to recreate the southern swing that made Basie a household name.

Jazz, Country Stanley Jordan

Rounding out the year’s lineup are a series of always-popular jazz and country shows. In January, guitar giants Sharon Isbin, Stanley Jordan and Romero Lubambo will pluck away in the performance I’m most hotly anticipating. In October, Doc Severinsen and His Big Band and American Brass Quintet will perform about a week apart, and the season will end on April 23 with jazz ensemble Lionel Loueke Trio.

Country mainstays Mary Chapin Carpenter and Shawn Colvin will share the stage for an acoustic show in February encompassing a vast songbook between them.

Besides SPA, there’s no better way to find great entertainment with student discounts. A complete list of CPA’s events for the coming year can be found here.

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About the Author

Mike Hricik

Senior in the College of Communications

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