Thursday, July 28, 2011

Theater feature: Kravis' 2011-12 season features fare for low, high brows

Larry King.

By Hap Erstein

You’ve heard of the three Bs‭ ‬--‭ ‬Bach,‭ ‬Brahms and Beethoven‭? ‬Well,‭ ‬the Kravis Center has announced that next season it will present the three Ls‭ ‬--‭ ‬Larry the Cable Guy,‭ ‬Larry King and a tribute show called Elvis Lives.‭ ‬Uh,‭ ‬didn’t the Kravis used to be a center for the performing arts‭?

The West Palm Beach complex will be celebrating its‭ ‬20th anniversary season beginning this fall with its usual eclectic array of acts from highbrow to low,‭ ‬though perhaps tilting more to the low than in the past.‭ ‬In case you were wondering what King would do after his CNN interview show,‭ ‬you can see him on the Kravis stage in what the season announcement calls‭ “‬a brand-new,‭ ‬hilarious stage show that gives his fans a humorous and insightful look at his life.‭” (‬Jan.‭ ‬24‭)

What,‭ ‬too weighty for you‭? ‬Then how about the pairing of daytime TV’s Regis Philbin with Emmy-winning soap star Susan Lucci‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬30‭)? ‬What exactly they will do that evening is a stumper,‭ ‬but the Kravis offers a hint by describing Philbin as a‭ “‬crooner supreme.‭” ‬Larry the Cable Guy is a veteran of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour,‭ ‬so his fans know what to expect on Nov.‭ ‬19,‭ ‬and the Kravis further justifies the booking by noting that this year marks the‭ ‬20th anniversary of Larry’s career.

Those convinced that Elvis Presley died‭ ‬34‭ ‬years ago may have their confidence all shook up by Elvis Lives‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬23‭)‬,‭ ‬billed as‭ “‬the ultimate Elvis tribute artist event,‭” ‬featuring finalists from‭ ‬--‭ ‬get this‭ ‬--‭ ‬the worldwide Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest.‭ ‬Also in the faux-concert tribute vein will be The Official Blues Brothers Revue‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬9‭)‬,‭ ‬licensed at least by Dan Aykroyd and the John Belushi estate,‭ ‬and the return of The Pink Floyd Experience‭ (‬March‭ ‬4‭)‬,‭ ‬in a set that will include the former rock band’s entire‭ ‬1975‭ ‬Wish You Were Here album performed live.

k.d.‭ ‬lang.

Actual headliners slated to appear at the Kravis next season include singers k.d.‭ ‬lang‭ (‬Oct.‭ ‬8‭)‬,‭ ‬Linda Eder and Steve Tyrell‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬3‭)‬,‭ ‬Patti LaBelle‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬4‭)‬,‭ ‬Bernadette Peters‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬10‭)‬,‭ ‬Johnny Mathis‭ (‬March‭ ‬2‭)‬,‭ ‬Neil Sedaka‭ (‬March‭ ‬30‭) ‬and Patti LuPone‭ (‬April‭ ‬4‭)‬.‭ ‬Among the celebrated musicians in the season will be Pinchas Zukerman‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬4-5‭)‬,‭ ‬Joshua Bell‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬31‭)‬,‭ ‬Michael Feinstein‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬3‭)‬,‭ ‬Diana Krall‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬11‭)‬,‭ ‬Chris Botti‭ (‬March‭ ‬3‭)‬,‭ ‬Itzhak Perlman‭ (‬March‭ ‬6‭) ‬and,‭ ‬yes,‭ ‬Yanni‭ (‬April‭ ‬17-18‭)‬.‭

Vying against Larry the Cable Guy for the season’s comedy honors will be Wanda Sykes‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬11‭)‬,‭ ‬Second City Improv All-Stars‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬30-Jan.‭ ‬1‭)‬,‭ ‬Dennis Miller‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬5‭)‬,‭ ‬Jackie Mason‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬31‭) ‬and Martin Short‭ (‬March‭ ‬28‭)‬.‭ ‬And,‭ ‬OK,‭ ‬classical music has hardly been shortchanged,‭ ‬since the Kravis has also booked the Munich Symphony‭ (‬Nov.‭ ‬15-16‭)‬,‭ ‬Emerson String Quartet‭ (‬Dec.‭ ‬6‭)‬,‭ ‬Royal Philharmonic Orchestra‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬4-5‭)‬,‭ ‬Tchaikovsky St.‭ ‬Petersburg State Orchestra‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬24‭)‬,‭ ‬Cleveland Orchestra‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬25‭)‬,‭ ‬Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬8-9‭) ‬and the Minnesota Orchestra‭ (‬March‭ ‬11‭)‬.

For the previously announced Kravis on Broadway series,‭ ‬the center confirms that Palm Beach favorite son George Hamilton will headline the production of‭ ‬La Cage aux Folles‭ (‬Feb.‭ ‬14-19‭)‬.‭ ‬Leading off the series will be‭ ‬The Addams Family‭ (‬Nov.‭ ‬8-13‭)‬,‭ ‬whose plot happens to be identical to‭ ‬La Cage’s,‭ ‬followed by the popular revival of‭ ‬Hair‭ (‬Jan.‭ ‬10-15‭)‬,‭ ‬the Twyla Tharp-meets-Frank-Sinatra dance concert‭ ‬Come Fly Away‭ (‬March‭ ‬13-18‭) ‬and the re-conceived‭ ‬25th anniversary production of‭ ‬Les Miserables‭ (‬May‭ ‬16-26‭)‬.

For the complete Kravis Center schedule,‭ ‬go to its website at‭ www.kravis.org.‭ ‬Tickets to the season’s events go on sale to the public Sept.‭ ‬24.

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