The Auditorium Theatre announces another season of exciting, diverse programming which supports its commitment to presenting the finest performances in international and local dance, along with America’s most cherished music, to Chicago. Highlights of the Auditorium’s 2016-17 season include Cole Porter 125 – A Birthday Celebration, featuring Chicago singers and musicians; Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater in their “Made in Chicago” Dance Series debut; the return of Eifman Ballet’s Red Giselle; and a new, innovative ballet by Dance Theatre of Harlem’s Francesca Harper. Discounted subscription packages and discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more are on sale now by calling 312.341.2300. Subscription packages are available online starting in mid-April at AuditoriumTheatre.org Tickets to individual shows will go on sale later this year. “We have created a unique and eclectic season featuring many of Auditorium Theatre’s favorite musicians and dance companies from the past decade,” says Charlie Gardner, Chairman of the Board of Directors. “The Auditorium Theatre has always been dedicated to featuring artists both from around the globe and right here in our backyard, and this year is no different. This is a season you won’t want to miss!” THE 2016 – 17 SEASON On Stage With…SUSAN WERNER Thursday, September 22 | 7:30PM Part of the American Music Series Singer-songwriter, Susan Werner, returns for her 9th Auditorium Theatre appearance where the audience sits right on the landmark stage in an intimate cabaret setting. Werner’s skillful songs effortlessly slide between folk, jazz, and pop, all delivered with sassy wit and classic Midwestern charm. Throughout her expansive career, boundless versatility has emerged as a hallmark of Werner’s talent, and has proven to be a quintessential ingredient of her engrossing musical persona. Werner was described by the Chicago Tribune as “a triply blessed artist who sings adroitly, plays the piano smartly and, best of all, writes songs of genuine distinction and high craft.” COLE PORTER 125 – A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
Saturday, September 24 | 7:30PM Part of the American Music Series The Auditorium Theatre celebrates the 125th birthday of Cole Porter, recognized as a master of the American Songbook with a career spanning five decades. His songs are still considered some of our country’s most popular and enduring - coupling lyrics filled with wit and sophistication and melodies of harmonic invention. This can’t-miss celebration, directed by Chicago’s favorite cabaret singer Joan Curto, is sure to be among the top Porter tributes in the country. The show will feature many of Porter’s most beloved songs, as well as some of his lesser known gems, performed by some of the best musicians and singers in Chicago including: Joan Curto, Paul Marinaro, Tammy McCann, Beckie Menzie, and Tom Michael, all accompanied by the City Lights Orchestra conducted by Rich Daniels. ENSEMBLE ESPAÑOL SPANISH DANCE THEATER – FLAMENCO PASSION Thursday, September 29 | 7:30PM Part of the “Made in Chicago” Dance Series Celebrating their 40th Anniversary, Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater returns to the Auditorium Theatre, making their debut in the “Made in Chicago” Dance Series, with the presentation of Founder & Artistic Director, Dame Libby Komaiko’s stunning work, Bolero. Set to the music of French composer Maurice Ravel’s most famous work of the same name, Ensemble Español’s Bolero was described as a “most phenomenal piece” and “extraordinary” by the Chicago Sun-Times. The company will also present Mil Clavos, a piece representing traditional Spanish dance in a modern context, referencing the “clavos,” or the nails that are pounded into the bottom of the dancer's shoes. It affirms that the "nail" that holds time-honored traditions and modern sensibilities together is found in the artist's dedication to their craft. LIZT ALFONSO DANCE CUBA – CUBA VIBRA! Saturday, November 5 | 7:30PM; Sunday, November 6 | 3PM Part of the International Dance Series It's a hot Havana night when Lizt Alfonso Dance Cuba brings the heat to Chicago’s landmark stage in an irresistible fusion of cha-cha, rumba, conga, bolero and mambo, all the rhythms that vibrate the heart and fill the soul, in Cuba Vibra! With precise movement and incalculable cadence, 17 dancers fill the stage with flavorful finesse as they seamlessly dance in lockstep to the Afro-Cuban beats and vocal virtuosity of a 6-member, on-stage band plus one vocalist. Celebrating Cuban music and dance from the '50s to today, boisterous Latin rhythms electrify the air in Cuba Vibra! CHICAGO JAZZ PHILHARMONIC – THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER: BLACK AND BLUES
Friday, November 11 | 7:30PM Part of the American Music Series This summer, in preparation for the fall performance, members of the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, including Artistic Director Orbert Davis, will take a spectacular nine-day steamboat journey that explores the diversity and drama of the lower Mississippi River, giving them inspiration for Davis’ newest work, The Mississippi River: Black and Blues. The new piece will delve into the mighty river’s historic influence and the evolution of the music that traveled up the river birthing American Blues and Jazz. TOO HOT TO HANDEL: THE JAZZ-GOSPEL MESSIAH Saturday, January 14 | 7:30PM; Sunday, January 15 | 3PM One hour Student Matinee: Friday, January 13 | 11AM Part of the American Music Series Soloists Rodrick Dixon, Alfreda Burke and Karen Marie Richardson join legendary pianist Alvin Waddles as they return to the Auditorium Theatre to perform in Chicago’s 12th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Holiday weekend presentation of Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah. This high-energy production, based on George Frideric Handel’s Messiah, pairs the traditional classical score with jazz, gospel, and blues. The performance also includes the 100 voices of the city-wide Too Hot Choir under the direction of Old St. Pat’s Music Director of Concert Choirs, Bill Fraher, and a 45-piece symphony orchestra and jazz ensemble conducted by Suzanne Mallare Acton. BOSTON POPS – BY GEORGE! THE POPS PLAYS GERSHWIN Friday, March 31 | 7:30PM Part of the American Music Series Experience a night of George Gershwin with Conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops as they bring their own unique swagger to a rarely-heard original orchestration of Rhapsody in Blue, performing the music as Gershwin first heard it, on stage with the musicians of the Paul Whiteman Orchestra. Then, the Pops presents the world-premiere performance of a reconstruction of Paul Whiteman's tight and jazzy version of An American in Paris, performed as it was in the 1920s. The Pops opens up the Great American Songbook, and goes right to the heart of it with such Gershwin classics as The Man I Love, They Can't Take That Away From Me, and Let's Call the Whole Thing Off. The Pops brings you Gershwin as you've never heard it before...the music of America's most original composer played by America's Orchestra!