July 9, 2008

Riley Center Announces New Season

By Jennifer Jacob, The Meridian Star, Miss.

Jul. 9--Acts for the third season at the MSU-Riley Center for the Performing Arts were announced in the facility's historic theater Tuesday.

Drawing the most applause was the announcement of an Oct. 29 performance by humorist Garrison Keillor, of the radio show Prairie Home Companion, whose performance is bound to drip with wit.

Riley Center Director Dennis Sankovich said the center has aimed to provide more variety with the 2008-2009 season, saying: "Our season doesn't really cater to one necessary audience."

The season will begin on Sept. 16 with sets from singer/songwriters John Hiatt and Joan Osborne.

Hiatt, who has been in the music business since the 1970's, is best known for his hit song "Have a Little Faith in Me." His songs have been performed by artists from a variety of genres, including country artist Willie Nelson, punk rocker Iggy Pop, and pop star Mandy Moore.

Osborne used her unique vocal style to ride to fame in the '90s with her popular song "(What if God Was) One of Us".

Other musical acts this season include WAR, of "Why Can't We Be Friends" and "Low Rider" fame, singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin, '90's R&B superstars Boyz II Men, the blues act Robert Cray Band, Celtic ensemble Cherish the Ladies with Irish singer Maura O'Connell, all-sibling piano group The 5 Browns, and others.

The season will feature numerous plays for school children as well. Mammoth Follies is a play about pre-historic times featuring gigantic dinosaur puppets. Stage versions of the classic children's books The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Phantom Tollbooth will also be performed. Other plays based on children's books include The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, about a boy who, after being squashed flat, decides to mail himself around the world in an envelope, and Magic Tree House: The Musical, about two modern children who are transported to Camelot.

Plays aimed at adults this season include the comedies All the Way from Magnolia Springs, Greater Tuna, and John Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters.

Other highlights of the season: the unique, almost acrobatic dance company Pilobolus, ballet company Dance Theatre of Harlem, and Drumline Live, a musical stage version of the popular film.

Season package renewals are available July 14-25. New season packages go on sale July 28. Viewer's Choice packages go on sale Aug. 11, and sales for individual shows begin Aug. 18.

For more information, pricing, or to purchase tickets, call the MSU Riley Center box office at (601) 696-2200. For exact dates and a full listing of the 2008-2009 season, visit the MSU Riley Center or go to the Web site at www.msurileycenter.com.


John Hiatt and Joan Osborne



All the Way from Magnolia Springs

Shawn Colvin

Robert Cray Band

Garrison Keillor


Boyz II Men

The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley


Tillis Family Christmas



Drumline Live


Punch Brothers with Chris Thile

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Kathy Mattea and Marty Stuart

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Blue Note 70th Anniversary Tour


Glenn Miller Orchestra

Magic Tree House: The Musical

Greater Tuna


John Steptoe's Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

An Irish Homecoming featuring Cherish the Ladies and Maura O'Connell

The 5 Browns

Mammoth Follies


Las Vegas Tribute to Motown

Chris Botti


To see more of The Meridian Star or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.meridianstar.com.

Copyright (c) 2008, The Meridian Star, Miss.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.