Wharton Center’s 2007-2008 Season

Today we celebrate a center that has grown into a leading resource for renowned arts entertainment and education programs for the residents of Michigan. With hundreds of performances ranging from Broadway to dance, classical to jazz, and showcases of music from around the world, Wharton Center offers it all! Although much has changed since the opening night concert on September 25, 1982, when the Chicago Symphony Orchestra joined soprano Birgit Nilsson to honor the

Wharton Center’s grand opening, the guiding dream of a world-class performing arts center remains true.

In the 25 years since its opening, Wharton Center has established a name for itself throughout the entertainment industry, presenting Broadway blockbusters like The Phantom of the Opera, Disney’s THE LION KING and this coming July, Wicked, as well as world-renowned orchestras, dance companies, jazz ensembles and world premiere commissions. All of these phenomenal performances position Wharton Center as a leading venue for performing arts and the state’s central hub for culture and creativity.

The 2007-2008 MSU Federal Credit Union Broadway at Wharton Center lineup includes five Wharton Center Broadway premieres: Disney’s High School Musical, Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot starring Michael York, Monty Python’s Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, and this year’s special event, Riverdance.

Throughout the season there will be several signature events acknowledging Wharton Center’s role as a premier cultural asset for Michigan. These include the return of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of David Robertson with special guest Branford Marsalis, a Wharton Center and MSU College of Music World Premiere Commission honoring Dr. Clifton and Dolores Wharton, Michigan Opera Theatre performing La Traviata, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Dianne Reeves with special guest Rodney Whitaker, and the return of Mandy Patinkin.

Wharton Center continues to focus on diversity in programming with a multitude of performances originating from around the globe. Audiences will experience everything from Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, a disciple of Ravi Shankar, to Anúna, who rose to popularity as the voices of Riverdance.

The 25th Anniversary season also includes the TIAA-CREF World View Lecture Series bringing contemporary world leaders and thinkers to mid-Michigan, including master storyteller and author Rachel Naomi Remen, scientist Edward O. Wilson, radio host and producer Ira Glass, and actor Richard Dreyfuss.

The Wharton Center is also continuing to focus on community outreach and arts education. The Seats 4 Kids program allows local youth who could not otherwise afford to attend a performing arts event an opportunity to experience live theater. We’ve partnered with several local community service organizations such as Boys and Girls Club of Lansing and Cristo Rey Community Center to offer this unique program.

Patrons who haven’t recently visited the MSU Concert Auditorium and Fairchild Theatre will experience our $1.3 million dollar renovations to both theaters.  This past season we replaced 596 of the seats in the Fairchild and 3,700 seats in the MSU Concert Auditorium with brand new, state-of-the-art seats.  We also added a riser in the auditorium to make seeing the stage even easier.

There is so much going on at Wharton Center during 2007-2008.  For a complete list of events you’ll want to log onto the Wharton Center’s website at www.whartoncenter.com.  If you are already a Wharton Center subscriber, you can submit your order forms for the new season immediately. For those wishing to become season subscribers, log on to the website and download a season brochure and order form or call the Wharton Center Box Office at 517-432-2000 or 1-800-WHARTON to have one mailed to you.

Individual tickets (nonsubscribers, nongroup) to most shows, with the notable exception of some Broadway, will go on sale in August 2007. Broadway shows will typically go on sale six to eight weeks before the performance’s opening night.

Don’t miss out on all the fun and excitement!  There’s a lot going on, and I hope to see you at Wharton Center.

Bob Hoffman








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