From Broadway to Lansing

This season is no exception, with a lineup of shows straight from Broadway:  GREASE, Legally Blonde The Musical, Spring Awakening and MAMMA MIA!, in addition to The Color Purple, Frost/Nixon and Disney’s The Lion King. Added to that are world-renowned artists such as those in RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles; Japan’s virtuoso percussion ensemble, KODO-One Earth Tour; Keiko Matsui; The Irish Tenors; Joshua Bell; Michigan Opera Theatre’s CARMEN and much more.

Wharton Center is in the midst of a major expansion and renovation project which will expand the facility by an additional 24,000 square feet and create space for the newly formed MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Art and Creativity.  The new space will accommodate expanded arts in education programs, interactive learning and community programs, and allow for flexible space for private gatherings and donor receptions. It will also address touring production issues backstage. In addition, more than 9,000 square feet of current space will be renovated to maximize utilization.

The cornerstone of the MSU Federal Credit Union Institute for Art and Creativity will be the artist-in-residence program which integrates world-class artists with MSU students and faculty, school children and adult learners throughout the state. Residencies to date have included the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Dianne Reeves and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This season artists such as Wynton Marsalis, Sophie Milman and Tiempo Libre, as well as Stratford Festival, are in residence at the center.

Patrons will still enjoy easy access to and from Wharton Center through the construction process: no delays, no parking issues, no inconvenience! Once the construction is complete in September 2009, it will create more space for corporations to entertain clients before and after a show. This means good business for Wharton Center and mid-Michigan.

For up-to-the-date information on Wharton Center, log onto the newly designed Wharton Center website at  You’ll find video previews of Broadway shows, get the inside scoop on everything you need to know before a show comes to the center, listen to podcasts, and get all the multimedia widgets for your own blog.  You can even become friends with Wharton Center on Facebook or MySpace.

People know about the great performances, but the future will offer something unique in our industry, combining world-class artists with the talent of faculty and students of a great university to create stunning education programs to enrich the cultural life of MSU and the state of Michigan.

Bob Hoffman is the public relations manager at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.








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