The Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts announces season line-up

0527Ns Entertainment (Center for the Performing Arts)

Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a star-studded 2015–16 season of music, dance, theater, comedy, film and more.

Among the many highlights are performances by BalletBoyz, Margaret Cho, Joan Collins, Alan Cumming, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Ana Gasteyer, The Hot Sardines, Jane Lynch, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and The TEN Tenors, all of whom will be making their Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts debuts, alongside returning favorites such as Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt, Arturo Sandoval and Poncho Sanchez, Martin Short, and Tommy Tune.

“Since opening in 1975, Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has been connecting audiences to the most extraordinary artists from around the world,” stated Director Cory Baker in a press release. “Our 40th-anniversary season offers an incredible lineup filled with internationally renowned performers. We invite everyone to be part of this milestone year.”

Tickets for the 2015–16 season are now on sale through or 480-499-TKTS (8587). Scottsdale Cultural Council members may purchase their tickets now by phone or in person through the box office. Member, group and package discounts are also available, according to the press release.

In the spotlight
Comedian Margaret Cho will bring ‘The psyCHO Tour (There’s No I in Team, But There’s a CHO in Psycho)’ to Scottsdale on Oct. 17. Actor Alan Cumming will offer his one-man show Uncut: An Evening of Song and Stories From Scotland’s Beloved Man-Child on Nov. 7. Actor and comedian Martin Short will headline the annual ARTrageous Benefit Gala on Dec. 5. London’s world-renowned Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with guest conductor and violin soloist Pinchas Zukerman will perform on Jan. 16.

‘Glee’ star Jane Lynch will bring her musical-comedy show ‘See Jane Sing’ to Scottsdale on Jan. 23.

Hollywood legend Joan Collins will give a candid, inside look into her amazing showbiz career on Feb. 13.

Chart-topping musician and producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds will share his behind-the-scenes anecdotes along with hit songs on March 18 in The Story Behind the Songs.

Best-selling author and humorist David Sedaris will give a reading and book-signing on April 30 at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix.

Broadway: The Big Band Years will showcase the timeless music of the Great American Songbook on Nov. 14. Broadway performers John Tartaglia, Ann Harada, Stephanie D’Abruzzo and Alex Gemignani will share favorite songs from the Tony Award-winning hit show Avenue Q and their many other appearances on stage and screen in Broadway Back Together: Avenue Q on Feb. 20.

The acclaimed husband-and-wife duo of guitarist John Pizzarelli and Broadway star Jessica Molaskey will perform a special night of Broadway standards on March 19. Accompanied by pianist Michael Biagi, Tommy Tune will step out on April 2 in Taps, Tunes and Tall Tales, an autobiographical stroll celebrating his 50-plus-years of big-time showmanship.

American originals
Singer-songwriters Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt will share the stage in a special acoustic concert on Nov. 6. Known for his virtuosity on the keyboard and charming stage presence, pianist Peter Nero will present a night of beloved standards on Feb. 12, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Entertainer Michael Feinstein and his band will honor Frank Sinatra’s centennial with a selection of the legendary singer’s classic hits on Feb. 27. ‘Saturday Night Live’ and Broadway star Ana Gasteyer will perform her saucy cabaret-style show on March 26.

Jazz and Blues
On Oct. 23, exactly 40 years to the day that Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts opened, the most influential figure in modern Afro-Cuban jazz, Chucho Valdés will perform a tribute to the vivacious songs of Irakere, Valdés’ revolutionary band that revolutionized Cuban dance music and Latin jazz.

On Jan. 15, the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour will feature the all-star lineup of songwriter and vocalist Patti Austin; trumpeter Terence Blanchard; saxophonist Ravi Coltrane; bassist Joe Sanders; drummer Justin Brown; and pianist Gerald Clayton.

Playing jazz as it was in the era when live music was king, The Hot Sardines, who are selling out concert venues across the United States, will take the stage on Feb. 10. Two of the biggest names in Latin jazz, Arturo Sandoval and Poncho Sanchez will perform a concert under the stars in Scottsdale Civic Center Amphitheater on April 2.

Classical music
Four virtuoso pianists will give recitals as part of the Virginia G. Piper Concert Series: Jean Yves Thibaudet on Nov. 15, Emanuel Ax on Jan. 24, Orion Weiss on Feb. 14 and Angela Hewitt on March 20.

Acclaimed pianist Jeffrey Siegel will return for his 37th season of Keyboard Conversations series, which will include four concerts with commentary: ‘Music of Joyous Celebration’ on Dec. 1, to honor the Center’s 40th anniversary; ‘Splendor From Silence’ on Jan. 26, featuring great composers such as Beethoven, Faure and Smetana; ‘The Golden Age of the Piano’ on Feb. 23, showcasing popular classics from yesteryear; and ‘Musical Pictures’ on March 29, offering visually inspired works by Mussorgsky and Debussy.

An enriching concert experience that brings together sublime chamber music, distinguished performers and insightful commentary, cellist Yehuda Hanani’s Close Encounters With Music series will return for two concerts with distinguished guest artists: ‘Grand Piano Quartets: Brahms and Dvorak’ on Jan. 13 and ‘Grand Piano Trios: Schubert, Mendelssohn and Arensky’ on Feb. 3.

Hailed for its exuberant, athletic and innovative performances, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago will grace the stage on Feb. 5–6. One of the most cheekily original and innovative forces in modern dance, the London-based all-male dance company BalletBoyz will perform on Feb. 19.

Internationally recognized for its witty and gravity-defying works using the human body as a medium of expression, the groundbreaking dance company Pilobolus will delight audiences on March 4–5.

Theater and comedy
Direct from D.C., the irreverent singing comedians of the Capitol Steps will poke fun at politicians on both sides of the aisle with songs from their latest album, ‘Mock the Vote,’ on Thanksgiving weekend, Nov. 27–28.

Actress Patti Hannon will star as Sister in the sinfully funny comedies ‘Late Nite Catechism’ and ‘Late Nite Catechism III: ’Til Death Do Us Part’ from Jan. 8 to March 26.

Rumba-flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook will perform music from his new album ‘One World’ on Oct. 8. The Peking Acrobats will push the envelope of human possibility with astonishing feats of Chinese acrobatics on Jan. 17.

Playing everything from Renaissance and Baroque masterpieces to big band and Broadway tunes, the five charming virtuoso musicians of Canadian Brass will return on Jan. 29.

The athletic young taiko drummers of TAO will thrill audiences with their exhilarating new production ‘Seventeen Samurai’ on March 10–11. The first tour of globalFEST On the Road: Creole Carnival will showcase three stars of world music on March 25: “Queen of Haitian Song” Emeline Michel, Brazilian samba band Casuarina and Jamaica’s “King of the One-String Guitar” Brushy One-String.

Discovery United Kingdom and Ireland
The 2015–16 Discovery Series will explore the arts of the United Kingdom and Ireland, including “Spotlight” performers Alan Cumming, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and BalletBoyz.

Direct from Ireland, Celtic Nights will tell the story of Irish independence through music, song, dance and storytelling in ‘Spirit of Freedom’ on Jan. 28.

The most successful and sought-after Irish-American group in Celtic music, Cherish the Ladies will give a special St. Patrick’s Day performance titled ‘Irish Homecoming’ on March 17.

The daring and highly original National Theater of Scotland will bring its incredibly inventive production ‘The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart’ to Scottsdale on April 19–24.

Internationally recognized for its signature brand of electro-luminescent artistry and poignant storytelling, New Orleans’ Lightwire Theater will perform ‘A Very Electric Christmas’ on Dec. 6.

Australia’s rock stars of the opera, The TEN Tenors, will amaze and enthrall with Home for the Holidays, their unique selection of traditional and contemporary seasonal favorites on Dec. 10–11. Starring Patti Hannon, ‘Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold’ will return by popular demand for a special holiday engagement on Dec. 11–20.

The maestro of mariachi, Jose Hernandez and Mariachi Sol de Mexico will present ‘A Merri-Achi Christmas,’ a toe-tapping, south-of-the-border musical fiesta, on Dec. 18. Directed by Scotty Barnhart, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra will offer a swinging holiday concert on Dec. 19.

Festivals, films and more
As part of its new collaboration with Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, the 15th Scottsdale International Film Festival will present its opening day and night programming at the Center on Nov. 5.

Following opening night, the Film Festival’s screenings, which run through Nov. 9, will be held at Harkins Shea 14 in Scottsdale. A weekend of fine art, music, food and family fun, the 46th Scottsdale Arts Festival will take place on March 11–13.

Additional events will be announced, including ASU Concerts at the Center, performances by Detour Company Theatre, Brazilian Day Arizona and a diverse variety of free community programs such as La Gran Fiesta: A Celebration of Hispanic and Latin Cultures, Sunday A’Fair, Native Trails, OrigiNation: A Festival of Native Cultures and more.

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