Cape Fear Community College is pleased to announce its inaugural performance season at the highly anticipated Humanities and Fine Arts Center. Opening this fall in downtown Wilmington, the Center will host a variety of performances from stars of both stage and screen, to Broadway shows and contemporary dance companies.
“We have pulled out all the stops for the Center’s opening week. From classical music, to avant garde, to Disney on Broadway, we have something for everyone at a variety of price-points. We want the entire community to help us celebrate,” said Shane Fernando, director of CFCC’s Humanities and Fine Arts Center.
The opening week will begin on the evening on Oct. 3 with a black-tie gala featuring the legendary Liza Minnelli with the North Carolina Symphony.
Minnelli, winner of four Tony Awards, an Oscar, a special “Legends” Grammy, two Golden Globe Awards and an Emmy, is one of the entertainment world’s consummate performers. In film, on stage and in television, Minnelli has won critical acclaim, a multitude of fans, and recognition from her peers in show business, giving new dimension and credibility to the word “superstar.”
“We wanted star-quality to open the Center. Liza Minnelli is show business royalty. It doesn’t get much bigger than Liza. Her impact on American culture is unrivaled,” Fernando said.
Following the opening gala, the N.C. Symphony will open their official season at the center with a Russian Spectacular classical music performance on Oct. 4.
The Center’s Broadway Series opens on Oct. 5 and 6 as NETworks presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which will be the first of three touring Broadway shows to be held this season. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features the animated film’s Academy Award®-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The original creators of the Broadway production are together again for this new touring production. UNCW is co-sponsoring this performance.
The opening week wraps up on Oct. 10 with Artsplosion!, a free festival where the entire community can celebrate as the official main stage curtain is raised for the first time, followed by performances from various community arts groups on the main stage. Artsplosion! will also include a uniquely eccentric musical performance by Squonk Opera in the Center’s outdoor courtyard. A cultural arts resource fair will also be held in the lobby throughout the day.
Following the opening week, the Center will present acts from other well-known performing artists, including:
- Boz Scaggs – Oct. 28
- Lily Tomlin – An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin – Feb. 4
- Jackson Browne – Jackson Browne Solo Acoustic – Jan. 9
- Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat – Feb. 25
- Broadway production of Mamma Mia – May 3 and 4
The Center will present a contemporary dance series, which will feature touring dance companies who will perform in the Center’s studio theater.
- Gaspard and Dancers – Critically acclaimed N.C. Dance Company – Feb. 16
- SEOP Dance Company – South Korean Dance Company – March 9
- Contra-Tiempo – Urban Latin Dance Company based in Los Angeles – April 13
In addition to the performances presented by CFCC, Fernando says that he anticipates that the facility will host dozens of additional events presented by a variety of other performing groups and promoters.
“We fully expect to host 30 additional performances presented by outside organizations between now and the end of 2015. It is truly exciting to see such an enthusiastic response to this venue, which will add to the already stellar reputation of the greater Wilmington area in terms of becoming a cultural center in southeastern North Carolina,” Fernando said.
Tickets for Cape Fear Stage productions will go on sale beginning on August 10 at capefearstage.com or in-person at the temporary box office located at CFCC’s storefront located at 254 N. Front St.