August 11, 2004

'The Arts Come Alive' at Shryock Auditorium

by Paula M. Davenport

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Over the next year, the performing arts will spring to life with country music, classical ballet, the Count Basie Orchestra, beloved Broadway productions, the Harlem Boys Choir, the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra, African dancers and much more.

They're among the top acts booked by Shryock Auditorium, an intimate theater in the heart of Southern Illinois University Carbondale's campus.

All events begin at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of an additional 3 p.m. Sat

urday, Nov. 6 matinee of "A Children's Nutcracker Ballet." Discounts for some performances may be available for children, senior citizens, alumni association members, large groups and others.

A new central ticket office -- to handle Shryock Auditorium as well as intercollegiate athletics events -- is inside the west entrance to the SIU Arena. Walk-ins may place orders at the booth, open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., through Friday, Aug. 13.

After that, Ticketmaster will handle phone and Internet orders through a toll free number, 866/646-8849, or online at

Expanding cultural outreach efforts is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint for the development of the University by the time it reaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

The complete lineup of the 2004-2005 "The Arts Come Alive" series:

The Celebrity Series


  • Saturday, Sept. 11: "The Count Basie Orchestra 100th Anniversary Special with Nnenna Freelon," $29. Freelon, a multi-Grammy nominated jazz vocalist, joins the orchestra to salute the 100th anniversary of Count Basie's birth.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 22: "Smokey Joe's Cafe," $30. A Broadway musical bursting with great hit songs from the 50's and 60's.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 13: "Capitol Steps," $26. Music and satire unite when congressional- staffers-turned-professional-comedians present this musical political lampoon.
  • Thursday, Nov. 11: "Grease," $32. A Broadway sensation recreates the highs and lows of teenage life in the late 1950s.
  • Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005: "The Boys Choir of Harlem," $29. This group of talented and internationally traveled young men belt out African-American spirituals, jazz, gospel and pop tunes under the baton of founding director Walter J. Turnbull.
  • Saturday, Feb. 19, 2005: "The Parsons Dance Company," $27. Midwest native Parsons and his nine New York-based dancers perform electrifying pieces sure to please the sophisticated as well as novice audiences.
  • Saturday, March 5, 2005: "Ballet Internationale" Carmen, Russian Treasure," $27. This classical Russian ballet features gold, silver and bronze medallists of various international dance competitions, who'll stage scenes from Carmen, the popular Spanish opera of love and tragedy.
  • Friday, April 1, 2005: "Forbidden Broadway," $26. A musical that jests about Broadway's finest moments, with bows to " The Lion King," "Miss Saigon, " Les Miserables," "Beauty and the Beast," "Chicago" and "Cats."
  • Friday, April 15, 2005: "Steel Magnolias," $27. A stage favorite popularized by the motion picture starring Julia Roberts, revolves around six women who congregate in Truvy's beauty shop and find inspiration for handling life's ups and downs.
Special Events


  • Friday, Dec. 3: "A Christmas Carol," $28. Charles Dickens' classic holiday tale of stingy Ebenezer Scrooge and his memories of Christmas past, present and future. Sure to please the entire family and ignite their yuletide joy.
  • Saturday, Jan. 22: "Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder," $30. Skaggs, a Grammy and Country Music Award winner, teams up his favorite band for "An Evening of Bluegrass."
  • Thursday, Feb. 10, 2005: "The Ten Tenors," $28. Back by popular demand, this group dazzles audiences with choreographed dance steps, operatic high notes and grooving pop tunes.
  • Friday, Feb. 11, 2005: "Azaguno," $15. A multi-ethnic ensemble uses drums, voices, dances and visual arts to elicit African experiences in a colorful, heart pounding presentation.
The Southern Illinois Symphony Series


To attend a pre-concert dinner, call 618/549-6980.


  • Tuesday, Oct. 5: "Strings of Autumn," $15. The Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra's season opener will feature music by Liszt, Vivaldi, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky and performances by acclaimed cellist Bo Li and SIUC's new cello professor Eric Lenz.
  • Saturday, Nov. 6: "A Children's Nutcracker Ballet," $15. Performances at 3 and 7:30 p.m. The Evansville Children's Dance Company and area dancers perform this timeless holiday ballet to the sounds of the orchestra, led by SIUC's Maestro Edward Benyas.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 16: "Beethoven and Breznikar," $15. Classical guitar virtuoso, Breznikar performs "Cascade," his own composition for guitar and orchestra. Orchestra performances of music by Dvorak as well as Beethoven's 7th Symphony round out the evening.
  • Friday, January 28, 2005: "Pops Concert: The Poor People of Paris," $19. Chanteuse and woodwind player Elsie Parker and her jazz trio join the orchestra in French music from the 1920s to today. Encompasses songs by Edith Piaf and Michel Legrand, as well as swing and original songs in both French and English.
  • Thursday, March 10: "Brandenburg Concertos and More," $15. Orchestra director Benyas leads school of music faculty and orchestra members in two Brandenburg Concertos by J.S. Bach and other Baroque favorites by Telemann, Handel, Vivaldi (including the excerpts from the latter's "Water Music" and "Four Seasons."
  • Tuesday, April 19, 2005: "Stars of Altgeld," $15. Solo competition winners from the SIUC School of Music are featured in this annual favorite. Leading the orchestra and soloists will be Australian-born guest conductor Michael Goodwin, music director of California's Apollo Orchestra and Chorus.