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Entertainment & Lifestyle

Civic Theatre hosts local, national stars on stage

9/5/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias is coming back to the Civic in November.
The Golden Acrobats and their show “Cirque Ziva” will return to the Akron Civic Theatre this season.
Photos courtesy of Akron Civic Theatre
DOWNTOWN AKRON — The Akron Civic Theatre will host more intimate, cabaret-style shows in the coming season as well as continue to offer local residents a chance to see big names close to home.

Executive Director Howard Parr said tickets for several of the theater’s fall shows are already on sale, such as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Steve Winwood (Oct. 22) and comedian Gabriel Iglesias (Nov. 14).

Iglesias is returning to the Civic after headlining a nearly sold-out show there previously.

“Nobody really knew who he was, but his fans knew who he was,” Parr said. “We’re expecting it to do very well again.”

He said the theater continues to offer a mix of homegrown talent and national and international acts.

“What our theme always is, is to balance a good number of national attractions that people want to see with maybe 80 percent of locally based performers,” Parr said. “We like putting people from the community onstage.”

One of the national touring shows coming is “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” a new gothic musical by John Mellencamp, Stephen King and T-Bone Burnett (Oct. 19).

Parr said the Civic also will continue to bring classic country acts to its stage, such as Marty Stewart and Pam Tillis (Sept. 15). The Oak Ridge Boys once again will bring their holiday show to the Civic (Dec. 20).

The Civic’s Family Series will present a variety of shows geared toward the younger set at a reasonable price. Parr said the theater will bring The Magical Theatre Company in for its performance of “Bunnicula” (Oct. 6) and the Illusion Factory with “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (March 23). Firestone Theatre from the Akron School for the Arts once again will bring “Schoolhouse Rock Jr.” to the stage (Nov. 10).

The Golden Acrobats, a crowd favorite for many years, will return as well with “Cirque Ziva” (April 11).

As for dance, Parr said he’s excited to this year feature the Dance Theatre of Harlem, presented by YEPAW (Feb. 10).

“They previously brought in the second company, and this time they’re bringing in the full company,” he said.

Also, Ballet Theatre of Ohio’s annual performances of “Nutcracker” are scheduled (Nov. 30-Dec. 8), as well as “The Wizard of Oz” (May 3-4), and Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet will stage its production of “Beauty and the Beast” (March 15-16).

Other musical events will include “An Evening of Jazz” with Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum, Rick Braun and Lalah Hathaway (Oct. 5), R&B singer TANK (Oct. 12) and Jazz @ The Civic featuring Forecast (Nov. 2).

Additional shows will be announced, Parr said.

For the complete schedule and ticket information, go to www.akroncivic.com or call 330-253-2488.

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