Washington Evening Journal
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FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield Arts & Convention Center has announced its 2022-23 season.
The season lasts from Sept. 9 to April 28, and features live entertainment such as musicals, tribute shows, a circus act, a ballet and much more. Fairfield Arts & Convention Center Executive Director Lindsay Bauer said it takes a year or more to plan a season of shows. She tries to get a variety of performers to please all tastes.
“I know there’s an audience for Broadway, an audience for country, and one for tribute bands,” she said. “And I need to make sure I have things for kids and family.”
Bauer said she’s already compiling a list of acts to contact for the 2023-24 season. She said sometimes as much as three or four years pass between the initial contact with a performer and the date they finally take the stage.
Bauer said she’s excited for all of the shows this season, and mentioned a few of them that stood out for being unique. One of those acts is Melissa Errico’s “Sondheim Sublime” on Sept. 15.
“When Stephen Sondheim passed away at the end of 2021, I immediately started looking for a way to honor his memory,” Bauer said, noting that the arts center’s theater is named the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts.
Fairfield’s theater is one of just three theaters bearing the name of the famous American composer Stephen Sondheim, known for his work in West Side Story, Sweeney Todd, Into the Woods, and others.
“Melissa Errico has worked with Sondheim backstage, and is an incredibly accomplished vocal musician,” Bauer said. “She’s been in so many of these big name shows.”
Bauer said she is especially excited for the return of Broadway shows to Fairfield. She noted that a lot of Broadway acts were decimated by the COVID pandemic, and even those tours that recovered in time to book shows last year ended up canceling many of them because someone in the entourage was sick with COVID.
“Being able to have at least one Broadway show back is so exciting, and it happens to be one from my young adulthood,” Bauer said, referring to “Legally Blonde: The Musical” on Nov. 18. “It’s a super fun show from start to finish.”
Bauer said the show scheduled for Nov. 29 is “my favorite thing I’ve ever booked,” and it’s called “All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914.” It’s a musical theater piece that tells the story of how, during World War I, both Allied and Axis forces laid down the arms to celebrate Christmas together.
“They called this impromptu truce, and crossed into no man’s land to exchange photos, sing Christmas songs and play football,” Bauer said. “I happen to be a huge Christmas fanatic, and this is my absolute favorite show.”
Bauer said another highlight of the season will come on Feb. 17 when Lisa McClowry performs a tribute to the singer Cher. Bauer said McClowry’s resemblance to Cher is uncanny.
“She’s got the look, the walk, the talk … it feels like you’re at a Cher concert,” Bauer said.
One notable change for this upcoming season is the absence of the Russian National Ballet, which is normally part of the arts center’s season. Bauer said the organizers of that ballet contacted her to tell her that, because of the political climate surrounding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, they did not feel it was wise for the ballet to tour America. Instead, Bauer was able to book a ballet from Odesa, Ukraine, which is schedule to perform April 6.
“They contacted us hoping to come out here, and I said, ‘Absolutely, we’d rather have you here in Iowa than in Ukraine,’” Bauer said.
Bauer said the organizer of the Ukrainian ballet told her they would perform Swan Lake, but that was subject to change. Due to the ongoing war, he wasn’t sure how many performers would be able to come, or whether they would have access to all their set pieces.
“Right now, they feel secure, but they don’t know what the next few months will look like,” Bauer said. “It was a poignant conversation to have with an artist, and not one I’ve had before. War just affects so many aspects of our lives.”
Another act to look forward to is “Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes: The Life and Music of Hank Williams,” a tribute to the famous country singer performed by Jason Petty on Sept. 29. Bauer said Petty won an award for this off-Broadway show.
On March 31, the arts center will host “Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion.” Bauer learned that Hussain is a well-known international musician, and described him as the “Elvis of India.”
“He’s huge in India, a major superstar,” she said. “I’ve heard from so many people about how excited they are that Zakir Hussain is coming to Fairfield.”
Season passes for the 2022-2023 season are available to purchase now, and individual tickets go on sale Aug. 9. The arts center offers discounts for purchasing tickets to multiple shows.
For more information, contact the arts center’s ticket office from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday by calling 641-472-2000 or by emailing email@example.com.
The full lineup of the 2022-23 season is as follows:
Sept. 9: The Great Dubois
Sept. 15: Melissa Errico’s Sondheim Sublime
Sept. 29: Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes: The Life and Music of Hank Williams
Oct. 8: Southeast Iowa Blues Society Presents: Danielle Nicole
Oct. 21: Gentri: The Gentlemen Trio
Nov. 11: One Night in Memphis
Nov. 18: Legally Blonde The Musical
Nov. 29: All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914
Dec. 15: A Very Electric Christmas
Jan. 14: Baby Boomer Comedy Show
Feb. 7: Lucy Loves Desi: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Sitcom
Feb. 17: The Beat Goes On: Lisa McClowry as Cher
March 4: Billy Dean
March 31: Zakir Hussain and Masters of Percussion
April 6: Swan Lake
April 28: Naturally 7
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org