Convention center announces artist series
The Fairfield Arts & Convention Center has announced its 2014-15 Sondheim Artist Series.
The artist series is now in its sixth year at the convention center. Convention center executive director Rustin Lippincott said the series is about celebrating the rich and diverse entertainment that graces the center’s stage and enriches the quality of life for residents.
The series will be called “Your Center, Your Artist Series.” It will feature 21 performances, including three special attractions.
“Regardless of your tastes, something at the convention center will entertain and inspire you,” Lippincott said. “The community is very important to the convention center, whether it be through the programming or helping other organizations. We’re a strong economic driver for Fairfield, and this artist series is a way for us to say thank you to the community.”
Convention center events and marketing manager Mandy Mellum said she hopes the community views the center as the hub of the community, which is why the center has reached out for public input in its artist series. Earlier this year, the center held an online vote to decide which of two country artists would perform during the artist series, a contest won by Sammy Kershaw.
Lippincott said he is excited the Stephen Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts will host two nationally touring Broadway acts. One of those is “Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story,” an English-based troupe which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The other Broadway act is the 2010 Tony Award-winning show “Memphis: The Musical.” Another performance Lippincott cannot wait to see is the Holiday Ice Spectacular.
“This will be the first time we’ll have ice skating on the Sondheim stage,” he said. “It involves a synthetic type of ice put down on the stage. It allows the spins and dancing that we see on an ice rink.”
The final show of the artist series is a concert by Iowa native Simon Estes. Estes has announced that he intends to perform a show in all 99 counties in Iowa.
“Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask me when Simon Estes is coming here,” Lippincott said. “We’re going to involve the Fairfield High School choir, which is 200-plus students.”
Mellum said she is looking forward to “Cherry Poppin’ Daddies,” which is a collection of songs sung by the famous “Rat Pack” of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.
“This show will revitalize that era of music,” she said. “We’re also throwing around the idea of hosting a public swing dance after the show.”
The schedule of artists is as follows:
Sept. 11: Rockin’ Country Tour with “Blackhawk & the Outlaws”
Sept. 18: The Fab Four – The ultimate Beatles tribute
Sept. 27: R3CYCLED PERCUSSION
Oct. 2: Marty Stuart and his fabulous superlatives
Oct. 17: Voca People
Oct. 25: An evening with Joe Diffie
Nov. 8: Todd Oliver & Friends: Dogs Gone Wild! Tour
Nov. 9: Orchestra Iowa (special attraction)
Nov. 15, Nov. 16: Lori Belilove & the Isadora Duncan Dance Company (special attraction)
Nov. 21: National acrobats of People’s Republic of China
Dec. 5: Holiday Ice Spectacular
Jan. 9: Barbra & Frank – The concert that never was (special attraction)
Feb. 7: Nelson Illusions
Feb. 21: Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story
Feb. 28: Unbreakable – Tribute to the King of Pop: Remembering Michael Jackson
March 7: Sammy Kershaw unplugged
March 14: Harlem Gospel Choir
March 23: Memphis: The Musical
March 27: The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley
April 11: Jan and Dean’s Beach Party
April 16: The Berenstain Bears Live!
April 18: Cherry Poppin’ Daddies
May 1: Cinderella – Russian National Ballet Theatre
May 17: Simon Estes – Roots and Wings Tour