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Looking Ahead: Matilda and Colin Hay

February 8, 2016

The best remedy for the Super Bowl blues? Go out and do something fun with friends! Here are two great shows coming to Charlotte this week to boost your spirits.

Beginning tomorrow

Matilda Ripley Sobo

Matilda comes to Belk Theater Feb. 9-14. Photo by Joan Marcus.

PNC BL logo

Matilda the Musical kicks off a weeklong run, Feb. 9-14, at the Belk Theater. Part of the 2015-2016 PNC Broadway Lights Season, Matilda is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, it’s been a sold-out hit on Broadway and London’s West End.

“REJOICE. It is even more glorious than promised.” – New York Times

Click here for tickets

Wednesday evening

Colin Hay _ credit Beth Herzhaft

Photo by Beth Herzhaft

Colin Hay, former frontman for the band Men at Work (“Down Under,” “Overkill,” “Who Can It Be Now?”), comes to McGlohon Theater Wednesday, Feb. 10, at 7:30 p.m. Over the past 15 years, Hay has reinvented himself as a solo artist, regularly selling out theaters and listening rooms across the U.S. and around the world and introducing himself to a new generation of fans in the process.

Click here for tickets


For info on these or other shows coming soon, be sure to visit or call 704-372-1000.

Win tickets to The Book of Mormon!

February 5, 2016

Superbowl BOM

In honor of the Carolina Panthers’ historic run toward Super Bowl 50, we’re extending our Facebook contest to win tickets and a special prize package to The Book of Mormon! The show comes to Charlotte’s Belk Theater Feb. 23-March 6.

Two lucky people will each win two tickets to the Wednesday, Feb. 24, performance, invitations to the cast party, and a Rock Bottom Brewery & Restaurant $50 gift card!

Entry deadline: Monday, Feb. 8, at noon.

About the show:

Hailed by The New York Times as “the best musical of this century” and the winner of nine Tony Awards®, The Book of Mormon is the blockbuster Broadway smash from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and the Oscar®-winning composer of Disney’s “Frozen” and Avenue Q, Bobby Lopez.

This outrageous musical comedy follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries, sent halfway across the world to spread the good word. Now with standing-room-only productions in London, on Broadway and across North America, The Book of Mormon has truly become an international sensation. (Contains explicit language.)

Need more tickets? Visit or call 704-372-1000.

Q&A with Black Violin

February 4, 2016

Black Violin returns to Charlotte by popular demand March 24 at Knight Theater. Photo by Lisa Leone.

Classically-trained musicians Kev Marcus and Wil Baptiste are known for their totally groundbreaking sound. Last winter, their group Black Violin, performed its hip-hop/classical fusions to a packed house of Charlotte fans. They return to the Queen City  Thursday, March 24, at 7:30 p.m. for a show at Knight Theater.

We checked in with founding member Wil Baptiste and asked him a few questions in anticipation of their upcoming performance.

Q.    If someone is new to Black Violin, how would you describe your sound to them?

A.     The best way to describe Black Violin‘s sound is to think of it as a famous dish with lots of ingredients. The main ingredients, of course, are classical and hip-hop, but there’s also jazz, blues, R&B, and even a little bit of country. Black Violin‘s music truly has something for everyone.

Q.     You performed in Charlotte in January 2015 to a packed house. How has your career changed since then?

A.     Our career has been amazing since we’ve performed in Charlotte. We’ve released an album, “Stereotypes,” on Universal Music Classics. The album has been doing really well and touring has been amazing!

Q.     Your most recent album was released in September 2015. Can you explain how that album came together amid all of the touring.

A.     It was extremely difficult to put an album together while still touring. We would basically fly to New York whenever we had off days to record the album, which meant that we would spend less time at home. It was hard, but we made it work.

Q.     Do you have a favorite track on the new album?

A.     They’re all amazing songs so it’s hard to pick one favorite, but if I really had to pick, it would be “Stereotypes.” That song really embodies who we are as musicians and also as people.

Q.     You’ve worked with some amazing artists over the years. Do you have a favorite collaboration?

A.     I would have to say Alicia Keys and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park. The reason why I chose those two artists is because of their humility and the way they carry themselves. We’ve learned so many different things from them, which helped us to be the artists that we are today.

Q.     Can you explain how the two of you came together to form the band?

A.     After high school, Kev and I went to different colleges. I went to Florida State University and Kev went to Florida International University. We came back together after college in South Florida and started creating music. We started noticing how incorporating classical music into hip-hop was something that people were drawn to. So in 2002-2003 we started branding this new sound by performing anywhere that would have us. We went on Apollo and never lost. We started touring with major artists like Alicia Keys and Linkin Park and the rest is history.

Need tickets? CLICK HERE or call 704-372-1000.

Tuesday Tune: Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra

February 2, 2016
WIUO 2016 USA Tour Party

Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra brings their unique style of fun and gorgeous tunes to McGlohon Theater on March 13.

Happy Ground Hog Day, y’all! Punxsutawney Phil says spring is coming early this year … sure sounds like it in this Tuesday Tune!

Hailing from New Zealand, land of the Hobbit movies, comes Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra with their mix of charming Kiwi humor, disarmingly small instruments and sublime musicality. One of the world’s finest ukulele acts, they return to Charlotte’s McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square on Sunday, March 13, at 7:30 p.m. They bring instant joy with their heavenly harmonies and outrageous costumes. Expect covers of tunes from musical acts as varied as Justin Timberlake, Dolly Parton, Elvis, The Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, Prince and more.

Here they are singing the Randy Newman hit: “Short People.”


 The band’s number one rule is: “If you know the words, sing along. If you don’t know the words, sing along!” Don’t miss this fun-fest for all ages. For tickets, go to or call 704-372-1000.

Epic Super Bowl Bet Underway

February 1, 2016


It’s show GO time, people!

Blumenthal Performing Arts and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte (Team Carolina) are taking on Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Phamaly Theatre Company (Team Denver) in a Super Bowl bet that’s got more at stake than Panthers pride.


Blumenthal staffers show their love for the home team. Go Panthers!

The losing city’s theaters (that would be Denver) will have to wear Panthers’ Black and Blue to work on Monday, Feb. 8, and prominently display a stuffed Sir Purr in their main box office from Feb. 8-14. They’ll also have to incorporate something Panthers-related into the set of an upcoming production.

In the (very unlikely) case of a Denver victory, you’ll see us all wearing orange, displaying a Bronco mascot in the main box office, and adding a Broncos-related item in the June production of Charlotte Squawks. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte will also incorporate the Denver Broncos into a pre-show announcement for their production of Schoolhouse Rock Live! in April.

Let’s KEEP POUNDING! Be sure to tag your best pics with #TeamCLTarts so we can share your Panthers love with all our friends in Denver!

Blumenthal and Children's Theatre of Charlotte are putting their arts into supporting the home team! #TeamCLTarts

Blumenthal and Children’s Theatre of Charlotte are putting their arts into supporting the home team! #TeamCLTarts


Friday Giveaway: Win Tickets to Matilda the Musical!

January 29, 2016


Matilda Ripley Sobo

Matilda the Musical comes to the Belk Theater Feb. 9-14. Photo by Joan Marcus.

“Once in a blue moon, a show comes out blazing and restores your faith in Broadway. Matilda the Musical is that show.” – New York Post

Matilda is wondrous. A real miracle. The best musical since The Lion King.” – TIME magazine

The critics agree — this is one show you do not want to miss! Matilda the Musical, based on the beloved story by Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate FactoryJames and the Giant Peach), is coming to the Belk Theater Feb. 9-14 as part of the 2015-2016 PNC Broadway Lights.PNC BL logo

It’s a fabulous choice for audiences of all ages. Witty and enchanting, the show has garnered four Tony Awards, the most Olivier Awards in the history of the West End, and more than 50 other international prizes. Matilda the Musical is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand and change her own destiny.

Matilda_300One lucky winner can win a pair of tickets to see Matilda the Musical on opening night, Feb. 9!

TO ENTER: Email to tell us why you would love to win this Friday Giveaway! Use the subject line: Matilda the Musical Giveaway! A winner will be selected at noon Tuesday, Feb. 2, and notified via email. Good luck!

Want to buy tickets? Call 704-372-1000 or visit

Be a Part of History — Nominate a Carolina Artist for a Special Tribute!

January 27, 2016

Tribute-Art-640-b54359b62aHelp us honor your favorite Carolina performer, writer or visual artist!

Blumenthal Performing Arts will be celebrating the contributions of eight outstanding artists in an innovative art project. The public is invited to nominate their top choice from a variety of artistic fields, and local talent will paint tributes to the selected honorees on the columns in the Spirit Square atrium this spring.

IMG_5769- art by Matt Hooker photo by Daniel Coston

Column painted by artist Matt Hooker for Breakin’ Convention at the Knight Theater.

“Since the Carolinas are so rich with talent, we wanted to honor a few of the greatest artists from the area in a unique way,” says Tom Gabbard, Blumenthal president and CEO. “We are particularly excited to pay tribute to legendary artists while also giving current visual artists in the Charlotte area an outlet to exhibit their talents.”

Blumenthal is working with Charlotte artist Matt Hooker to designate the artists commissioned to paint the columns. Hooker was one of 10 graffiti artists who painted the columns in the Knight Theater lobby in conjunction with Breakin’ Convention last October.

“Through our work in preparing for Breakin’ Convention and hosting graffiti jams, we were introduced to Charlotte’s rich variety of graffiti artists,” says Gabbard. “After the success and positive response we received to the work of these artists in the Knight Theater lobby, we decided to look for another project. The installation in the Knight was only for a few days, so we wanted to find a way to showcase their work for an extended period of time.”

Eligible nominees may come from the visual, literary or performing arts. They must have been born in or have another strong connection to North or South Carolina. Submissions are due by Feb. 5. To nominate an artist, visit


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