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Breakin’ Convention Invades Charlotte Oct. 9-10!

July 2, 2015
Jonzi D, artistic director of Breakin' Convention and hip hop theatre legend

Jonzi D, artistic director of Breakin’ Convention and hip-hop theater legend.

Get ready, Charlotte! Breakin’ Convention, the renowned international festival of hip-hop dance theater, takes over Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts Oct. 9-10. Direct from London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the festival will feature performances by dancers from around the globe and from the neighborhoods of Charlotte. Breakin’ Convention showcases the finest local dance crews alongside the world’s best international hip-hop dance companies!

Jonzi D., hip-hop legend and Breakin’ Convention’s artistic director, seeks to position hip-hop dance alongside more historically established art forms.

Facts about hip-hop and Breakin’ Convention:

  • The artistic pillars of hip-hop are DJing, breakin’ and popping, graffiti writing and emceeing.
  • The original principles of hip-hop have been obscured by bling bling monotony and the designer “gangsta rapper.”
  • The goal of Breakin’ Convention is to uncover the creative underground world of hip-hop.
  • This October will be the second time this incredible event has traveled to the United States, but will mark the first time it has appeared in the Southeast.
  • Breakin’ Convention is regarded as one of the defining new stories of dance in the U.K. in the past decade and is the only event of its kind worldwide.
Graffit art created by German artist Theo Eifrig!

Graffit art created by German artist Theo Eifrig.

This two-day celebration of hip-hop culture will feature Friday and Saturday night shows at Knight Theater. During the day, enjoy free activities and performances, including live disc jockeys, graffiti, hip-hop dance workshops where you can test your skills, free performances, after parties and much more.

In the video below, check out a recap of the 2015 Breakin’ Convention that took place in England for a taste of what to expect when it rolls into the Queen City!

Head over to the Breakin’ Convention website for more info and to see how you can be involved.

Ragtime Comes to Charlotte Later This Year!

July 1, 2015
  Ragtime The Musical  Comes to Charlotte November 30-December 3!

Ragtime comes to Charlotte Nov. 30-Dec. 3.

Travel back to the 20th century at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts this winter as Ragtime takes the stage Nov. 30-Dec. 3! In Ragtime The Musical, based on E.L. Doctorow’s 1975 novel, the stories of an upper-class wife, a determined Jewish immigrant and a daring young Harlem musician unfold in turn-of-the-century New York — all three united by their desire and belief in a brighter tomorrow. Time magazine called Ragtime “A triumph for the stage.”  

The combination of Ragtime’s music and dance garnered this Broadway performance four Tony Awards® in 1998 for best book of a musical, best original musical score, best featured actress in a musical and best orchestrations.

Ragtime returns to the road in an all-new touring production directed and choreographed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge and produced by the team that most recently brought you Spamalot, Rock of Ages and The Color Purple.

Ragtime is on sale now with PNC Broadway Lights Season Tickets!

CLICK HERE to purchase your Season Ticket today!

Tuesday Tune: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ by Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson

June 30, 2015
The Beast and Bell dancing to their final song. Photo by Matthew Murphy

The Beast and Bell dancing to their final song. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

This Tuesday’s Tune is dedicated to one of Disney’s classic songs, “Beauty and the Beast,” in honor of the production coming to the Queen City this fall. The song was written by Howard Ashman and composed by Alan Menken for the Walt Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. Angela Lansbury, who played Mrs. Potts, originally recorded the song as a way of capturing Beast and Belle’s relationship. Celine Dion and Peabo Bryson recorded a duet of the song that was sung over the movie’s closing credits.

“Beauty and the Beast” became Dion’s first No. 1 hit on her “Eponymous” album. The song won multiple awards including Academy Awards for best song. The song emphasizes how true love can be “as old as time” and emphasized the importance of not putting restrictions on love. Beauty and The Beast became the first Disney film to perform on Broadway in 1994.

Since its premiere, the musical has become a Broadway favorite. Check out the movie version of the beloved song below!

Do not miss your chance to see this enchanted performance Sept. 29- Oct. 4 in Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, this eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including “Be Our Guest” and the beloved title song. CLICK HERE for tickets today!


Looking Ahead: This Week Brings The Jimmy Awards, Dixie’s Tupperware Party and Mamma Mia!

June 29, 2015

Today is a bit more exciting than most Mondays because The Jimmy Awards™ ceremony takes place tonight in New York City, and we look forward to two exciting performances returning to Charlotte tomorrow! Both performances will have you wishing they would never end. Join us as Dixie’s Tupperware Party and Mamma Mia! take the stage for their opening performances on Tuesday, June 30.

Your Invited to  Dixie's Tupperware Party June 30- July

You’re invited to Dixie’s Tupperware Party June 30- July 19.

Dixie’s Tupperware Party plays tomorrow through July 19 at Booth Playhouse at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center! This hilarious show starring Dixie Longate — which turned off-Broadway into a Tupperware-mania celebration and garnered the prestigious 2008 Drama Desk Award nomination — rolls in for a strictly limited engagement. Written by Kris Andersson, the production is playing Charlotte as part of its sixth smash season on national tour! Audiences can expect giveaways, the coolest Tupperware demos they’ve seen to date and to laugh … A LOT!

MAMMA MIA!, Photo by Joan Marcus

The cast of Mamma Mia! Photo by Joan Marcus.

Mamma Mia! plays tomorrow through July 5 at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts. Mamma Mia! is the ultimate feel-good show that has audiences coming back again and again to relive the thrill. Now it’s your turn to have “the time of your life” at this smash-hit musical that combines ABBA’s greatest hits — including “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Super Trouper,” “Take a Chance on Me” and “The Winner Takes It All” — with an enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship.  Whether it’s your first visit or your 14th, see the show that has the whole world coming back for more, because every time feels like the first time at Mamma Mia!

In addition to these two must-see shows coming to town, we are excited for Lauren Hunkele and Justin Norwood as they compete tonight at The Jimmy Awards! Hunkele and Norwood, the students named best actress and best actor at The Blumey Awards in May, received an all-expenses-paid trip and weeklong stay in New York City where they are competing with other regional winners in the National High School Musical Theater Awards. The national show and ceremony are known as The Jimmy Awards, named after famed Broadway producer James M. Nederlander.

Both candidates were honored to be coached by Broadway legend Eden Espinosa, known for playing Elphaba in Wicked. Hunkele explained, “I didn’t have much of a personal connection to the song I’m performing before, but Eden helped me find a lot of different possible scenarios that I could use to help make the song work for me.”

Norwood added, “Eden made me look at my song in a completely different way, and I have learned so much just watching her coach other people. It has been a valuable experience.”

Lauren Hunkele and Justin Norwood in New York City, where they will compete for the titles of Best Actress and Best Actor at tonight's Jimmy Awards Ceremony.

Lauren Hunkele and Justin Norwood in New York City, where they will compete for the titles of best actress and best actor at tonight’s Jimmy Awards ceremony.

Hunkele and Norwood take the stage tonight at 7 p.m. with the other regional winners to determine who will be named the best actor and best actress overall. Join us in wishing them the best of luck.

Friday Giveaway: Enter to Win a Pair of Tickets to The Temptations & The Four Tops, Plus a $50 Restaurant Gift Card!

June 26, 2015

Let’s kick off this weekend right with a Friday Giveaway! This week’s giveaway is for two tickets to see The Temptations & The Four Tops on July 9 at Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. As if the tickets to see two legendary bands were not enough, we also want to give you a $50 gift card to Aria Tuscan Grill. Aria Tuscan Grill serves mouth-watering Old World comfort food in a modern Italian setting, bringing the flavors and colors of Tuscany to Charlotte. It is conveniently located next to Belk Theater in Founders Hall.


The Temptations bring a blend of voices, style and dance moves to Belk Theater July 9!

The Temptations — For more than 40 years, The Temptations have been successful, propelling popular music with a series of smash hits and sold-out performances throughout the world. Thanks to their fine-tuned choreography, and even finer harmonies, The Temptations became one of the most successful acts to record for Motown Records. During its five-decade career, this Grammy®-winning group has charted numerous No. 1 hits including “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “Get Ready,” “Just My Imagination” and “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” among many others.

Four Top helped define the Motown Sound of the 1960s!

Four Tops helped define the Motown sound of the 1960s!

The Four Tops – The original Tops teamed up in high school to become one of Motown’s most consistent hit-makers, but the group’s sound lives on four decades later with founding member Abdul “Duke” Fakir and well-known hits like “Baby I Need Your Loving,” “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch),” “It’s The Same Old Song,” “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” and “Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got).”

Enter to win this Friday Giveaway by emailing and tell us one of your favorite songs from The Temptations or The Four Top and why it’s your favorite! Use the subject line: The Temptations & The Four Tops. A winner will be selected at noon Tuesday, June 30, and notified via email.

Five Facts About The Real von Trapp Family From The Sound of Music!

June 24, 2015

 The von Trapp family warming up their vocal chords before a performance

The von Trapp family warming up their vocal chords before a performance.

After 50 years, the hills are still alive with The Sound of Music! This musical was first performed on a Broadway stage in 1959. The performance was generally based upon Maria A. Trapp’s memoir, “The Story of the Trapp Family Singers.”

The Sound of Music became a Broadway classic that ran for 3.5 years with 1,500 performances. The production became a film in 1965 and has earned $2.366 billion. None of this would have been possible without the original von Trapp family and Maria A. Trapp’s memoir.

PNC BL logoJoin us Nov. 24-29 at the beautiful Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center as The Sound of Music takes the stage as part of the 2015-2016 PNC Broadway Lights season.

5 little-known facts about the real von Trapp family!

  • The von Trapps did not escape by climbing a mountain but took a train out of Austria.
  • After arriving in America, the Trapp Family Singers became Columbia’s most successful choral group.
  • Maria was married to Mr. von Trapp for more than a decade before they fled Austria.
  • Maria worked as a tutor to one von Trapp child, not a governess to them all.
  • The oldest von Trapp child was not 16-going-on-17-year-old Liesl, but Rupert, who was born in 1911 and was a practicing physician by the time the family fled Austria in 1938.

SoundofMusic_300The hills will be alive in Charlotte this November with the brand new production of The Sound of Music, directed by three-time Tony Award®-winning director Jack O’Brien. The spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony-, Grammy®-, and Academy Award®-winning best score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,”  and “Edelweiss.” Don’t miss it Nov. 24-29 in Belk Theater! For best seats at the best price, get 2015-2016 PNC Broadway Lights Season Tickets now.

Tuesday Tune: ‘Popular’ by Kristin Chenoweth

June 23, 2015

Mark your calendars because 2015 Tony Awards host Kristin Chenoweth brings sunshine to Charlotte during our cold season next year! Chenoweth will bring her bright, bubbly self to Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Jan. 31, 2016. Her vast talent spans film, television, voice-over and stage.

Chenoweth starred as the original Glinda the Good in the hit Broadway musical Wicked. One of the songs she sang in the musical was “Popular,” which is about a popular girl trying to help her unpopular roommate become more popular. In honor of Chenoweth coming to Charlotte, we will be dedicating this Tuesday Tune to her.

Click below to watch Chenoweth perform “Popular” while also sharing her journey to Broadway with mentor Florence Birdwell.

Fans may have a hard time determining Chenoweth’s most famous roles because she has held such a variety of them in musicals, plays, television and movies. Earlier this year, she worked alongside Jennifer Lopez in the film The Boy Next Door. She also completed production on the indie teen drama titled Hard Sell and will be seen in the Disney Channel movie Descendants, in which she will play the classic Sleeping Beauty villain Maleficent. Chenoweth was nominated for two Emmy Awards and a People’s Choice Award in the category of Favorite TV Guest Star for her appearance on the show “Glee.”

She is currently appearing on Broadway, playing the glamorous film star Lily Garland in the Roundabout Theatre Company’s On the Twentieth Century, which has received rave reviews and earned her a Tony Award nomination for best leading actress.

Tickets for Chenoweth’s performance at Belk Theater are going FAST! Click HERE and buy yours TODAY!


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