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Friday Giveaway! Win 2 Tickets to See Mountainfilm on Tour, Sept. 26!

August 15, 2014
Don't miss this nature spectacle coming to McGlohon Theater Sept. 26

Don’t miss this nature spectacle coming to McGlohon Theater Sept. 26

Do you have a sense of adventure? Have you wanted to find out more about preserving our environment? Or have you ever wanted to explore other people’s cultures? All of this can happen in just one night.

How, you might ask? Mountainfilm on Tour is coming to McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square Friday, Sept. 26, that’s how! This show is a collection of films that encompass issues that matter in today’s world, such as environment conservation, culture exploration, and promoting adventure around the world.

This event is based on the Mountainfilm Festival that’s held each Memorial Day weekend in Telluride, Colo., and spans over the course of four days; think of it as part film festival, part ideas summit and part jamboree! This festival attracts some of the leading professionals around the world, including documentary filmmakers, artists, photographers, mountaineers, explorers and journalists.

Based on the festival’s motto, “Celebrating Indomitable Spirit,” judges choose a number of outstanding films to showcase around the globe to help inspire people to stand up and engage in today’s most pressing issues. This tour ensures that everyone gets the chance to see the colorful and motivating films that Mountainfilm puts on. Year-round and worldwide, the tour reaches about 30,000 people on five continents.

Still curious? Check out this recap of the 2014 Telluride Film Festival this past May where the films were actually chosen!

Do you want to be a part of the adventure? Then come on out and see this amazing, life-changing array of films that will inspire you to be the change in the world. Get your tickets HERE.


Email and tell us why you’d love to see Mountainfilm on Tour! Use the subject line: Mountainfilm on Tour Giveaway! A winner will be selected at noon Wednesday, Aug. 20, and notified via email. Good luck!

Celebrate 80 Years of Bluegrass With The Legendary WBT Briarhoppers

August 14, 2014
The Legendary WBT Briarhoppers in a photo by Daniel Coston.

The Legendary Briarhoppers; photo by Daniel Coston.

Did you know that Charlotte once was the hottest place for country and bluegrass musicians to perform?
In the golden age of radio (1920-1950), the programming on WBT (1110 AM) attracted bands and singer-songwriters from near and far.

The WBT Briarhoppers, a group created to satisfy an advertiser’s request, sat at the centerpiece of this bustling music scene. And 80 years later, the world’s longest continuing bluegrass band features a lineup that was hand-picked and trained by original members.

Original WBT Briarhoppers

Click this photo to visit the WBT Memories site to hear historic audio of The WBT Briarhoppers.

The Legendary Briarhoppers will perform Aug. 30 during an 80th Birthday Celebration at McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square. Tickets begin at $10. Click here to get yours today.

Today, The Briarhoppers’ lineup includes Tom Warlick, Alana Flowers, Hannah Flowers, Dillon Flowers, Ellie Flowers and Donnie Little.

Singer-songwriter Jim Avett (father of those Avett Brothers) will join The Briarhoppers, along with other special guests. WBT’s John Hancock will serve as the emcee. Legendary WBT show hosts H.A. Thompson and Ty Boyd are scheduled to perform historic commercials.

Warlick, The Briarhoppers leader and the band’s historian, can’t wait to celebrate. “When we perform, sometimes we see people crying, not because we sound bad,” Warlick said. “They tell us that you are taking me back home … to my parents’ living room, sitting around the radio.”

Here’s a clip from the current Briarhoppers:

For those who missed the time when families gathered around a radio for their entertainment, The Legendary Briarhoppers provide a glimpse into the past with music that remains vital today in popular bands such as The Avett Brothers, Mumford & Sons, Old Crow Medicine Show and Nickel Creek.

Take five minutes to learn about the eight decades of the The Briarhoppers …

Each member has been schooled in the band’s bluegrass tradition and family-friendly style. “When I die, whether I get hit by a bus tomorrow or it’s 70 years from now, I’m passing on the genetics of a culture and playing music for the common man,” said Warlick.

Click here or call 704-372-1000 to get your tickets for The Legendary Briarhoppers 80th Anniversary Celebration, Aug. 30 in McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square.

Click here to visit historian Tom Hanchett’s History South for even more information on The Briarhoppers and Charlotte’s music legacy!

Exciting New Shows Just Added! Tickets on Sale Friday!

August 13, 2014

If you’re a fan of Blumenthal Performing Arts, you already know that you can find a wide variety of shows on our schedule. But there are a few new shows that have been recently added to the lineup that we know you will be excited about! From 10 of the most popular dancers on television right now, to a woman who is truly a living legend, to a mind-blowing ukulele show. Yes, we said ukulele show. Trust us, you do not want to miss these shows.

So You Think You Can Dance Season 11 Tour coming to Belk Theater November 10.

“So You Think You Can Dance” season 11 tour hits Belk Theater Nov. 10.

Nov. 10,  7:30 p.m. — Belk Theater

“So You Think You Can Dance,” the 11-time Primetime Emmy Award-winning show that sparked America’s fascination with dance, is set to captivate audiences again this fall – live on tour – with more stops than ever before. Celebrating its momentous 11th season, the program will take its top 10 finalists across North America to perform in more than 70 cities, as part of the “So You Think You Can Dance” season 11 tour.

The season 11 tour lineup includes the following top 10 finalists: Bridget Whitman, Casey Askew, Emilio Dosal, Jacque LeWarne, Jessica Richens, Ricky Ubeda, Rudy Abreu, Tanisha Belnap, Valerie Rockey and Zack Everhart. “So You Think You Can Dance” airs Wednesdays, 8-10 p.m. Eastern time live/Pacific time tape-delayed, on FOX.

Fall’s hottest ticket will feature this season’s most popular routines, as well as original pieces created specifically for the nationwide tour. Dick Clark productions and 19 Entertainment will present audiences around the country with the opportunity to experience the action brought into their living rooms each week on the beloved summer series, with a variety of sizzling, one-of-a-kind dance routines they have come to expect from their favorite dancers. Tickets go on sale Friday! CLICK HERE for more information. 

Jan. 14, 7:30 p.m. — McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square 

Renowned for their winning combination of charming Kiwi humor, the disarmingly small ukulele, and sublime musicality, the Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra is one of the world’s great modern ukulele acts.

Don't miss The Wellington Ukulele Orchestra here in Charlotte!

Don’t miss The Wellington Ukulele Orchestra here in Charlotte!

The wildly popular New Zealand ensemble create instant joy and lasting magic wherever they go, armed with high-octane ukulele solos, heavenly harmonies and outrageous costumes. Their comedic banter is spontaneous, and when they burst into song, the sweet sounds can silence a room in a nanosecond, or bring a crowd of thousands to their feet.

Delighting audiences of all ages, the orchestra’s signature sound features many types of ukuleles, a double bass and a host of gorgeous voices performing harmonious and hilarious renditions of modern and traditional tunes.

CLICK HERE to check out several videos that will show you just how talented and versatile this group is!

The Wellington International Ukulele Orchestra presents the ukulele as it has never been played before, featuring songs made famous by artists such as Justin Timberlake, Dolly Parton, Elvis, The Beatles, Hall and Oates, Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Kenny Rogers and Kings of Leon, alongside tunes from the South Pacific, packaged into a spectacular, unmissable funfest. Tickets go on sale this Friday. CLICK HERE for more information.


Chita Rivera, photo by Laura Marie Duncan.

Chita Rivera; photo by Laura Marie Duncan.

Feb. 22, 7 p.m.— McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square 

Come celebrate the one and only Chita Rivera in a unique and intimate solo concert event celebrating the Broadway legend’s 80th birthday! The two-time Tony Award winner will recreate signature moments from her legendary career, including numbers from West Side Story; Sweet Charity; Chicago; Kiss of the Spider Woman; Bye, Bye, Birdie; and The Rink. In addition to a special tribute to her dear friends John Kander and Fred Ebb, the timeless music of Leonard Bernstein, Charles Strouse, Jerry Herman and Stephen Sondheim also will be featured with live orchestral accompaniment. Tickets go on sale Friday! CLICK HERE for information.


Tuesday Tune: ‘Leave’ From ONCE the Musical

August 12, 2014
Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the ONCE Tour Company © Joan Marcus

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the ONCE Tour Company. Photo by Joan Marcus.

ONCE practically swept the 2012 Tony Awards, winning eight of the 11 awards it was nominated for, including best musical, best direction of a musical and best orchestrations. The last show in our Duke Energy Broadway Lights Series lineup, ONCE tells the story of a Dublin street musician who is down on his luck and about to give up on his dream.

At the open of the musical, he’s performing in a bar for what seems to be the last time. Enter a young Czech woman, mysterious and curious, who becomes fascinated with his song and, ultimately, him. “Leave” is the song that sparks the girl’s curiosity and sets the tone for the rest of the show.

It’s a heart-wrenching ballad featuring the guy with his guitar belting what seems to be a song of unrequited love and defeat. I was a fan of the original 2006 film version of ONCE and immediately fell in love with the music. My favorite song after seeing the movie was “Falling Slowly,” which won the Academy Award for best original song in 2008. That all changed when I had the chance to see the original Broadway production of ONCE, featuring Steve Kazee and Cristin Milioti, in 2012. I was blown away by the fact that all the actors are also the band, and carry and play the instruments throughout the entire show. “Leave” was hands-down my favorite song from the musical.

Kazee, who won the 2012 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical, performed it with so much raw emotion I was nearly moved to tears, and the show had just started. Within the first 10 minutes, sniffles were ringing throughout the audience and I thought to myself, “this is gonna be a roller coaster of emotions.” I was right.

Listen to Kazee’s version of “Leave” below and you’ll know exactly what I mean. This is from the Original Broadway Cast Recording, which won the 2013 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. There’s no doubt this song was a major factor in that win. Kudos to Irish singer-songwriter Glen Hansard for creating such beautiful music for the film and stage versions!

While this song alone is moving and haunting, seeing it live adds a whole new level of emotion. So, I encourage everyone to come to ONCE. You will not be disappointed. If you think ONCE is just another love story with pretty songs and a happy ending, you are so wrong. You must see it for yourself!

ONCE plays Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Sept. 30-Oct. 5. Seats are selling fast, so get tickets today!

Looking Ahead: Open Mic Night This Friday!

August 11, 2014
The talented group of performers from July's Open Mic Night pose on McGlohon Theater stage.

The talented group of performers from July’s Open Mic Night pose on McGlohon Theater stage.

It’s back again! The event that turns a mundane Friday night into something special, and it’s free! Open Mic Night is this Friday, August 15, at 7pm in McGlohon Theater. CLICK HERE for directions.

If you aren’t slated to perform this go round, you should still come out and enjoy a great show. Open Mic has been drawing huge crowds since the program launched over a year ago. So, come see what you’re missing!

John Fenn Steila and Rony Telor entertain the crowd at Open Mic back in July.

John Fenn Steila and Rony Telor entertain the crowd at Open Mic Night in July.

We hope you can make it and support the amazing local talent right here in the Queen City. It really doesn’t matter what you might be looking for in terms of entertainment, because there’s something for everyone. From instrumentalists to dancers, comedians to singers — we’ll have quite the variety. You never know what you are going to see at one of Blumenthal’s Open Mic Nights, and that’s part of the fun!

CLICK HERE for more details. Also, check out for all the latest listings of the great shows headed to our theaters.


Friday Giveaway! Win Tickets to See Rock Legend Ian Anderson

August 8, 2014

“Homo Erraticus” is available now.

This week’s Friday Giveaway packs a punch of British rock and an electrifying flute solo!

Ian Anderson celebrated 46 years as a recording and performing musician this year and has no intentions of hanging up his flute or guitar anytime soon. Anderson rose to fame as a founding member of British rock group Jethro Tull in the late 1960s and is considered the pioneer of flute in rock music. In addition to the 30 albums he released with Jethro Tull, Anderson has also released 6 studio albums as a solo artist. Anderson will perform songs from hist most recent solo release, “Homo Erraticus,” in addition to an hour of favorites from the Jethro Tull catalogue live in Knight Theater Friday, Oct. 3.

Tickets are going fast for The Best of Jethro Tull Performed by Ian Anderson featuring “Homo Erraticus.” Click HERE to learn more about the show and purchase tickets.


Email and tell us why you want to see Ian Anderson live and you could win a pair of tickets! Use the subject line: Ian Anderson Giveaway. You must enter no later than noon on Tuesday, Aug. 12. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email. Good luck!


National Dance Day Is a Huge Hit

August 7, 2014
National Dance Day brings hundreds to Wells Fargo Plaza.

National Dance Day brings hundreds to Wells Fargo Plaza.

Everyone was groovin’ and hoppin’ to their own beat during National Dance Day a couple of weeks ago, and we have the photos to prove it! Blumenthal Performing Arts hosted National Dance Day 2014, presented by Carolinas Healthcare System, on Saturday July 26.

It didn’t matter if you were tall, short, old or young — everyone was having a blast learning the dance moves to some of the National Dance Day choreography as well as some crowd favorites thrown in. Hundreds and hundreds of people turned out for this event, everyone scrambling to get the best spot to shake their groove thing; the Wells Fargo Plaza was packed and the energy was as big as the music that played.

Salsa instructor encourages crowd during lesson.

A salsa dance instructor encourages the crowd during a lesson.

National Dance Day was created by Nigel Lythgoe, executive producer of “So You Think You Can Dance,” to promote health and self-esteem through the art form of dance. Blumenthal Performing Arts joined hundreds of other organizations across the country and hosted an array of participatory dance activities that not only got everyone moving, but brought the community together as a whole as well. All participants and organizations jumped and “danced” at the opportunity to share in the spirit of two-stepping and jiving. These organizations have helped put Charlotte on the map and brought everyone together through the power of community and dance!

People packed on to the "dance floor" to learn routines.

People pack onto the “dance floor” to learn routines.

We also had help from Ana Ogbueze, the founder of The Dance District, to pull off the most diverse and well-rounded event possible, ensuring that there was something for everyone. Whether you’re a professional or just an average Joe, it’s an art form that can be universally shared. Ogbueze said, “I used to be a shy kid, and honestly dance is where I felt comfortable for whatever reason … it was just natural, and I just forgot about everything else in life, and it was that common language between me and someone else.”

Want to see more of the inside scoop from National Dance Day? Take a peek at the video below from our own Elise Esasky, who was out and about getting the 411 that day:


Who could blame everyone for such a huge turnout though? Everyone loves to dance, and anyone can do it anytime, anywhere and share it with themselves or with others in the moment. That’s why they say, “Dance as if no one is watching,” and I have to agree with Ogbueze: Dance is truly an art form, and it connects us all.


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