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Tuesday Tune: ‘How Can I Ease the Pain’ by Lisa Fischer

September 1, 2015
Lisa Fischer. Photo by Djeneba Aduayom.

Lisa Fischer. Photo by Djeneba Aduayom.

Lisa Fischer is arguably one of the most incredible vocalists in the music industry today. While you may not know her name, you’ve definitely heard her voice. Lisa has spent the majority of her career backing artists like Tina Turner, Beyonce, Luther Vandross, Dolly Parton and Sting. She currently tours with The Rolling Stones and has been on every tour with the band since 1989.

Here’s what those who have worked with Lisa have to say:

“When I get out there on the stage with Lisa on ‘Gimme Shelter’ … you know we’ve done it quite a few times, but there’s always that kind of moment when there’s some kind of spontaneous combustion going and it’s always a high point in the show for me.” – Mick Jagger

“That’s a powerhouse voice. I think of her as a star. She’s a star.” – Sting

“I think she’s a freak of nature … so incredibly versatile, so talented.” – Chris Botti

While she’s an amazing backup singer, Lisa has released one solo album in her career: 1991’s “So Intense.” That’s the album that introduced her solo voice to the world and featured the single that staked her claim as one of the best female R&B vocalists of all time. The song was “How Can I Ease the Pain,” and it won her a Grammy in 1992. Listen to her incredible live performance of the R&B hit below.


Lisa Fischer was reintroduced to the masses when she was profiled in the recent Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, which shines a light on some of the most iconic background singers in music history. Lisa is rightfully included in that bunch alongside soulful legends Merry Clayton and Darlene Love.

Lisa Fischer in 20 Feet From Stardom.

Lisa Fischer in 20 Feet From Stardom.

Don’t miss Lisa Fischer when Grand Baton joins her for an intimate performance in McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. Please make it a point to catch this performance! It’s rare to be this up close and personal with such a powerful voice. Tickets are available HERE and by phone at 704-372-1000. Prices start at just $20.

EXTRA: Lisa Fischer’s duet with The Rolling Stones on “Gimme Shelter” has millions of hits on YouTube and can be seen HERE.

Beat the Sellouts Sale, Now Through Sept. 13!

August 31, 2015
Ragtime comes to Knight Theater Nov. 30-Dec. 2, 2015!

Ragtime comes to Knight Theater Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2015!

That’s right, folks. The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here! Single tickets for many Broadway shows and special attractions are on sale now! Some of the shows will go off-sale again after this special ends, so act quickly!

Eleven Broadway shows and several special attractions headed to Blumenthal Performing Arts theaters this season are now on sale for a limited time. Buyers will receive free parking with a ticket purchase during this special “Beat the Sellouts Sale.”

“Until now, tickets for most of our Broadway shows have only been available through Season Ticket packages, so this will be the first chance for fans to buy single tickets,” said Blumenthal President and CEO Tom Gabbard. “We hope our show fans take advantage of this opportunity to not only get free parking, but also secure great seats at a great price before a number of these shows sell out.”

 The Sound of Music Coming this Nov 24-29!

The Sound of Music Coming this Nov 24-29!

Fans who purchase now will enjoy first choice of open seats. Great locations are available for many shows like THE SOUND OF MUSIC and RAGTIME.  Other shows in the sale with the free parking incentive include Tony Award winners MATILDA THE MUSICAL and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, as well as THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER, KINKY BOOTS, ONCE, STOMP, BEAUTIFUL – THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL, THE WIZARD OF OZ and IF/THEN. Special attractions included in the sale are Michael W. Smith, Lisa Fischer, One Man Breaking Bad, Evil Dead The Musical, Reduced Shakespeare Company, Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Art of Time Ensemble and Momix Botanica!

The “Beat the Sellouts Sale” and the free parking incentive will end Sept. 13, and many of the shows will go off-sale again until later in the year. For complete details or to purchase tickets, visit or call 704.372.1000.

Friday Giveaway: Enter to Win a Matilda the Musical Prize Pack!

August 21, 2015
Matilda the Musical comes to Belk Theater in February!

Matilda the Musical comes to Belk Theater in February!

In honor of the Beat the Sellouts sale, when single tickets for most of the Broadway shows in the new season line-up go on sale (yay!), we’re keeping things extra fun by giving away some Matilda merch to hold you show fans over until Aug. 31, when the Beat the Sellouts sale officially begins.

One of the shows that will be included in the Beat the Sellouts sale is an exciting one- Matilda the Musical! This heartwarming show is coming to Belk Theater Feb. 9-14 as part of the 2015-2016 PNC Broadway Lights season.

Winner of 50 international awards, including four Tony Awards®, 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. Based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl, Matilda continues to thrill sold-out audiences of all ages on Broadway and in London’s West End.  The Wall Street Journal says, “The makers of Matilda have done the impossible – triumphantly! It is smart, sweet, zany and stupendous fun.”

How would you feel if we told you we had the sampler CD, a magnet and the book (for ages 7+) up for grabs in this week’s Friday Giveaway?

Prize pack includes a CD sampler, a magnet and the book!

Prize pack includes a CD sampler, a magnet and the book!


Enter to win this week’s Friday Giveaway by emailing and telling us why you love the story of this little genius determined to change the world! Use the subject line: Matilda Giveaway! PLEASE NOTE: The items must be picked up from Spirit Square in uptown (345 N. College St.) and will not be mailed. A winner will be selected at noon Tuesday, August 25, and notified via email.


Motown The Musical Is Just Days Away!

August 20, 2015

All your favorites come to life on stage in Motown The Musical!

I don’t care who you are or what kind of music you typically listen to, I would bet good money that there’s a Motown song or two that gets you humming or tapping your feet. Let’s face it, though, most of us love just about every Motown song, and the fact that they’ve created an entire musical out of the story of Motown is pretty much a dream come true. (I have seen this show twice already in other cities, and I cannot wait to see it again in only five days!)

Motown The Musical comes to Charlotte’s Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Aug. 25 and plays for two weeks, ending Sept. 6. Closing out the 2014-2015 PNC Broadway Lights season, this is a show you do not want to miss. Tickets are going fast, so if you don’t have yours yet, hurry and CLICK HERE!

It began as one man’s story … became everyone’s music … and is now Broadway’s musical. Motown The Musical is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Now, experience it live on stage in the record-breaking smash hit!

Visit for a full list of new season shows in the 2015-2016 PNC Broadway Lights lineup! Coming soon!


The Fundamentals of Hip-hop: Come Out This Saturday!

August 19, 2015
Young breaker doing his thing during Graffiti Jam back in July. Photo by Daniel Coston.

A young break dancer performs during Graffiti Jam in July. Photo by Daniel Coston.

Join us on Saturday, Aug. 22, to learn about the four basic elements of hip-hop! Local experts will be on hand to discuss breaking, emceeing, graffiti, and DJing.

The event will kick off with an information session where you can learn about each of the four elements. It will be followed by hands-on breakout sessions featuring each element. Make sure to stay around for the dance cypher at the end! This FREE event will take place at Spirit Square from 1-4 p.m. Come learn what is possible through hip-hop!

Plus, come back that night and join us for “Off the Wall,” where the greatest music and coolest people combine! Join us as DJ Justice and Aking spin timeless classics in hip-hop, R&B, soul and more. Free event. For ages 21 and older. Relaxed dress code. CLICK HERE for information.

All of these events are leading us to the main event: Breakin’ Convention – An International Festival of Hip-Hop Dance Theatre. Breakin’ Convention comes to Charlotte Oct 9-10. If you haven’t heard of it by now (which is probably not the case), CLICK HERE to learn all about it!

Tuesday Tune: ‘He’s a Rebel’ by Darlene Love

August 18, 2015

In case you haven’t heard, Blumenthal Performing Arts and V101.9 are hosting a free screening of the Academy Award-winning documentary 20 Feet From Stardom this Friday, Aug. 21, at McGlohon Theater. One of the artists featured in this behind-the-scenes look at the music industry is Darlene Love.


Darlene Love sings as she accepts the Academy Award for 20 Feet From Stardom.

Love began her career with a group called The Blossoms, who were featured on many records from producer Phil Spector. From there, Love’s career had many ups and downs, which I don’t want to spoil for those who have yet to see 20 Feet From Stardom. She went on to work with a slew of legendary artists, including Elvis Presley, Sam Cooke and The Beach Boys. Many people may not know that her voice is the one pleading “baby, please come home” in the popular holiday hit “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).”

Rolling Stone called Love “one of the greatest singers of all time,” and she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011. Bette Midler presented her with the honor and later joined her to perform one of Love’s top-performing singles, “He’s a Rebel.” Watch the two perform here.

Be sure to join us Friday for a FREE screening of 20 Feet From Stardom to learn more about Love and many other iconic backup singers like Merry Clayton, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer, who will be performing at McGlohon Theater Sept. 16. Doors open for the film screening at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and the film begins at 8 p.m. Free popcorn will be served and beverages will be available for purchase! Click here for more info.


Looking Ahead: Music, Movies and More! Entertainment-filled Week at Blumenthal!

August 18, 2015

Wow, have we got a week for you! From an evening with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band; to Ry Cooder, Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs; to a screening of 20 Feet From Stardom; and then Melissa Etheridge, the entertainment is nonstop. We hope you’ll be along for the ride. A few tickets are still available for most of our events this week, and the movie screening is FREE. Check out the details for each event below, and make your plans now!


Don't miss Lyle Lovett in Charlotte this week!

Don’t miss Lyle Lovett and His Large Band in Charlotte this week!

An Evening with Lyle Lovett and His Large Band!

Wednesday, Aug. 19 — 7:30 p.m. at Knight Theater

Singer, composer and actor Lyle Lovett has broadened the definition of American music in a career that spans 14 albums. Coupled with his gift for storytelling, the Texas-based musician fuses elements of country, swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues in a convention-defying manner that breaks down barriers. Lovett has been touring in support of “Release Me” since its release in February 2012. The album was No. 1 for several weeks on the Americana charts. Produced by Nathaniel Kunkel and Lovett, “Release Me” represents the end of an era as it was his last record for Curb/Universal Music Group after being on the label for his entire career. CLICK HERE for tickets!


This trio comes to the queen city Wednesday!

This trio comes to the queen city Wednesday!

Ry Cooder, Sharon White and Ricky Skaggs

Wednesday, Aug. 19 — 7:30 p.m. at McGlohon Theater

In a most exceptional pairing, master multi-instrumentalists Ry Cooder and Ricky Skaggs come alive on stage to deliver an amazing program of blues, gospel and bluegrass. They are joined by Sharon White, who has one of the purest voices in country music; Joachim Cooder on drums; and Mark Fain on bass, with occasional guest performances by Buck White. CLICK HERE for tickets!


20-feet-from-stardom20 Feet From Stardom Screening

Friday, Aug. 21 — 8 p.m. at McGlohon Theater

FREE EVENT — In anticipation of Lisa Fischer’s concert Sept. 16 at McGlohon Theater, Blumenthal proudly presents a free screening of the Academy Award-winning film 20 Feet From Stardom by director Morgan Neville, starring Fischer. The film shines a spotlight on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Fischer has performed behind legendary musicians such as Tina Turner, Luther Vandross, Sting and the Rolling Stones. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Presentation begins at 8 p.m.


Visit for a complete list of upcoming shows and events. See you soon!







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