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Friday Giveaway! Enter To Win Souvenir Program From Annie, Coming To Belk Theater In July!

March 27, 2015
Issie Swickle as Annie. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Issie Swickle as Annie. Photo by Joan Marcus.

Leapin’ Lizards!  One of the world’s best-loved musicals is back! The timeless story.  The classic characters. The unforgettable songs. And it’s coming to Charlotte this summer! If you don’t already have your tickets to see ANNIE, CLICK HERE and get them today. It plays for one week only, July 14-19.

Featuring the beloved book and score by Tony Award®-winners Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin, ANNIE includes such unforgettable songs as “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything But You,” plus the eternal anthem of optimism, “Tomorrow.”

The New York Times calls it, “an intensely likable musical!  It has a rare kind of gutsy charm.” Newsweek says it’s, “Spectacular on every count.” Sounds like one of those shows, you shouldn’t miss!

Get a sneak peek of what’s to come with a souvenir program! That’s what we’re giving away this week to one lucky winner!

PicsArt_1427391555439ENTER THE GIVEAWAY:

Email to tell us why you would love to win this souvenir program! Use the subject line: The Annie Giveaway! PLEASE NOTE: The program must be picked up from Spirit Square in uptown Charlotte (345 N. College St.) and will not be mailed. A winner will be selected at noon Monday, March. 30, and notified via email.


Get Involved in BREAKIN’ CONVENTION CLT 2015!

March 27, 2015
Breakin' Convention has taken place for the past 11 years in London's Sadler's Wells Theatre. Photo by Belinda Lawley.

Breakin’ Convention has taken place for the past 11 years in London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Photo by Belinda Lawley.

You’ve probably heard by now that a renowned international festival of hip hop dance is headed to the Queen City this fall, and we are beyond thrilled to bring it to you! Direct from London’s Sadler’s Wells Theatre, Breakin’ Convention invades Uptown’s Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts Oct. 9-10, featuring performances by hip hop stars from around the globe and from the neighborhoods of Charlotte.

That’s right! This incredible event welcomes local talent as well. Get involved, Charlotte! This is not something you want to miss. You might be wondering: “What is Breakin’ Convention like?” “What does it take to get involved?” Just check out the video below and hear from the artistic director himself, Jonzi D!

This two-day celebration of hip hop culture will feature Friday and Saturday night shows at the Knight Theater that take hip hop dance off the streets and onto the stage, showcasing some of the world’s great hip hop stars in the process. During the day, enjoy free activities and performances in venues across the Levine campus, including DJs, graffiti, hip hop dance workshops where you can test your skills, free performances, after-parties and much more.

The RuggedsTickets for the Friday and Saturday evening shows will go on sale later in the year. No tickets needed for the many free festival shows and special activities.

Dancers: Do you want to take part?

If you think you’ve got what it takes to tear it up on the stage Breakin’ Convention would love to hear from you. BC-CLT is looking for dancers and dance companies that create hip hop dance for the stage. Whether you’re a seasoned choreographer or a new dance company, Breakin’ Convention showcases the finest dance companies that demonstrate pure hip hop and street dance to the highest level.

CLICK HERE to download the guidelines and to download the application form.

The application period is from Monday, April 20-Monday, May 4.

Graff writers, DJs, MCs, Beatboxers: BC-CLT needs you too!

Breakin’ Convention is also looking for local graff writers, DJs, MCs and beatboxers to take part in the event. If you are interested please email with info about yourself.

Online submissions: Monday, April 20-Monday, May 4
Audition dates: Thursday, May 21-Saturday, May 23
Festival dates: Friday, Oct. 9-Saturday, Oct. 10
Festival location: Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts

Breakin’ Convention-CLT
Twitter: @BconventionCLT
Hashtag: #InvadingCLT

Breakin’ Convention
Facebook/BreakinConventionTwitter: @BConvention

Tuesday Tune: ‘Lips Are Movin” by The Funx

March 24, 2015

A cappella music is continuing to rise in popularity. Country music-infused a cappella group Home Free played McGlohon Theater to a nearly sold-out crowd last November. Pentatonix continues to explode on the music charts and recently won a Grammy for their a cappella arrangements. Fans are going crazy over the return of “Pitch Perfect” to the big screen this May.

That’s why it’s exciting news that fellow a cappella performers, The Funx, will perform in Belk Theater this May in a somewhat unique situation. The group is opening for late-night comedy legend Jay Leno!

Funx IMG 2

The Funx is a soulful supergroup dedicated to bringing more original music to the a cappella world, featuring talent from some of your favorite TV competition shows. With arrangements and vocal percussion from “The Sing-off” arranger and group coach Robert Dietz, and the incredible soaring tenor of Nate Tao from “American Idol,” The Funx has a complete arsenal of a cappella weapons.

Sexy soulstress Ariel Arbisser is a vocal coach, actress and CARA-winning soloist. Longtime collaborator and funky bass vocalist Crawford Doran and powerhouse singer-songwriter Harry Nichols round out this pop/soul vocal band that met in Ithaca, N.Y., and now hails from across the U.S. and Canada. Traveling the country singing a range of covers and originals, The Funx will get you grooving!

Check out the group’s cover of a Meghan Trainor hit below. Fun fact: This video was recorded with each vocalist in a different city!

Check out The Funx when it opens the show for Jay Leno live at Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center on Thursday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m. Get tickets now!

Just for fun! Listen to their cover of U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For!”

Like The Funx on Facebook. Subscribe to their YouTube channel. Visit their website.

Looking Ahead: Rennie Harris Puremovement and John Mulaney

March 23, 2015

I don’t know about you, but I’m still on somewhat of a Kinky Boots high and super bummed that it’s gone … for now; however, I’m grateful that it does return Dec. 29, 2015- Jan. 3, 2016! Meanwhile, there are two exciting things happening this week to help pick us back up! Rennie Harris Puremovement and John Mulaney will entertain audiences Friday and Saturday in Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts!


Rennie Harris Puremovement comes to Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts Friday, March 27!

Rennie Harris Puremovement comes to Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts Friday, March 27!

Rennie Harris Puremovement’s work encompasses rich and diverse African-American traditions of the past while simultaneously presenting the voice of a new generation. It has continued to increase audience numbers each year, encouraging young dancers and sharing their enthusiasm for hip-hop dance theater. The goal is to provide audiences with a sincere view of the essence and spirit of hip-hop, rather than the commercially exploited stereotypes most often presented by the media.

Harris, a North Philadelphia native, founded RHPM based on the belief that hip-hop is the most important original expression of a new generation, with the unique ability to express universal themes that extend beyond racial, religious and economic boundaries. In a society where hip-hop is often portrayed as a violent, undisciplined counterculture, RHPM deconstructs popular perception of this medium, expanding and challenging the boundaries and definitions of hip-hop in general. As hip-hop continues to be chosen as the modern generation’s medium of expression, RHPM works to honor its history, explore its ideas, and further its contributions to the surrounding community. CLICK HERE for tickets!

John Mulaney

John Mulaney


John Mulaney is quickly becoming one of the most sought after young comedians and actors in the comedy world. He was recently seen starring in Fox’s new comedy “Mulaney,” about a rising stand-up comic trying to take his career to the next level. He also served as creator, writer and executive producer on the series.

Mulaney began his career in New York’s East Village as part of the two-man “Oh Hello Show” with comedian Nick Kroll. He has since performed everywhere from Ireland to Australia to Grand Isle, Nebraska. He was named one of Variety’s 10 comics to watch in 2008 – the same year he began working at “Saturday Night Live” where he appeared as a “Weekend Update” correspondent and co-created characters such as Stefon with Bill Hader.

Mulaney’s first comedy special, “The Top Part,” was released in 2009 and reviewed as “a finely-crafted piece of work” by The Huffington Post. He released his second Comedy Central special and album “New in Town” in 2012, and upon review, hailed Mulaney as “one of the best stand-up comics alive.” CLICK HERE for tickets.



Friday Giveaway! Enter to Win Tickets to See Cassandra Wilson

March 20, 2015
Cassandra Wilson comes to Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts April 3.

Cassandra Wilson comes to Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts April 3.

On April 3, join Cassandra Wilson as she celebrates Billie Holiday’s 100th birthday here in Charlotte at Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts. Her new album, “Coming Forth by Day,” commemorates Holiday’s prestigious career. The record features collaborations with members of the Bad Seeds, Van Dyke Parks and T Bone Burnett. She was named America’s best singer by Time magazine, which stated, “Soulful, sensual and lyrical, she’s carrying on the tradition of great jazz vocalists.”  A two-time Grammy Award-winning artist, Down Beat magazine’s jazz vocalist of the year for three consecutive years, and with multiple honors in the jazz genre, Cassandra has changed the way people think about jazz.

“A dream of mine is happening,” Cassandra said. “I’ve been in love with Billie Holiday’s voice since the moment I heard it, and she has inspired me throughout my career.”


Email to tell us why you would love to win two tickets to see Cassandra Wilson in Knight Theater! Use the subject line: Cassandra Wilson Giveaway! A winner will be selected at noon Tuesday, March 24, and notified via email.

Donors Support Amazing Programs Like the Annual Broadway Junior Theater Celebration

March 19, 2015
broadway jr

Students write messages about their experience in downtime during the celebration.

The annual Broadway Junior Theater Celebration in Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts, sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities and Team Creatif USA, brings together students who share an interest in musical theater to perform and learn with New York’s famed iTheatrics educators.
This year’s event is right around the corner: March 30-April 1. Watching the event unfold each year is incredibly moving for everyone involved, especially Blumenthal Performing Arts’ Individual Giving Manager Tara Spil, who works with some of the generous people who help us make it possible. Here’s what she had to say:

Each day begins when hundreds of children scurry off their buses and run into Knight Theater for a full day of arts education. As the days unfold, each student has their own moment to achieve personal success and shine on Knight Theater’s professional stage. After each school performs, iTheatrics educators provide positive reinforcement and constructive feedback that strengthens every single performance in a matter of minutes. The transformations and the speed at which they occur are nothing short of amazing.

Broadway Junior participants perform on Knight Theater stage.

Broadway Junior participants perform on the Knight Theater stage.

The first time I worked Broadway Junior, I was inspired for weeks following, and since then, I look forward to it each year. I realized through watching kids have fun with their peers onstage, what I was really witnessing was young people learning about themselves and their own capabilities.

We can all be proud that our community recognizes the importance and value of making these opportunities possible for our youths. Theater gives children a chance to imagine possibilities, learn team work and develop skills that simply cannot be taught in a text book. This spring, students will unleash their creativity, accomplish hard work, build friendships and create lasting memories.

Broadway Junior reaches more than 1,800 elementary and middle school students and their teachers from both Carolinas annually. This year, the eighth consecutive year, the program will begin March 30 and run through April 1 in Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts.

Individuals like you make these experiences possible. To learn more about Broadway Junior and how you can make your own impact on this important program please visit:

– Tara Spil

Click here to watch a video about this program. Questions? Contact Tara Spil at 704.379.1353 or

Tuesday Tune: ‘Listen to the Music’ by The Doobie Brothers (and a Few Special Guests)

March 17, 2015

Over 40 million records sold, four Grammy Awards and an induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame are just a few highlights in the career of The Doobie Brothers, which spans over five decades. As durable as American steel, The Doobie Brothers sound has become part of America’s musical firmament, sampled on dance records, reinterpreted on “American Idol,” and made a fixture on radio formats from top 40 to classic rock. They continue to write and record new material, tour the world — boasting one of the most loyal fan bases in music — all while breaking new creative ground in the exploration of their musical connection with Nashville.


Speaking of new material, they recently released “Southbound,” which features the band’s classic songs in collaboration with some of the biggest names in country music today. Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Sara Evans and Hunter Hayes appear on the album lending their vocals to songs like “Listen to the Music,” “What a Fool Believes” and “China Grove.” One of the stand out songs from the album is “Black Water,” which features Zac Brown Band joining forces with the Doobies. Hear Zac talk about his experience recording with the band, and get a sneak peek at the song below.

In promotion of their new album, The Doobie Brothers performed their classic “Listen to the Music” with Jennifer Nettles, Hunter Hayes and Lady Antebellum’s Hilary Scott at the 2014 Country Music Awards. Watch that performance here!

Don’t miss An Evening With The Doobie Brothers live at Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Tuesday, May 5. This is a sure sellout, so get your tickets NOW! You can even maximize your experience with a VIP Meet and Greet ticket. Call 704-372-1000 for more details and to purchase VIP Meet and Greet seats.

The Doobie Brothers’ latest release, “Southbound,” is available now on Amazon.


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