Familiar to millions as the front man, songwriter and vocalist for pop sensation Men at Work (“Down Under,” “Overkill,” “Who Can It Be Now?”), Hay is justifiably proud of his place in pop history. But since moving to Los Angeles in 1989, he’s made 11 critically-acclaimed solo albums, including the highly successful “Man at Work,” and has recently announced the release of his new album “Next Year People” on Compass Records.
“Next Year People” is the work of an artist who is a true master of his craft. The album is full of quizzical, curious and cynical yet open-hearted songs with catchy melodic hooks that underscore deeply insightful lyrics. The album was produced by Hay and mixed by Chad Fischer (Chasing Mavericks, Ice Age 3, Lisa Loeb) and includes contributions from two young Cuban musicians, San Miguel Perez and Yosmel Montejo, as well as Larry Goldings on piano, Jeff Babko ( from “Jimmy Kimmel”) on B3, and Colin’s wife, vocalist Cecilia Noel.
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. “I started off playing acoustic; it’s my natural game, if you will,” he said. “It’s the point I started from and may well be the point I end with. It’s always what I return to.”
The frequent use of Hay’s music in TV and film has proven the timeless appeal of his songs, which can be heard on hit shows such as “Scrubs,” on which he has made several cameo appearances, “Army Wives” and “Modern Family; as well as the hit soundtrack to the film Garden State and the recently released Words and Pictures.
Check out this 1982 performance of Colin Hay in Men at Work:
We’re kicking off our Thanksgiving week and our 2015-16 PNC Broadway Lights Series with The Sound of Music! The set is officially rolling in and will be ready for opening night Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Join Ben Davis as Captain von Trapp, Kerstin Anderson as Maria Rainer and the rest of the incredibly talented touring cast as they inspire audiences at the Belk Theater all week long.
The hills are alive! This is a 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 delight audiences with its Tony®, Grammy® and Academy Award® winning best score, including “My Favorite Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and the title song.
The Sound of Music enjoyed extraordinary success as the first live television production of a musical in over 50 years when “The Sound of Music Live!” aired on NBC in December 2013 and was seen by more than 44 million people. In 2015, fans and cast members marked the 50th anniversary of the film version, which continues to be the most successful movie musical in history.
Check out this short clip of the cast singing a favorite, “Do-Re-Mi”:
Sing along! Let’s start at the very beginning.
DO a deer, a ___ __, RE a drop of ___ __.
ME a name, I __ ___, FA a long long __ __ __.
SO a needle ___ __, LA a note __ ___ __.
TI a drink with __ __ __, that will __ __ __ __ DO!
Make the cast of The Sound of Music part of your holiday festivities this year. We look forward to seeing you at the show, which runs one week only, Tuesday, Nov. 24, through Sunday, Nov. 29, at Belk Theater. CLICK HERE for a complete list of show times.
It may be three months away, but we can’t wait for the arrival of Murder for Two in February! You won’t want to miss this killer musical comedy! Murder for Two is the perfect blend of music, mayhem and murder. In this hilarious 90-minute show, two performers play 13 roles — not to mention the piano — in a witty and winking homage to old-fashioned murder mysteries. The New York Times calls it “INGENIOUS! A snazzy double-act that spins out a comic mystery animated by funny, deftly turned songs.”
Officer Marcus Moscowicz is a small town policeman with dreams of making it to detective. One fateful night, shots ring out at the surprise birthday party of great American novelist Arthur Whitney, and the writer is killed. With the nearest detective an hour away, Marcus jumps at the chance to prove his sleuthing skills — with the help of his silent partner, Lou. But whodunit? Did Dahlia Whitney, Arthur’s scene-stealing wife, give him a big finish? Is Barrette Lewis, the prima ballerina, the prime suspect? Did Dr. Griff, the overly-friendly psychiatrist, make a frenemy? Marcus has only a short amount of time to find the killer and make his name before the real detective arrives … and the ice cream melts!
Check out these raving reviews from around the country:
“The show’s cleverness and audacity elevates the evening to much more than just a trifle of a comedy – there is considerable impressive method to the delicious madness on the stage.”
–Hartford Arts Examiner
“Undeniably fun! An entertaining, vaudeville-style romp!”
“Two guys, one piano and an infinite amount of laughs. A boisterous, unapologetic comedy!”
–The Daily Wildcat by Kevin C. Reagan
“A must-see 90-minute jolt of caffeinated creativity!”
For this Friday Giveaway, we’re offering up a black Murder for Two tote and collector’s pin! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us why you would love to win this week’s Friday Giveaway! Use the subject line: Murder for Two Giveaway! PLEASE NOTE: The merchandise 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, Nov. 24, and notified via email. Good luck!
Back by popular demand, The Book of Mormon returns to Charlotte Feb. 23-March 6! 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.
Check out a few frequently asked questions with answers from Trey Parker, Matt Stone and Bobby Lopez.
Q: How did you come up with the idea for The Book of Mormon?
Trey Parker: Matt and I went to see Avenue Q when it opened in 2003, and we were like, “Wow, this is actually really good.” When it was over I was thinking, “This is exactly the kind of thing I’ve always dreamed about doing.”
Matt Stone: During intermission, we saw that we were thanked in the Playbill. “Well,” we thought, “that’s weird.”
Bobby Lopez: That’s because I saw the South Park movie when it opened in 1999, and I just thought, “Oh my God, this is exactly what I want to be doing.” A week after that, the idea came to me for Avenue Q.
Trey Parker: It happened purely by coincidence that Bobby showed up that night, he introduced himself and we went across the street for a drink.
Matt Stone: Bobby is younger than Trey and me, so he looked at us like elder statesman and asked what he should do next. We asked, “What did he want to do?” And he said, “I want to write something about Joseph Smith and the Mormons.”
Bobby Lopez: When I said Joseph Smith, they were like, “We’ve wanted to do that, too!” They had it in their heads to do some kind of Joseph Smith musical, but never did. I said, “If you guys want to do that, that’s fine, because I’d really love to see what you do, more than what I would do.”
Trey Parker: It just became ridiculously obvious that we should team up and do something about Mormons. So we said, “No, let’s do it together.”
Q: The Book of Mormon is provocative, in the same way that South Park is provocative. Are there boundaries?
Matt Stone: There’s a catharsis in being able to really laugh at some of the goofier ideas of religion without necessarily laughing at the people practicing them. We never like to make a “point,” per se. We want to give you room to feel what the show is saying to you. We don’t want to tell anybody what the point is, or what the politics are. It’s up to you to figure out what it meant.
Q: How would you describe the show to someone who is a traditional musical theater fan?
Bobby Lopez: The musical is a machine that’s designed to bring you down and raise you up, and to give you a positive, uplifting experience. I want the musical to show people the nadir of human experience. For this musical, it’s about faith. It’s about religious feeling. And I think we show a character that loses his faith, and we give his faith back to him in a better way at the end. And I hope that the experience of the audience mirrors that, whether it’s a religious experience or just feeling entertained.
CLICK HERE to view show times for The Book of Mormon coming to Belk Theater in February! But hurry before it sells out!
The holidays are just around the corner! As you plan your gatherings with family and friends, we hope you’ll keep Blumenthal Performing Arts and some of our amazing resident companies in mind. Join us for a variety of holiday shows featuring everything from Handel to hip-hop!
Dec. 3-6 • Belk Theater
Don’t miss this seasonal tradition as spirited conductor Albert-George Schram leads the Symphony, the Charlotte Symphony Chorus and an array of spectacular guests in this festive program, complete with singalongs and surprises.
Dec. 7 • Knight Theater
When country vocal band Home Free was crowned champion of NBC’s “The Sing-Off,” their victory was by no means the beginnings of a career for the five country stars from Minnesota — rather it was a satisfying culmination of nearly a decade of hard work and commitment to a vocal craft growing in popularity.
The group has become known for its high-energy performances, peppered with quick-witted humor that meshes Nashville standards with pop hits dipped in country flavor. This December, the Home Free for the Holidays Tour comes to town, combining new music from the group’s recent release, “Country Evolution,” and the 2014 holiday album, “Full of Cheer.”
Dec. 10-23 • Belk Theater
This December, celebrate the magical sights and sounds of the holidays at Charlotte Ballet’s Nutcracker. Create a memorable holiday tradition when you bring your family and friends along for this holiday voyage featuring choreography by Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, live music from the Charlotte Symphony, over 100 dancers and a breathtaking snowfall. Your holidays are not complete without seeing Nutcracker!
Dec. 29-Jan. 3 • Booth Playhouse
A holiday mashup for the whole family, The Hip Hop Nutcracker reimagines Tchaikovsky’s classic score through explosive hip-hop choreography. A dozen all-star dancers, DJ, emcee and digital scenery bring the traditional “Nutcracker” story to life in a contemporary urban setting. This evening-length show celebrates love, family and the magic of New Year’s Eve.
Other holiday performances to catch:
View a list of all upcoming performances by visiting our website at www.blumenthalarts.org. We hope to see you soon!
Yanni’s World Tour continues at the Belk Theater with an all new show for 2016! Yanni and his world-renowned orchestra will perform audience favorites from throughout his career as well as newly reworked arrangements of the classics.
As a true global ambassador for peace, compassion and understanding, Yanni is one of the most recognizable composers and performers of our time. He is a musical phenomenon — a rare artist whose music transcends geographical borders and touches people of all races and nations.
Yanni has accumulated more than 40 platinum and gold albums, with international sales totaling over 25 million copies. These albums included the 1997 double-platinum “Tribute” album, which sold more than a million copies within six weeks of its release, and 1994’s “Live at the Acropolis,” which has sold more than 7.5 million copies worldwide (5 million in North America). Yanni has also earned Grammy nominations for his 1992 album “Dare to Dream,” and the 1993 follow-up, “In My Time.”
Yanni popularized the combination of electronic music synthesizers with a full scale symphony orchestra. He has employed musicians of various nationalities and has incorporated a variety of exotic instruments to create music that has been called an eclectic fusion of ethnic sounds. Influenced by his encounters with cultures around the world, Yanni has been called a true global artist, and his music is said to reflect his “one world, one people” philosophy.
Check out this live performance of Yanni and his world-renowned orchestra:
We’ve got an exciting lineup for you this week! We’re starting off with a free event on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. with our first ever Broadway on Tap event at Rí Rá Irish Pub. Join us for an exclusive opportunity to sit down with Blumenthal Performing Arts President and CEO Tom Gabbard as he discusses current happenings and future projects on Broadway. Learn how the projects affect Blumenthal and the city of Charlotte and the influential role Blumenthal plays for Broadway in New York. Light hors d’oeuvres will be offered, and all Blumenthal members will receive one complimentary beverage on us! CLICK HERE to RSVP!
Next, MOMIX Botanica is finally here! Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. and Friday night at 8 p.m. we’ll experience an eclectic score ranging from birdsong to Vivaldi at the Knight Theater. An herbal remedy and natural aphrodisiac, Botanica shows off the endlessly renewable energy of the superb MOMIX performers, with costumes, projections and custom-made props and puppetry adding an extra dose of fantasy to the elixir. This is dance at its most organic and inventive! CLICK HERE for tickets!
One of Blumenthal’s monthly poetry slams also takes place Friday night at 8 p.m. This event, at Booth Playhouse in Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, is hosted by SlamCharlotte, Charlotte’s own two-time national championship team of spoken word poetry (2007 and 2008). SlamCharlotte promotes poetic growth, performance enhancement and increased camaraderie among the poets and the community through the monthly slam competitions. SlamCharlotte’s current Slammaster, Bluz, is the 13th ranked individual poet in the world. CLICK HERE to grab your tickets! Due to adult language and content, this event is not recommended for children.
Visit BlumenthalArts.org for a complete list of upcoming shows and events. See you soon!