Lied Center's new season announced

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The Lied Center for Performing Arts has announced a 22nd season (2011-2012) schedule that includes 45 performances of 33 shows from a wide range of categories including Broadway, comedy, dance, classical music, world music, family offerings and theater. Nineteen of the 33 scheduled shows are Lied Center debuts.

The new slate follows a very successful and popular 2010-2011 season.

"The 2011-2012 season is literally full of something for everyone," said Bill Stephan, executive director of the Lied. "The Lied's Broadway lineup is incredible, featuring the return of 'Mamma Mia!' and Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast,' along with the Lied premieres of Mel Brooks' 'Young Frankenstein' and the hit musical, 'In the Heights,' which won eight Tony Awards in 2008. Hosting violinist Itzhak Perlman on the Lied stage once again is an honor, as is welcoming back pianist Kathryn Stott who wowed audiences when she performed with Yo-Yo Ma in 2010.

"There is so much to enjoy next season and we couldn't be happier to bring the world's best artists to Nebraska."

Other highlights of the season include comedic legend Bill Cosby as the opening act of the season on Oct. 7, the return of Chicago's Second City comedy troupe and the Nebraska premiere of a new one-man show written by Jerry Seinfeld called "Cocktails with Larry Miller."

Lincoln will have the chance to experience other cultures through the performances of South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the eclectic Indian dance group Ragamala, the Irish sounds of Cherish the Ladies and the Celtic Tenors. The Japanese taiko drumming group, Yamato, returns after standing ovations at the Lied in 2007.

Ann Chang, the Lied Center's artistic director, said she is especially excited to bring the German-based Munich Symphony to the Lied Center.

"The Munich Symphony's performance in Lincoln will feature an all-Mozart program, including Mozart's final masterpiece, the 'Requiem,'" Chang said. "It is always a thrill to hear a full symphony orchestra in the Lied Center, but this performance is even more special as Munich Symphony will be led by Philippe Entremont, one of the world's premier conductors. It is a wonderful opportunity, especially for the university's music students, to see and hear Entremont's work in person."

The 2011-12 season again features family-friendly programming. The self-proclaimed "certified lunatic and master of the impossible," Tomas Kubinek, returns to the Lied Center after last performing to enthusiastic crowds in 2001. The innovative theater company, Corbian, is also returning to the Lied after its very successful performances in 2010 of "Darwin the Dinosaur." Their new production, a double-bill of "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Tortoise and the Hare," features their signature giant luminescent puppets that entertain kids of all ages.

Chang and Stephan worked collaboratively on creating a season that would be appealing to all audiences, as well as maintaining the fiscal stability for the organization. Fiscal year 2010 ended with a balanced budget, the first in several seasons. Fiscal year 2011, with still more than two months to go, is on track to repeat that success. Smart programming choices and close attention to expense control are key factors in this positive result. Planning for the fiscal year 2012 is following the same formula.

Season brochures and order forms are available at or by visiting the Lied Center Ticket Office, 301 N. 12th St. A season subscription consists of a ticket purchase of four or more events. The more events ordered, the larger the discount, up to 20 percent off listed prices. The Lied also offers the service of a payment plan called Lied Layaway as well as a payroll deduction option for UNL employees. This service is free of charge.

Members of the Friends of Lied who annually donate $100 or more receive advanced processing privileges through May 31. Season ticket seating assignments are made on a first-come, first-served basis. Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 16.

For more information, go to or call the Lied Center Ticket Office at (402) 472-4747 or (800) 432-3231.

The 2011-12 season line-up by category follows. An asterisk (*) indicates a Lied Center debut. All performances are in the Main Hall unless designated by JCT (Johnny Carson Theater) or KRH (Kimball Recital Hall).

BROADWAY: "Beauty and the Beast," Oct. 26-28 (3 performances); "Young Frankenstein*," Jan. 21 (2 performances); "Mama Mia!" Feb. 2-4 (4 performances); "In the Heights*," March 2-3 (2 performances).

CLASSICAL: Munich Symphony*, Nov. 7; Itzhak Perlman, March 31; Kathryn Stott, April 17; Benjamin Britten's "War Requiem" with the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra, April 28.
COMEDY: Bill Cosby -- Live at the Lied (season opener)*, Oct. 7; "Cocktails with Larry Miller*," Feb. 11; Second City -- "Laugh Out Loud," March 10.

DANCE: Pilobolus Dance Theater, Oct. 12; "Moulin Rouge," Royal Winnipeg Ballet, April 1; Ragamala*, April 11.

FAMILY AND THEATER: Local Wonders* (JCT), Oct. 20-23 (6 performances); Tomas Kubinek with pre-show FamFest, Nov. 2; "The Shape of a Girl*," (JCT); Nov. 7; "The Ugly Duckling*" with pre-show FamFest, Feb. 22.

JAZZ: Turtle Island Quartet (KRH), Oct. 21; Tiempo Libre*, Nov. 4; Doc Severinsen, Feb. 27; Susan Werner* (JCT); March 9, SFJAZZ Collective, "The Music of Stevie Wonder*," March 13.

POPULAR: Idina Menzel*, Nov. 11, The Brooklyn Rundfunk Orkestrata, "The Hills Are Alive*," Feb. 8; The Fab Four - The Ultimate Tribute*, March 24; Sons of the Pioneers*, April 7; Boyz II Men*, April 21.

WORLD MUSIC: Yamato, Oct. 15; Celtic Tenors Christmas*, Dec. 8; Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Jan. 31; Cherish the Ladies*, Feb. 18; Red Star Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble, March 17.

- Shannon McClure, Lied Center for Performing Arts

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