MSU Riley Center 2011-2012 Season

A special ‘everything package’ discount price for season subscribers of the MSU Riley Center is already available. 'Build Your Own' mini-season ticket packages will go on sale Aug. 17. Individual tickets for each show will go on sale Aug. 29.

Here is the lineup, including ticket prices:

The Charlie Daniels Band
Saturday, September 17, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
$65, $59
Pre-Show Party at 6:00 p.m.
Through almost 60 years in music, Charlie Daniels has done things his way. “I’ve never followed trends or fads,” he says. “I can’t be anybody but me.” He became a country-rock star in the 1970s and had a huge hit in 1979 with the Grammy-winning “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” More recently, he’s become something of a conservative icon for such songs as “This Ain’t No Rag, It’s a Flag.” At age 74, he still loves to entertain with his guitar, his fiddle and his drawling, plainspoken voice.

Little Big Town
Sunday, October 2, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
$58, $52
Four great voices have carried Little Big Town to the top of the country music charts. That’s where the band’s most recent album, The Reason Why, peaked after its release last year. Kimberly Schlapman, Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook take turns as lead vocalist. “Each person has their own individual style, so the face of the band changes with whoever’s singing,” says Westbrook. But it’s the intertwining four-part vocal harmonies, influenced by everything from traditional country to 1970s rock, that really set Little Big Town apart.

Patty Griffin
Saturday, October 8, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
$42, $36
Pre-Show Party at 6:00 p.m.
In 1980, Patty Griffin, then 16, bought herself a used $55 Hohner guitar and began writing music. Since then, she has released seven albums, won the Album of the Year and Artist of the Year awards at the 2007 Americana Music Awards, and picked up a Grammy Award earlier this year in the Best Traditional Gospel Album category for Downtown Church. She’s known as a roots-oriented singer-songwriter with an emotional, haunting stage presence, but her songs have been recorded by everyone from the Dixie Chicks and Miranda Lambert to Jessica Simpson and Kelly Clarkson.

Mary Chapin Carpenter
Thursday, October 20, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
$58, $52
Pre-Show Party at 6:00 p.m.
Mary Chapin Carpenter has won five Grammy Awards, including four in a row (1992-1995) for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. Such rousing songs as “Down at the Twist and Shout,” “Passionate Kisses” and “I Feel Lucky” made her a star, but country music is just a part of her repertoire. She also wanders into folk, rock and blues territory, and her songs have even ventured into social commentary on occasion. Despite the reflective and even regretful tone of her latest album, The Age of Miracles, Carpenter’s cheerful, friendly onstage personality inevitably charms audiences.

Point of Grace with Special Guest Jason Castro
Friday, October 28, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
$34, $28
One of the biggest acts in contemporary Christian music, Point of Grace has won 13 Dove Awards, including three this year. Shelley Breen, Denise Jones and Leigh Cappillino have also crossed over into the country field with their bold vocal harmonies and rousing, inspirational lyrics. Their music reflects their personal lives as wives and mothers. “The majority of our fans are women who are dealing with the same things we are,” says Cappillino. Jason Castro, who will open the show, finished fourth on TV’s American Idol in 2008. He showcased his bouncy acoustic folk-pop style last year on his debut album, Jason Castro.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
$28, $22
William Shakespeare’s great tragedy, full of destructive ambition, foul deeds, apparitions, witches and bloodshed, makes for stirring entertainment. Macbeth, aided and goaded by his wife, commits multiple murders in order to become king of Scotland, but sows the seeds of his own destruction. The play includes some of the most famous scenes in theater, including those featuring Lady Macbeth’s guilt-ridden sleepwalking and the fateful prophecies of the three witches.

The Miles Davis Experience: 1949-1959
A Collaboration with Blue Note Records
Wednesday, November 16, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
$28, $22
More than just a concert, this performance event seeks to re-create perhaps the most exciting period in the history of jazz. Those too young to have seen the relentlessly innovative trumpeter Miles Davis (who died in 1991) will have the opportunity to experience his music played the way it was first presented. The Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, led by a hot young California trumpeter who won the 2007 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition, stands in for Davis and his band. Photos and film clips of the era and a beat poet-style narrator provide context.

Blind Boys of Alabama with Sara and Sean Watkins
Sunday, November 20, 2011 / 6:00 p.m.
$42, $36
Pre-Show Party at 4:30 p.m.
The Blind Boys of Alabama have been performing joyous gospel music for more than 70 years, but this year they did something they’d never done before. They released a country-gospel album, Take the High Road. Jimmy Carter, who joined the group in 1944, five years after its founding at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talladega, has always been a country music buff. Still, it’s the old-school gospel harmonizing that has made the Blind Boys a national treasure. Effervescent young bluegrass fiddler and singer Sara Watkins and guitarist brother Sean of the group Nickel Creek will open the concert.

Miracle on 34th Street
Saturday, December 10, 2011 / 7:30 p.m.
$42, $36
The classic 1947 holiday movie about a department store Santa who just may be the real thing comes to the stage. Even the most humbug-wary Scrooge can’t resist its gentle triumph of faith over cynicism and Christmas over commerce. The whole family will want to share the experience, which includes some familiar holiday carols.

Family Show (not part of the Fall/Winter Series)
Junie B. Jones
Theatreworks USA Production
Friday, January 20, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Adults $18, Children (under 12) $10
Outspoken, precocious, lovable Junie B. Jones returns, two years after her last visit to the MSU Riley Center. The star of a series of children’s books by Barbara Park (and now a series of children’s musicals) continues to make her feisty way through the first years of school, managing to get herself into a fair amount of trouble along the way. Still, she usually recovers to have a “wowie wow wow!” time.

The Pointer Sisters
Saturday, January 28, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
$58, $52
Pre-Show Party at 6:00 p.m.
Ruth, Anita, Bonnie and June Pointer began singing gospel music as children at their parents’ church in West Oakland, California. They also became interested in rock, soul and blues, which their parents considered “the devil’s music.” In 1973, they released their first album as The Pointer Sisters. It yielded the hit “Yes We Can Can.” Other hits followed, in a variety of musical styles, including ”He’s So Shy,” “Automatic,” “Slow Hand,” “I’m So Excited” and “Fire.” The current touring edition of The Pointer Sisters consists of Anita, Ruth and Sadako Johnson, Ruth’s granddaughter, continuing in the funky family tradition.

Evidence, A Dance Company
Ronald K. Brown/Artistic Director
Friday, February 10, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
$40, $34
Ronald K. Brown and his dance company, Evidence, will perform a new piece, On Earth Together, which Brown choreographed to songs by Stevie Wonder. Brown’s energetic choreography unites with Wonder’s uplifting music for an evening of breathtaking inspiration. Brown calls it “a commitment to making the world a better place.” Since he was a second-grader in Brooklyn, Brown has created dance pieces, fusing European traditions with African-inspired styles. Everything from classical ballet to hip-hop to Caribbean folk dances becomes a tool for his creativity.

Garrison Keillor
Thursday, February 16, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
$64, $58
Pre-Show Party at 6:00 p.m.
The tall man in the red shoes and socks will bring an evening of homespun humor, eclectic music and Midwestern charm to the MSU Riley Center. Keillor has written more than a dozen books and numerous newspaper and magazine articles. But he is most famous as host of the public radio show A Prairie Home Companion, a mixture of storytelling, songs, comedy skits and advertisements for such improbable sponsors as Powdermilk Biscuits and the Ketchup Advisory Board. Nostalgia and good-natured humor permeate Keillor’s world, especially during his tales about his fictional hometown of Lake Wobegon, Minnesota.

The MSU Riley Center presents two main series each year, Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. Each spans a wide range of top-quality performing arts, in keeping with the center’s commitment “to entertain and enrich, further lifelong learning, and improve the quality of life for people of Mississippi and West Alabama.”

The performance venue constitutes an attraction all by itself. The MSU Riley Center presents its shows in a lushly restored 19th-century theater, blessed with flawless acoustics and enhanced by its setting in historic downtown Meridian.

The MSU Riley Center’s Web site,, lists the latest information about the Fall/Winter Series and also features online ticketing and links to audio and video clips.

Tickets and information are available by phone or in person at the MSU Riley Center box office Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and one hour before showtime on the day of a show. The telephone number is 601-696-2200, and the address is 2200 Fifth Street in downtown Meridian.

MSU Riley Center
2200 Fifth Street
Meridian, MS 39301
Box office hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

WTOK-TV 815 23rd Ave Meridian, Ms. 39301 Phone: (601) 693-1441
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