2017-2018 Fall-Winter Series announced for MSU Riley Center

MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) -- Many popular and talented acts will be coming to the MSU Riley Center this fall and winter.

Photo Source: WTOK-TV

The season lineup for the next season was announced Thursday. Some of the headlining acts include Willie Nelson and Family performing on October 10th, and Gladys Knight, who will come to Meridian on January 16th. The Riley Center is debuting a new series subscription option for families along with a new box office ticketing system where subscribers can have more flexibility with their tickets.

"We're hoping that people come downtown and enjoy the Riley Center. It's a wonderful place. It's the best place in Mississippi to see a performing arts event. We hope people come down and enjoy the wonderful season," said Dennis Sankovich, the executive director of the MSU Riley Center.

Individual tickets will go on sale September 6th. Below is the list of the acts performing this season.

Dallas Children’s Theater How I Became a Pirate
Saturday, September 23, 2017
2 p.m. | $20, $12
Family Show

When a real, live pirate ship interrupts a day at the beach, young Jeremy Jacob joins Captain Braid Beard’s scurvy but not so fearsome band of musical buccaneers. Pirates ignore table manners and never have to brush their teeth. But they don’t get bedtime stories or a goodnight kiss either. As Jeremy helps the pirates find a spot to bury their treasure, he learns about the real treasures of home and family. Such rollicking songs as “Green Teeth,” “I’m Really Just a Sensitive Guy,” and “Talk Like a Pirate” will have young mateys (and their parents) yo-ho-hoing with delight.
For fans of: the Melinda Long-David Shannon pirate books,Pirates of the Caribbean movies, children’s adventure stories

Garrison Keillor
Thursday, September 28, 2017
7:30 p.m. | $63, $57

Tall and bespectacled, Garrison Keillor stands alone on stage, simply talking. To keep an audience rapt, he needs no co-stars, no costumes, no props, just his voice. That soft-around-the-edges baritone caresses each word as he tells his deceptively simple tales. His stage shows resemble the “News from Lake Wobegon” monologues from his beloved public-radio show, A Prairie Home Companion, from which he retired last year. Keillor’s stories unfold at a relaxed pace, mixing small-town vignettes, sharply observed commentaries about contemporary life, and even a little singing now and then. Like the children of Lake Wobegon, it’s all very much above average.
For fans of: A Prairie Home Companion, public radio, Jean Shepherd

Willie Nelson and Family
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
7:30 p.m. | $88, $82

Willie Nelson is coming to the MSU Riley Center this October. With a six-decade career and 200-plus albums, this iconic Texan is the creative genius behind the historic recordings of Crazy, Red Headed Stranger, and Stardust. Nelson has earned every conceivable award as a musician and has amassed reputable credentials as an author, actor, and activist. In April 2017, Nelson released God’s Problem Child, his latest studio album, with 13 new songs. Nelson continues to record more new songs for upcoming projects as well as tour throughout North America all year long.
For fans of: Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Jones

Brothers Osborne
Friday, October 20, 2017
7:30 p.m. | $39, $33

Brothers Osborne concerts are like the all-night family jam sessions where TJ and John Osborne learned to play and sing as kids. Anything goes in terms of musical influences, and everybody has a great time. TJ’s country-flavored baritone lead vocals reflect the Osbornes’ upbringing in small-town Maryland. The lyrics to every song, from party anthems like “Let’s Go There” and “Rum” to the more poignant “21 Summer” and “Stay a Little Longer,” are grounded in that blue-collar reality. Meanwhile, John’s powerful lead guitar work and the band’s propulsive rhythms keep the sound big and bold. It doesn’t get any better than this: fun music that touches the heart.
For fans of: Chris Stapleton, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church

Amos Lee
Tuesday, November 14, 2017
7:30 p.m. | $68, $62

The MSU Riley Center provides the perfect intimate setting for the deeply personal music of singer-songwriter Amos Lee. His latest album, Spirit, emphasizes the soulful side of his folk-soul sound, showcasing what a New York Times critic called his “honeyed singing voice – light amber, mildly sweet, a touch of grain.” Lee’s lyrics deal with complex emotions, addressed with a restraint that only intensifies their impact. “All you can ask for as an artist is the chance to create what you hear and feel inside of yourself,” he said. With Spirit, he added, “I was able to get into the heart of every single moment of this record.”
For fans of: John Prine, Norah Jones, Ben Harper

Friday, November 17, 2017
7 p.m. | $20, $12
Family Show

Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE guides you on a breathtaking tour that begins in prehistoric Australia. You’ll interact with amazingly lifelike dinosaurs in a theatrical performance that will thrill kids while stimulating their imaginations. Brought to life by skilled puppeteers and designed with the help of paleontologists, Erth’s DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE’s puppets are so realistic you may feel the urge to run and hide – but don’t! Because you won’t want to miss a minute of this fun, educational show, created by Erth Visual & Physical of Sydney, Australia. It may have been 65 million years in the making, but it’s worth the wait.
For fans of: dinosaurs, zoos, the Dinosaur Train TV series

The Summit: The Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6
Thursday, December 7, 2017
7:30 p.m. | $65, $59

Christmas Show
Two of history’s greatest vocal groups have joined forces for a unique and thrilling musical collaboration. The jazzy Manhattan Transfer quartet celebrates its 45th anniversary this year. The gospel-infused Take 6 sextet came together 37 years ago at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama. Both groups get to perform separately, showing off the harmonic interplay that has won them eight Grammy Awards apiece. They also sing nearly a dozen songs together in a dazzling display of the pinnacle of vocal arts. The genuine respect and love the singers have for one another shines through, making each concert a joyous event for performers and audience alike.
For fans of: Pentatonix, Al Jarreau, The Four Freshmen

Gladys Knight
Tuesday, January 16, 2018
7:30 p.m. | $80, $74

Gladys Knight, the Empress of Soul and winner of seven Grammy Awards, possesses one of the richest voices in pop music. In the late 1960s and 1970s, she created a string of memorable hits, including “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye),” “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me,” and “Midnight Train to Georgia.” Rolling Stone magazine listed her among the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and she’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She loves to perform, beaming her trademark smile as she connects with audiences on an intimately emotional level.
For fans of: Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross, Patti LaBelle

Sense & Sensibility
Friday, February 9, 2018
7:30 p.m. | $39, $33

Aquila Theatre brings its inventive touch to a groundbreaking romantic comedy, Jane Austen’s Sense & Sensibility. After their father’s death leaves them in reduced circumstances, the Dashwood sisters, levelheaded Elinor and passionate Marianne, repeatedly taste love only to have their hearts broken. Can they possibly find their way to a happy ending? Desiree Sanchez, Aquila’s artistic director, directs this adaptation of the beloved 1811 novel. Her innovative use of space, movement, design, and sound keep the story’s ups and downs fresh and fun for contemporary audiences. Aquila, based in New York but rooted in England, is the perfect company to update this beloved classic.
For fans of: Jane Austen, British literature, romance

Urban Bush Women
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
7:30 p.m. | $39, $33

Urban Bush Women dance like nobody else, with high energy, athleticism, and an artistic vision that flows from the African American experience. Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar founded the Brooklyn, New York-based troupe in 1984. “I wanted a company that brought forth the vulnerability, sassiness, and bodaciousness of the women I experienced growing up in Kansas City,” she said. Urban Bush Women works with musicians, writers, poets, and other artists to create works dealing with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of African Americans. Expect a feast for the eyes, sometimes emotionally wrenching but always uplifting, imbued with what the company calls “the bittersweet joy of survival.”
For fans of: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Judith Jamison, Dance Theatre of Harlem

DANÚ A St. Patrick's Day Celebration
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
7:30 p.m. | $35, $29

One of today’s leading traditional Irish ensembles will celebrate the week of St. Patrick’s Day at the MSU Riley Center. Four Irishmen formed Danú in 1995. The band has been winning awards ever since for its sometimes lively, sometimes haunting explorations of Irish music. It has released eight albums and a live-performance DVD, all featuring virtuoso players on flute, tin whistle, fiddle, button accordion, and other traditional instruments. In 2016, the band added the young Irish singer Nell Ní Chróinín, winner of several traditional Irish singing competitions. Anyone who is Irish will love this show. And around St. Paddy’s Day, everyone is Irish.
For fans of: The Dubliners, The Chieftains, Dropkick Murphys

Three Little Pigs
Friday, April 27, 2018
7 p.m. | $20, $12
Family Show

What if the Big Bad Wolf wasn’t actually bad, just a well-meaning klutz? That’s the intriguing premise of this hilarious musical, which retells the story of the Three Little Pigs: Rose, Frank, and Ham. The Wolf doesn’t mean to scare the pigs or wreck their houses. He just wants to invite them to his birthday party. Finally, he confides in Mother Pig, and she teaches him how to be gentle and careful. Paul Deiss updated the classic fairy tale, writing the book, music, and lyrics. Virginia Rep on Tour brings it energetically to the stage.
For fans of: fairy tales, musicals, family entertainment