As the Nampa Civic Center continues to celebrate its 25th anniversary year, its sparkling new look includes fresh paint, new carpeting, enhanced garden area and reupholstered benches.
According to David Smith, a new event coordinator on the center’s staff, the good news for all music and theater lovers is that the popular Performing Arts Series will return, starting on Nov. 12 with “Pitch Slapped,” the premier coed a cappella group from Berklee College of Music in Boston.
The seven shows will also include “Rat Pack Fun” on Dec. 4, with music and humor, starring the talented Dave Halston as Frank Sinatra, Nicholas Brooks as Sammy and Bob Caudle as Dean. “Taikoza” on Jan. 22 will electrify with the thunderous rhythms of ancestral Japanese drums and magical sounds of bamboo flutes.
Feb. 5 will bring “iLlumidance,” a display of virtuosic dancing enhanced by fiber optic fabric, black light and other special effects using cutting-edge technology. Feb. 19 will feature “Letters Aloud,” with dramatic readings from personal letters of some of history’s famous (and infamous) celebrities, such as Oprah Winfrey, Marilyn Monroe and Bruce Springsteen. “Curious George,” the famous monkey of books, movies and TV, stars in a delightful children’s musical on March 24.
The final program, on April 17, will present the incredible 14-year-old Ethan Bortnick, famous as the “world’s youngest solo musician to headline his own concert tour,” raising money for charities around the globe. He offers selections from Beethoven, Mozart, jazz pianist Bill Evans, Elton John and many others.
Civic Center Director Stacey Mooney says she is excited about the series because it has something for people of all ages and for families.
Season ticket packages or single tickets may be purchased beginning Monday by calling 468-5555, going online at NampaCivicCenter.com or visiting the center office, 311 3rd St. S.
Enjoy a comic thriller in Caldwell
What better show for Halloween than the hilarious Mel Brooks creation of “Young Frankenstein.” The Music Theatre of Idaho staff member Trina Rhoades reports that this spooky and silly musical comedy introducing the grandson of the infamous Victor Frankenstein, will be presented in the College of Idaho’s Jewett Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 29 to 31, with a 1:30 p.m. matinee on Oct. 31. Rhoades also says that the show is rated PG-13.
The grandson, played by Christopher Purdy, inherits the family home in Transylvania, and with the help of Igor ( Mac Fishman) and lab assistant Inga ( Savannah Majors), the mad scientist brings to life another monster, portrayed by the irrepressible Jeffrey Gunstream. You may be sure laughs abound. Also in the cast are David York, Chelsi Gunstream and David Hutchins.
Artistic Director Jean Andrews will be holding auditions for next year’s season on Friday and Saturday at the Nampa Civic Center. The company needs about 200 singers, dancers and actors. Auditions are by appointment only. Call 468-2385 or go online at mtionline.org.
In 2016 MTI will be moving its performances to Nampa. The seven shows planned include “Fiddler on the Roof,” “The Little Mermaid” and “Mary Poppins.” The minimum age is 6, and there is no maximum age.
Craft and Chocolate Affaire opens Nov. 6 and 7
Admission is free to this annual event in the banquet rooms of the Nampa Civic Center, and delicious homemade chocolate treats will be the order of the day, plus more than 90 vender booths with an amazing assortment of fine crafted items, perfect for gift giving, according to Event Coordinator Julie Corder.
The doors open from 5 to 9 p.m. on Nov. 6 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 7. The chocolate goodies are being provided by the Civic Center Auxiliary, and the funds raised will be used for the center’s Arts Education Program.
Marie D. Galyean is a journalist and freelance writer who has lived in Canyon County for more than 40 years. Do you have any news about West Treasure Valley people, events and other subjects of interest? Email your ideas and stories to: firstname.lastname@example.org.