Smile Politely

Krannert Center announces 2016-17 season

Although townies do enjoy summer’s relaxation and the ability to drive safely on any east-west street of our choosing, it also provides a break where we can schedule vacations without fear of missing out on any internationally-renowned artists. Of course, right about the time that tumbleweeds begin to form, the students return, bringing with them an influx of cultural events and artistic endeavors. Ladies and gentlemen, get out your 18-month planners, or fire up your iCal, but it’s the first week in May, which means Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is giving us plenty of reasons to look forward to the fall semester.

As KCPA starts building momentum towards its 50th season, it reminds us of our favorite reasons to join them: from returning performers such as the Mark Morris Dance Group and Bang on a Can All-Stars, to resident producers like Illinois Theatre and the operatic experience of the Lyric Theatre @ Illnois. It also highlights the cultural opportunities available to us in our micro-urban oasis by bringing the Russian ballet, acrobats from China, the Venice orchestra, and performers of myriad styles of world music. Furthermore, it brings us world-class opportunities such as hearing Lang Lang perform live, and continues to push our boundaries with new series such as Sonic Illinois, presenting new music at its finest. The list below is far from complete, but should give you a good idea of what and when. As always, check the Krannert Center’s official (and new and improved) website for full details. Tickets go on sale August 13, so mark your calendar for that, as well.


September 9th

The Opening Night Party is a non-missable event — get the year started off right with great music and reconnecting with other Krannert supporters. This year’s lineup is ready to rock with The Pedrito Martinez Group, favorites Davina and the Vagabonds, and “the best party band in years” (NPR) — Red Baraat

September 13 — RUBBERBANDance Group, featuring the unique vision of Victor Quijada, fusing hip-hop and breakindancing with classical dance styles. 
September 15-16 — The Triplets of Belleville, a cine-concert with live music.
September 21 — Deke Weaver’s The Unreliable Bestiary: BEAR, through 10/2
September 22 — The Pygmalion Music Festival, through 9/25
September 23 — Joshua Redman/Brad Mehldau Duo
September 29 — Lang Lang, pianist. The most sought soloist in the world.
September 29 — Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea. Illinois Theatre, through 10/14
September 30 — Black Violin, a fusion of hip-hop, pop & classical music


October 15 — Art of Time Ensemble*: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band *feat. Steven Page, Craig Northey, Andy Maize, and Wesley Stace.

October 15 — Mr. Burns, a post-electric play, through 10/23. Yes, that Mr. Burns.

October 20 — Nathan & Julie Gunn with the Jupiter String Quartet

October 25 — Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China

October 27 — Lucky Plush Productions Trip the Light Fantastic: the Making of SuperStrip. A superheroic combination of dance, theatre and comedy co-commissioned by KCPA. (pictured right)

October 27 — The Minotaur, Illinois Theatre, through 11/6

October 29 — Aida Cuevas & Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles


November 1 — Ensemble Basiani, Georgian traditional singing (above)

November 3 — Ellnora Concert Series presents Pablo Villegas 

November 11 

  •  November Dance, Dance@Illinois, through 11/12
  • Susan Werner, club-style in the Studio Theatre, through 11/12
  • Poppea, Lyric Theatre@Illinois, through 11/13

November 16 — Havana Cuba All-Stars: Cuban Nights


December 1 — The Nutcracker, CUTC Ballet Company and CUSO, through Dec. 4

December 1 — Windless Winter, Sinfonia da Camera

December 8 — Holiday Glories, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra


January 17-19 — Russian National Ballet Theatre, three ballets over three nights

January 22 — Concert Artists Guild Winner, Daniel Hsu, Piano, Sunday Salon

January 27 — Mark Morris Dance Group and music ensemble, through 1/28

January 28 — British Bounty, Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra


February 2 — Failure: A love story, Illinois Theatre, through 2/12

February 4 — Venice Baroque Orchestra, Vivaldi’s Juditha triumphans

February 9 — Fulcrum Point New Music Project: The Black Composer Speaks with Kahil El’Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble.

February 10 — Red Sky: Mistatim

February 11 — The Five Irish Tenors

February 16  Rene Marie and Experiment in Truth: Sound of Red, through 2/18

February 23 — A Night of Italian Opera, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, through 2/26

February 28 — University of Illinois Sesquicentennial Kick-Off with Funkadesi


March 2 — Romeo and Juliet, Illinois Theatre, through 3/12

March 3 — Sonic Illinois: Bang on a Can All-Stars Anthracite Fields by Julia Wolfe

March 7 — CultureTalk: Barry Lopez and Deke Weaver

March 14 — Les 7 doigts de la main: Cuisine & Confessions, through 3/15

March 28 — En Garde Arts presents WILDERNESS

March 30 — Night Music, Donal Fox’s Inventions in Blue, presented salon-style with stage seating. 

March 30 — Iago’s Plot, a kabuki adaptation by Shozo Sato, through 4/9


April 4 — Theatergroep Kwatta: Love That Dog, through 4/5

April 20 — Studiodance II, through 4/22

April 22 — Scheherazade, Sinfonia da Camera

April 27 — Light in the Piazza, Lyric @ Illinois, through 4/30

April 30 — Compagnia TOP: Farfalle

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