MIAC announces blockbuster 2019-20 season

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

miacThe Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center will host a spectacular lineup of world-class talent during the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture’s 2019-20 MIAC Live season. From Broadway to Hollywood, world music to country and folk, and comic ballet to observational humor, the Institute’s eclectic roster of offerings promises something for everyone.

“Our 2019-20 MIAC Live season demonstrates our ongoing commitment to strengthening the vibrancy of the Erie region by presenting world-class performing arts experiences at reasonable prices,” said MIAC director Brett D. Johnson, Ph.D.

The 2019-20 season commences in grand style on Thursday, Sept. 19, when Broadway superstar Kristin Chenoweth takes the stage of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center for an evening of popular standards from Broadway, Hollywood and beyond.

Chenoweth, an Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer known for her work on both stage and screen, will grace the stage with her commanding presence and signature soprano voice. As a Broadway star, she received a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical for her performance in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. She was also nominated for originating the role of Glinda in Wicked and for playing Lily Garland/Mildred Plotka in the Broadway revival of On the Twentieth Century. On television, Chenoweth earned an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Pushing Daisies and received a nomination for her guest-starring role on Glee.

On Friday, Oct. 18, a voice of a different sort will enthrall Erie audiences when author David Sedaris brings his sardonic wit and incisive social critiques to the Mercyhurst campus.

Beloved for his personal essays and short stories, Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever, Holidays on Ice, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Theft By Finding Diaries (1977-2002) and his newest book, Calypso. By slicing through cultural euphemisms and political correctness, Sedaris stakes his claim as one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today.

The season continues on Saturday, Nov. 2, with acclaimed singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, who will treat audiences to a solo concert of selections from his extensive and wide-ranging catalogue of folk, pop, rock and classical songs.

Praised by the New York Times for his “genuine originality,” Wainwright has established himself as one of the great male vocalists and songwriters of his generation. The New York-born, Montreal-raised singer-songwriter has released seven studio albums, three DVDs and three live albums, including the Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall, which captured his celebrated Judy Garland tribute performance at the London Palladium in 2007, and the album Release The Stars, which went Gold in Canada and the U.K.

The fall season concludes on Thursday, Nov. 14 with a concert by country superstar Rosanne Cash.

One of the country’s preeminent singer/songwriters, Cash has released 15 albums, winning her four GRAMMY Awards and 11 nominations as well as 21 top 40 hits, including 11 No. 1 singles. Her acclaimed 2014 album, The River & The Thread, which she co-wrote with husband/producer and arranger John Leventhal, was hailed by Newsweek as “the work of a lifetime.” Cash’s latest record, She Remembers Everything, is a poetic, lush and soulful collection of songs that reckon with a flawed and fragile world.

The spring season will kick off with a bang on Tuesday, Feb. 11, when audience favorite Yamato – The Drummers of Japan return to Mercyhurst after a seven-year absence.

The world-renowned ensemble will present their thrilling interpretation of the centuries-old Taiko tradition with a new production, Jhonetsu – Passion, which captures the performers’ virtuosity, strength, spirit and sheer endurance. Yamato has made over 3,500 performances in 54 countries, bringing their spectacular enthusiasm to over 8 million audience members.

Next up is the all-male comic ballet troupe Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, who will dazzle audiences on Tuesday, March 3.

The troupe was founded in 1974 by a group of ballet enthusiasts for the purpose of presenting a playful, entertaining view of traditional, classical ballet in parody form and en travesti (as women). The Trocks, as they are affectionately known, have reigned supreme as the world’s foremost all-male comic ballet troupe ever since. The Seattle Times raves that Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo “is a company that brings its audiences pure joy.”

On Wednesday, April 1, one of Broadway’s most accomplished leading men, Brian Stokes Mitchell, will captivate both longtime fans and newcomers alike with a concert of standards from the American songbook. 

Mitchell has enjoyed a career that spans Broadway, television, film and concert appearances with the country’s finest conductors and orchestras. He received Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards for his star turn in Kiss Me, Kate, and received additional nominations for his performances in Man of La Mancha, August Wilson’s King Hedley II and Ragtime. In 2016, he was awarded his second Tony Award, the prestigious Isabelle Stevenson Tony for his charitable work with The Actors Fund. 

The MIAC Live season concludes on Thursday, April 16, when Broadway and Hollywood legend Glenn Close sits down for an onstage interview about her illustrious career.

Close, whose indelible characters have graced the stage, screen and television for over four decades, received Tony Awards for her performances in The Real Thing, Death and the Maiden and Sunset Boulevard. She made her film debut in 1982’s The World According to Garp, receiving an Academy Award nomination for her performance. She went on to receive Oscar nominations for her performances in The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons. In addition, she has three Emmys, a SAG Award and two Golden Globes to her credit.

“As in past seasons, we expect many of the shows to sell out quickly,” said Johnson. “Patrons can gain early access by joining The 501 or becoming season subscribers, thereby securing the best seats at the best prices.”

The 2019-20 MIAC Live series is made possible through the generosity of Scott Enterprises, Dr. & Mrs. Robert Guelcher, Aetna and the Erie County Gaming Revenue Authority.


THE 501
Members enjoy exclusive benefits, such as premium seats at star-studded performances, access to exclusive pre-show receptions and an invitation to The Summer Soirée on Saturday, July 27, which will include a performance by award-winning illusionist Mike Super followed by a street festival featuring a variety of small-plate fare, an open bar and an unforgettable performance by Dan Dunn’s PaintJam. 

Memberships will be available starting May 1, and will be processed in the order in which they are received. For more information about The 501, visit mercyhurst.edu/501 or call 814-824-2663.

With the purchase of tickets to four or more MIAC Live performances, subscribers can save 15 percent on single ticket prices. Season subscriptions will be available starting July 8.

Single tickets go on sale Monday, Aug. 12, and can be purchased online, by phone at 814-824-3000 or at the box office in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. The box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.


Thursday, Sept. 19 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center

Friday, Oct. 18 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center

Saturday, Nov. 2 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center

Thursday, Nov. 14 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center

Tuesday, Feb. 11 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center

Tuesday, March 3 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center

Wednesday, April 1 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center

Thursday, April 16 @ 7:30 p.m.
Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center