The second season of performances at the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center has begun. The 2012-2013 season is filled with an exciting and diverse selection of programming, including the new Americana Series featuring county, bluegrass, folk, and gospel performers, as well as Broadway musicals, improvisational comedies, and award-winning poets.
The season kicks off with a performance by the Mallarme Chamber Players, a flexible ensemble of professionals based in Durham, N.C., whose mission is to enrich the lives of the community through outstanding chamber music. The performance will be held in the Black Box Theatre at 2 p.m. this Saturday, Sept. 29.
The Performing Arts Center’s October events get underway on Oct. 11 with the Koresh Dance Company’s performance at 7:30 p.m. Renowned for its powerful stage presence and high energy style, the Philadelphia Company has been hailed as a vital force to both national and international stages. Founded in 1991, this troupe presents its audiences with an exciting and emotional blend of ballet, modern dance and jazz molded into a style of choreography that is both eloquent and explosive. This performance, which is funded in part by a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the S.C. Arts Commission, offers something for everyone. Tickets for this event start at $28.
Performing in the Black Box Theater at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 13, is Allan Wolf. Wolf performs poetry from memory with a theatrical flair and in the tradition of Appalachian storytellers with just a simple table and chair onstage. He opens with a high-energy poem chosen especially for the audience at hand, followed by a montage of shorter pieces in a wide variety of styles and subjects. Tickets for this event are $18 for adults and $8 for students.
On Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m., Fiddler on the Roof, one of the great works of American Musical Theatre, takes the stage. This story of a father who must choose between his daughters’ happiness and the beloved Jewish religious traditions that keep the outside world at bay, includes such classics as “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” and “If I Were a Rich Man.” Tickets start at $48.
On Oct. 27, the Fairfield Four will appear. The group is the most distinguished proponent of traditional African American a cappella gospel singing today. Best known from their appearance in and on the soundtrack of the 2000 hit film, O Brother Where Art Thou, the group will take the stage of the PAC at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $28.
The Performing Arts Center’s October events conclude with An Evening with Frank Vignola on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. This performance from the extraordinary guitarist Frank Vignola, careens across the musical spectrum from jazz standards to opera, classic rock to contemporary pop, Latin to R&B, classical to swing, with even a smidgen of boy band choreography tossed in for a good chuckle. Vignola has worked with Madonna, Wynton Marsalis, Tommy Emmanuel, the Boston Pops, and guitar legend Les Paul. Tickets start at $23.
Tickets for all the shows may be purchased at www.fmupac.org, via telephone at (843) 661-4444, and at the FMU Performing Arts Center Box Office. Telephone and personal ticket sales are available Monday through Friday between 12-5 p.m. Subject to availability, tickets may be available for purchase at the door.
The PAC is located in downtown Florence at the intersection of Dargan and Evans Streets.