Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall announced its 2016-17 season for Broadway, dance and classical performances back in the spring. Now it’s time to take a peek at what the hall is presenting for some of its pop, comedy and contemporary offerings.
Perhaps the biggest “gasp” of the recently announced shows is the pairing of comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short in “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life.” Presented as part of the 2017 Van Wezel Foundation Gala, the show mixes comedy, singing, and banjo playing (with the Steep Canyon Rangers joining the duo), on Feb. 10.
There’s more comedy on tap later in the season with writer David Sedaris, making his Van Wezel debut April 19. Comic Jay Leno returns to the hall Jan. 13, and actress-comedienne Lily Tomlin turns up Feb. 8.
Broadway performer Matthew Morrison, another newcomer to the hall, teams with pianist-host Seth Rudetsky for an evening featuring songs, interviews and behind-the-scenes stories with the star of Glee and Finding Neverland, Jan. 12. Fellow Broadway star (Cabaret) Alan Cumming likewise marks his first appearance at the Van Wezel, where he “Sings Sappy Songs,” March 5. Broadway standout Kristin Chenoweth, a sellout at the hall last year, returns this season with a new show mingling songs and audience interaction, March 12.
Some familiar favorites return this season as well, from The Beach Boys to Gladys Knight to Kenny Rogers to Jackie Evancho. And the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band—playing together for more than 50 years now—makes its Van Wezel bow on March 27. (By the way, two of the members make their homes right here in the area.)
There’s plenty more on the schedule; for a complete look go to vanwezel.org. Tickets can be purchased at the box office, online or by calling (941) 953-3368, starting Sept. 10.