Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center

Entertainers for the 28th season at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center are (clockwise from top right) Suzanne O. Davis, Ciaran Sheehan, River City Brass Band, Golden Dragon Acrobats, John McEuen, Carter Calvert, Walt & Jackie, Bennie and the Jets, Jim Brickman, Jonathan Burns and Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock and Roll.

For its 28th season, Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center is bringing quality entertainment to the Laurel Highlands region.

The lineup includes professional, world-class entertainment from all genres, including Broadway music, country, comedy, acrobatics, rock ’n’ roll and holiday favorites that will be presented on the arts center stage on the Pitt-Johnstown campus.

Michael Bodolosky, executive director of the arts center, said when putting together a season, he looks for diversity and unique offerings that haven’t been presented in recent seasons.

“We absolutely have something for everyone this season,” he said. 

Bodolosky said this is a strong season and one of the better ones in the past few years.

“My goal is to set the bar high and then try to get over it,” he said. 

Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

The season will kick off Oct. 12 with Tapestry, The Carole King Songbook with Suzanne O. Davis.

The show re-creates the sound and energy of the 1970s King concert.

Audiences will be transported to the iconic image of King’s multi-million selling album of 1971.

Davis lends attention to detail in re-creating a flawless presentation of King’s piano and vocal style.

“ ‘Beautiful: The Carole King Musical’ is popular on Broadway,” Bodolosky said.

“It’s out on the road and a lot of people have seen it. I figured this would be a good choice to try and get a little bit of Carole King out there.”

Tickets are $42 for premium and $37 for regular.

The arts center will bring in the funny when Jonathan Burns presents his comedy at 3 p.m. Oct. 27.

The Johnstown native and contestant on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” was born with the gifts of flexibility, curiosity and goofiness, and now uses those talents to astonish audiences.

His act includes juggling, comedy, contortion and sideshow stunts.

“Jonathan is a Richland High School graduate,” Bodolosky said.

“He was crazy in school and he’s crazier now. He does some really good comedy. He wanted to come back to do something in his hometown.”

Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for children.

John McEuen & The String Wizard: Will the Circle Be Unbroken will be presented Nov. 13.

McEuen has been a professional performer since 1962 with a long and varied career – first as a solo artist, then as a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.

He showcases his guitar, banjo, fiddle and mandolin talents by performing popular Nitty Gritty Dirt Band songs and telling the stories behind them in a manner that earned him the Best in the West Award from the Folk Alliance Organization.

McEuen’s 1972 classic “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” album was inducted into the Library of Congress as “one of America’s most important recordings.”

“John is one of the best banjo/guitar players around,” Bodolosky said.

Tickets are $42 for premium and $37 for regular.

The holiday season will be ushered in when Walt Churchey & Jackie Kopco present Hometown Holidays at 3 p.m. Nov. 24.

Classic holiday and original songs will be presented.

“I’m sure they will be fantastic,” Bodolosky said. “They were here two years ago and it was great.”

Tickets are $20.

River City Brass will present its Christmas Brasstacular at 3 p.m. Dec. 15.

The River City Brass Band’s Christmas Brasstacular show has become a holiday tradition for many families.

The Pittsburgh brass ensemble brings the magic of Christmas to life in a program that features carols, holiday movie music, classic songs and collaborations with local choirs.

River City Brass has produced 15 commercial recordings.

“They enjoy performing here and we enjoy having them,” Bodolosky said.

Tickets are $28 for premium and $26 for regular.

The holiday selections continue with Jim Brickman, who will present A Christmas Celebration Dec. 17.

A best-selling piano artist, Brickman, along with his special guests, will dazzle the audience with holiday favorites and his own No. 1 hits, bringing vibrant vocals and melodic tunes in this festive celebration.

He has earned 21 No. 1 albums and 32 Top 20 radio singles in Billboard Magazine.

Brickman has garnered two Grammy nominations and received gospel music’s Dove Award, two SESAC Songwriter of the Year Awards and the Canadian Country Music Award.

“He’s a fantastic, world-class piano player and he’s one of the real deals,” Bodolosky said.

Tickets are $49 for premium and $45 for regular.

The new year will welcome Walkin’ After Midnight: A Tribute to Patsy Cline on Feb. 12.

Through a colorful mosaic of iconic songs and witty personal storytelling, Carter Calvert uses her own award-winning vocal and acting talents to create this musical tribute.

Calvert, a Broadway star and the title character in “Always ... Patsy Cline,” has gained rave reviews and accolades for her portrayal of this legendary recording artist.

“Carter was here with the Neil Berg show years ago and she’s an excellent singer,” Bodolosky said.

The theater will bring acrobatics to town when Golden Dragon Acrobats perform on March 5.

The Golden Dragon Acrobats hail from Cangzhou, Hebei province in China and have toured the United States continuously since 1978.

Its members are athletes, actors and artists who have studied and trained for their craft since early childhood.

Touring worldwide and performing feats on chairs stacked 10 stories high, The Golden Dragon Acrobats have received two New York Drama Desk Award nominations for their Broadway performances.

“We haven’t had something like this since 2009 or 2010, so I figured it was time to go bring it back,” Bodolosky said.

Tickets are $42 for premium and $37 for regular.

On March 19, From Galway to Broadway: Starring Ciaran Sheehan & Friends will be presented.

An intimate musical journey performed by Sheehan and his eclectic group of friends, From Galway to Broadway magically warms the heart and captures the soul of every audience member.

Sheehan is coming back to the PPAC stage since last performing there in 2016 while touring with the tenor group, Tres Voce.

“I’ve heard him do ‘Bring Him Home’ and it has to be one of the best renditions I’ve ever heard,” Bodolosky said. “He did that when he was here with Tres Voce and you could hear a pin drop, he was super.”

Tickets are $39 for premium and $35 for regular.

The house will be rocking when Neil Berg’s 50 Years of Rock and Roll is presented April 16.

With a cast consisting of stars from Broadway’s greatest rock musicals along with rock ’n’ roll recording artists, Berg will tell the story of rock ’n’ roll, mostly through the music  – with five singers and a five-piece band – but also with his own narrative that includes surprising tales.

“This is the history of rock ’n’ roll and I think this will be popular with people,” Bodolosky said.

Tickets are $42 for premium and $37 for regular.

The season will wrap up May 8 with Bennie and the Jets: The Premier Elton John Tribute.

Relive the hits, the costumes, the extravagance and the excitement of Elton John’s music through Greg Ransom’s production.

“Greg is crazy. He dresses like Elton, he sounds like Elton and he plays like Elton,” Bodolosky said.

Tickets are $42 for premium and $37 for regular.

Tickets for all shows can be purchased by calling 814-269-7200 or online at www.upjarts.org.

Kelly Urban is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. She can be reached at (814) 532-5073. Follow her on Twitter @KellyUrban25.

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