Expanding on an already stellar season, the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University has just announced the addition of four new shows — An Evening with Olivia Newton-John, America’s Got Talent Live: All-Stars Tour, Under The Streetlamp and Sara Evans.
First up on Feb. 23 is pop and country music star Olivia Newton-John, an artist best known for her co-starring role with John Travolta in the 1978 movie “Grease.” The film led to the production of the one of the best selling movie soundtracks in history, featuring the duets “You’re The One That I Want” and “Summer Nights” with Travolta, as well as her hit “Hopelessly Devoted To You.”
Newton-John’s career began in the early 1970s when her U.S. debut album “Let Me Be There” produced her first top 10 single and garnered her a Grammy Award as Best Country Vocalist. After this promising beginning, she spent the last three decades earning three more Grammy’s, numerous Country Music Awards, American Music Awards and People’s Choice Awards, five No. 1 hits, and 15 top 10 singles.
This will be Olivia Newton-John’s second appearance at the Luhrs Center, where she last appeared in 2006 for a sold out crowd. Tickets to this performance are $59, $55, $49 and $39, depending on seating.
On Feb. 28 the America’s Got Talent Live: All-Stars Tour will go on stage with emcee Jerry Springer, a former “AGT” host and the mastermind of the pop-culture TV program, “The Jerry Springer Show.” The All-Stars Tour features a spectacular lineup of the most popular performers from season seven of “America’s Got Talent” along with top stars from recent seasons.
Season seven acts include: Olate Dogs, the lovable pet pooches who were the one million dollar winner; Eric Dittelman, the mentalist who was able to read the minds of the show’s judges; and Spencer Horsman, the escape artist and illusionist who stunned the audience with his death defying stunts. Last season’s stars include Eugene Landau Murphy, the Sinatra sound-alike with stylish dreadlocks; and everyone’s sweetheart 12-year-old singing sensation Anna Graceman. Tickets are $55, $45 and $25. A special $85 VIP ticket is also offered, which includes a post-show meet and greet with the performers.
On May 3, America’s hottest new vocal group, Under The Streetlamp, will take audiences back in time as they perform Doo-Wop derived hits, along with old-time rock ‘n’ roll and Motown-era soul classics. Songs such as “Blue Moon,” “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “Twist and Shout” showcase the vocal prowess of the group’s four members Michael Cunio, Shonn Wiley, Michael Ingersoll and Christopher Kale Jones. The group met when they were all cast members of “The Jersey Boys,” a Tony Award-winning musical about rock ‘n’ roll rock icons Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. On nights off, they would perform as a quartet, and what began as a side-gig really took off once the show closed.
Under The Streetlamp, along with their seven-piece band, bring the repertoire of The American Radio Songbook of the ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s to a whole new audience while at the same time reminding all those early rock ‘n’ roll fans why they fell in love with the music in the first place. Tickets to this performance are $38, $35, $29 and $25.
On May 18, Sara Evans, a country singer and songwriter who is considered to be one of the most compelling female vocalists of her generation, will perform. She’ll be singing songs from her recent studio recording “Stronger,” released after a six-year hiatus. The CD is jam packed with the kind of gutsy explorations on life and love that fans have come to expect from this multi-award winning singer, author and former “Dancing with the Stars” contestant. After a high profile divorce, a new marriage and the adjustment to a blended family of seven children, the recent CD represents a new phase in Evans’ life.
“In so many ways, I feel like I’m just beginning,” her website quotes her as saying. “I feel like I’m just starting my life, my career, and there’s nothing that I can’t do.”
Evans has been performing for most of her life; as a child in her family’s band and later when she went to Nashville to be a country music artist. She remains a perennial favorite on country radio thanks to such hits as “Born to Fly,” “Suds in the Bucket,” “I Keep Looking” and “Perfect.” Tickets are $65, $59, $55 and $49.
Visit the Luhrs Performing Arts Center’s website at luhrscenter.com for more information about these events and to view the full season’s schedule. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling 717-477-SHOW (7469).
Jess Hayden is the Executive Director of the Susquehanna Folk Music Society and a clarinetist with the West Shore Symphony Orchestra. She enjoys writing about all styles of music. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.