The playbill is out on a new crop of concerts, plays, festivals and shows at Mesa Arts Center. The slick downtown oasis of art and culture announced its Fall 2009 season on Wednesday.
More than 20 shows or events are planned, including a repeat of the perennial favorite Mesa Storytelling Festival and more scientists and adventurers from the "National Geographic Live!" speaker series. Other highlights:
Country music singer and "Dancing with the Stars" alumnus Sara Evans (Dec. 9)
Comedian Paula Poundstone (Oct. 15)
Wynton Marsalis with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (Oct. 3)
"Ultimate Climbing Machine" Ed Viesturs, a mountaineer who has climbed the 14 highest mountains in the world without supplemental oxygen and ascended Mount Everest seven times (Oct. 28)
American Stars in Concert for the Holidays, a concert of solo, duet and ensemble performances by former American Idol top ten finalists (Dec. 12)
Dave Koz and Friends (Dec. 22)
"Church Basement Ladies," a musical comedy starring M*A*S*H actor William Christopher (Nov. 3-22)
The award-winning rock n' roll tap-dancing show "Tap Dogs" (Sept. 27)
With the announcement came news of a new approach to programming. Instead of planning an entire arts season (typically fall and spring, combined) months in advance, the center will hold off on booking its Spring 2010 lineup until later this year.
"Producing two equally packed seasons will allow us the opportunity to book fresh and unique entertainers throughout the year," said Randall Vogel, director of theaters and operations, in a statement.
In addition to giving MAC the flexibility to book the most current artists when they're available, the change will allow the venue to respond to ticket buyers' preferences, tailoring spring's lineup to mimic the most popular types of shows from the fall.
The Spring 2010 lineup will be announced this winter, but in the meantime a few highlights are already on the calendar:
Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman (Jan. 20, 2010)
Hal Holbrook in "Mark Twain Tonight" (Feb. 6, 2010)
All-male ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Feb. 11, 2010)
Japanese drumming and choreography spectacular TAO (Feb. 19, 2010)
Moscow State Radio Symphony (March 9, 2010)
Ballet Folklorico de Mexico de Amalia Hernandez (March 20, 2010)
The entire lineup for fall can be seen online at www.mesaartscenter.com. Tickets for fall shows and spring highlight shows go on sale 10 a.m. Saturday, July 11. They may be purchased in person at the box office, by telephone at (480) 644-6500 or online. Mesa Arts Center is at 1 E. Main St.