A variety of music, theatre, dance will heat up the season

By Megan Moser

The new year is brimming with cultural events in Manhattan, and there’s plenty of theater, music, art and dance to fill your agenda through the springtime.

The unofficial headliner of the season is violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman, who will take the McCain Auditorium stage at 4 p.m. April 21.

McCain’s schedule also includes three Broadway traveling productions, a performance of Swan Lake by the Russian National Ballet and scores of musical performances.

The Beach Museum of Art will be host to another famous artist: James McNeill Whistler. The 19th-century painter’s works will visit Manhattan in March for “An American in Venice: James Whistler and His Legacy.”

But it’s not all big names; there’s a lot to see from area artists and performers of all kinds. Manhattan Arts Center will have productions of “House of Blue Leaves” and “Cabaret,” and its Birdhouse acoustic series continues with three acts through the sprint. Meanwhile K-State students will offer a production of the opera “The Marriage of Figaro” as well as the annual SpringDance.Here’s a sampling of upcoming cultural events.


“An American in Venice: James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy”

Beginning April 2, Beach Museum of Art

In 1879 American artist James McNeill Whistler arrived in Italy with a commission from the Fine Arts Society of London to create twelve etchings of Venice. During the ensuing fourteen months, he produced a body of prints that are among the most important of his career.

“The Museum of Wonder: A Great Land Grant University Collects.”

Feb. 12 through Oct. 13, Beach Museum of Art.

The exhibit will celebrate K-State’s 150th anniversary. It will combine historical, artistic and scientific works in thought provoking ways meant to engage our people in creative thought and dialogue.

“Our People, our Land, Our Images” short film series

6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 21, Flint Hills Discovery Center

This is a film series consisting of three short films that directly ties to the traveling exhibit, “Our People, Our Land, Our Images: International Indigenous Photographers.” There will be short intermissions between each short film.

“Konza: Sculpture by John Douglas Powers”

Now through July, Beach Museum of Art

Powers’ kinetic sculpture, which evokes the Konza Prairie near Manhattan, is constructed from brass, aluminum and stainless steel.



“A Chorus Line”

7:30 p.m. Jan. 29, McCain Auditorium

The Broadway classic which has won nine Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize for drama, tells the story of 17 dancers as they put years of hard work and countless hours of training on the line in an audition for a Broadway musical.

“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo”

7:30 p.m. Feb. 7-9, Nichols Theatre

A play about a tiger that haunts the streets of Baghdad, seeking the meaning of life, presented by K-State Theatre.

“Shrek the Musical”

7:30 p.m. Feb. 12, McCain Auditorium

Based on the Oscar-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, “Shrek” brings the hilarious story of everyone’s favorite ogre to life on stage.

“Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett”

3 p.m. Feb. 17, McCain Auditorium

One of America’s most beloved comedic actresses will appear at K-State’s 150th anniversary celebration in an interactive program.

“The House of Blue Leaves”

Feb. 22 through March 3, Manhattan Arts Center

This multiple Tony-award-winning play follows zookeeper and struggling songwriter Artie Shaughnessey on the day the Pope is set to arrive in New York City in 1965.

“The Marriage of Figaro”

7:30 p.m., March 7-9, McCain Auditorium

The classic opera, presented by K-State Theatre.


Whimsical world where ordinary becomes extraordinary

7:30 p.m. March 12, McCain Auditorium

For 40 years the company has created a surreal and captivating universe of whimsy, wonder and ingenuity that delights both young and old.


April 26-28, May 2-5, Manhattan Arts Center

Set in 1931 Berlin as the Nazis are rising to power, this famous musical focuses on nightlife at the seedy Kit Kat Klub and revolves around the 19-year-old English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and her relationship with the young American writer Cliff Bradshaw.

“The Heiress”

7:30 p.m., May 2-4, Nichols Theatre

A shy and plain young girl, Catherine Sloper, falls desperately in love with a delightful young fortune hunter in this play presented by K-State Theatre.

“Rock of Ages”

7:30 p.m. May. 14, McCain Auditorium

The worldwide party musical features a mix of 28 ‘80s tunes, including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “We Built This City,” “The Final Countdown,” “Wanted Dead or Alive,” “Here I Go Again,” “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.”



Red State Blues Band

7:30 p.m. Jan. 25, Manhattan Arts Center

The Manhattan-based blues group, which has been together since 2005, will perform a variety of authentic blues styles with special guest Wayne Goins.

Sweet Honey In The Rock

7:30 p.m. Feb. 1, McCain Auditorium

The internationally renowned and Grammy-nominated a cappella ensemble provides stirring vocals inspire love, justice, hope and peace.

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