The McCarter Theatre, located in Princeton, is pleased to announce its 2018-2019 Signature Series. Highlights include Grammy-winner and Princeton native Mary Chapin Carpenter, beloved Irish band The Chieftains, and kids’ crooner Laurie Berkner.
Look below for the complete lineup and ticket information.
THE IMPROVISED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY – My Kingdom for a Line!
Saturday, October 20, 2018 at 8 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre
This dynamic group of five Chicagoans will improvise a Shakespearean masterpiece based on an audience-suggested title. These costumed improvisers weave a play in the complex, often rhyming language and themes of Shakespeare’s time, complete with spontaneous songs.
MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER –
Sometimes Just the Sky
The winner of five Grammys, Princeton native Mary Chapin Carpenter’s 30 year career includes a repertoire mixing country, pop, rock, and soul. Her McCarter performance, a celebration of her upcoming 14th album, Sometimes Just the Sky, revisits her most well-loved songs, many of which have become an indelible part of the American songbook.
BÉLA FLECK, ZAKIR HUSSAIN, and EDGAR MEYER
Monday, November 12, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
Béla Fleck (banjo), Zakir Hussain (tabla), and Edgar Meyer (bass fiddle) are three genre-benders moving with ease among the worlds of classical, bluegrass and world music. To all three, music is intuitive, and their concerts are an exercise in wordless communication.
THE NEW CHINESE ACROBATS featuring CIRQUE ÉLOIZE
Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
Created in association with the world-famous Cirque Éloize, The New Chinese Acrobats represent the next step in the evolution of acrobatic companies from the East. Mixing new techniques and acts with ancient traditions, their performance represents China’s ancient folk art mixed with a modern kaleidoscope of movement that defies laws of body mechanics and physics. Accompanied by live music, this troupe of gymnasts, jugglers, acrobats, and tumblers leave family audiences spellbound with their daring demonstrations of strength, agility, balance, grace, and unique artistry.
CÉCILE McLORIN SALVANT – New Big Band Project
Sunday, November 18, 2018 at 4 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
Fresh from winning her second Best Jazz Vocal Grammy this year for Dreams and Daggers, Cécile McLorin Salvant returns to McCarter with her latest project, focused on a suite of her own songs as yet untitled and as orchestrated for a band of eclectic instruments by Darcy James Argue of Princeton’s Jazz Studies Program. Salvant sees her role as that of a griot, with her songs focusing on identity and the evolution of women in nature—”the landscapes in her mind and the landscapes surrounding her.”
THE HOT SARDINES
Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15, 2018 at 8 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre
The Hot Sardines are back for two nights of “hot” songs this holiday season. The “Sardine sound” remains a blustery brass lineup, layered with a rhythm section led by a stride-piano and tied together by a front-woman with a voice from another era, tap dancing, and more.
THE KING’S SINGERS – Celebrate the Holidays
Wednesday, December 19, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium
The King’s Singers bring a 50th anniversary program that is especially designed for the holiday season. And while their personnel may have changed over the years, this sextet of Englishmen remains one of the most popular a cappella vocal ensemble in the world, with a repertoire ranging from Renaissance motets to The Beatles to Zulu lullabies and beyond.
WE SHALL OVERCOME – A Celebration of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Featuring Damien Sneed & Band
Friday, January 18, 2019 at 8 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
We Shall Overcome features repertoire from across the African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders, interwoven with spoken word from Dr. King’s speeches. Led by the talented Damien Sneed, the musical lineage ranges from traditional gospel to jazz, Broadway, and spirituals.
THE MIDTOWN MEN – Four stars from the Original Broadway Cast of Jersey Boys
Friday, February 1 at 8 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
After sharing the stage for over a thousand performances on Broadway in Jersey Boys, Tony Awardâ winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and Tonyânominee J. Robert Spencer bring their signature sound, breathing life into their favorite 1960s hits. Music from The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Motown and more are all sung in a style all their own.
THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 8 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
Absent from McCarter stages for a decade, New York’s Gilbert & Sullivan Players, return with one of the duo’s all-time favorites, The Pirates of Penzance—a wild romp about sisters, cousins, and aunts, and the model of a modern major general.
THE STATE BALLET THEATRE OF RUSSIA – Swan Lake
Sunday, February 10, 2019 at 3 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
The State Ballet Theatre of Russia has been a regular visitor to McCarter for the past decade. Fresh from this past season’s sold out performance of Sleeping Beauty, the company will delight audiences with Swan Lake, set to the familiar Tchaikovsky score.
DIANNE REEVES – Be My Valentine
Wednesday, February 13, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
With five Grammy awards (most recently for Beautiful Life) and recognition as a 2018 NEA “Jazz Master,” Diane Reeves’ voice is magical and timeless, but it’s the sheer force of her performance that sets her apart. She returns to McCarter with a Valentine’s Day program.
PADDY MOLONEY and THE CHIEFTAINS
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
The Chieftains are the embodiment of Irish music and dance. Led by Paddy Moloney, the master of the pipes and tin whistle, their nucleus includes Sean Keane (fiddle), Matt Molloy (flute), and Kevin Conneff (bodhran drum). A Chieftains show always incorporates a host of other performers and guest artists to keep you guessing.
THE LAURIE BERKNER BAND
Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 3 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
“Queen of Kindie Rock” and Princeton native Laurie Berkner has been a long time fixture of children’s television (Noggin, Jack‘s Big Music Show and Sing It, Laurie!) and her original songs, music videos, books, and three original off-Broadway musicals have made her ubiquitous in American households.
Friday, March 15, 2019 at 8 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre
This Charleston-based jazz quartet performs the timeless music of Gullah culture, born in the southeastern Sea Island region of South Carolina. From playful game songs to ecstatic shouts, from heartbreaking spirituals to delicate lullabies, these four Gullah descendants have joined together to celebrate a heartland of music born in their own backyards.
A WORLD OF STRINGS
WU MAN, pipa; BALLAKE SISSOKO, kora; DRISS EL MALOUMI, oud; RAJERY, valiha
Saturday, March 16, 2019 at 8 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre
Japan’s Wu Man, master of the pipa, is joined by three representatives from Madagascar, Mali, and Morocco, all playing plucked string instruments rooted in their own national traditions. The group form a collective whose music ranges from Malagasy to Mandinka and Berber melodies.
OMAR SOSA & SECKOU KEITA – Transparent Water
Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 3 p.m. in the Berlind Theatre
The renowned world-jazz composer, pianist and 7-time Grammy nominee Omar Sosa joins forces with the Senegalese kora master and vocalist Seckou Keita. Sosa’s exploration of Afro-Cuban music evokes Yoruban meditation on life cycles and existence—his piano is not merely a musical instrument but a conduit to spiritual awareness. The Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalles will join Sosa and Keita to form a world music trio which reaches for the sublime.
BOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD – A Live Journey Through Hindi Cinema
Friday, April 5, 2019 at 8 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
Through live music, dance and multimedia visuals, Bollywood Boulevard brings to life 100 years of Bollywood cinema classics, connecting the memories and nostalgia of lifelong fans while providing a deeper glimpse into the world of Hindi cinema for new audiences. Through hallmark songs and dance, the show captures the artistry, spirit, grandeur and impact of this cultural phenomenon beyond what is found in pop culture.
MOMIX – Opus Cactus
Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 8 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
Moses Pendleton’s inventiveness conjured up a world of surrealistic images using props, lights, shadow, humor and the human body in ever-startling ways with Momix. Opus Cactus has a southwestern theme, incorporating columnar saguaros, a four-man Gila monster, blossoming prickly pears, and a giant gyroscope. With its wit, beauty, and sheer physical daring, Opus Cactus finds Pendleton’s ingenuity, theatricality, and cunning imagination at full strength.
An Evening with DAVID SEDARIS
Monday, April 8, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
David Sedaris’ annual visit to McCarter has become a cherished spring tradition. His fans have made him America’s pre-eminent humor writer, and can read his essays inThe New Yorker, listen to him on PRI’s This American Life, or read any of his numerous best-sellers. This master of satire and shrewd observer of the human condition is set to release his newest title, Calypso, in June 2018.
THE SPRING QUARTET
JACK DeJOHNETTE, drums
JOE LOVANO, saxophone
ESPERANZA SPALDING, bass
LEONARDO GENOVESE, piano
Wednesday, April 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
Jack DeJohnette is a Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master, with 50 years as drummer, bandleader and sideman, Joe Lovano’s umpteen albums on Blue Note is a record unparalleled, while Esperanza Spalding has expanded both her art and herself as a renowned genre-bending composer, bassist and vocalist. And the Argentinian pianistLeonardo Genovese is an instrumentalist and composer known for exploring the lesser-known corners of the musical landscape. The result of this collaboration is an expansive, freewheeling rampage, with ideas flying out like sparks from a roaring fire!
TRINITY IRISH DANCE COMPANY
Friday, April 26 at 8 p.m. in the Matthews Theatre
By using Irish dance as both instrument and metaphor, Chicago’s Trinity Irish Dance Company crosses both cultural and disciplinary boundaries, providing a unique forum for creativity that today attracts dancers from schools around the world. With its hard-driving, percussive power, lightning-fast agility, and aerial grace, Trinity represents the legacy rooted in tradition yet forward looking and ever-evolving.
Ticket and Subscription Information
Subscription packages for the 2018-2019 Theatre, Dance, Music, and Signature Series are available now by calling McCarter Theatre Center at (609) 258-5050, visiting www.mccarter.org, or visiting the McCarter Theatre Ticket Office, located at 91 University Place in Princeton.