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2015-2016 Opening Nights Performing Arts Series

Published August 28, 2015


Opening Nights is a performing arts series that showcases various talents in theatre, music, creative writing, visual arts, and film. The goal is to engage the university and Tallahassee community in creative experiences and demonstrate Florida State’s dedication to the arts. Opening Nights was originally known as the “Fine Arts Festival” as early as 1968, but was later changed to “Seven Days of Opening Nights” in 1999. Last year, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts identified Opening Nights and Leon County Schools as Partners in Education.

Learn More About Opening Nights
View CFA Facilities & Performance Spaces

Ticket Sales Information

Associate Members: Tuesday, Sept. 1, @11am
Debut Members: Tuesday, Sept. 8, @11am
General Public: Tuesday, Sept., 15 @11am
Student RUSH Tickets: One hour before events! RUSH tickets are $10. Limited 2 RUSH tickets per student ID.  

Buy Tickets 


Thursday, Sept. 17
ian-samuels-insetShorts by Filmmaker Ian Samuels South Arts Southern Circuit Film Festival

Ian Samuels’ hybrid work, like these fantastic short films, has been screened internationally at festivals and venues including Sundance, SXSW, Telluride, and Slamdance. Samuels has worked for the Jim Henson Company and Sesame Street. He received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts and his BFA from Bard College. He is a 2014 Film Independent Project Involve Fellow.

Challenger Learning Center @ 7:30pm, $50 or $10

Tuesday, Sept. 22
Poetry Night with Adrian Matejka: A Collaboration with the Black Student Union and the Florida State University Creative Writing Program matejka-inset

Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. His first collection of poems, The Devil’s Garden, won the 2002 New York / New England Award from Alice James Books. His second collection, Mixology, was a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series and was published by Penguin Books in 2009. Mixology was a finalist for a NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature – Poetry. His most recent book, The Big Smoke, was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The Big Smoke was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, the 2014 Hurston/ Wright Legacy Award, and the 2014 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He is a winner of the Julia Peterkin Award and recipient of two Illinois Arts Council Literary Awards and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, The Best American Poetry 2010, Gulf Coast, Ploughshares, Poetry, and Prairie Schooner among other journals and anthologies. He teaches in the MFA program at Indiana University in Bloomington and is currently working on a new collection of poems and a graphic novel.

FSU Alumni Center Ballroom @ 8:00pm, Free

Wednesday, Sept. 30
Urban Bush Women World Premiere of Walking With ‘Trane Co-commissioned by Opening Nights Performing Arts urban-bush-women-02-inset

Since Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, the company has made an indelible mark on the field with bold, innovative, demanding and exciting works that challenge long-held assumptions about women, people of color, body types, styles of movement, society, history and appropriate content for the stage. The company weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of African-Americans and the African Diaspora, exploring the transformation of struggle and suffering into the bittersweet joy of survival. Founded by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, a Florida State University graduate and professor, UBW has toured throughout the United States, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. The company includes among its honors a 1992 New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”), the 1994 Capezio Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, and 1998 and 2004 Doris Duke Awards for New Work from the American Dance Festival.

Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre @ 8:00pm, $50 or $15


Thursday, Oct. 1 Urban Bush Women World Premiere of Walking With ‘Trane Co-comissioned by Opening Nights Performing Arts urban-bush-women-02-inset

Since Urban Bush Women (UBW) burst onto the dance scene in 1984, the company has made an indelible mark on the field with bold, innovative, demanding and exciting works that challenge long-held assumptions about women, people of color, body types, styles of movement, society, history and appropriate content for the stage. The company weaves contemporary dance, music, and text with the history, culture, and spiritual traditions of African-Americans and the African Diaspora, exploring the transformation of struggle and suffering into the bittersweet joy of survival. Founded by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, a Florida State University graduate and professor, UBW has toured throughout the United States, Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America. The company includes among its honors a 1992 New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”), the 1994 Capezio Award for Outstanding Achievement in Dance, and 1998 and 2004 Doris Duke Awards for New Work from the American Dance Festival.

Nancy Smith Fichter Dance Theatre @ 8:00pm, $55 or $15


Tuesday, Oct. 13 The Barefoot Movement


Heartfelt, energetic, and down home. Heralded by CMT Edge as “one of the most promising bands on the bluegrass scene,” the music of the Nashville-based group The Barefoot Movement is as down to earth as their intention for members of their audience: sit back, relax, take your shoes off, and stay a while. All the worries and frustrations of the world melt away as the charming four-piece acoustic band takes listeners back to a simpler place and time. Whether you’re seeking emotional ballads or rip-roaring barn-burners, you can expect a collection of music that offers something for everyone. With two full length albums, several cross-country tours, and appearances at some of the top bluegrass festivals in the United States already under their belt, the possibilities are endless.

Goodwood Museum and Gardens @ 7:30pm, Sold Out


Thursday, Oct. 15 Movement and Location South Arts Southern Circuit Film Festival movement-location-inset

Movement and Location follows Kim Getty, an immigrant from 400 years in the future sent back to modern-day Brooklyn to live out an easier life. She’s built a nearly satisfying new identity in this time: she has a full time job, shares an apartment with a roommate, and is falling in love. But when she finds two other people from the future, a 15 year-old girl and Kim’s own long-lost husband, Kim must fight to keep the life she once had from destroying the life she built here.

Challenger Learning Center @ 7:30pm, $10


Saturday, Oct. 24 Edgar Meyer & Christian McBride mcbride-meyer-inset

Bassist extraordinaire Christian McBride is one of the most omnipresent figures in the jazz world. He’s appeared in numerous musical settings throughout his career and has played with the likes of Milt Jackson, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Sting, and James Brown. Among his long list of honors, McBride is the 2014 Jazz Journalists Association’s Marian McPartland-Willis Conover Award winner for Broadcasting due to his work as the founding host of Jazz Night In America. In demand as both a performer and a composer, Edgar Meyer has formed an unparalleled role in the music realm. Meyer’s technique and musicianship, plus his gift for composition, have won him appreciation by a vast audience, and his collaborations include works with artists like Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, Béla Fleck, and Zakir Hussain. Meyer is a MacArthur Fellow and won the Avery Fisher Prize in 2000.

Opperman Music Hall @ 7:30pm, $60


Tuesday, Oct. 27 Anaïs Mitchell anais-mitchell-inset

Anaïs Mitchell is first and foremost a storyteller. As a Vermont-based singer- songwriter, Mitchell recorded for Ani Difranco’s Righteous Babe Records for several years before starting her own Wilderland label in 2012. Among her recorded works are five full-length albums, including 2010’s sensationally reviewed Hadestown and 2012’s Young Man in America, which was described by the UK’s Independent as an epic tale of American becoming and for which she received a BBC Radio Two Folk Award nomination for Best Original Song. Mitchell has headlined worldwide as well as supported tours for Bon Iver, Ani Difranco, The Low Anthem (all of whom appear as guest singers on Hadestown), Richard Thompson, Josh Ritter and Punch Brothers. Her most recent release, Child Ballads, a collaboration with Jefferson Hamer, is a collection of traditional Celtic and British Isles ballads and is nominated for two BBC Radio Two Folk Awards including Best Album.

Goodwood Museum and Gardens @ 7:30pm, $35


Thursday, Nov. 5 Orion: The Man Who Would Be King South Arts Southern Circuit Film Festival orion-inset

Orion: The Man Who Would Be King tells the story of Jimmy Ellis- an unknown singer plucked from obscurity and thrust into the spotlight as part of a crazy scheme that had him masquerade as Elvis back from the grave. This film revels in the manipulative schemes of the music industry, the truth and lies at the heart of the story, the allure of fantasy, and the eternal search for identity. – Glimmer Films

Challenger Learning Center @ 7:30pm, $10


Tuesday, Nov. 10 Kate Davis kate-davis-inset-3

The music of multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Kate Davis has been turning heads in New York’s music scene since 2012. Whether she’s crooning ballads or plucking riffs from her bass, Kate puts a fresh spin on the standards and brings a canonical sensibility to her own lush tracks. Lauded by MTV as one of “15 Fresh Females Who Will Rule Pop,” Kate has performed at illustrious venues like Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall and has shared stages with diverse artists like Alison Krauss, Josh Groban, Michael Feinstein, Ben Folds, Joshua Bell, Wynton Marsalis, and Renee Fleming. Kate is the 2012 recipient of the Robert Allen Award from the ASCAP Foundation, and her upcoming projects include an appearance in the Disney film The Finest Hours, the Kennedy Center’s American Voices PBS special, and her first label album release.

Opperman Music Hall @ 7:30pm, $40 or $15


Saturday, Nov. 21 Gil Shaham gil-shaham-inset

Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time. His flawless technique combined with his inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit has solidified his renown as an American master. The Grammy Award-winner, also named Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year,” is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors and regularly gives recitals and appears with ensembles on the world’s great concert stages and prestigious festivals. He has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, earning multiple Grammys. Last season, he played concertos with such eminent ensembles as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Berlin Radio Symphony, Bavarian Radio Symphony, and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the USA. Among his other orchestral collaborations, Shaham performed with the Vienna Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall, National Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, and France’s Orchestre de Paris.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $65, $50, $35, or $15


Tuesday, Nov. 24 Bill Frisell Trio bill-frisell-inset

Described as being “at the very epicenter of modern American Music” (BBC), Bill Frisell’s career as a guitarist and composer has spanned more than 35 years and 250 recordings, including 40 of his own. Frisell’s recording catalog has been cited by Downbeat as “the best recorded output of the decade,” including his recent albums for Savoy – Sign of Life with the 858 Quartet, Beautiful Dreamers with his trio, and All We Are Saying, a new collection of John Lennon interpretations. Always on the lookout for opportunities to “dig around for where I’m coming from,” Frisell’s next project will be an homage to the instrumental popular music made “right at the birth of the Fender Telecaster guitar.” Frisell will be joined by his trio partners – Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums.

Opperman Music Hall @ 7:30pm, $55


Tuesday, Dec. 1 Flashdance Tallahassee Broadway Series flashdance-inset

With electrifying dance at its core, Flashdance tells the inspiring story of Alex Owens, a Pittsburgh steel mill welder by day and bar dancer by night with dreams of one day becoming a professional performer. When romance with her steel mill boss threatens to complicate her ambitions, Alex learns the meaning of love and its power to fuel the pursuit of her dream. Flashdance features a fantastic score including hit songs from the movie plus 16 brand new songs from Robbie Roth and Robert Cary.

Donald L. Tucker Civic Center @ 7:30pm, $85, $70, or $55


Tuesday, Jan. 12 Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue trombone-shorty-inset-2

New Orleans native Troy Andrews, known by the stage name Trombone Shorty, is the bandleader and frontman of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a hard-edged funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition. Together, Trombone Shorty and his band have toured the U.S. and Canada, Europe, Australia, Japan, Russia, and Brazil. In the past few years alone, Andrews has appeared on recordings by artists ranging from Zac Brown to Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart to Cee Lo Green. He’s also been featured on the covers of Downbeat and Jazziz magazines, as well as on Conan, The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Austin City Limits, and Andrews appeared in a recurring role on the hit HBO series Treme. In 2012, Andrews received the President’s Medal from Tulane University in recognition of his charitable work with the Trombone Shorty Foundation which donates quality instruments to schools across New Orleans.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $65, $50, $35, or $15


Sunday, Jan. 24 Maya Beiser maya-beiser-inset

Maya Beiser defies categories; passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, she has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. While studying classical cello repertoire, Maya dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the classical arena. She’s been a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages – including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and more – and she’s collaborated with a wide range of artists across many disciplines. Maya was raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel and is a graduate of Yale University, and she’s a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Her vast discography includes eight solo albums and many studio recordings and film collaborations. Her latest project, All Vows, premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in 2014.

Pebble Hill Plantation @ 2:00pm, $100


Monday, Jan. 25 Maya Beiser maya-beiser-inset

Maya Beiser defies categories; passionately forging a career path through uncharted territories, she has captivated audiences worldwide with her virtuosity, eclectic repertoire, and relentless quest to redefine her instrument’s boundaries. While studying classical cello repertoire, Maya dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the classical arena. She’s been a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages – including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and more – and she’s collaborated with a wide range of artists across many disciplines. Maya was raised in the Galilee Mountains in Israel and is a graduate of Yale University, and she’s a founding member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars. Her vast discography includes eight solo albums and many studio recordings and film collaborations. Her latest project, All Vows, premiered at the Yerba Buena Center in 2014.

Goodwood Museum and Gardens @ 7:30pm, $35


Tuesday, Jan. 26 Shen Wei Dance Arts shen-wei-inset

Hailed as “one of the great artists of our time” by The Washington Times, choreographer, director, dancer, painter, and designer Shen Wei is internationally renowned for the breadth and scope of his artistic vision. He founded Shen Wei Dance Arts at the American Dance Festival in 2000, and his Company rapidly advanced to the forefront of the dance world – winning worldwide acclaim for “amassing a body of works so strikingly original they defy categorization” (The Boston Globe). Since its creation, Shen Wei Dance Arts has performed in 138 cities as well as 30 countries and has appeared at prestigious festivals and venues worldwide. Widely recognized for his role as the lead choreographer for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shen Wei crafts work for his Company that draws on influences as varied as traditional Chinese culture and arts, European Surrealism, American high modernism, and the ritual power of ancient drama.

Opperman Music Hall @ 7:30pm, $55


Friday, Jan. 29 Pablo Ziegler & Lara St. John Astor Piazzolla’s Central Park Concert ziegler-st-john-inset

Following the wild success of a 2012 concert that drew the largest crowd to Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in the series’ 107 years, acclaimed violinist Lara St. John and Pablo Ziegler, the Argentine pianist and composer who helped shape the modern tango, are now offering that concert as a special touring program that celebrates tango grand-maestro Astor Piazzolla’s famous Central Park Concert. The program includes some of the late Argentine composer’s most beloved works, as well as exquisite compositions by Ziegler. Canadian-born violinist Lara St. John has been described as “something of a phenomenon” by The Strad and a “high-powered soloist” by the New York Times. Lara began playing the violin when she was two years old, making her first appearance as soloist with orchestra at age four. She has performed as soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and the Boston Pops, among many others.

Opperman Music Hall @ 7:30pm, $55


Tuesday, Feb. 2 and Wednesday, Feb. 3 Broadway’s Next H!T Musical broadways-next-hit-musical-inset

Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised, and it’s all funny. The New York Times calls Broadway’s Next H!T Musical “Hilarious!” Time Out NY says, “At last! A musical of, for, and by the people.” The hysterical Broadway’s Next H!T Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical – complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and plot twists galore. TheaterWeek hailed the show as “brilliant” and The New York Post called Broadway’s Next H!t Musical “remarkable.” Don’t miss the next great American musical – it could be written here in Tallahassee!

Fred Turner Auditorium at TCC @ 8:00pm, $45, $30, or $15


Thursday, Feb. 4 Kathleen Madigan kathleen-madigan-inset

Kathleen Madigan is one of the most respected comedians of her generation. Over her 25 year career, Madigan has performed on nearly every standup television show: Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson, and most recently The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and she filmed her fifth appearance on Ron White’s Salute to the Troops on CMT. Madigan was nominated for a 2014 American Comedy Award for Best Concert Comic, and her third hour-long special, Madigan Again, which iTunes named one of the Best Comedy Albums of 2013, premiered exclusively on Netflix to rave reviews and is available for download. CD, and DVD format. Madigan has released 5 CDs, 3 DVDs, and has starred in 1 Netflix special, 1 Showtime special, 2 HBO specials, and 3 Comedy Central specials.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $50, $35, $25, or $15


Friday, Feb. 5 Southern Soul Assembly JJ Grey, Luther Dickinson, Anders Osborne, Marc Broussard sourthen-soul-assembly-inset

An artist-in-the-round performance series featuring JJ Grey, Marc Broussard, Anders Osborne, and Luther Dickinson, Southern Soul Assembly debuted last spring to rave reviews. Hailed as a “perfect night” (Blogcritics) filled with “a mutual appreciation from the fans and artists alike” (Southern Manners), the show takes audiences on a musical and storytelling journey complete with “soaring moments, heartfelt laughs and lots of toe tapping” (Twangville). The result: “sheer dynamite” ( Grey, Broussard, Osborne and Dickinson, all highly seasoned artists and band leaders, have no doubt demonstrated a natural ability to contribute to each other’s music through harmonies and guitar. Southern Soul Assembly draws from the rich legacy of American Southern culture of each of the players. “Just like food in the South, our music is greasier than most,” says Marc Broussard, “the beat is on the backside, generally, because it gets too hot for people to move too quickly.”

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $55, $45, $35, or $15


Saturday, Feb. 6 2CELLO2-cellos-inset

Young Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, together known as 2CELLOS, have achieved sensational success by taking the cello to a new level. Their playing style has broken down the boundaries between different genres of music, from classical and film music to pop and rock. 2CELLOS have no limits when it comes to performing live and are equally as impressive when playing Bach and Vivaldi as they are when rocking out AC/DC. 2CELLOS rose to fame in 2011 when their version of Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal took the world by storm. The YouTube video became a massive viral sensation leading to a record deal with Sony Masterworks and an invitation to join Sir Elton John on his worldwide tour. The duo have also appeared on major TV shows such as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Bachelor, and many others.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $65, $55, or $45


Sunday, Feb. 7 PRISM: A Collaboration with the Florida State University College of Music prism-inset

Featuring students from Florida State’s top-ranked College of Music, PRISM offers a wide array of entertainment from Chamber Winds, Symphonic Band, jazz ensembles, the Marching Chiefs, and many more exciting groups.

The Tallahassee Democrat might put it best: “The PRISM shows are built on a more-is-more philosophy… PRISM’s contrast between traditional fare and more experimental groups may be one of the reasons behind the program’s success. Its multifaceted nature makes PRISM a gem among music lovers. Because of its design, [the performance] offers a unique show depending on where an audience member sits – those in the balcony will be nearer to certain ensembles than those in other sections, and vice versa.”

So come experience this unique event that lauds our students and faculty. It’s fantastic, fresh, and not to be missed

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 2:00pm, $35 or $15


Monday, Feb. 8 Patti LaBelle patti-labelle-inset

Beautiful simply does not describe the incomparable force known to the world as Patti LaBelle. As time continues to evolve, the soulful songbird’s name has become synonymous with grace, style, elegance, and class. Belting out classic rhythm & blues renditions, pop standards and spiritual sonnets have created the unique platform of versatility for which Ms. Patti is known and revered. “Each year I grow, and that’s a blessing from God. I do what I can do. I do what I feel God has given me the energy to do, so I just go out there and I do it…It’s not about making money because I don’t need money, but I need to sing. With a voice or without, I’ve got to get on that stage.” And the world is thankful that Ms. Patti’s voice sounds so good to our ears.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $85, $75, $65, or $15


Tuesday, Feb. 9 Billy Childs Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro featuring Becca Stevens & Alicia Olatuja billy-childs-inset

When jazz pianist and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Billy Childs was 11 years old, his older sister introduced him to the work of singer-songwriter, Laura Nyro (1947-1997). Her blend of Broadway inspired melodies, jazz improvisation and socially conscious lyrics stayed with him, and in 2014 Childs released his two Grammy Award-winning tribute, Map to the Treasure: Reimagining Laura Nyro. Joined by an extended ensemble including saxophone, harp, guitar and string quartet and vocalists Becca Stevens and Alicia Olatuja, Childs brings us an evening of Nyro’s songs made famous by other artists including Barbra Streisand, The 5th Dimension, Patti LaBelle, and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $50, $35, $25, or $15


Wednesday, Feb. 10 The Midtown Men: 4 Stars From The Original Cast of Jersey Boys midtown-men-inset

The high-octane musical tour de force that took the Jersey Boys phenomenon to Broadway and beyond brings to life the greatest hits of the Sixties. Tour highlights for these Four Broadway vets and their powerhouse seven piece band recently included a triumphant return to their “Jersey” roots with a live concert special filmed at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in partnership with PBS. Following the development of Jersey Boys and historic three season run on Broadway, THE MIDTOWN MEN are lifting audiences to their feet in venues across the continent, realizing the dream they brought to life as the iconic Four Seasons and winning over audiences of all ages in nearly 2,000 live shows. THE MIDTOWN MEN is the next chapter for these accomplished entertainers, making them the first vocal group ever formed by the principal cast of a high-profile Broadway show.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $70, $55, $40, or $15


Thursday, Feb. 11 Storm Large storm-large-inset

Storm Large: musician, actor, playwright, author, awesome. She shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show Rock Star: Supernova, where she built a fan base that follows her around the world to this day. Storm debuted with the Oregon Symphony in 2010, and has returned for sold out performances each year thereafter. Storm made her Carnegie Hall debut in 2013 with the Detroit Symphony, with The New York Times calling her “sensational.” Storm made her debut as guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally. Storm has also sung with Grammy winner k.d. lang, pianist Kirill Gerstein, punk rocker John Doe, singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright, and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $50, $35, $25, or $15


Friday, Feb. 12 – Sunday, Feb. 28 Legally Blonde: A Collaboration with the Florida State University School of Theatre legally-blonde-inset

Music and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe & Nell Benjamin
Book by Heather Hach

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture 
Directed by Tom Ossowski

Omigod you guys! Elle Woods (don’t forget Bruiser!) is bringing pink and LOTS of it to the Fallon Stage. In this upbeat musical, sorority girl Elle Woods takes on Harvard Law School in an attempt to win back the love of her life. There, she must use her brains and beauty to defend famous fitness instructor Brooke Wyndham, who has been accused of murder. Along the way she discovers that true love only finds us when we learn to truly love ourselves. Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the hit Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture, Legally Blonde is sure to “bend and snap” its way into all of our hearts.

Richard G. Fallon Theatre, $22, $20, or $10


Friday, Feb. 12 Museum of Fine Arts mofa-inset

Cuban Art in the Twentieth Century: Cultural Identity and the International Avant-Garde. Segundo Fernandez, Curator

This exhibit displays a historical progression of paintings, sculpture, and mixed media from the Colonial, Republican, and Post-Revolutionary periods of Cuban art to the present time. Cuban artists, through interactions with their contemporaries and with global art centers and markets, have historically had access to avant-garde theory and practice. They were able to make individual determinations regarding not only their own culture but also individual responses to international art movements because- although Cuba is an island – its art world has never been insular.

Builder Levy: Appalachia USA touring from The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art

Born in Tampa, Fla. in 1942, Builder Levy was raised in Brooklyn. He received a B.A. in art from Brooklyn College in 1964 and a master’s degree in art education from New York University in 1966. Levy’s photographs have appeared in more than 200 exhibitions – including more than 50 one-person shows – and he’s received fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Alicia Patterson Foundation, Puffin Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts.

FSU Museum of Fine Arts @ 6:00pm-8:00pm, Free

Monday – Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm

Saturday & Sunday 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Special hours during Spring Break


Friday, Feb. 12 Sierra Hull & The David Grisman Bluegrass Experience sierra-hull-inset

Sierra has remarkable range as an instrumentalist, singer, and songwriter. She was given her first mandolin at age 8. By age 11, Alison Krauss offered an invitation to the Opry stage, and Sierra signed with Rounder Records at 13 and subsequently released her first album at 16. In addition to being a world traveler and playing at venues like the White House, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, Sierra’s also a celebrated student. She won the Presidential Scholarship from Berklee College of Music, a first for a bluegrass musician, and has gone on to wow her peers, faculty, and the world. As a mandolinist, composer, bandleader, and producer David Grisman has been a guiding force in the evolving world of acoustic music for nearly half a century. His musical range is wide and deep — embracing many styles, genres and traditions, and he compliments Sierra’s playing impeccably.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $55, $40, $25, or $15


Saturday, Feb. 13 Saturday Matinee of the Arts saturday-matinee-inset1

Join us for Saturday Matinee of the Arts, a rich lineup of visual and performing arts – including live music on the outdoor stage and in the museum’s historic buildings. Dance performances range from ballet to flamenco, and artists from painters to potters display their work. There are special activities just for children, and the matinee is free and open to the public.

Tallahassee Museum @ 10:00am – 4:00pm, Free


Saturday, Feb. 13 Tony Bennett featuring Special Guest Antonia Bennett tony-bennett-inset

No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett. With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received eighteen Grammy Awards, including a 1995 Grammy for Record of the Year and the Grammy Lifetime Award. Tony Bennett became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2005, was named an NEA Jazz Master in January of 2006, received a Citizen of the World award from the UN, and a Billboard Magazine Century Award in honor of his outstanding contributions to music. Tony’s latest endeavor is a collaborative jazz album with Lady Gaga titled Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek. The album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 album charts making Bennett, at the age of 88, the oldest artist to have a #1 album.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $125, $110, or $95


Sunday, Feb. 14 Ana Gasteyer ana-gasteyer-inset

When Ana Gasteyer steps up to the mic, she evokes the swagger of an era when a lady ruled a nightclub and an audience knew they were in for good time. The patter is real, the themes adult; the lyrics are timeless, and the music swings like crazy! From songs like “One Mint Julep” and “Proper Cup of Coffee” to a surprisingly smooth rendition of Carrie Underwood’s “Before He Cheats,” Gasteyer’s saucy selections tell stories with humor, heartbreak…and just a little splash of soda. After a formal education as a classically-trained singer, she made the fateful discovery that she could get people laughing. Audiences fell in love with Gasteyer’s flair for irony and character driven comedy on six seasons of Saturday Night LiveHer acclaimed shows have earned praise from audiences and critics alike who hailed the acts as “exuberant and rollicking entertainment” with “high-octane vocals” and “a topnotch swingin’ ensemble.”

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $50, $35, $25, or $15


Thursday, Feb. 18 Almost There South Arts Circuit Film Festival almost-there-inset

Almost There is a coming-of-(old)-age story about Peter Anton, an elderly “outsider” artist living in at-risk conditions whose world changes (and maybe not all for the better) when he’s discovered by two filmmakers. This film explores the responsibilities we have to those in need and the ethical complexities and potential conflicts inherent in every subject-filmmaker, artist-curator, helper-helpee relationship. – Kartemquin Films

Challenger Learning Center @ 7:30pm, $10



Rose’s (1999), The Red Violin (2000), Curdled (2001), Gettysburg (2002), The General (2003), 11:14 (2004), The Agronomist (2005), The Trees Have a Mother, Stories of the Amazon (2007)

Gilmore 2008: The Visitor, Gilmore 2009: 500 Days of Summer,Gilmore 2010: Blue Valentine, Gilmore 2011: Win Win, Gilmore 2012: Being Flynn, Gilmore 2013: War Witch, Gilmore 2014: Palo Alto, Paul Cohen 2015: Racing Extinction

Since its inception in 1999, Opening Nights has presented an annual movie. Silent films, local creations, Oscar® Nominees, and international film circuit delights– each film has added to the collective cinema experience in Tallahassee. The selected film will be appropriate for all audiences and will include a panel discussion with industry professionals. Presented collaboratively with the FSU College of Motion Picture Arts Torchlight Program, this year’s film is sure to inspire, entertain, and educate.

Askew Student Life Cinema (date and time TBA)$35


Thursday, Mar. 3 Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra Dmitry Yablonsky, Conductor Laureate jso-inset

The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra was founded as the Palestine Broadcasting Service Orchestra in the late 1930s. In 1948, it became the national radio orchestra and was known as the “Kol Israel Orchestra.” In the 1970s, the orchestra was expanded into the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA). As a radio symphony orchestra, the majority of the concerts, which the orchestra holds at its resident hall – the Henry Crown Auditorium, are recorded and broadcasted over IBA’s Kol Ha’musika station. The orchestra maintains a varied repertoire that ranges from the Baroque and Classical periods through the Romantic period and extends to contemporary composers – including many who have received their Israeli premières with the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra.

Alexander Tchaikovsky
The Khojaly Requiem (2012);
Soloists: Piano, Viola, Cello & Tar

Camille Saint Saens
Cello Concerto No. 1, Op. 33 A Minor;
Cello Soloist: Daniele Akta


Sergei Rachmaninoff Symphony #2

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $70, $55, $40, or $15

Sunday, Mar. 6 Black Violin featuring the Tallahassee Youth Symphony Orchestra Alexander Jiménez, Music Director & Conductor black-violin-inset

Black Violin is a fantastic blend of classical, hip-hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music. Named one of the hottest bands at SXSW in 2013, Black Violin has performed alongside a wide range of performers at a number of lauded venues – including Google’s Zeitgeist Minds Conference, the Billboard Music Awards, the Apollo Theater, and more. Since Black Violin’s inception, Wil Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester have performed in 49 states and in 36 countries, and they’ve appeared at official NFL celebrations for three Super Bowls as well as at the U.S. Open in Forest Hills with Jordin Sparks. Their groundbreaking collaboration has allowed them to play in unique settings – like performing for troops in Iraq and at both of President Obama’s Inaugural Balls, Black Violin has worked with the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $45, $35, $25, or $15


Thursday, Mar. 10 Saturday Night Fever Tallahassee Broadway Series snf-inset

One of the most beloved dance stories of all time, Saturday Night Fever is the coming of age tale of young Tony Manero who learns the value of life in 1970’s Brooklyn. Based on the 1977 movie starring John Travolta, Saturday Night Fever is packed with legendary hits from the Bee Gees, including “Stayin’ Alive,” “Night Fever,” “You Should Be Dancing,” and “How Deep is Your Love,” in addition to several new songs written especially for this production. The BBC declares Saturday Night Fever as “Hit song after hit song, bright lights and dancing to blow you away.”

The Celebrity Club is an exciting after-show buffet/reception for each show, which may include the chance to meet the cast in person. Please note: The Celebrity Club is provided via separate ticketing from the Tallahassee Broadway Series.

Donald L. Tucker Civic Center @ 7:30pm, $85, $70, or $55


Friday, Mar. 11 globalFEST global-fest-1-inset

Over the past decade, globalFEST has become one of the most dynamic global music platforms in North America. What started as an annual showcase in New York has grown into an international brand, building audiences for world music with stages at SXSW, Bonnaroo, and beyond. globalFEST spotlights artists who represent diverse global styles, bringing down boundaries between countries and creating cultural opportunities for collaboration. Creole Carnival Tour honors the roots of African musical currents, crossed with a fusion of sounds from the Americas, and revolving around Carnival, the pre-Lent festival celebrated globally that’s everyone’s favorite excuse for a party. From Brazil (Casuarina) to Haiti (Emeline Michel) and Jamaica (Brushy One String), each country has its own rich traditions for music, dancing, costumes, and cutting loose. globalFEST’s international trio of artists, will explore, expand, and upend notions of Carnival with a madcap, no-holds-barred soirée.

Cascades Park (time TBA), Free


Monday, Mar. 14 The Trials of Muhammad Ali South Arts Southern Circuit Film Festival ali-inset

The Trials of Muhammad Ali covers Ali’s toughest bout: his battle to overturn a five-year prison sentence for refusing US military service in Vietnam. Prior to becoming the most recognizable face on earth, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and found himself in the crosshairs of conflicts concerning race, religion, and wartime dissent.

Challenger Learning Center @ 7:30pm, $10



Monday, Mar. 21 Selected Shorts selected-shorts-inset

Selected Shorts is a weekly public radio show broadcast on over 130 stations to about 300,000 listeners and is produced by Symphony Space and WNYC Radio and distributed by Public Radio International. The Selected Shorts podcast, featuring a theme and a variety of stories for every episode, consistently ranks as one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes. The Opening Nights edition of Selected Shorts will feature work by our extremely talented faculty within the Florida State University Creative Writing Program, and actors will be announced soon. Stay tuned!

Richard G. Fallon Theatre @ 7:30pm, $50 or $15


Thursday, Mar. 24 Jeanne Robertson jeanne-robertson-inset

At 71 years young, Jeanne Robertson continues to charm audiences with her humorous observations about life around her. This former Miss North Carolina, standing tall at six-foot-two, has an infectious personality, heart, and sense of humor. With eight nationally released DVDs, three books, hundreds of hours on SiriusXM satellite radio, and almost 28 million YouTube hits, the demand for Robertson’s family-friendly and engaging brand of comedy has grown exponentially. Some of her most popular anecdotes include “Don’t Go to Vegas Without A Baptist,” “Don’t Bungee Jump Naked,” and “Don’t Send a Man to the Grocery Store.” Robertson’s witty depiction of everyday situations never fails to have audiences of all ages rolling with laughter. Don’t miss this performance by a truly funny lady!

Richard G. Fallon Theatre @ 7:30pm, $50 or $15


Wednesday, Mar. 30 Semi-Toned The University of Exeter’s A Capella Sensation presenting GAME OF TONES semi-toned-01-inset

Comprised of 13 current students from the University of Exeter in The United Kingdom, SEMI-TONED is the reigning University Champion of Voice Festival UK, having won this honor in April 2015. With their trademark musical wit and charisma, five-star reviews, and a Bobby Award for being one of the most highly rated shows of the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, SEMI-TONED has wowed audiences both in the UK and the United States. SEMI-TONED’s performance will feature two fantastic a cappella groups from Florida State – Acabelles and All Night Yahtzee. You don’t want to miss this!

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $50, $35, $25, or $15


Tuesday, Apr. 5 Elizabeth Gilbert elizabeth-gilbert-inset

Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir Eat, Pray, Love has been called “a generation’s instruction manual” (Toronto Sun). Exploding onto the scene in 2006, the bestseller famously chronicled the year Gilbert spent traveling the world after a shattering divorce. Translated into more than 30 languages, Eat, Pray, Love has sold over ten million copies worldwide and was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. Eat, Pray, Love — “fueled by a mix of intelligence, wit, and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible” (The New York Times Book Review)—catapulted its author from respected but little-recognized writer to a woman Oprah Winfrey has called a “rock star author.” Gilbert’s latest, The Signature of All Things, was named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York TimesO MagazineNPR, and Time MagazineO Magazine lauded it as “the novel of a lifetime.” 

”If a more likable writer than Gilbert is currently in print, I haven’t found him or her…Gilbert’s prose…makes the reader only too glad to join the posse of friends and devotees who have the pleasure of listening in.” – Jennifer Egan, The New York Times.

Ruby Diamond Concert Hall @ 7:30pm, $50, $35, $25, or $15


Thursday, Apr. 7 The Illusionists Tallahassee Broadway Series

“A High-tech Magic Extravaganza” – The New York Times. This mind blowing spectacular showcases the jaw dropping talents of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. The Illusionists–Live from Broadway ™ has shattered box office records across the globe and dazzles audiences of all ages with a powerful mix of the most outrageous and astonishing acts ever to be seen on stage. This non-stop show is packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic of unprecedented proportions.

Donald L. Tucker Civic Center @ 7:30pm, $85, $70, or $55 



Thursday, Apr. 14 Ghost Town to Havana South Arts Southern Circuit Film Festival


Ghost Town to Havana is described as a “street level story of mentorship and everyday heroism in tough circumstances.” This film follows the lives of two youth baseball teams and their coaches as one team travels from Oakland to Havana, Cuba to play baseball with the other.

Challenger Learning Center @ 7:30pm, $10



Thursday, Apr. 28 Once Tallahassee Broadway Series


Winner of eight Tony Awards including BEST MUSICAL, Once is a truly original Broadway experience. Featuring an impressive ensemble of actor/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, Once tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows, his music soars to powerful new heights. Emotionally captivating and theatrically breathtaking, Once draws you in from the very first note and never lets go.

Donald L. Tucker Civic Center @ 7:30pm, $85, $70, or $55