Lee Dombroski can’t contain her excitement when talking about the 2013-14 season at the University of Hawaii at Hilo Performing Arts Center.
“Come to everything; don’t miss anything,” Dombroski, the center’s manager said prior Thursday’s season-opening performance of “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical,” —an improvised production in which performers take song suggestions from the audience to create a one-act musical. “It’s all going to be fabulous and we are thrilled that we’re able to do all of it.”
The UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center season continues at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25 when Nnenna Freelon & Trio will take the stage.
Freelon, described by Dombroski as “an exquisite jazz singer, absolutely phenomenal,” recorded her first album in 1992 at age 38. Despite the relatively late start, she’s now a six-time Grammy nominee who’s appeared with opera superstar Jessye Norman and Jimmy Fallon’s house band, The Roots, in composer Laura Karpman’s adaptation of Langston Hughes’ “Ask Your Mama” at the Hollywood Bowl.
c Nov. 7 and 8, “The Spoon River Project,” a stage adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters’ “Spoon River Anthology. Performances are slated 7:30 p.m. with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Nov. 10.
“This version has music, as well as residents from a small town coming back from the dead to tell us about their lives,” Dombroski said.
c Dec. 12, the UH-Hilo Jazz Orchestra, directed by Trever Veilleux, plays an eclectic mix of jazz, rock, funk and soul — everything from Miles Davis to Frank Zappa, Duke Ellington and Steely Dan. Show is set for 7:30 p.m.
c Dec. 12, Great Leaps is a spectacle featuring ballet, jazz, modern and aerial dance pieces choreographed by instructors Celeste Staton, Annie Bunker and Kea Kapahua, as well as guest choreographers and projects by graduating UH-Hilo seniors. Show is at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
c Dec. 15, “Season of Light,” a holiday concert featuring the UH-Hilo combined choruses directed by Amy Horst plus the Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra directed by Madeline Schatz, is slated for 2 p.m.
“The orchestra will play for a portion of the concert and they’ll accompany the chorus for another portion of the show, as well,” Dombroski said.
c Jan. 17, “The Intergalactic Nemesis, Book Two: Robot Planet Rising,” a live-action graphic novel that integrates voice actors, live music and sound effects with original comic-book artwork projected panel by panel onto a two-story-tall video screen. The performance is slated for 7:30 p.m.
c Feb. 11, Rasta Thomas’ Bad Boys of Dance, will defy gravity and the laws of physics with a new show on the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center stage at 7:30 p.m.
“They are so athletic that it’s amazing to watch them,” Dombroski said.
c March 11, Rhythmic Circus with “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” which combines tap dancing, a seven-piece band, vocalists and a human beat box, performs at 7:30 p.m.
“There’s never a dull moment and I can’t believe they have that much energy. They go and go for an hour and a half,” Dombroski said.
c March 21, Danu, from Ireland’s County Waterford, performs a mix of ancient Irish music and new repertoire. They’ll play at 7:30 p.m.
“We haven’t had anything from that part of the world in a while, so that will be fun,” Dombroski said.
c April 10-13 and 17-19, the center will present “Miss Saigon,” which Dombroski describes as the season’s “coup de grace.” It’s directed by Johnson with musical direction by Armando Mendoza, vocal direction by Horst, and choreography by Celeste Station.
An updated version of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly,” “Miss Saigon” is the story of star-crossed lovers, an American G.I. and a Vietnamese woman, separated during the fall of Saigon.
Shows are slated for 7:30 p.m. A Sunday matinee is scheduled for 2 p.m. April 13.
c April 26, the UH-Hilo Kapili Choir Concert will get underway at 2 p.m.
c May 7, Great Leaps is a spectacle featuring ballet, jazz, modern and aerial dance pieces choreographed by instructors Celeste Staton, Annie Bunker and Kea Kapahua, as well as guest choreographers and projects by UH-Hilo seniors.
Performances are slated for 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
c May 8, the UH-Hilo Jazz Orchestra, directed by Trever Veilleux, is back with a different show for the spring semester. The orchestra plays an eclectic mix of jazz, rock, funk and soul.
The performance is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
All events are held at the UH-Hilo Performing Arts Center located on West Kawili Street in Hilo.
For tickets or more information, call the box office at 974-7310 or visit the center’s website at artscenter.uhh.hawaii.edu.
Email John Burnett at email@example.com.