Opening day — the musical

By City Pulse Staff

Tickets go on sale for Wharton Center’s 2013-2014 season

Monday, Aug. 19 – Individual tickets to most, but not quite all, of the Wharton Center’s 2013-14 season went on sale to the general public at 10 a.m. today. The season is heavy on Wharton’s bread and butter, Broadway, with three exceptionally big classical events and a variety of eclectic jazz, dance and drama offerings.

Among the Broadway shows on sale today are “Flashdance, The Musical,” “Ghost, The Musical,” “Peter and the Star Catcher,” “Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess” and that perennially crowd-pleasing ABBA-fest, “Mamma Mia!”

Two shows that didn’t go on sale today are Wharton’s upcoming über-blockbusters, “Beauty and the Beast” (Feb. 18-23) and “The Book of Mormon” (June 10-15), both of which will go on sale closer to their production dates.

Musical highlights of the season, all on sale today, include supreme jazz diva Diana Krall (Sept. 28), folk legend Arlo Guthrie (Oct. 3) and easy-listening heartthrob Johnny Mathis (Oct. 17). An acoustic duet with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt is set for Oct. 29. The jazz roster is rounded out by vocalist Cyrille Aimée, headliner of June’s Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing (April 24) and the all-star Newport Jazz Festival band, featuring innovative clarinetist Anat Cohen and trumpeter Randy Brecker, coming March 27.

One of the season’s hotter tickets will likely be a talk by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner, creator of “Angels in America,” making a World View lecture appearance Feb. 10.

Classical music lovers have three major events at Wharton to watch for. The season’s biggest coup for Wharton Center director Michael Brand was to snag a rare duo recital Nov. 18 from classical music’s biggest star, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, with his longtime collaborator, vocalist Kathryn Stott.

Surprisingly, two full symphony concerts are also on the slate, with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic and longtime music director Yuri Temirkanov conducting an all-Russian program Feb. 24 and the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra with former Detroit Symphony maesro Nemee Järvi conducting Nov. 8. It’s an unusually strong classical slate, but Brand said he got both orchestras, Ma and the Vienna Boys’ Choir (Dec. 3) as a package deal, with MSU alumnus Edward Minskoff as a behind-the-scenes broker.

A major drama event is on the slate for Feb. 15, when one of the nation’s most venerable touring repertory theaters, The Acting Company, will combine Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” and its famous companion piece, “Hamlet,” into a marathon afternoon-evening double bill.

There are also several wide-ranging dance companies on the slate, including Balé Folclórico Da Bahia (Oct. 27), the Moscow Festival Ballet (Jan. 9), Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater (Jan. 23) and Pilobolus (April 8).

The tickets are available for purchase at, at the box office 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by phone at 1-800 WHARTON or (517) 432-2000 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To see the entire season, including children’s shows and other events, go to