Marshall Artists Series Announces 80th Anniversary Season‏

Updated 3 years ago by Angela Jones, Marshall Artists Series

HUNTINGTON, WV- Since 1936, The Marshall Artists Series has served as the cultural center for Marshall University and the surrounding communities, working to cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation of the performing arts through a wide variety of programs. We believe that the performing arts are a vital and expansive area of an incredible heritage. We invite you to celebrate part of our world heritage with our 80th Anniversary season!

The events showcased on the 2016 – 2017 season offer a fresh perspective in the ever-evolving world of arts and entertainment. “For our 80th season, we are presenting a lineup that is exciting and diverse,” says Penny Watkins, Executive Director for the Marshall Artists Series. “We have music greats this year including living legend, Tony Bennett, singer-songwriters, Gavin Degraw and Andy Grammer - Live in Concert, and Motown powerhouse Freda Payne in a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald. Jazz legend Wynton Marsalis brings the world famous Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with a Big Band Holiday show that is sure tokick off the holidays in a jazzy way.  We have the best of Broadway including “Pippin”, “42nd Street,” and the 20th Anniversary tour of the groundbreaking musical, “Rent.” The State Ballet Theater of Russia makes a much anticipated return visit with the beloved ballet, “Cinderella.” Additionally, we have a unique music and dance event from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir from South Africa. The multicultural choir’s performances incorporate dancing, and theatre along with their music. Plus, comedian Lewis Black brings his “The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Naked Truth Tour to Huntington.  We are proud to play a critical role in advancing the Marshall Artists Series’ mission to foster greater understanding and appreciation of the performing arts,” said Watkins.

The  2016 -2017 Baxter Series will feature:

No one in popular American music has recorded for so long and at such a high level of excellence than Tony Bennett, who comes to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Thursday, September 29, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. With millions of records sold worldwide and platinum and gold albums to his credit, Bennett has received nineteen 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. His latest collaboration with Lady Gaga – Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga: Cheek to Cheek debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, making him the oldest artist in recorded music history to have a number one album.


Direct from South Africa, The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Choir comes to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Thursday, November 17, 2016, at 7:30 p.m.  The choir consists of 55 members, both students and alumni, who come from all walks of life and prides itself in being multicultural in both its membership and the music it performs. Since its inception in 1994, the choir has gained a reputation for its unique ability to successfully interpret both a Western and an African repertoire and has since become sought after at choral festivals internationally. Along with a diverse music selection, their performances incorporate dancing and theatre reflecting different music genres and styles, which simply heightens the experience for both the choir and the audience.


One of the world’s most beloved stories, Cinderella, is told through ballet at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, at 7 pm. Back by popular demand The State Ballet Theater of Russia’s full-scale production will feature 55 dancers, and is choreographed by Vladimir Vasiliev, former Principal Dancer with the Bolshoi Theater Ballet and “The Best Male Dancer of the 20th Century.” The State Ballet Theater of Russia was founded by legendary dancer and former Prima Ballerina of The Bolshoi Theater Ballet, Maya Plisetskaya, and is now under the direction of award-winning dancer and Moiseyev Dance Company soloist, Nikolay Anokhin.  The State Ballet Theatre of Russia has established itself as one of Russia’s leading ballet companies by building an international reputation for delivering performances of outstanding quality and depth.


The quintessential backstage musical comedy classic, 42nd Street comes to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.  Based on a novel by Bradford Ropes and Busby Berkeley’s 1933 movie, 42ND STREET tells the story of a starry-eyed young dancer named Peggy Sawyer who leaves her Allentown home and comes to New York to audition for the new Broadway musical Pretty Lady.  When the leading lady breaks her ankle, Peggy takes over and becomes a star. This musical features some of the greatest songs ever written, such as “We’re In The Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway,” “Shuffle Off To Buffalo,” “Dames,” “I Only Have Eyes For You,” and of course “42nd Street.”


The 2016 – 2017 Mount Series Will Feature:

Grammy®-nominated singer/songwriter Gavin DeGraw and acclaimed, Billboard chart topping artist Andy Grammer are live in concert at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Friday, October 21, 2016, at 7:30 PM.  Fans can expect to hear DeGraw perform songs from his 10-plus year career including classics “I Don’t Wanna Be,” “Chariot,” and “Not Over You.”  Multi-platinum selling artist Andy Grammer will dazzle crowds with his upbeat songs including smash hit “Honey, I’m Good,” “Good To Be Alive (Hallelujah),” “Back Home,” and “Keep Your Head Up.”


Making a stop on its historic 20th Anniversary tour, the smash hit Broadway phenomenon, Rent, returns to the stage of the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Thursday, November 10th, 2016, at 7:30 PM.  Twenty years ago - 1996, an original rock musical by a little-known composer opened on Broadway… and forever changed the landscape of American theatre. Two decades later, Jonathan Larson’s RENT continues to speak loudly and defiantly to audiences across generations and all over the world. RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters—love.

Freda Payne, celebrated Motown R & B and jazz vocalist, stars in A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on Friday, February 10, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.  Freda Payne, who shot to fame with her #1 Hit, “Band of Gold,” and “Bring the Boys Home,” pays tribute to the legendary Ella Fitzgerald, as no one else can! Payne, the star of such Broadway shows as Jelly’s Last Jam, Sophisticated Ladies and Blues in the Night, “conjures the spirit of Ella” with her renditions of “A-Tisket, a-Tasket,” “Sweet Georgia Brown,” “It Don’t Mean a Thing.” and “Mack the Knife,” as well as many other Fitzgerald classics.

Pippin, the high-flying hit musical is back on Broadway for the first time since it thrilled audiences 40 years ago. See it for yourself when it comes to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. The show the New York Times declared “ASTONISHING.  A PIPPIN FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.” It won the Tony Award for BEST MUSICAL REVIVAL! With a beloved score by Tony nominee STEPHEN SCHWARTZ (GODSPELL, WICKED), PIPPIN tells the story of a young prince on a death-defying journey to find meaning in his existence. Will he choose a happy but simple life? Or will he risk everything for a singular flash of glory?

The 2016-2017 Superticket will Feature:


Patrons who purchase a Superticket package will receive tickets to all events on both the BAXTER Series & MOUNT Series, along with the Fall & Spring International Film Festival.  Additionally, the Superticket package will include:


Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra present Big Band Holidays on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Jazz up your holiday celebration with nine-time Grammy® Award Winner Wynton Marsalis! The composer-performer-artistic director brings the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for a magical evening of festive music that blends classical, jazz and holiday favorites. The Orchestra will perform brand new arrangements of songs both sacred and secular, from Billie Holiday’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” to favorites like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.

Helen Macdonald, the New York Times best-selling author of the literary sensation H is for Hawk comes to the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Saturday, February 4, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.  Macdonald will tell the story of how she adopted and raised one of nature’s most formidable predators to escape the grief she felt after the sudden death of her beloved father. Fierce and feral, her goshawk Mabel’s temperament mirrored Helen’s own, and together raptor and human “discover the pain and beauty of being alive” (People Magazine). This genre-defying debut is at heart a meditation on love, loss and our relationship to our natural world. 

Fall International Film Festival:

The Fall International Film Festival will take place over 4 days - October 27 –30, 2016, at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Featured films include: Mustang (Turkey), Prescription Thugs (USA), The Lady in The Van (UK), VIVA  (Cuba), A War (Denmark), and The Last Diamond  (France). 

Spring International Film Festival:

The Spring International Film Festival will take place over 4 days - March 2 - 5, 2017, at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Featured films include: Dheepan (France), The Second Mother (Brazil), Truman (Spain/Argentina), Sweet Bean  (Japan), The Dark Horse (New Zealand), and Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World  (USA). 

 The 2016-2017 Season will feature the following Special Event. This event is not a part of any series and must be purchased separately.

Acclaimed comedian Lewis Black brings his The Emperor’s New Clothes – The Naked Truth Tour to the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.  LEWIS BLACK, a Grammy® Award winning stand-up comedian, is one of the most popular performers working today. He came into national prominence with his appearances on THE DAILY SHOW. Those appearances led to comedy specials on HBO, Comedy Central, Showtime and Epix. He has won Best Male Stand-Up at the American Comedy Awards. Black has released 8 comedy albums, 2 have won Grammy® Awards and published 3 best-selling books. His live shows provide a cathartic release of anger and disillusionment. He is a passionate performer who is more of a grumpy optimist than a mean-spirited curmudgeon.

Season Ticketing Information:

The deadline to purchase or renew season ticket packages is Friday, August 5th.

Season Package Pricing:

Superticket (Baxter, Mount + Special Events + Film Festivals):

Superticket Plus 1 $849 | Price 2 - $600 | Price 3 - $ 490 | Price 4 - $395

Baxter Series

Baxter Plus 1 - $399 | Price 2 - $265 | Price 3 - $205 | Price 4 - $165

Mount Series

Mount Plus 1 - $350 | Price 2 - $245 | Price 3 - $205 | Price 4 - $170 

International Film Festival

(Includes Fall & Spring Festivals) - $80

Series prices listed above do not include WV state sales tax and Keith-Albee Restoration Fee.

New season subscription orders and season package renewals for current patrons are on sale now. Deadline for season ticket renewal is Friday, August 5, 2016. All orders will be processed in order of date and time received. Tickets to individual events go on sale, Monday, August 22nd. 

The Marshall Artists Series is again offering a payment plan that we hope will offer our patrons greater flexibility in their season planning -- the TWO-PAYMENT PLAN.  If you are interested in our TWO - PAYMENT PLAN please call 304-696-3326.

The Marshall Artists Series accepts all major credit cards. Season packages may be ordered via telephone by calling our administrative offices at (304) 696-3326. Orders may also be mailed in to Marshall Artists Series, One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755-2210, be faxed to (304) 696-6658 or emailed to The Marshall Artists Series office is located in the Jomie Jazz Center on Fifth Avenue across from Marshall University’s Student Center. Our hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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