Improvised musicals, Grammy winners, childhood tales and more slated for the Manship’s 2016-17 season

Improvised musicals, Grammy winners, childhood tales and more slated for the Manship’s 2016-17 season

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Manship Theatre has announced the lineup for their upcoming season. Beginning in early September and continuing through late April, the 2016-2017 season will feature a variety of acts including TONY award winning musicals and GRAMMY award-winning musical acts.

The season kicks off on Sunday, September 11, with the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet. The company, now in its second decade of dance, has all of the traditional sensibility of European ballet mixed with the innovative and fiery spirit of the American West.

Rich Robinson, former member of The Black Crowes will make his way to Baton Rouge in a solo show on September 22. Robinson's solo career is defined by his ability to create without restraint and explore his talents as a songwriter, guitarist, and vocalist.

The James Hunter Six will round out September taking the Manship Stage on the 29. The Grammy-nominated Brits first broke onto the U.S. scene with their Billboard Blues chart topper: People Gonna Talk. The group's extensive touring over the last decade has made them a favorite of many from baby-boomers to hipster-millennials.

Paula Poundstone will start October off with a laugh when she takes the mic on October 6. Poundstone is a regular panelist on NPR's weekly news quiz show: Wait, Wait…Don't tell Me and voices Forgetter Paula in Disney's Inside Out.

Amanda Shires will take the stage on October 10. Shires began as a fiddler with the Texas Playboys, and has since toured and recorded with a litany of acts including Billy Joe Shaver, Justin Townes Earle, and her husband, Jason Isbell.

Jonny Lang released his first major album Lie To Me at the age of 16. Sixteen years later, the Fargo, ND farm boy will appear in the Capital City. October 11 will feature music from the bluesy crooner's latest album: Fight For My Soul.

Recording artist, producer, television host, and motivational speaker Andrew W.K. will put the exclamation point at the end of October with his 50-state Power of Partying tour. The Party Hard singer will be in Baton Rouge for what is described as a "pep rally for the inner spirit."

The slinky, horn-powered groves of The Ohio Players will get the theater grooving on November 17. The mid '70s funk band is best known for their hits like Love Rollercoaster, and Fire.

The holiday season will kick begin with a presentation of Cajun Christmas. On December 1, Steve Riley & The Mamou Playboys will take the stage, accompanied by the pint-sized jazz ensemble Pelican 212 and other special guests.

On December 4, The Lightwire Theater will put on a production of A Very Electric Christmas. Audiences of all ages will delight in watching the luminous performance set to holiday classics by everyone from Tchaikovsky to Mariah Carey.

The holiday spirit will continue to flourish with a two-day engagement of Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz with Brian Shaw, Willis Delony, and Bill Grimes.  The program, performed on both December 6 and 7, will feature new arrangements of holiday favorites from Duke Ellington and The Nutcracker Suite.

2017 will begin with an American Classic: Charlotte's WebTheatreworksUSA will bring the tale of friendship, bravery, and love to the stage on January 13. It's sure to be "Some Play!"

Soul singer Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires will grace the Manship Stage on January 20. Bradley's hard hitting soul sound has been featured on shows like USA's Suits, and movies like The Dead Girl.

On the last day of January, the Manship will host Brian Gore's International Guitar Night. The tour, now in its 17th year, will feature three new guitarists: Luca Stricagnoli, Brazlian composer and performer Chrystian Dozza, and Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya.

Tony DeSare will be in town to serenade you and that special someone for a Valentine's show. DeSare has performed to critical acclaim everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Sin City. DeSare's Rat-Pack era swagger is evident in songs like New Orleans Tango.

The Grammy Award-winning group, Steep Canyon Rangers will unveil their ninth studio album Radio on February 17, when they take the stage. The group is known for collaborating with their amigo, former SNL funny man: Steve Martin, who is also a well-respected banjo player.

On February 19, the Aquila Theatre will perform Agatha Christie's own staging of her famous novel: Murder on the Nile. The suspense of the classic murder-mystery, woven into a tapestry of class, money, reputation, deceit, and theft.

March's lone engagement, A Year With Frog and Toad will take place on the 26. The hit Broadway Musical based on Aron Lobel's beloved tale was nominated for three Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The heartwarming tale of friendship will certainly be a show for the whole family.

The final month of the season begins with the Manship Theatre's Red Carpet Gala. The members-only event will feature a silent auction, food, and beverages, with music from Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers. The Grammy-award-winning artist, father of former LSU guard, Keith Hornsby is best known for his collaborations with the Grateful Dead, Spike Lee, Don Henley, Bob Dylan, and Bonnie Raitt.

Sun Records brought the voices of Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash. On April 12, the Manship will pay tribute to the rock-n-roll sound of the 1950s with A Night to Remember: Presley, Perkins, Lewis & Cash Tribute Night. The audience will be transported from Nashville to New Orleans; from Folsom Prison to the Rock-n-Roll hall of fame as the stars of Sun Records serenade the audience with some of their greatest hits.

The Manship's season comes to a close with Broadway's Next Hit Musical: A Night of Improvised Theatre. On April 27, the audience will see a one-of-a-kind improvised musical theater production which the New York Times hails as a "musical of, for, and by the people." The first half of a show is a parody of a musical awards show where the improv troupe takes turns improvising "award winning" songs from audience suggested song titles. Each song is voted on by the audience and the winning tune becomes "Broadway's Next Hit Musical." During the second half of the show, the troupe improvises an entire musical based on the winning song.

Tickets go on sale April 5, 2017 at or by calling 225-344-0334.

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