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Bologna Performing Arts Center

The Bologna Performing Arts Center presents "Room on the Broom" Nov. 13 as part of the School-Time Matinee Series.

Children’s book comes to life at BPAC

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The Bologna Performing Arts Center welcomes Tall Stories Theatre Company of London, England, on Nov. 13 for the performance of “Room on the Broom,” a musical based on the beloved children’s book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Showing once at 9:30 a.m. and again at 11:30 a.m., the production is is recommended for school groups and families with children in pre-k through third grade, with curriculum connections in language arts, literature, science, fine arts and community values.

The performance is part of the BPAC’s School-Time Matinee Series.

The Sunday Times has described the show as “55 minutes of high-energy treat.”

The witch and her cat are flying happily on their broomstick – until a stormy wind blows away the witch’s hat, bow and wand. A helpful dog, bird and frog find the witch’s lost things, and they all hop on the broom for a ride. But this broomstick’s not meant for five and – CRACK – the broom snaps in two. When a hungry dragon appears, who will save the poor witch? And will there ever be room on the broom for everyone?

“Room on the Broom” is locally sponsored by Monsanto Company.

Ticket order forms and complimentary study guides are available for download at www.bolognapac.com/education/school-time-matinee-series. To reserve seats for your group or for more information, call Joannah Taylor, Arts Education coordinator, at 662-846-4844.

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Have “A Very Electric Christmas” at the BPAC

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Lightwire Theater’s “A Very Electric Christmas” is coming to the Bologna Performing Arts Center Nov. 19 at 7 p.m.

Follow the story of a young bird named Max and his family as they begin their journey south for the winter. When Max gets blown off course and ends up at the North Pole, his adventure begins.

Dancing toy soldiers, caroling worms and performing poinsettias light up the stage in this holiday special. Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits, including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky.

Based in New Orleans, Lightwire Theater is internationally recognized for their electroluminescent artistry, poignant story telling and performances in complete darkness.

“We first brought Lightwire Theater’s ‘The Ugly Duckling’ and ‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ to the BPAC in 2012 as part of our Matinee Series,” said Laura Howell, BPAC executive director. “Our audience loved them so much, our programming committee knew we wanted to bring the group back to our Main Stage Series. We also appreciate being able to present performances that the whole family can attend together and enjoy, especially during the holidays.”

Prior to the performance, beginning at 5:45 p.m., enjoy hot cocoa and cookies in the BPAC lobby. Patrons are encourage to bring their cameras, as once again Santa will be stopping by the BPAC to pay the children a visit.

“‘A Very Electric Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to bring families together and start a new holiday tradition,” Howell added. “Children must be at least two-years-old to attend, have their own ticket and be able to sit in their own seat. The performance is approximately 80 minutes long, plus a 15-minute intermission.”

Tickets are now on sale at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 662-846-4626, or go online at www.bolognapac.com. Tickets are $25-35 and discounts are available for groups of 10 or more.

Jeremy Davis, Clay Johnson and the Fabulous Equinox Orchestra will perform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center Oct. 20. A special pre-show dinner will take place in the Jimmy & Hazel Sanders Sculpture Garden.

Big band performance and sculpture garden dinner planned at BPAC

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Jeremy Davis, Clay Johnson and their fiery hot 17-piece big band Fabulous Equinox Orchestra, will perform at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on the campus of Delta State University Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. The event will also feature a pre-show dinner and live music in the Jimmy & Hazel Sanders Sculpture Garden.

All across America, audiences have fallen in love with these two sophisticated Southern gentleman and their high-energy show. Along with the greatest songs, the best original arrangements, and phenomenal musicianship, the duo brings their rich friendship and charm to the stage.

Fashioned in the style and swagger of legendary entertainers like Frank Sinatra, Davis and Johnson are putting their own stamp on the great American songbook, graced with a touch of Motown, Ray Charles, Johnny Cash, Elvis and more. The show offers a freshness and relevance that speaks to every soul.

Prior to the show, the sculpture garden will feature a special dinner and live music. Delta Meat Market will be cooking on site offering select items for purchase. Tours will also be available of the recently installed sculptures in the garden. Dinner is scheduled from 5:45-7:15 p.m., and the main performance begins on stage at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets to the show are $25-35 and are available at the BPAC Ticket Office, open Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 662-846-4626 or purchase tickets online at www.bolognapac.com. Tickets to the performance are not required to attend the dinner, as food purchases may be made on site.

For more information, stop by the Bologna Center Ticket Office, call 662-846-4626 or visit www.bolognapac.com.

GRAMMY Award nominee Bobby Rush (left) and James “Super Chikan” Johnson will be featured in a free concert at the Bologna Performing Arts Center on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.

Bobby Rush and Super Chikan launch “Storytellers” tour at Delta State

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Blues legends Bobby Rush and James “Super Chikan” Johnson have teamed up to perform a free concert at Delta State University’s Bologna Performing Arts Center on Oct.6. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m, and the concert will begin at 7 p.m.

The event, “The Storytellers featuring Bobby Rush and Super Chikan: Up Close and Personal,” will be the closing activity for Delta State’s second annual International Conference on the Blues, which is part of the institution’s International Delta Blues Project.

The concert is free and open to the public through sponsorship from the IDBP and the BPAC.

“We are always pleased to present free programming for our community,” said Laura Howell, executive director of the BPAC. “This partnership with the International Delta Blues Project provides a great opportunity for access to these incredible blues musicians and the stories they have to tell.”

“Storytellers” is a stripped-down concert format that invites music lovers of all ages and backgrounds to experience two renowned blues artists singing and telling stories about their lives, careers, the blues and the Mississippi Delta in distinctly personal ways.

“This concert is about telling where I come from and where my people come from — the Mississippi Delta,” said Rush. “It is about sharing my life and the lives of people who came before me. It’s about impacting the lives of those who are coming after me.

“I am 81-years-old. Now that B.B. King has passed, I am the oldest blues singer in the world. I want to tell the story of where the blues came from, what it is about and where it should go. These are stories that need to be told. I want to educate people about this, and Delta State’s International Conference on the Blues is the place to start.”

Dr. Rolando Herts, director of The Delta Center for Culture and Learning, is thrilled to bring the talented musicians to campus.

“We are excited that Bobby Rush and Super Chikan chose Delta State, the home of the International Delta Blues Project, as the place to launch their tour,” said Herts. “This concert is part of a broader effort to promote Delta State, Cleveland, and the Mississippi Delta as leading destinations for Blues music and culture. We also are pleased that generous support from the Hearin Foundation and our partnership with the BPAC allow us to make this live concert event free for Delta residents and visitors.”

The “Storytellers” concert is featured on the live music performance schedule for the Bridging the Blues Festival, an annual series of September and October events across Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee celebrating the rich music and culture of the region.

A GRAMMY Award nominee, Bobby Rush is the winner of multiple Blues Music Awards including Soul Blues Album of the Year, Acoustic Album of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year. Rolling Stone magazine named him “The King of the Chitlin’ Circuit,” a distinguished African American cultural heritage designation that pays homage to the Southern network of clubs, theaters, halls and juke joints that catered to black audiences during the racially segregated Jim Crow Era. Rush has recorded over 100 albums in his more than 60-year career. He continues to perform over 200 shows a year from Mississippi to Japan and headlines major festivals and concerts for upwards of 20,000 people a night.

James “Super Chikan” Johnson is the recipient of the Mississippi’s Governors Award for Excellence in the Arts and the recipient of the prestigious Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission. He is a native of Darling, Miss., a rural Mississippi Delta community located in Quitman County. As a boy growing up in the country, he was fascinated by his family’s chickens, thus earning him the nickname “Chicken.” His critically acclaimed debut album, “Blues Come Home to Roost,” featured songs about humorous and serious aspects of life in the Mississippi Delta. The album earned him awards for Best Blues Album and Best Debut Album from the 1998 Living Blues Magazine Awards.

For more information about the “Storytellers” concert, visit http://bolognapac.com/events/the-storytellers-featuring-bobby-rush-and-super-chikan-up-close-and-personal/.

For over 21 years, the Bologna Performing Arts Center at Delta State University has been bringing together artists and audiences to celebrate the arts and enrich the cultural life of the Delta community. For more information on upcoming performances, visit www.bolognapac.com.

The mission of The Delta Center is to promote greater understanding of Mississippi Delta culture and history and its significance to the world through education, partnerships and community engagement. The Delta Center is the home of the International Delta Blues Project and serves as the management entity of the Mississippi Delta National Heritage Area. For more information, visit http://www.deltastate.edu/academics/delta-center-for-culture-and-learning/.