The Carolina Theatre of Durham (North Carolina) today announced its 2011-12 Star Series with 23 outstanding performances in a newly-renovated Fletcher Hall beginning October 1 with a concert by Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. Highlights include concerts by Sweet Honey in the Rock, Aaron Neville, former Yes lead singer Jon Anderson, and Chris Thile of Nickel Creek; comedy by Mike Birbiglia, and a performance by actress and author Carrie Fisher.
The season includes a number of exciting solo acoustic performances by pianist Bruce Hornsby, country legend Travis Tritt and Punch Brothers.
The Carolina’s tradition of great jazz continues with return appearances by Boney James and George Winston, and a duo piano concert featuring David Benoit & Brian Culbertson.
Family shows include John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean, the world famous Peking Acrobats, and Nick Jr. favorites Max & Ruby.
“This is truly a dynamic collection of shows,” said Bob Nocek, President/CEO of the Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. “We’re extremely proud to be able to offer so many phenomenal artists, many of whom have never before performed in Durham. Programming has been the number one priority throughout my first year as CEO, and I think the result is a season that will excite the Carolina Theatre’s fans.”
All performances take place in the 1,043-seat Fletcher Hall, which will undergo significant renovations as part of $1.8 million in construction in the city-owned Carolina Theatre complex. The changes include new carpeting, plaster repairs and painting, sound upgrades, and the opening – for the first time – of the six private boxes next to the stage.
“I honestly can’t wait to see these great artists in what will feel like a brand new hall,” Nocek said. “We’ve always had a wonderfully intimate space, and with some touching up, it’s going to be truly spectacular.”
The season includes several partnerships with area arts organizations. Duke Performances is a co-presenter of Numero’s Eccentric Soul Revue and the solo acoustic Chris Thile concert. Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show is a joint effort with the Durham Performing Arts Center. Appearances by Mike Birbiglia and The Second City are part of the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival.
“One of the things I most love about the arts in the Triangle is the eagerness of my peers to work together,” Nocek said. “None of us are beyond putting our egos aside to present great shows and create successful relationships.”
The season announcement is a traditional starting point for the Carolina Theatre’s programming year, but as in the past, additional shows will be added and announced throughout the year.
“This is just the beginning,” Nocek said. “Some of the most exciting names are still in the works.”
The shows announced today will go on sale Friday, June 10 at 10 a.m. at the Carolina Theatre box office at 919-560-3030, online at carolinatheatre.org, and through Ticketmaster. New for 2011 are a pair of multi-show discount plans – Pick 3 (15% discount) and Pick 5 (25% discount) that will enable the Carolina’s most active fans to save by attending even more shows this season.