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Freed Center-Spring Preview 2017

Here is what to expect from the Freed Center this Spring Semester (Photo/

From operas, special performances and world premiere musicals, Ohio Northern University’s Freed Center for the Performing Arts kicks off its Spring 2017 dramatic arts schedule with a variety of performances. While continuing the tradition of a spring musical and a play for the semester, the Freed Center also brings new performers and special guests, as well as concerts by ensembles, and a variety of musical works alike. 

On Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Biggs Theatre, Tony Award winner and Broadway legend Ben Vereen will take the stage, performing hit songs and dance numbers. With a blend of Frank Sinatra and Broadway showtunes, Vereen will perform hit songs, including “Defying Gravity” and “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries.”

During the month of February, the performances begin with the Choreographers’ Showcase, which will be Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 5 at 2 p.m. The show features a variety of dance styles; it’s a showcase presented by both ONU students and faculty. 

Need a good laugh? Then “Broadway’s Next H!T Musical” could do just that for audiences on Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Biggs Theatre. Praised by The New York Times and The New York Post, this musical is known for being unscripted. Audiences will be able to interact with the performers by picking song suggestions, while the improvisers create a musical based off the selected songs.

From Feb. 16-19 in the Stambaugh Studio Theatre, the theatre department presents “Elysium,” a new musical presented to the ONU community. With books and lyrics by Yianni Papadimos, and music by Ben Chavez, “Elysium” tells the tale of an Ohio family drowning in secrets. From childhood friends, and dark family secrets being revealed, the musical brings thrill and high expectations. 

On Feb. 25 at 7:30 p.m., the ONU Wind Orchestra presents its “Raising the Bar” concert. The ensemble, directed by Thomas Hunt, will feature memorable pieces, including the theme song from the film “Schindler’s List.” The next day, Feb. 26 at 3 p.m., the ONU Symphony presents “Glory, War and Peace” and will be composed by Emmy-winning composer Nathan Pangrazio. The work will reference Civil War times. 

Feb. 26 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Centenial Dixeland Jazz Band (CDJB), an ensemble that celebrates the first CDJB who recorded jazz in 1917. With five musicians from New Orleans, the music will perform many classical jazz numbers for the ONU community.   

The Hypnotic Brass Ensemble will visit ONU on March 18 in the Biggs Theatre. The ensemble is composed of seven brothers who have toured the United States, performing classic pieces such as Beethoven and various original pieces. The next day, March 19, the ONU Symphonic Band will perform its program, “Of Dreams and Legends: Music of the Masters.” The show honors and tributes the great Stephen Foster, who is considered a father of American music. 

Considered one of the greats in musical theatre history, “The Pirates of Penzance” tells the story of fiercely sentimental pirates in this classic comedy. The performance will set sail on April 6 and will continue until its final performance on April 9. 

On April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Stambaugh Studio Theatre, the International Play Festival kicks off its performance weekend. The festival offers a variety of cultural sounds, along with readings from several international plays.    

Last but not least, the final performance in the Biggs Theatre on May 6 will be by the ONU Symphony Orchestra, featuring songs by Beethoven, along with a world premiere by Kurt Doles. 


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