Marshall Artists Series announces 2018-19 season

August 5, 2018
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At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16 score a chance to see the classic film "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" in Concert at the Keith-Albee.

Marshall Artists Series 82nd Season includes Steve Martin & Martin Short, Brian Wilson & The Beach Boys, The Barenaked Ladies, Broadway’s smash hits: Jersey Boys, Evita, Cinderella and Rock of Ages, and more

HUNTINGTON - What does Steve Martin, Brian Wilson, The Barenaked Ladies, Evita and Cinderella have in common?

They are all coming to a theater near you.

The Marshall Artists Series announced their lineup for its 82nd season which kicks off with the Canadian Music Hall of Fame pop-rock icons, The Barenaked Ladies on Oct. 11. They’re scheduled to play at the majestic Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center in downtown Huntington.

Season tickets are now on sale for the diverse 2018-19 season featuring iconic comedians Steve Martin and Martin Short, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, Brian Wilson, four smash Broadway touring shows, two orchestra concerts including soulful jazz artist Gregory Porter. On the bill is a lecture by Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Doris Kearns Goodwin, three film festivals as well as a unique film screening of the classic, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” with Harry Mancini’s score played by a live orchestra.

Penny Watkins, executive director of the Marshall Artists Series, said that they proud to present a wide variety of programs to continue the Series tradition of serving as the cultural center for Marshall University there they can cultivate a greater understanding and appreciation of the performing arts.

“We believe the performing arts are vital to an incredible heritage,” said Watkins, an area native who came back home in 1997 to run the Artists Series after working in New York City. “At 82 years old, the Marshall Artists Series is more than Arts and Education. We annually create 600 seasonal jobs, bring educational opportunities to more than 6,000 school children through our performances each year and we generate a $2 million dollar footprint in the community. We are proud to service our city and state’s economy.”

“In addition, we have more than 7,500 Marshall University students attend - free of charge - our performances each year offer educational opportunities outside of the classroom including artist masterclasses, and offer employment opportunities for students,” Watkins added.

Here’s a closer look at the 2018-’19 Marshall Artists Series

The Baxter Series Author

Doris Kearns Goodwin

At 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin will be discussing her new book, “Leadership in Turbulent Times,” at Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

This book is the product of five decades of work in presidential history and combines storytelling with essential lessons from four of our nation’s presidents - Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson. Goodwin explores their unique journeys to recognizing themselves as leaders as the navigated adversity, and confronted the challenges of their time.

Hosting Goodwin continues the Artists Series tradition of in addition to Broadway shows and pop stars hosting educational lectures.

The Artists Series actually began with a lecture on Sept. 15, 1936, when rear admiral Richard Byrd, the explorer of Antarctica, spoke and showed a film at city hall.

“Obviously it is close to election time, it will be neat to have her political perspective,” Jones said of Kearns Goodwill, whose book Steven Spielberg adapted for the movie “Lincoln.”

‘Jersey Boys’

At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 27, it is the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Jersey Boys at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. Get a glimpse of the inside story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons as these four guys from New Jersey try to make it in the world of music. Featuring hit songs such as “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and “Can’t Take My Eyes off You” you’ll love watching as this tale takes you from New Jersey’s streets all the way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

While every other show on the 2018-’19 tour is at the Keith-Albee, this show was too big for the Keith’s stage, meaning there’s only about 500 seats for this show.

“We had Frankie Valli just a few years ago so it is really cool to have the musical that made Valli’s music come back and become a phenomena again,” Jones said.

Grammy winner Gregory Porter

Influenced by the music of Nat “King” Cole since childhood, two-time Grammy winner, Gregory Porter will be performing songs from his fifth studio album, Nat “King” Cole & Me. Porter accompanied by an orchestra will sing some holiday favorites at the Keith-Albee beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 4. This album is a heartfelt tribute to the legendary singer, pianist, and Capitol recording artist. “He was one of a kind. He left such great music - such beautiful things to listen to that you can’t help but be influenced by that extraordinary timbre, style, and ultimate cool,” as Porter puts it.


At 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 28, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tony Award-winning musical “Evita” chronicles the rise and fall of one of the world’s most glamorous first ladies, Eva Peron. This ground-breaking musical combines Latin music, pop, jazz, and musical theatre styles that has captivated audiences for more than 40 years.

“In January, we have ‘Evita’ which is awesome. It’s Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and they have done everything from “Cats” and “Phantom of the Opera” to “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Jones said.


At 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, relive the classic fairy tale with Rogers & Hammerstein’s Tony Award winning musical interpretation of Cinderella at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center.

Enjoy a fantastic production with an incredible orchestra plays some of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s most beloved and well known songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and more. This hilarious and romantic Broadway experience is perfect for anyone who has ever had a wish or dream. “It is the actual big, lush Broadway musical,” Jones said. “It will be like when we had ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ it’s going to be a spectacle like that.”

The 2018-19 Mount

Series Barenaked Ladies

Currently out on a nationwide tour promoting their fifteenth studio album, “Fake Nudes,“the Barenaked Ladies will be performing at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11.

Recently inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, the Toronto-based band will be marking their 30th anniversary next year.

“We kick off with The Barenaked Ladies. They were recently inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, who have sold more than 14 million albums. It’s funny they actually have a song called Brian Wilson, which Brian Wilson actually covered,” Jones said.

Rock and Roll Hall of

Famer, Brian Wilson

Enjoy an evening filled with the sounds of summer as Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys hit the stage at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6. Among the many honors that Wilson has received throughout the years are multiple Grammy Awards, an induction to the Rock and of Hall of Fame in 1988, and an induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

“We lead into Brian Wilson, he is doing a 50th anniversary of “Pet Sounds tour,” he has two of the original members of The Beach Boys traveling with him Al Jardine and Blondie Chaplin. He is a super legendary artist who is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and was a Kennedy Center recipient. He really is one of those musical artists that truly is a tortured genius - that is going to be an incredible show.

‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’

(with live orchestral score)

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, share breakfast with the always charming Audrey Hepburn in her role as Holly Golightly, a would-be New York socialite determined to marry a millionaire, in the classic film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” in Concert at the Keith-Albee.

Relive Henry Mancini’s legendary score, including the Oscar and Grammy winning song, “Moon River.” The Artists Series brings back a film with live orchestra something it tried two years ago when the Huntington Symphony Orchestra played during a screening of Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas.”

″‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ is such a classic because it’s a fun, sweet romantic comedy with music that is lush and beautiful. It will be completely different from when we did this the last time - for ‘Nightmare Before Christmas.’ It’s Feb. 16 so it is close to Valentine’s Day which makes it a great date night opportunity.”

Jones said with offerings such as the unique “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” it is always special to watch film inside the Keith-Albee.

“Just to see a film like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ at the Keith-Albee is an experience - film and the Keith-Albee to me just go hand in hand.”

Steve Martin and Martin Short

At 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 9, plan to experience an evening of nonstop laughter when Steve Martin & Martin Short reunite at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Having recently released a Netflix special, “A Night You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life,” the two veteran comedians are now out on tour performing across the country.

“It’s not playing markets like ours I am not sure how Penny did it,” Jones said. “We are honored as a market our size to have a show like that. I think the Artists Series has a good reputation for having good crowds and being hospitable, and our legacy of being 82 years old.”

She said it probably didn’t hurt that Martin Short (who played The Clay Center last year) had played the Artist Series in February 2008.

“Martin Short was epic when he was here and Steve Martin come on, they’re amazing together,” Jones said.

In recent years such comedians as Jay Leno, Jim Gaffigan, Margaret Cho, Daniel Tosh, Aziz Ansari, John Mulaney, and Leslie Jones from SNL have played the Artists Series.

“They are of our big headliners,” Jones said. “Obviously with the state of the world we could all use a laugh, so why not bring in the heavy hitters. We have a great comedy legacy with the Artist Series so this is just another major spoke in that wheel.”

Broadway musical,

‘Rock of Ages’

Get ready to rock out to the music of hit bands such as Styx, Poison, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, and many others as the Broadway hit Rock of Ages comes to the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 9. The five time Tony nominee, including Best Musical, is blazing across North America on its Tenth Anniversary Tour. Feel the Noise and Take Your Best Shot as the iconic musical captures the era that was 1980s Hollywood as Stacee Jaxx returns to the stage at one of the Sunset Strip’s last epic venue and rock-n-roll dreamers line up to make their fantasies reality. “Everybody here just loves that throwback music - all of those artists like Journey and Def Leppard and REO Speedwagon. Those all sell well in Huntington because people love the music, and they still love it and it still resonates with them.”

Banff Mountain Film Festival

The Banff Mountain Film Festival returns for its third year at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 2. The most prestigious adventure film festival in the world, every fall right after the festival is held in Banff, Alberta. The Banff Mountain Film Festival takes off on a world tour traveling to more than 400 communities in 40 countries.

The mind-blowing film fest features the world’s best mountain sport, culture and environmental films you can experience the thrills and challenges that inspire us all.

Go online at https://www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/worldtour/usa to find out more about Banff Mountain Film Fest.

Fall International Film Festival

The Fall International Film Festival will take place over 4 days - Nov. 14 at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Featured films include “RBG” (United States), “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile), “The Insult” (Lebanon), “Loveless” (Russia), “Back to Burgundy” (France), and “Angels Wear White” (China).

“We have RBG” - it just finished a run in Charleston at the Underground Cinema and I really wanted to bring it,” Jones said of the documentary about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “We’ve been doing some educational outreach, we have been trying to get some of the local schools to bring kids not only to the Broadway shows but also to the film festival. What better opportunity than with the Supreme Court vacancy now and knowing that this person could be on there for as long as she has been. It kind of shows the impact of how powerful the people you vote in and who they vote in.”

The Fall Film Fest also features the Oscar winner from Chile, “Fantastic Woman,” and two other Oscar nominated films showing in the fall are “The Insult” from Lebanon, and “Loveless” from Russia.

Another unique film screened in fall will be “Back to Burgundy,” a French film that is set in the famous wine-producing region. The film traces three siblings of a wine-making family who must come together to save their family’s land after their father falls ill. Jones said they are still working on a small special wine reception for one of those screenings.

Spring International

Film Festival

The Spring International Film Festival will take place Feb. 7-10 at the Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center. Featured films include “The China Hustle” (United States), “The Guilty” (Denmark), “Daughter of Mine” (Italy), “The Desert Bride” (Argentina), “I Am Not A Witch” (UK, France, and Germany), and “The Nile Hilton Incident” (Egypt).

In the Spring, there are films from China, Denmark, Italy, Argentina, UK, France, Germany and Egypt.

“We truly are covering the world and showing films that are very relevant to what is happening in our time,” Jones said.

With so much emphasis of late on global trade, Jones stated it is good timing to screen the film. “The China Hustle” is an eye-opening documentary about a Wall Street horror story involving a massive web fraud with Chinese companies and the American stock market.

“We had a round-table discussion with some of our film patrons about the festival, and some people suggested doing a matinee during a week-day screening so we are going to do an 11 a.m. screening to give people an extra opportunity, if people who want to see film but who maybe don’t want to give up a night.”

Get Season Tickets

The deadline to purchase or renew season ticket packages is Wednesday, Aug. 15. Now is also the perfect opportunity for new subscribers to come on board. For information call 304-696-3326.

Season Package Pricing:


(Baxter, Mount plus Film Festivals plus Banff)

n Price 1: $985

n Price 2: $735

n Price 3: $650

n Price 4: $565

Baxter Series

n Price 1: $500

n Price 2: $350

n Price 3: $300

n Price 4: $285

Mount Series

n Price 1: $600

n Price 2: $450

n Price 3: $400

n Price 4: $350

Series prices listed above do not include WV state sales tax, service fees and Keith-Albee restoration fee.

International Film Festival

(Includes Fall & Spring Festivals) - $103.33 (Includes taxes & fees)

Payment Plan: The Marshall Artists Series is again offering a payment plan and will offer their patrons greater flexibility in their season planning - the two payment plan. If you are interested in that plan, please call 304-696-3326.

Individual Tickets: Tickets for individual events go on sale, Monday, Sept. 10.

Contact: The Marshall Artists Series accepts all major credit cards. Season packages may be ordered via telephone by calling 304-696-3326. Orders may also be mailed into Marshall Artists Series, One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755-2210, be faxed to 304-696-6658 or emailed to artistsseries@marshall.edu. The Marshall Artists Series office is located in the Jomie Jazz Center on Fifth Avenue across from Marshall University’s Student Center. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

304-696-3334, grant2@marshall.edu.

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