Performing Arts Season includes Acrobats, Comedy and Music

courtesy photo
Natalie McMaster and Donnell Leahy return to Fuller Hall on the St. Johnsbury Academy campus on December 21.

ST. JOHNSBURY – The KCP Presents Performing Arts Series has announced a 2022-23 line-up, featuring dance, music, theater, comedy, and acrobats in 11 live performances from seven countries. Known for bringing big city acts to small NEK towns, KCP Presents packs Vermont venues from churches and high schools to state-of-the-art performance centers with acts whose tours play the world’s most famous stages. This year’s season ends March 29, with traditional drummers from Japan.

On October 13, Switzerland-based theater troupe, Mummenschanz, celebrates 50 years of innovation at VSU-Johnson. Creating experiences through the use of shadow, light, and creative manipulation, Mummenschanz is a spectacle the New York Times calls “witty, dazzling, and delightful.”

The Acting Company, New York’s premier touring theater company, presents Shakespeare’s iconic “Romeo and Juliet,” on October 27, at Fuller Hall. Boasting alumni such as Kevin Kline, Patti Lupone, Frances Conroy, and Rainn Wilson, the Acting Company specializes in breathing new life into enduring tales.

On November 13, the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) Studio Company will perform at Lyndon Institute. Tasked with developing the next generation of one of the world’s greatest dance companies, the Studio Company performs masterworks of the classical and neoclassical canons as well as ABT repertoire and original choreography.

On December 8, at St. Johnsbury Academy’s Fuller Hall, the three-time Grammy-winning Soweto Gospel Choir commemorates South Africa’s historic Freedom Movement and the similarly powerful US Civil Rights Movement with a new program. “Hope” includes South African freedom songs that inspired their Rainbow Nation as well as renditions of works by legendary American artists such as Billie Holiday, James Brown, Otis Redding, Curtis Mayfield, and Aretha Franklin.

Two days later, Grammy-nominated Trio Medieval presents a program of medieval sacred music, folk music, contemporary Nordic jazz, and improvisation, both with and without instruments, at South Church Hall, December 10.

Finally, after years of pandemic-related postponements, Emmy-winning comedian Paula Poundstone will play two shows at VSU-Johnson on December 16 and 17. Famous for her razor-sharp wit and spontaneity, dubbed one of the “greatest stand-ups of all time,” by Comedy Central, Poundstone has been a frequent guest on Leno, Letterman, and Prairie Home Companion and remains a staple of NPR’s “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me.”

The New Year will bring the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine, on January 29, to Lyndon Institute Auditorium. Established in 1902 in the medieval city of Lviv, the orchestra performed 115 concerts for 115,000 people in its first year. Award-winning conductor Theodore Kuchar will lead the orchestra in a program that includes Brahms, Bruch, and Beethoven.

Northeast Kingdom favorites Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy return to Fuller Hall on December 21 with their characteristic fast-paced jigs, reels, and Maritimes fiddle favorites. Their high-energy shows include foot-tapping melodies, ballads, and step dancing with piano, bagpipes, guitar, accordion, and fiddles.

On March 29, the Peking Acrobats will be at VSU-Johnson performing maneuvers atop a pagoda of chairs, trick-cycling, tumbling, juggling, and defying gravity with displays of contortion, flexibility, and control. Part of a time-honored tradition rooted in centuries of Chinese folk art, the Peking Acrobats have been redefining audience perceptions of Chinese acrobatics for 32 years, integrating 21st century technology and innovation to bring their act to unprecedented heights.

Finally, the KCP Presents season closes on April 16, at Lyndon Institute with the Yamato Drummers of Japan. Hailing from the birthplace of Japanese culture, Wadaiko drums, made of animal skins and trees that are often hundreds of years old, personify the pulse and life source of the human soul. Played with athletic reverence and power by highly trained performers, the drums will resonate with audiences worldwide long after the last beat has been struck.

For more information on the 2022-23 KCP Presents season, and to purchase season passes or single show tickets, visit catamountarts.org or kcppresents.org.