A night at the Craterian

Craterian Performances has announced its 2010-2011 season of national touring shows, including three productions by its youth theater programs — Children's and Teen Musical Theaters of Oregon — and its eighth annual Gingerbread Jubilee.

"We're trying to bring the world to our stage, not just what is familiar," says Stephen McCandless, Craterian Performances' executive director. "We strive to present a diverse mix of shows that offers something for everyone.

"So whether you need a good laugh, or you are a Broadway buff, a dance enthusiast or enjoy the music of other cultures, there will be shows you won't want to miss during the 2010-2011 season."

Craterian Performances is a nonprofit organization that stages its shows in Medford's premier performing arts center, the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave.

Stand-up comedian Brian Regan kicks off the new season in late August with his sophisticated and self-deprecating wit. His show is clean, nonpolitical and hysterical. Then get set for "Whose Live Anyway?" when improvisational comedy team Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops and Jeff Davis — all former stars of the hit television show "Whose Line Is It Anyway" — return to the Craterian in October.

Actor Tim Behrens also returns with the comedy of author Pat McManus and will present a Valentine's Day show, "McManus in Love," in February.

Late Nite Catechism, an interactive show that is part ecclesiastical class and part stand-up comedy, comes to the Craterian in April.

Also in April, actor and musician Adam Pascal, best known for his Tony-nominated performance in the 1996 Broadway musical "Rent" and its 2005 film version, will present show tunes, popular hits and his own original music in a rare concert appearance.

Four Broadway musicals are set for February and April: "Spamalot," based on Monty Python's "Holy Grail" and winner of the 2005 Tony Award for best musical; Broadway smash "Legally Blonde the Musical"; "A Chorus Line," one of the longest running shows in Broadway history, and "Fiddler on the Roof."

A range of music acts during the 2010-2011 season includes contemporary Christian band MercyMe; Hep Cat's Ball with hot jazz and swing music from the '20s, '30s and '40s, Celtic fiddle masters Donnell Leahy and Natalie MacMaster, and Playing for Change, a multimedia music project.

A new song and dance revue overflowing with tunes by George and Ira Gershwin, " 'Swonderful," is set for January.

International bluegrass artists Dailey and Vincent perform in February; American Stars in Concert Celebrate Motown will feature four "American Ido" finalists in March; and Grammy-nominated Tiempo Libre of Miami will perform its mix of Latin jazz and Afro-Cuban beats in May.

Traditional holiday shows return to the Craterian this season. The Portland-based Trail Band will be in December, and the eighth annual GingerBread Jubilee — a gingerbread contest, benefit auction and exhibit to benefit the Craterian Theater — will be in November.

Dance shows include Ailey II in January, Tango Inferno in March and Northwest Dance Project in April.

Family shows feature Cirque Mechanics Boomtown in October, fantasy artist Michel Lauzière in February and Aluminum, a spectacle of dance, puppetry and illusion, in March.

The Craterian's youth programs — Teen Musical Theater of Oregon and Children's Musical Theater of Oregon — will present "Seussical the Musical" in August, "A Howlin' Halloween" in October and "Hello, Dolly!" in March.

Free community events at the Craterian Theater will include "Stars on Stage: Celebrating State Soloists" in April and the Viva Voce Community Singalong in May.

Craterian Theater also is home for organizations including Rogue Opera, Rogue Valley Chorale, Rogue Valley Symphony, Ballet Rogue, Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon and Rogue Valley Youth Choruses and other community events.

Craterian Performances members receive presale privileges. Ticket orders by mail or fax will be processed in each membership level according to date received, beginning June 1 and continuing for seven weeks. Memberships start at $50 and support the theater's programming and operations. For information, call 541-779-8195, ext 303.

Tickets sales will be open to the general public on July 20. Call the box office at 541-779-3000. Internet sales will begin on July 28. Visit www.craterian.org.

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