There's a lot to choose from in the Center for the Performing Arts' just-announced 2011/12 lineup.
Joshua Bell, who played the Palladium May 5 with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, will be back next April with the Academy of St. Martin in the Field.
Chris Botti, who performed briefly at the opening celebration, will return for a full concert in February.
The still-in-the-works Tarkington Theatre at the CPA will host most of the dance series, including performances by Ballet Memphis, Parsons Dance, and Complexions as well as jazz headliners Spyro Gyra and Kevin Eubanks.
The message seems to have been recieved that country is big in Carmel. Darius Rucker, Wynonna, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap, Dwight Yokum and more are on the horizon. And if country works, how about bluegrass? The Palladium will feature concerts with Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs and others.
This will be the first holiday season at the Center, so in addition to the theatrical offerings in the Tarkington and the Studio Theatre, the center will offer Christmas shows from Brenda Lee, Boston Brass, and more.
Pop concerts won't be available as a series, because I'm guessing there's not a big overlap between the audiences for Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Bacon Brothers, Babyface, Chris Isaak, and Bruce Hornsby.
A Next Wave series launches in the Studio Theatre, featuring Abigail Washburn, Joanna Smith, Chely Wright, and others.
Oh, and the Chinese Acrobats, The Chieftains, Yo-Yo Ma, Christine Ebersole, Soweto Gospel, and Bill Cosby will also share their talents.
Looks like a lot to enjoy. My only caveat: I wish most of the Songbook Series didn't pair its performers with Michael Feinstein. Nothing against Feinstein. He's a strong showman and terrific storyteller. But wouldn't his talents be better served in bringing attention to lesser-known acts rather than have him share the spotlight with Sandi Patty, Bernadetter Peters, and Marvin Hamlisch, each of whom will be paired with him in upcoming concerts?.(To see Bernadette Peters solo, you can catch her this season in concert in Fort Wayne and at IU Bloomington).