Opera star Deborah Voigt, Country legend Merle Haggard. Folk mainstay Arlo Guthrie. Broadway diva Patti LuPone.
All will be playing the Palladium next season. And I'd like to see them all.
In addition to Voigt, the 20132014 classical lineup includes pianist Lang Lang, James Galway with the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Pinchas Zukerman with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, violinist Midori and a few surprises: The Bahia Orchestra with Jean-Yves Thibaudet and the Haifa Symphony Orchestra. Meanwhile, Michael Feinstein's pride and joy, the Songbook Series, includes Patti LuPone, Linda Eder, Mandy Patinkin and a Feinstein program of Gershwin music built around his terrific book "The Gershwins & Me."
I'd happily take a seat at any of the above (well, except for Eder, who was lifeless at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club all too recently).
Jazz and blues more your speed? The Palladium will host Buddy Guy, Tito Puente Jr. with the Pacific Mambo Orchestra, The Pat Metheny Unity Band, and potential season-highlight concerts from New Orleans singer/pianist Jonathan Batiste and singer/guitarist Madeleine Peyroux. Country names include, in addition to Haggard, Craig Morgan, Gretchen Wilson, Trace Adkins, Kenny Rogers and Lee Greenwood.
Promising stuff in there, too.
With Center for the Performing Arts' boss Tania Castroverde Moskalenko's background in dance, I'm curious to see the acts she's helped pick, including Rioult Modern Dance Company, which is paired with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra in November. Also on the dance bill, Hungarian State Folk Dance Ensemble, Moscow Festival Ballet and Koresh Dance Company. The World State Series offerings include Argentine pianist/composer Fernando Otero, Tao: The Martial Art of Drumming, fado singer Mariza, and the return of The Chieftans.
Most, except for The Chieftans, of course, are wild cards in these parts. And it's good to see the center take risks. Of course, there's pop and rock, too, but the lineup is less risky: Kansas, Aaron Neville & Dianne Reeves, Gloria Gaynor, The Temptations/The Four Tops, Jonny Lang and an ABBA tribute concert.
Ones that don't fit into the above series include Arlo Guthrie, Celtic Thunder, Ricky Skaggs/Bruce Hornsby and The 5 Browns, Jim Brickman and Dave Koz (the latter two with Christmas shows).
The most innovative push, though, is with family shows. We'll be seeing such companies as Imago Theater, the Cashore Marionettes and Teatro di Piazza D'Occasione. (For a taste of the last act, click here. Trust me, this isn't Disney on Ice.) With audiences tending to flock to what they know and programmers leaning toward booking the famliar, it's great to see some unknowns-but-worth-knowings in the bunch.