From the Kirov to Captain Kirk: The Mayo in Morristown announces lineup for 20th season

“The Kirov will play here.”

Those five words, uttered by a Russian conductor, sparked the transformation of a theater and a community two decades ago.

Valery Gergiev agreed to bring his Kirov Orchestra to Morristown’s Community Theatre, a crumbling shell of a movie house better suited to growing mushrooms than hosting world-class performers.

The community rallied to restore the dump just in time for that September 1994 concert. The concert triggered a remarkable comeback for the theater and the town, which both are hot destinations these days.

Gergiev’s return to the renamed Mayo Performing Arts Center, with his renamed Mariinsky Orchestra, is sure to be a highlight of the upcoming 20th anniversary season.

William Shatner, left, can thank Valery Gergiev, right, for his upcoming gig in Morristown. The Russian conductor helped rescue the theater from ruin 20 years ago.

William Shatner, left, can thank Valery Gergiev, right, for his upcoming gig in Morristown. The Russian conductor helped rescue the theater from ruin 20 years ago.

More than 100 events are scheduled for the 2014-2015 season, which officially starts on Sept. 19 with Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime, Man of La Mancha) & Kelli O’Hara (Bridges of Madison County, South Pacific).

The season’s Broadway lineup includes Sister Act, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Anything Goes and Memphis.  Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Million Dollar Quartet return for encore shows.

Smokey Robinson, Paul Anka, Bill Cosby, Patti LuPone and that cuddly porcupine, Don Rickles, are among the headline acts.

This was what Morristown's Community Theatre looked like before the Kirov came in 1994. Photo: 'The Miracle on South Street' by John T. Cunningham

This was what Morristown’s Community Theatre looked like before the Kirov came in 1994. Photo: ‘The Miracle on South Street’ by John T. Cunningham

Also coming: Chazz Palminteri in A Bronx Tale, Ira Glass from public radio’s This American Life, Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Dennis Miller, and the New Jersey Ballet’s Nutcracker times 14.

But the shows we really can’t wait to see are William Shatner–Captain Kirk!–in Shatner’s World: We Just Live in It,  and (we’re not ashamed of our greying British Invasion roots) Herman’s Hermits with Peter Noone.

And of course, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky, who are returning to Morristown in January 2015.  What a shame that Alexander Slobodyanik–the great pianist who persuaded his friend to come here 20 years ago–is no longer around to welcome back the orchestra.

Morristown owes both men its heartfelt thanks.

Tickets for the coming season go on sale Monday, June 16, 2014, at 9 am online and 10 am in person and by phone (973-539-8008). All events in July and August currently are on sale.

FROM THE MAYO PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

THE  2014-2015 20th ANNIVERSARY SEASON

JULY 2014

  • 7/1 Happy Together Tour 2014
  • 7/9 The GoGo’s and The Motels in Replay America
  • 7/17 The Stylistics in 70′s Soul Jam
  • 7/18 The Marshall Tucker Band
  • 7/20 The Bacon Brothers
  • 7/22 Barenaked Ladies
  • 7/25 Alanis Morissette
  • 7/29-30 Menopause the Musical

AUGUST 2014

  • 8/7 The Romantics, The Smithereens, Marshall Crenshaw and Tommy Tutone in Rock of the 80s
  • 8/11 Heart
  • 8/12 Josh Turner
  • 8/14 Abba the Concert
  • 8/20 Yanni In Concert LIMITED TICKETS
  • 8/24 Deep Purple

SEPTEMBER 2014

  • 9/9-10 Steely Dan SOLD OUT
  • 9/12 Bill Engvall
  • 9/13 Don Williams
  • 9/19 Opening Night: Brian Stokes Mitchell & Kelli O’Hara
  • 9/20 Ladies of Laughter
  • 9/25 Asia

OCTOBER 2014

  • 10/5 Peter Gros, of the Original Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom
  • 10/9 David Sedaris
  • 10/11 Dick Fox’s The Golden Boys
  • 10/17 Chazz Palminteri in “A Bronx Tale”
  • 10/18 Midtown Men
  • 10/19 Bill Cosby: Far From Finished Tour
  • 10/22 New Orleans Legends with Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Allen Toussaint
  • 10/24 Smokey Robinson

NOVEMBER 2014

  • 11/7 Voca People
  • 11/8 Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood: The Two Man Group
  • 11/14 Paul Anka
  • 11/15 Ron White: The Nutcracker Tour
  • 11/20 Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone and The Buckinghams
  • 11/21 Dancing Pros Live
  • 11/22 Jackie Evancho
  • 11/28 Manhattan Comedy Night
  • 11/29 Charlie Daniels Band: Hits and Holiday

DECEMBER 2014

  • 12/2 Michael McDonald This Christmas: An Evening of Holiday & Hits
  • 12/3 Dennis Miller
  • 12/5 Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour 2014
  • 12/6 Celtic Thunder: Symphony
  • 12/12-24 NJ Ballet’s Nutcracker

JANUARY 2015

  • 1/4 Sing-A-Long Sound of Music
  • 1/9 Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It
  • 1/10 The Doo Wop Project
  • 1/11 Wild Kratts Live
  • 1/15 Nice Work If You Can Get It
  • 1/16 Manhattan Comedy Night
  • 1/17 Rockin’ the 70s with Atlanta Rhythm Section, Al Stewart, Firefall
  • 1/30 20th Anniversary Concert with Valery Gergiev
  • & Mariinsky Orchestra
  • 1/31 Sister Act

FEBRUARY 2015

  • 2/1 Sister Act
  • 2/5 The Australian Bee Gees Show
  • 2/6 In The Mood: A 1940′s Musical Revue
  • 2/7 Complexions Contemporary Ballet
  • 2/8 Frogz presented by Imago Theatre
  • 2/13 Rosanne Cash
  • 2/14 The Fab Four
  • 2/19 Tango Buenos Aires
  • 2/20-21 Stomp
  • 2/26 The Pink Floyd Experience
  • 2/27 Visions from Cape Breton:A Celtic Family Celebration
  • 2/28 Anything Goes

MARCH 2015

  • 3/5 Stanley Jordan and Kevin Eubanks
  • 3/6 The Temptations and The Four Tops
  • 3/7 New Shanghai Circus
  • 3/12 Andrew Weil
  • 3/13 Women of Ireland
  • 3/21 Patti LuPone: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda
  • 3/26 Herb Alpert and Lani Hall
  • 3/27 Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Jeremy Denk
  • 3/28 Mike Super: Magic & Illusion Show

APRIL 2015

  • 4/2 Shaolin Warriors
  • 4/9 Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
  • 4/10-12 Disney’s Beauty & the Beast
  • 4/16 Russian National Ballet presents Swan Lake
  • 4/18 Manhattan Comedy Night
  • 4/24 Peter Schickele: 50 Years of P.D.Q. Bach: A Triumph of Incompetence
  • 4/25 Tommy James & The Shondells/ Felix Cavaliere
  • 4/30 2Cellos

MAY-JUNE 2015

  • 5/1 Mariachi Del Sol
  • 5/2 The Rat Pack is Back!
  • 5/5 Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass
  • 5/8-9 Memphis
  • 5/13 Don Rickles
  • 5/16 NJ Ballet presents Tappin’ at the Ballet
  • 6/10 Million Dollar QuartetT

Children’s Events:

  • 11/2 Veggie Tales LIVE! Silly Song Sing-Along
  • 11/16 Rainbow Magic Live: Saving Fairyland
  • 11/30 Mooseltoe
  • 1/25 Pinkalicious
  • 1/27 Sid the Science Kid
  • 2/10 The Rainbow Fish
  • 3/3 Little Engine That CouldTM Earns Her Wheels
  • 3/22 Fancy Nancy
  • 4/20 Butterfly: Story of a Life Cycle
  • 4/26 The Berenstain Bears Live! in “Family Matters”
  • 5/17 NJ Ballet: Sleeping Beauty
  • 5/19 Curious George


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