Wharton Center

Radio Made in Michigan
12:36 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Cast member: "Once" role requires stamina, versatility

Stuart Ward and Dani de Waal from the "Once" Tour Company
Credit Courtesy Joan Marcus

The Broadway production of "Once" is running at the Wharton Center at Michigan State University this weekend.  It's a contemporary love story involving a pair of young musicians in Ireland.

Current State's Mark Bashore talks with cast member Evan Harrington, who has a plum supporting role in the cast as "Billy."

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Arts & Culture
2:18 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

New Wharton season: From classics to contemporary ... 2CELLOS

Broadway performers prefer the Wharton Center's continental seating layout because it creates more intimacy, says Bob Hoffman, communications director.
Credit Courtesy of Wharton Center

Four weeks from tonight, East Lansing’s Wharton Center opens its new season.  It features a rich array of live music, theater, dance and speakers. Highlights include the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Roseanne Cash, Blue Man Group, Michelle Norris, 2CELLOS and many more.  Up first, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s traditional Masterworks opener featuring violinist Yevgeny Kutik.

Wharton Center is just about ready to offer single ticket sales.  Wharton’s Public Relations Manager Bob Hoffman joins us.

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Arts & Culture
1:17 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

'Moth' brings true storytelling to Wharton

'The Moth Mainstage' comes to the Wharton Center May 28.
Credit themoth.org

A group of outstanding storytellers will be in East Lansing for a show at Michigan State University’s Wharton Center Wednesday night. "The Moth Mainstage" brings a live performance of The Moth Radio Hour program to audiences all over the country.

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Arts & Culture
12:59 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Sedaris, Glass highlight new Wharton season

A couple of weeks ago, Scott Pohl told us about “Once” and “Annie” being on the Broadway schedule; today, he reveals some more of the big hits coming to town.
Credit Flickr - nobara hayakawa


MSU’s Wharton Center announced part of their schedule for the 2013-14 season two weeks ago. Now, the rest of the schedule is out, and Current State’s Scott Pohl is back with more on the shows coming to Wharton.

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Arts & Culture
11:30 am
Fri April 11, 2014

'Once,' 'Kinky Boots' highlight Wharton's upcoming Broadway lineup

Along with 'Once' and 'Kinky Boots', the Broadway schedule for next season includes 'Annie'. The Dance Theatre of Harlem is also on the schedule, along with violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman.
Credit Flickr - William Hartz

For many years, the Wharton Center for Performing Arts at MSU has announced its schedule for the coming year with a big story in the Sunday paper. Patrons are especially anxious to know what shows will be in East Lansing next year, and today, Current State’s Scott Pohl has the scoop on the first of two Wharton Center previews.

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Arts & Culture
11:53 am
Mon March 31, 2014

MSU brings cathartic stories of failure to Wharton

MSU Athletic Director Mark Hollis will be one of the speakers at Failure: Lab.
Credit www.msuspartans.com

Earlier this year Current State’s Emanuele Berry introduced listeners to Failure:Lab. The event asks presenters to share a story of failure with the world.

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Music
12:11 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

LSO to feature American composers Copland, Bernstein

In Bernstein's 'Symphonic Dances from West Side Story', the composer sought to remove the pieces from the pit orchestra setting.
Credit Flickr - Greater Lansing Convention & Visitor's Bureau

The Lansing Symphony Orchestra’s next MasterWorks concert is Saturday night at Wharton Center. It features music from American composers Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland.

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Arts & Culture
12:36 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Porgy and Bess leads on playing the iconic characters

'Porgy and Bess' was originally an opera that featured an entire cast of classically trained African American performers.
Credit courtesy of Michael J. Lutch

The Tony Award for best Broadway musical revival in 2012 went to “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess”. The company touring the country with “Porgy and Bess” is in East Lansing this week for eight performances at MSU’s Wharton Center.

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Music
12:28 pm
Mon February 24, 2014

St. Petersburg Philharmonic to feature fiery Russian composers

Musician Vilde Frang
Credit Flickr - Olavsfestdagene

  

From the icy depths of mother Russia, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra comes to the Wharton Center. The orchestra has played in Ann Arbor and Chicago and now will visit East Lansing tonight. Norwegian violin soloist Vilde Frang will accompany the performance, which features works by Rachmaninov and Prokofiev.

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Radio Made in Michigan
4:45 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Israeli musician fuses jazz, Middle Eastern traditions

Omer Avital will be at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing on February 12.
Credit Flickr - asafantman

Jazz bassist and composer Omer Avital will be at Wharton Center’s Pasant Theater with his band on Feb. 12. Avital’s music includes literally a world of influences, from Israel to Spain to Africa to America.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:00 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Comedian Mike Birbiglia 'thanks God for jokes' at Wharton

Mike Birbiglia is also a regular contributor to NPR's 'This American Life.'
Credit Courtesy of Wharton Center

Comedian Mike Birbiglia returns to Wharton Center on Jan. 16. He’s known for his work on “This American Life,” his movie, called “Sleepwalk With Me,” and many more comedy records and appearances. His latest show is called “Thank God For Jokes.”

Current State’s Melissa Benmark speaks with Birbiglia about his new show, his career and his lifelong love of pizza.

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Radio Made in Michigan
1:03 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

One-woman play tackles bullying

Credit www.paigehernandez.com


Friday night at the Wharton Center, a one-woman show examines aspects of bullying and teenage relationships. “The Shape of a Girl” is a play by Joan MacLeod.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:21 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

MSU Symphony opens season with challenging works

A unique part of John Corigliano's concerto for clarinets is the metaphor it evokes about a father-son relationship, according to Guy Yehuda.
Credit Wikimedia commons

The first MSU Symphony Orchestra concert of the season is Friday night at Wharton Center. Featured works include Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra and a clarinet concerto by John Corigliano.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:36 pm
Wed September 4, 2013

Highlights of new Wharton Center season include 'Book of Mormon'

'The Book of Mormon' headlines the Wharton Center Broadway schedule in June of 2014. Mark Evans stars.
Credit Wharton Center/Joan Marcus

September brings the start of the season for many activities on the MSU campus, including events at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts

Current State's Peter Whorf checks in with Wharton executive director Mike Brand for a preview of the 2013-14 lineup.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:13 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Garrison Keillor and company bring 'Radio Romance' to Wharton Center

Singer and fiddler Sara Watkins, The Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band and comedian Fred Watkins join Garrison Keillor for his 'Radio Romance' tour.
Credit Flickr/Ryan Somma

For almost 40 years, "A Prairie Home Companion" has been a beloved staple of the public radio airwaves. Host Garrison Keillor combines music with skits, comedy and storytelling for an old-time radio show that makes even city people feel nostalgic for small town life.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:40 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

'Mythbusters' comes to the Wharton Center stage (sans explosions)

Co-host Adam Savage's background prior to 'Mythbusters' is primarily in special effects and film.
Credit Flickr

This weekend, the hosts of "Mythbusters" will make a stop at East Lansing's Wharton Center as part of their "Behind the Myths" tour. For ten years, the Discovery Channel show has entertained skeptics, science buffs and ordinary folk alike with a lighthearted and creative approach to science.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:32 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Red Haven to host Anthony Bourdain for VIP event

The Red Haven restaurant in Okemos will host a VIP event with Anthony Bourdain on Tuesday.
Credit Scott Pohl/WKAR

Chef and author Anthony Bourdain has a new globetrotting TV show called “Parts Unknown” on CNN. On Tuesday, he brings his “Guts and Glory” speaking tour to MSU’s Wharton Center. After his talk, he’ll join 150 people for a VIP event at Red Haven, a new restaurant in Okemos.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:31 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Current State #67 | April 16, 2013

Today on Current State: Lansing city budget; Red Cedar now open for fishing ; Wharton Center reveals new season; and a Public Poetry Announcement with Carl Phillips.

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Radio Made in Michigan
12:11 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Preview of Wharton Center's 2013-14 season

The Book of Mormon is a musical about a pair of young Mormon missionaries sent to Uganda.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The Wharton Center for Performing Arts announced its 2013-14 season Monday evening.  Peter Whorf spoke with Wharton Executive Director Mike Brand about some of the highlights, including The Book of Mormon and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Radio Made in Michigan
2:46 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Jazz singer Carolyn Leonhart riffs on music

Carolyn has been preforming regularly with her jazz group for the last 13 years in addition to starting the Sunday Vocalists Series at Smoke Jazz Club in New York City.
Credit Courtesy of Carolyn Leonhart's website

  Jazz singer Carolyn Leonhart  will turn Wharton Center’s Jackson Lounge into a jazz club next Wednesday. She’ll be putting on two performances that night to benefit East Lansing’s Summer Solstice Jazz Festival. WKAR’S Melissa Benmark caught up with her this week to ask what kinds of material she’ll be performing at her Wharton gig.

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Radio Made in Michigan
5:40 pm
Fri March 15, 2013

Wharton Center's 'Garden of Joy' explores Harlem Renaissance

Cherida Best, who plays singer Dorothy Battle in 'Garden of Joy', rehearses in preparation for opening weekend, March 15-16.
Credit Kevin Lavery

A new production opening tonight at MSU’s Wharton Center pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance.  In the 1920’s, the arts in America, like just about every other industry, were dominated by whites. Most representations of African-American life were done in parody.  One of most popular programs of the day was “Amos and Andy.”  It debuted in 1928 with two white actors who would later appear on screen in blackface.

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Radio Made in Michigan
7:14 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Current State #39 | March 7, 2013

Today on Current State: The iconic SS Badger's future; gender imbalance in medical research; summer road construction East Lansing; the Safe Patient Care Act; and a preview of the Wharton Center's remaining lineup.

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Radio Made in Michigan
6:22 pm
Thu March 7, 2013

Diverse lineup remains for Wharton Center's season

Anthony Bourdain appears in East Lansing on May 7.

The stretch run begins next week for the remainder of the concert season at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.  WKAR’s Peter Whorf chats with Wharton Center executive director Mike Brand about the breadth and depth of performances coming to East Lansing in the next few months.  

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Music
11:26 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Ladysmith Black Mambazo still going strong after 50 years

Ladysmith Black Mambazo was founded in South Africa in the early 1960s by Joseph Shabalala.
Credit Courtesy of Ladysmith Black Mambazo

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is coming to Wharton Center to perform their signature South African Zulu-style choral music. They began singing in competitions in the 1970s, and rose to worldwide fame when they appeared on Paul Simon’s album “Graceland” in 1986. They’ve recorded over 50 albums, and their latest tour has a stop in East Lansing.

WKAR’s Melissa Benmark speaks with one of the longest-singing members, Albert Mazibuko, about the group's longevity.

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Ladysmith Black Mambazo Coming To Wharton Center

Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Albert Mazibuko is on the far left.
Credit Luis Leal

Ladysmith Black Mambazo is coming to Wharton Center Wednesday to perform their signature South African Zulu-style choral music. They began singing in competitions in the 1970s, and rose to world-wide fame when they appeared on Paul Simon’s album “Graceland” in 1986. They’ve recorded over 50 albums, and their latest tour has a stop in East Lansing. WKAR’s Melissa Benmark spoke to one of the longest-singing members, Albert Mazibuko, about the music his group performs.

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Give Now • Get Tickets
12:21 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Tickets! Celtic Woman - April 4

Give Now - Get Tickets. Celtic Woman

With your gift to WKAR here, our thank-you puts you and a guest in the audience for Celtic Woman. 7:30p Thursday April 4 at Wharton Center - Cobb Great Hall | Give Now, Get Tickets Here

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Tickets Include "Meet-and-Greet"
12:21 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Tickets! Experience the Beatles with RAIN - March 29

Give Now - Get Tickets. Experience the Beatles with RAIN

With your gift to WKAR here, our thank-you puts you in the audience for Experience the Beatles with RAIN and a meet-and-greet opportunity. 8p Friday March 29 at Wharton Center - Cobb Great Hall | Give Now, Get Tickets Here

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Radio Made in Michigan
6:30 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Current State #8 | January 23, 2013

Sam Singh, newly elected State Representative for the 69th District, is the first Indian-American elected to the Michigan legislature. Above, Singh joins host Mark Bashore (left) in the 'Current State' studio.
Credit Joe Linstroth/WKAR

On today's Current State:  The legendary William Shatner, former East Lansing mayor and newly elected Michigan Rep. Sam Singh, more from the Detroit auto show, and Neighbors in Action highlights the work of NAMI Lansing.

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Give Now • Get Tickets
2:46 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Tickets! Billy Elliot The Musical

With your gift to WKAR here, our thank-you puts you in the audience for BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL. 7:30p Tuesday Jan. 15 at Wharton Center - Cobb Hall | Give Now, Get Tickets Here

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NewsRoom
12:00 am
Wed December 5, 2012

War Horse: Puppets Bring Horses to Life

The Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa designed the lifelike puppets for War Horse.
Credit Courtesy / Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

To bring the story of "War Horse" to the stage, it was necessary to create convincing likenesses of horses.

The British company behind the play turned to the Handspring Puppet Company of South Africa for the job.

"War Horse" arrives at MSU’s Wharton Center tonight. There will be eight performances.

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