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Shakespeare, Broadway and Symphony at App Summer This Weekend, Pat Benatar The Next

An Appalachian Summer Festival brings the best in music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film to Boone! Known for its diverse mix of artistic programming, the festival has been named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Here’s what you can enjoy from App Summer this weekend!

Reduced Shakespeare Company Presents

William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play

Friday, July 8 at 8 p.m.

Valborg Theatre

Tickets: $20 for adults, $10 for students and children



Written and Directed by Reed Martin & Austin Tichenor

The Reduced Shakespeare Company’s production of William Shakespeare’s Long-Lost First Play is a comic misadventure that will feel strangely familiar yet excitingly new. Every famous character and Shakespearean plot device come together in a single story so comically outrageous it’s no wonder the Bard of Avon hid it away. In this “tale told by idiots,” the Reduced Shakespeare Company weaves all of the Bard’s famous characters, greatest lines, and magnificent speeches into a brand new Shakespearean smorgasbord that erupts when Puck & Ariel hijack the plot of Comedy of Errors, creating such new and strange bedfellows as Kate and Beatrice, Hamlet and master motivator Lady Macbeth, Dromio and Juliet, as well as King Lear and his three daughters who turn out to be the three weird sisters from Macbeth.

In the spirit of Shakespeare himself, RSC shows contain some occasional bawdy language and mild innuendo. All children (and parents) are different, so we’ve chosen to rate our shows PG-13: Pretty Good If You’re Thirteen.

“Something wickedly funny this way comes! … and wickedly smart, too, as you’d expect from the ‘other’ RSC.” – Bob Mondello, National Public Radio

“Brainy clowns!” – The Washington Post

These guys are truly adept jokesters, physical shtick, wordplay, music, improve – they can do it all.” – Cincinnati City Beat

An Evening with Broadway Star Kelli O’Hara

Saturday, July 9 at 8 p.m.

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets: $40 for adults, $30 for students and children



This year’s Schaefer Popular Series is comprised of big-name musical talents, including Broadway star Kelli O’Hara on Saturday, July 9 at 8 p.m. in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. Performing with a trio, this beloved star takes the stage for an evening of Broadway showstoppers and familiar favorites from the Great American Songbook.

 Kelli O’Hara has unequivocally established herself as one of Broadway’s great leading ladies. Her portrayal of Anna Leonowens in the critically acclaimed revival of “The King and I” recently garnered her the 2015 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical, along with Drama League and Outer Critics nominations.

In 2014, O’Hara’s performance as Francesca in the musical adaptation of “The Bridges of Madison County” earned her Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, and Outer Critics Circle nominations. Additionally, she starred as Mrs. Darling in NBC’s live telecast of “Peter Pan” alongside Allison Williams and Christian Borle, and on New Year’s Eve, Kelli made her Metropolitan Opera debut in the production of “The Merry Widow” with Renee Fleming.

O’Hara made her Broadway debut in “Jekyll & Hyde” and followed it with Sondheim’s “Follies, Sweet Smell of Success” opposite John Lithgow, and Dracula. In 2003 O’Hara committed to a production of “The Light in the Piazza” at Seattle’s Intiman Theatre. The show landed on Broadway in 2005 and earned O’Hara her first Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations. She moved from one critical and commercial success to another when she joined Harry Connick on Broadway in the 2006 Tony award-winning production of “The Pajama Game,” for which O’Hara received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. O’Hara starred in the Tony Award-winning revival of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center, enrapturing audiences and critics alike with her soulful and complex interpretation of Nellie Forbush, and garnering Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Award nominations. She later teamed up with Matthew Broderick in Broadway’s musical comedy “Nice Work if You Can Get it,” earning Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations, as well as the Fred Astaire Nomination for dance.

Eastern Festival Orchestra

with Music Director Gerard Schwarz

Sunday, July 10 at 4 p.m.

Schaefer Center for Performing Arts

Tickets: $28 for adults, $20 for students and children



Gerard Schwarz, Music Director
Julian Schwarz, Cello
Marco Nuñez, Flute

Under the direction of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, the Eastern Festival Orchestra returns to the festival for an afternoon of memorable symphonic music featuring soloists Julian Schwarz, cello, and Marco Núñez, first-prize winner of the 2015 Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists.

The program for July 10 includes:

ANTONIO VIVALDI: Flute Concerto in g minor, RV 439, “La Notte” – Marco Núñez, flute

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK: Cello Concerto in b minor, Op. 104 – Julian Schwarz, cello

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat Major, Op. 55

2016 marks Gerard Schwarz’s 12th year with the Eastern Music Festival. He joined the festival as music advisor in 2005, became principal conductor in 2006 and music director in 2008.

He also serves as music director of the All-Star Orchestra, an ensemble of top musicians from America’s leading orchestras which includes eight members of the EMF faculty. The All-Star Orchestra is featured in a new television series that has aired throughout the United States on PBS reaching 3.5 million viewers. It is the basis for their Khan Academy education platform. As in baseball, Schwarz created an “all-star” team of top musical athletes who have thus far recorded 12 episodes to encourage a greater understanding and enjoyment of classical music. All 12 programs have been released by Naxos and have been awarded four Emmy Awards and the Deems Taylor Television Broadcast Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

Schwarz is conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony and is a renowned interpreter of 19th century German, Austrian and Russian repertoire, in addition to his noted work with contemporary American composers.

With more than 300 world premieres to his credit, Schwarz has always felt strongly about commissioning and performing new music. As EMF music director he initiated the Bonnie McElveen-Hunter Commissioning Project that has thus far commissioned John Coriglian, Richard Danielpour and Lowell Lieberman. For the 2016 festival, renowned Academy and Grammy Award-winning conductor, composer and pianist Andre Prévin has agreed to create a new work. In all, McElveen-Hunter has committed to 10 new works from American composers.

During Schwarz’s tenure with the festival, he has expanded audiences to the largest in its history, incorporated a composer in residence program, developed three new concert series and added new educational initiatives. The Festival Orchestra has also recorded a critically praised recording of the music of Alan Hovhaness for Naxos.



Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo with Melissa Etheridge

Friday, July 15 at 8 p.m.

Holmes Convocation Center

Tickets: $50 for adults, $40 for students and children



This year’s Schaefer Popular Series includes, Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo and Melissa Etheridge on July 15 at 8 p.m. at the Holmes Convocation Center on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. This performance, as well as all Schaefer Popular Series events, is sponsored by Westglow Resort & Spa and Rowland’s Restaurant, and made possible through the generosity of Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer.

Pat Benatar has been called a trailblazer and a rule-breaker. After an unprecedented, four consecutive Grammy wins and more than three decades in rock ‘n’ roll, she is also a bonafide living legend. Benatar ruled the early days of MTV with 19 Top 40 singles, including the Top 10 hits, “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” “Love Is a Battlefield,” “We Belong,” and “Invincible.” Her timeless songs, including the powerful, “Hell is for Children,” which deals with the anguish of child abuse, have garnered numerous honors including Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, and NAACP Image Awards.

Neil “Spyder” James Giraldo has been a professional musician and songwriter for over four decades. Together with his collaborator, muse and wife, Pat Benatar, he changed the face of the pop charts throughout the 1980s. More than just a steel-bending guitar player, Giraldo’s innovative vision helped create the signature Benatar sound. His catalog includes more than 100 songs written for Benatar, as well as hits he helped create for Rick Springfield (Number One, Grammy-winning classic “Jessie’s Girl” and Top Ten hit “I’ve Done Everything For You” included), Kenny Loggins (Top Twenty hit “Don’t Fight It” – also Grammy-nominated) and countless others.

Known for her powerful lyrics, incomparable voice and blazing guitar, Melissa Etheridge has earned two Grammy Awards and 17 more Grammy nominations. She also scored an Academy Award for “I Need to Wake Up” from the Al Gore documentary An Inconvenient Truth, and a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame. For her most recent album, This is Me, Melissa Etheridge teamed with some of the most creative, inventive figures on the music scene. The result is a collection of songs right from her heart.