Schedule announced for Bardo Performance Series

The HillBenders play “The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry” at WCU on Thursday, Sept. 7.

The Performance Series of Western Carolina University’s John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center opens Thursday, Sept. 7, with The HillBenders, a bluegrass group from Springfield, Missouri.

Formerly known as the Galaxy of the Stars, the professional performance series brings a variety of entertainment to the Bardo Arts Center with single ticket, multi-pass packs and seasonal subscriptions available. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. in the center’s Performance Hall.

The HillBenders will perform “The Who’s Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry.” Nearly 45 years after its original release, the bluegrass band takes The Who’s classic rock opera and plays it as a full-length bluegrass tribute.

A Tribe Called Red

On Friday, Nov. 10, the electronic music group A Tribe Called Red will play as part of the WCU Fine Art Museum’s Contemporary Native American Art Symposium. A First Nation group from Canada that draws from a broad range of musical influences based in hip-hop, traditional pow wow drums and vocals, blended with edgy production styles, A Tribe Called Red reaches across generations and cultures for a truly unique sound.

Closing out the fall lineup will be the rapid-fire tap group and funk band Rhythmic Circus, presenting its holiday performance “Red and Green” on Tuesday, Dec. 5. “Red and Green” captures the spirit of the holiday with a beatboxing rendition of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” a full-cast performance of “Linus and Lucy” from “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” five new originals and a bright mash-up medley titled “Toy Soldier March.”

Urban Bush Women

The spring season begins Tuesday, Feb. 6, with modern dance and storytelling from Urban Bush Women, a New York City dance company. The troupe’s presentation titled “Hair & Other Stories” is a multidisciplinary performance that addresses matters of race, gender identity and economic inequality through the lens of hair, primarily that of African-American women.

Traveling from across the world to perform on the Bardo Arts Center stage on Saturday, Feb. 24, is TAO: Drum Heart. TAO’s modern, high-energy performances showcase the ancient art of Japanese drumming and have transfixed audiences worldwide. TAO combines highly physical, large-scale drumming with contemporary costumes, precise choreography and innovative visuals.

Tony Kushner

The capstone to the season will be in partnership with the WCU Spring Literary Festival on Thursday, April 5, to present Tony Kushner, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and author of “Angels in America.” Winner of an Emmy, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards and an Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Kushner will be interviewed on stage by Terrence Mann, Broadway star and WCU’s Phillips Distinguished Professor of Musical Theatre.

Individual ticket sales begin Aug. 1. For more information, go to the website or call 828-227-ARTS.