Judy Collins

Classic rock and country music. Laughter sprung from seasoned comics and the chaos of the moment at hand. Famous names, promising newcomers and practitioners of the ancient arts. Stories that sing of showbiz romance and of secrets more than 1,000 years old. It’s all coming to the Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center at Yavapai College this year. Be a part of the magic when single tickets go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 22.

The Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center kicks off its 2023-24 season early, with a Sunday, July 30, engagement with classic rockers 38 Special. Four decades after climbing the charts with their explosive brand of Southern Rock, 38 Special is still bringin’ it, with unforgettable hits like “Hold on Loosely,” “Caught Up in You” and many more.

Cut through the summer doldrums with the sharp wit of a classic comedian. Paula Poundstone on Aug. 18, shows us the sly, observational humor and improvisational banter that make her a staple on NPR’s “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me” and a must-see live performer.

Then on Sept. 1, Grammy-winning legend Judy Collins sings an evening of folk, pop and American standards, including her iconic “Send in the Clowns” and “Both Sides Now.”

September also marks the season premiere of the critically acclaimed Cabaret series, where audiences can hear great artists in an intimate, bistro-like setting. This year, audiences will enjoy Jazz from legendary sax sideman Bill Saxton & The Harlem All-Stars on Sept. 15-16.

Pencil in Oct. 20 for another Grammy-winner. Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, which pairs the Country Music icon with a Hall of Fame ensemble to summon Nashville’s storied past in song.

The forecast for November is Singin’ in the Rain, from Nov. 2-12. Yavapai College’s talented Performing Arts Department will sing and dance up a storm in this comic musical, where starry-eyed actors discover their voices and romance at the dawn of talking pictures.

November also summons an epic tale of the Irish Celts — as only the Irish can tell it. Rhythm of the Dance on Nov. 17, deftly weaves Irish music with legions of step-dancers and ancient Celtic traditions to tell a story 1,000 years old.

Celebrate the holidays your way — traditional, innovative, or a little of both. Jake Shimabukuro: Christmas in Hawai’i on Dec. 1, marks the return of the charismatic ukulele wizard, who mixes traditional holiday songs with a dash of island mystique for an exciting new take on the most wonderful time of the year.

Then, Handel’s Messiah is Dec. 2-3. Yavapai College’s combined choirs blend their voices with a slate of special guest soloists on Handel’s rousing score. The festivities continue with a Prescott favorite, Pink Martini featuring China Forbes on Dec. 14. Hailed as a “rollicking, around-the-world musical adventure,” this 12-member orchestra blends American music with a world music vibe, thrilling audiences from Sydney to London to Cannes to Cleveland.

Holiday offerings conclude with a cherished local event, The Nutcracker, featuring Ballet Victoria on Dec. 16-17. An enchanted world takes flight as Ballet Victoria dances Tchaikovsky’s classic holiday tale of enchanted mice, sugarplum fairies, and one magical Christmas Eve.

The Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center launches 2024 with blue-eyed soul pioneer Bill Medley and The Righteous Brothers on Jan. 21. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer — with new partner Bucky Heard — rekindles their greatest hits, “Unchained Melody,” “That Lovin’ Feeling,” and Medley’s Grammy-winning Dirty Dancing theme, “The Time of My Life.” Nostalgia reigns, as The Folk-Legacy Trio’s two Kingston Trio veterans sing a set list stretching from The Weavers to Peter, Paul & Mary to Simon & Garfunkel and beyond on Jan. 26.

The world-renowned Peking Acrobats will warm up February with the pageantry, agility and hold-your-breath excitement of Chinese acrobatics in a live performance on Feb. 3. Then Aussie singing sensations, The TEN Tenors, return on Feb. 23, thrilling crowds with a repertoire of catchy pop and beloved standards in their signature ten-part harmonies.

Swing Caesar Swing sends us into spring with the Chicago-born jazz crooner who has drawn comparisons to Nat King Cole. On March 23, Caesar teams with Yavapai College’s own jazz ensemble for a toe-tappin’ ride through the Great American Songbook. Then performer, composer and Windham Hill favorite Sean Harkness brings his guitar mastery back to the Cabaret for an evening of powerful, evocative music on March 30. In April, Yavapai College Performing Arts raises the curtain on another thrilling musical in the tradition of Chicago; Hello, Dolly! and The Phantom of the Opera.

Twelve-time Juno Award-winning musician Bruce Cockburn — one of Canada’s most revered and innovative artists — performs on April 27, with a compelling collection of stories told through folk, rock and World Music.

For its season finale, the Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center goes hysterically off-book. Brad & Colin: Scared Scriptless on May 25, turns “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” stars Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood loose in Prescott, armed only with their wits and a genius for drawing laughter from anywhere.

Single tickets for all 2023-24 season shows go on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 22. Pick 6 and Pick 3 packages are available for multiple show purchases, where you can save 15% and 10% respectively (some restrictions apply). Director’s Choice subscriptions, featuring five pre-selected performances, are on sale beginning June 6.

The Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, located on Yavapai College’s Prescott Campus, 1100 E. Sheldon St., is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. For reservations or more information, call 928-776-2000 or visit www.ycpac.com.

Information provided by Yavapai College.

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