By Michael Grady
On the surface, Yavapai College’s spring season might seem like just a flying nanny, a brass band, a singer, and a guy with a tiny guitar. But a closer look reveals attractive details beneath: an emerging drama program, an innovative brass ensemble, a classic tenor voice, and a ukulele that must be heard to be believed.
Friday, April 5, 7 p.m. Saturday, April 6, 2 & 7.pm. Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m. Tickets start at $25, with $10 youth tickets
No, Mary Poppins is not new. Everyone remembers the iconic 1964 movie, with an attractively aloof Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke murdering a cockney accent.
The star here is Yavapai College’s Performing Arts Department. The drama program has hit its stride doing large-cast, family-friendly musicals. It helps that the Performing Arts Center has an enormous proscenium stage that’s perfect for big musicals. YC knows that, and fills every inch of it with spectacle.
With that in mind, Mary Poppins is worth a look. The songs are legendary, the local performers are always good. And it’s fun to revisit the dynamics of upper-crust British family life, and wonder how all those kids aren’t in therapy.
Friday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25, with $10 youth tickets
Maybe you think brass music isn’t your thing. But if you appreciate the way a talented ensemble can blend the deep bottom growl of a tuba, the driving harmonies of trombones, and the squawk and sass of a well-placed trumpet, you have got to see these guys.
By combining brass quintet, piano and percussion with original arrangements, Presidio Brass has created a unique sound that has captivated audiences. Their hit touring show, Sounds of the Cinema, features clever renditions of some of Hollywood’s greatest hits. Each Presidio Brass member is an accomplished musician in his own right: Steve O’Connor and Miles McAllister on trumpet; trombonists Josh Bledsoe and Geoff Durbin; and tubist/pianist Mike Frasier.
Friday, April 26 at 7:30 pm Tickets are $52, which includes hors d’oeuvres, desserts, beverages, and cash bar.
Old Town Center for the Arts, 633 N. Fifth Street in Cottonwood Saturday, April 27 at 7 pm Tickets start at $20.
A native of County Westmeath, 26-year-old Emmet Cahill began singing at the age of five. Dubbed Ireland’s “Most Promising Young Singer” in 2010, Emmet delivered on that promise three years later, when he was named “Irish Tenor of the Year.” His debut album, Emmet Cahill’s Ireland went to Number One on Billboard’s World Music Charts. He has appeared on PBS and The Today Show, and at Carnegie Hall.
His strong, clear tenor shatters clichés. Cahill can sing to the longing or the loss that first conjured the song from its writer, and make you miss the rolling hills of Ireland even if you’ve only seen them on a placemat.
Friday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29 Optional pre-show dinner with a Hawaiian-themed menu available
This Honolulu-born ukulele wizard is one of the most frequently requested “when-you-bringin’-HIM-back?” artists from YCPAC audiences.
The reason is pure musicianship. Jake comes out like an affable teenager summoned from his room, then digs in between those four strings and blows you away. His big break was a ukulele rendition of While My Guitar Gently Weeps, which drew 13 million YouTube viewers before anybody knew who he was. We can recommend his intricate renditions of Bohemian Rhapsody or Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.
A Jake Shimabukuro concert is an experience all its own. Ten minutes in, you’re saying: “I never knew a ukulele could do that.” Then he does Ave Maria, and you’re tearing up and thinking you should call your mom.
For reservations or additional information, please contact the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center Box Office: (928) 776.2000 (or 877-928-4253 toll free) or visit www.ycpac.com.
IMAGES Courtesy of YCPAC