The Dr. Rodney R. Lafon Performing Arts Center will present six dynamic shows during its 2022 season, with experiences ranging from the holiday tradition of The Nutcracker to a trip back in time with a journey through the days of Beatlemania with BritBeat.
“We select shows that we think will benefit the students through our Artsperience Program and what the greater community will enjoy,” Lafon Center Director Chris Aucoin-Melohn said. “I attend conferences with performance showcases to see the artists in person and meet with their representation. Then I bring back many options to present to a variety of stakeholder groups including the Lafon Arts Center Ambassadors, the Dr. Rodney R. Lafon Performing Arts Center Endowment Board, the LPAC Support Team and the SCPPS Student Advisory Council. Once I collect and analyze their feedback, we look at the budget and select the best shows for our students and patrons.”
Season tickets will be available beginning Aug. 8 at noon, while single ticket sales will start Sept. 1.
“We are excited to give all of our audiences a diverse season of art experiences from around the corner to around the globe that will surprise and delight them while they form memories with loved ones here at the center,” Aucoin-Melohn said.
Happy Birthday, Judy!
Happy Birthday, Judy! will take the stage Oct. 1 at 7:30 p.m. The show will offer audiences the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane with Judy Garland’s daughter.
From the Wizard of Oz to her famed concert at Carnegie Hall, Garland left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. During the show, Garland’s daughter Lorna Luft will lead the audience through a celebration of her mom’s career on the year of her 100th birthday. Attendees will travel through Judy’s five decades in entertainment through song and Lorna’s personal stories.
Dubbed the ultimate tribute to the legendary Queen of Soul, the Oct. 21 show R.E.S.P.E.C.T is described as an elevated concert experience that brings the audience together and honors the music of legendary Aretha Franklin.
The production journeys through Franklin’s courageous life of love, tragedy and triumph and features a live band, supreme vocalists and a night full of music by one of the greatest artists of all time. The show features favorite hits including “Natural Woman,” “Think,” “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,” “Chain of Fools,” and “Respect.”
Classic holiday showings of The Nutcracker will take place at the Lafon Center Dec. 17 and 18.
Giant mice, dancing snowflakes, a growing Christmas tree and an enchanted nutcracker are all highlights of the show, which features the River Region Ballet’s combination of amazing dancers, gorgeous sets and costumes, and Tchaikocsky’s timeless music.
Voctave, an 11-member a cappella group from the Central Florida area known for their gorgeous performances of Disney and Broadway hits, will take the stage March 3.
Formed in the winter of 2015, the voices that bring their artistic arrangements to life represent a wealth of diverse backgrounds and musical experiences. While some group members have professional roots with Walt Disney World entertainment, others are deeply rooted in gospel music, musical theater and pop and contemporary Christian music.
Founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams, Step Afrika! is the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. They will perform at the Lafon Center April 1.
Under Williams’ leadership, stepping has evolved into one of America’s cultural exports, touring more than 60 countries across the globe. The company now ranks as one of the top ten African-American dance companies in the United States.
Step Afrika! blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, traditional African dances and an array of contemporary dance and art forms. Performances integrate songs, storytelling, humor and audience participation.
The show has earned Mayor’s Arts Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education, Innovation in the Arts, Excellence in an Artistic Discipline and headlined President Barack Obama’s Black History Month Reception at The White House. The company is featured prominently at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History & Culture with the world’s first stepping interactive exhibit.
On May 13 audiences are invited to take a trip back in time with BritBeat, a multi-media concert journey through the Beatles’ music history.
Six costume changes, exquisite musicianship, powerful vocals and a stunning and immersive multimedia backdrop offers audiences an engaging and electrifying trip through the iconic music catalog of the band of the century, the Beatles.