From left, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams in \"Tuna Does Vegas.\" But they won\'t be doing Tuna at the Eisemann Center in 2011-\'12.

New Season: Eisemann Center

Richardson's performing arts complex to get a non-Tuna show from Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, among others.

published Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts and the City of Richardson have announced the 2011-'12 season for Eisemann Center Presents, including MainStage Shows, the ViewPoint Bank Theatre Comedy Series, the Family Theatre Series, Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations and other attractions.

One of the big ones to watch out for is the area premiere of I Heard That!, written by and starring the team behind the Greater Tuna franchise, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams. You can read more about that below.

Here's the lowdown, direct from the news release:


Featuring an eclectic mix of music and dance in the Eisemann Center’s Hill Performance Hall concert space, the MainStage Series kicks off with Benise: The Spanish Guitar, appearing Saturday, October 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm. Benise and his PBS Emmy Award-winning cast bring their epic tale of music, passion and dance to the Eisemann Center stage in their Dallas debut. Brilliant choreography, orchestral pieces and video from his travels will take you on a journey through time to exotic worlds gone by. The Santa Barbara News Press said, “Finally…the Latin Riverdance.”

The Midtown Men – 4 stars from the original cast of Jersey Boys concert tour come to the Eisemann Center stage on Thursday, October 27, 2011 at 8:00 pm. Tony Award-winner Christian Hoff along with Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer star in this one-of-a-kind concert experience celebrating the music that defined the 1960s including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Jackson Five, The Zombies, The Association, Marvin Gaye and The Four Seasons.

Cirque Mechanics performers, formerly with the Moscow Circus, Cirque du Soleil and other world-renowned companies strike it rich by setting their newest creation Boom Town in an 1865 mining town, where an unlikely discovery sets off a series of hilarious and unexpected events full of the lore, excitement and adventure of the Old West. Onstage Saturday, October 29, 2011 at 8:00 pm,  the New York Times calls the show “Exceptional, evocative, eye-catching and, to keep this list short, engrossingly entertaining.”

Making a triumphant return to the Eisemann Center stage for two performances, BLAST! is an exuberant 15-number show that doesn’t falter while bridging the categories of classical, blues, jazz, rock and roll and techno-pop music played by 60 virtuoso instrumentalists for two performances on Saturday, November 12, 2011 at 8:00 pm and Sunday, November 13, 2011 at 2:00 pm. BLAST! stands, blows, pounds, marches and whirls through this extravaganza with the greatest panache.

The Grits & Glamour Tour starring country divas Pam Tillis and Lorrie Morgan makes its Dallas debut in a hit-filled evening at the Eisemann Center on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm. Pam Tillis was one of the first women in Nashville to produce her own album, and she was awarded the coveted Female Vocalist of the Year by the CMA in 1994. Lorrie Morgan made her first appearance on the Grand Ole Opry with her father George Morgan as a teenager in 1975 and has built a reputation as a bona fide country star.

Alek­sey Igudes­man and Hyung-ki Joo (Igudesman & Joo) are two clas­si­cal musi­cians who have taken the world by storm, hitting classical music below the belt with their unique and hilar­i­ous the­atri­cal shows, which com­bine com­edy with clas­si­cal music and pop­u­lar cul­ture. Their clips on YouTube, to date, have gath­ered over 15 mil­lion hits, and they will make their Dallas debut at the Eisemann Center on January 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm in their show A Little Nightmare Music.

Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet is bringing its box office sensation Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet to the Eisemann Center on Friday, February 3, 2012 at 8:00 pm. Moulin Rouge® - The Ballet features high-kicking choreography and a passionate story of love, ambition and heartbreak from the longest operating ballet company in North America.

Presented in partnership with the UT Dallas School of Arts & Humanities on Friday, February 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm, Chris Brubeck’s Triple Play is the name given to three outstanding and versatile musicians, Peter Madcat Ruth (on harmonica, guitar, jaw harp, percussion and vocals), Joel Brown (folk and classical acoustic guitar and vocals) and Chris Brubeck (electric bass, bass trombone, piano and vocals). Collectively, they bring virtuosity and joy to the folk, blues, jazz and classical music they perform. Residency activities will take place at UT Dallas and various locations in the community.

Berlin’s Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester will recapture the style and wit of German cabaret culture from the 1920s and ‘30s on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm. Raabe and his top-notch band preserve the glamour of Weimar-era music with a nostalgic and hugely entertaining show that the Los Angeles Times calls “irresistible.”

Wrapping up the MainStage Shows on Saturday, March 31, 2012 at 8:00 pm is comedian Sinbad. Known for finding humor in telling real-life stories, Sinbad’s comedy is larger than life, energetic and spontaneous. His television career began with stand-up appearances on Star Search. Soon after, he landed a guest-starring role on NBC’s hit series, The Cosby Show, which spun-off into a starring role on A Different World. He later became the star of his own self-titled, critically-acclaimed series, The Sinbad Show, co-starring Salma Hayek, which earned him a nomination for “Favorite Television Actor” at Nickelodeon’s Kids’ Choice Awards.


VIEWPOINT BANK Theatre Comedy Series

Featuring six-show runs (now Wednesday evening through Sunday matinee) of four hilarious productions all set in the intimate setting of the Bank of America Theatre, the Comedy Series begins with Cocktails with Larry Miller: Little League, Adultery and Other Bad Ideas playing for six performances November 16-20, 2011. Grab a cocktail with friends and spend the evening with one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces, actor and comedian Larry Miller.  Having appeared in more than 100 films and television shows, Miller takes the stage at the Eisemann Center to share his comic perspective about marriage, children and drinking and how each one leads to the other two.

A Kodachrome Christmas will brighten the holiday season December 7-11, 2011 as we enter the world of cable access TV hostess, Earlene Hoople, the self-proclaimed “Queen of Rural Media,” as she tapes her Christmas Special in from of a live audience. Letters to Mrs. Claus, an outrageous family slide show, fresh baked snickerdoodles and a visit from the church hand bell choir set the stage for a picture perfect afternoon or evening at the theatre.

Women Fully Clothed appearing February 8-12, 2012 is Robin Duke, (Saturday Night Live, SCTV), Jayne Eastwood, (My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Hairspray), Kathryn Greenwood, (Whose Line Is It Anyway? Wind at My Back), and Teresa Pavlinek, (The Jane Show, History Bites) make up this unique collaboration of “the funniest women in Canada” (Eugene Levy). Spending an evening with them is like treating yourself to a night out with good friends who make you laugh ‘til you cry. Whether exploring mother/daughter relationships, cross-border shopping, board room banter or craft shows, these women charm their audiences with uproarious sketches and razor-sharp songs, all masterfully crafted with heart and soul.

Rounding out the ViewPoint Bank Theatre Comedy Series is the hilariously irreverent Sister’s Easter Catechism – Will My Bunny Go to Heaven? March 21-25, 2012. Celebrate the Easter Season with Sister as she answers time-worn questions of the season like “Who was Mary Magdalene?”, “Why isn’t Easter on the same day every year like Christmas?” and “Will My Bunny Go to Heaven?.” Part pageant and wholly hysterical, this latest of the sinfully funny Late Nite Catechism series unearths the origins of Easter bunnies, Easter eggs, Easter baskets, Easter bonnets and those yummy Easter Peeps. Get ready to participate as Sister runs her own version of the Easter Egg Hunt with special prizes.



Eisemann Center Presents’ Family Theatre Series is a Sunday matinee series for children and families of all ages. The Family Theatre Series brings professional touring children’s productions to the Eisemann Center with a lineup of shows that promises to excite, entertain, educate and amaze our youngest patrons. All Family Theatre Series performances take place in the Hill Performance Hall.

The series kicks off with Thaddeus Rex with Rock on Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 2:30 pm. Thaddeus Rex is an award-winning musician who entertains with a wild mixture of rockin’ tunes, hilarious antics and a contagious enthusiasm for reading. He travels the country with his best friend, a seven-foot dinosaur named “Rock.” Together, they put on high energy concerts, known for hooking parents and wowing kids. After leaving the Emmy-winning PBS Kids show The Friday Zone, Thaddeus started writing and performing full time.

Pinkalicious The Musical returns to the Family Theatre Series on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm. This charming musical comes from the pages of the best-selling children’s book by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann and produced by Vital Theatre Company straight from Broadway. Pinkalicious can't stop eating pink cupcakes despite warnings from her parents. Her pink indulgence lands her at the doctor's office with Pinkititis, an affliction that turns her pink from head to toe—a dream come true for this pink loving enthusiast. But when her hue goes too far, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way to get out of this predicament.

Next on the roster is Junie B. Jones produced by Theatreworks USA playing Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 2:30 pm. Outspoken, precocious, lovable Junie B. Jones stars in a colorful, funny, fast-paced musical about new friends, new glasses, sugar cookies, the annual kickball tournament, and other various first-grade angst-ridden situations. Follow her adventures as she writes down the story of her life in her “Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal.” This musical is based on four volumes in Barbara Park’s Junie B. Jones series of books, illustrated by Denise Brunkus and published by Random House: Junie B, First Grader (at Last!); Junie B, Boss of Lunch; Junie B, One-Man Band; and Top-Secret Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B (and Me).

On Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 2:30 pm, the Enchantment Theatre Company will appear in Sylvester and the Magic Pebble from the book by William Steig, author of Shrek. When Sylvester, a winsome young donkey, picks up a shiny red pebble, its magic spins a heart-warming story that reveals to him the true importance of family and friends. With life-size puppets, masked actors, magical illusions, innovative sets and costumes, and original musical score, Enchantment Theatre transforms this Caldecott Medal-winning book into a delightful adaptation for the stage. Who will love Sylvester?  Everyone from young children all the way up to their grandparents loves Sylvester and the Magic Pebble – anyone who believes in happy endings and that there is no place like home.

Fancy Nancy and Other Storybooks will appear Sunday, April 1, 2012 at 2:30 pm in an exciting production featuring six delightful stories including Fancy Nancy; Duck for President; Pirates Don't Change Diapers; Babymouse: The Musical; I Have to Go; and Leonardo: The Terrible Monster. Theatreworks USA’s musical revue is performed by a five-member cast who portray dozens of characters throughout the show in stories that represent various issues, themes and ideas relevant to a broad and diverse audience of children.

The Family Theatre Series will wrap up the 2011-12 season with Alice in Wonderland on Sunday, April 29, 2012 at 2:30 pm. Produced by American Family Theater, Alice in Wonderland is performed as a rollicking musical based on Lewis Carroll’s enchanting classic story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.



Jeffrey Siegel’s Keyboard Conversations® are concerts with broad, popular appeal and lively commentary, making the music more accessible and meaningful for all. Each piece is performed in its entirety and there is a question and answer session following the concert. Gain a whole new perspective and enrich your life with great music! If you’re a newcomer to classical music, you’ll be captivated to hear pianist Jeffrey Siegel talk about the great composers' lives and illustrate musical themes from each featured work. If you’re a seasoned listener, you’ll delight in Siegel’s fresh and intriguing insights into the music and be thrilled by his virtuoso performances.  

A Beethoven Bonanza! on Monday, October 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm will showcase the many moods of genius! The lighthearted, humorous Sonata Op. 31 No. 3, the tragic, fiery Sonata Pathetique and the transcendant Sonata Op. 109, written after deafness had engulfed the composer.

From Heart to Art: The Romantic Music of Franz Liszt  takes place on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm. The sizzling virtuosity and seductive lyricism of the 19th Century’s rock star of the piano – Lisztomania! Program content will range from the beloved Liebestraume to the exhuberant Hungarian Rhapsodies.

Russian Rapture – Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 7:30 pm features the soaring melodies and sensuous sonorities of these ever-popular composers – the colorful Preludes and captivating Etude Pictures and the scintillating Humoresques.

The Power and Passion of Johannes Brahms will conclude the 2011-2012 Season of Keyboard Conversations® on Monday, April 2, 2012 at 7:30 pm. Majestic tonal miracles in short story form – the narrative Ballades, Op. 10, the impassioned Rhapsodies, Op. 79 and the charming Waltzes, Op. 39.



A Ride With Bob: The Bob Wills Musical starring Ray Benson and Asleep at the Wheel returns to the Eiseman Center for five performances Dec. 28-31, 2011. Before there was Elvis, before there was Hank, there was a fiddler from West Texas by the name of Bob Wills – and he was The King. The first-ever play about the life and music of Bob Wills was written by Ray Benson and Anne Rapp and includes the live performance of 15 of Wills’ most popular songs in a plot that interweaves Ray Benson’s present day with various stages in Wills’ storied career. An optional New Year’s Eve Party (10:30 pm – 1:00 am) will take place following the performance on Saturday December 31, 2011 at 8:00 pm at the Renaissance Dallas-Richardson Hotel featuring music by Asleep at the Wheel and The Quebe Sisters Band. Party tickets will only be available to ticketholders for A Ride With Bob: The Bob Wills Musical (any performance).

The creators of Greater Tuna, Jaston Williams, Joe Sears and Ed Howard, bring you their hilarious new play I Heard That!, playing for 16 performances Tuesday, February 21 through Sunday, March 4, 2012 in the Bank of America Theatre. In their acclaimed comic tradition, Sears and Williams will again portray over 20 different characters. This time, instead of the citizens of the third smallest town in Texas, the entire world serves as the target for their outrageous satiric comedy, in situations ranging from testy marriages gone postal, beekeepers in search of a buzz, political hacks desperate for the next crazy issue, totalitarian dictators maxing out their credit cards, Civil War re-enactments gone bad and that out-sourced guy in India who can't help you with your problem. Come see why critics have called Sears and Williams "living treasures of the American Theatre."


Subscriptions for the ViewPoint Bank Theatre Comedy Series are on sale to the public with a 15% discount on full series subscriptions ranging from $125.80 to $136.00. The Family Theatre Series subscriptions range from $52.80 to $100.80, a savings of 20% off single ticket prices. The Keyboard Conversations® Series subscriptions range from $78.20 to $95.20 at a 15% discount off single ticket prices.

We have replaced the former Spotlight Series with our new MainStage Shows and a program that will feature significant savings determined by the number of shows ordered. Due to the artistic diversity of the MainStage Shows and Special Attractions, these events are not packaged as a subscription series. All of these shows, as well as the other shows in the season qualify for this unique new discount program, in which you can create your own entertainment package and enjoy savings up to 20%. The Multi-Show Discount Program does not guarantee the same seats, but offers you great flexibility of choice economically (different price levels and quantity of seats on a show by show basis), as well as artistically (shows of choice). If you are a subscriber to one or more of our subscription series, those shows will also count towards this discount package making it even easier for you to get discounts on other shows of interest. All shows be ordered at the same time in order to receive the discount benefits offered.

Single tickets may be purchased online at, by telephone and in person beginning August 8, 2011. The “Friends” members' Priority Pre-Sale begins July 29 and runs through August 7, 2011. For more information, call the Eisemann Center Ticket Office at 972-744-4650. The Ticket Office is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm and one hour prior to curtain time for all events. The Ticket Office fax number is 972-744-5830. Series subscriptions are not available online, but orders are accepted by mail, fax, telephone, and in person at the Ticket Office. Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more patrons. Group Sales can be reached at 972-744-4657.

The Eisemann Center is a City of Richardson facility located in the Galatyn Park Urban Center at 2351 Performance Drive in Richardson, Texas. The Eisemann Center is easily accessible from Highway 75 North taking the Galatyn Parkway/Renner Road exit going north and the Galatyn Parkway/Campbell Road exit going south or from the DART light rail station at Galatyn Park. Eisemann Center Presents 2011-2012 Season sponsors include ViewPoint Bank, ticket sponsor, Five for Five sponsor Opportunity Bank and media partners The Dallas Morning News, WFAA-TV, WRR Classical 101.1 FM and KLTY 94.9 FM. Additional support provided by Mid-America Arts Alliance (MAAA), Altrusa International of Richardson, Texas, Inc. and the Richardson Woman's Club. Thanks For Reading

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New Season: Eisemann Center
Richardson's performing arts complex to get a non-Tuna show from Joe Sears and Jaston Williams, among others.
by Mark Lowry

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