When I tell people that I’m the executive director of Marathon Center for the Performing Arts, they often express jealousy that I get to pick the shows that come to the venue. But the truth is that programming is one of the most stressful parts of my job as Executive Director of MCPA.
If I could book all my personal favorite artists, the job would be easy. But it’s not about what I want to see, it’s about what you all want to see and everyone wants to see something different. And often the programming decisions come down to the boring details… Can we afford the show? Will the tour be coming through the region? Do we have the date available?
I don’t mean to sound negative. Booking shows is definitely exciting. There are so many wonderful performances out there that it’s like being a kid in a candy store… Do I book the musician that has won six Grammy awards or the one that was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
And then I get to do this, unveil the season and see everyone’s reactions to the artists that are coming to our community next year. I’m excited for the season and hope you will be too. The list is below, along with a brief sentence or two about why I booked each performance.
Wednesday, September 19, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
The “Great American Songbook” includes the most popular and enduring songs from the 1920s through the 1950s, including a lot of music from Broadway and Hollywood. Michael Feinstein is not only a singer and pianist, he’s the founder of the Great American Songbook Foundation and host of a PBS series on the subject. In short, he is the preeminent expert in this canon, and he’s extremely entertaining too.
Friday, September 28, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
There are plenty of Davy Jones fans out there, but we can all agree that Micky was the coolest of the Monkees, right? Plus he’s been on Broadway, had a successful solo career and, interestingly, was one of the first musicians to use a synthesizer on a rock recording!
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
If most magicians hide their cards and scarves up their sleeve, where do naked magicians hide them? I had to book this great girls’ night out show to find out!
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
This 30 member gospel choir hails from South Africa and is perhaps the finest African gospel choir in the world. Their performance is colorful, bilingual and sure to have you on your feet.
Sunday, December 2, 2018 • 4:00 p.m.
Nothing says Christmas like brass music. And nothing says brass music like Canadian Brass, also known as “the world’s most famous brass.” Canadian Brass is always engaging and their shows range from classical and Dixieland to carols and hymns.
Thursday, December 6, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
You may have seen this a cappella quintet on the “Sing Off” or watched one of their famous “Top Ten” YouTube videos, but VoicePlay is even better live. Their show is part comedy, part holiday concert and all fun. I’m hoping they perform their 80’s cartoon theme medley for us!
Thursday, January 24, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
We Banjo 3 has brought their blend of traditional Irish music and bluegrass called “celtgrass” to small venues in Findlay in years past, and now they are finally gracing MCPA’s stage. We’ll have to stock up on Guinness for this show.
Saturday, January 26, 2019 • 8:00 p.m.
We’re so excited to partner with the University of Findlay again to present three hilarious comedians from Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV and late night TV: Nate Jackson, Warren B. Hall and Lucas Bohn.
Sunday, March 3, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
It just takes the first few notes of the Star Wars theme by John Williams to take you back to the first time you saw the film, whether it was on DVD, VHS, in the theater or, like me, in the backseat of your mom’s car at the local drive in. Be on the lookout for your favorite characters straight from the Millennium Falcon and Tatooine, too.
Friday, March 15, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
Psychedelic images, cutting-edge effects, full-color lasers, Hi-Def multi-screen video projection viewed through “laser glasses” while listening to concert quality recordings from “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall.” What’s not to love!
Saturday, March 23, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
There is no arguing that the Vienna Boys Choir is the best known boys choir in the world. All the singers are between the ages of 10 and 14 and they perform over 300 concerts for 500,000 people every year. The group has been around since 1498 for a reason!
Thursday, April 4, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
From the moment I arrived, I was told that Findlay loves Broadway musicals so I couldn’t pass up Kinky Boots. It was nominated for 13 Tony Awards and won six, including Best Musical. This is by far the biggest show we’ve ever had on the MCPA stage.
Sunday, April 14, 2019 • 3:00 p.m.
Last season the Cliburn Bronze medalist stunned us with his virtuosic performance on our stunning Bösendorfer grand piano. This year the Silver medal winner joins us for another memorable classical performance.
Live @ Armes Shows
Friday, September 7, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
More than a band, Session Americana is a collective of talented musicians that sit around a bar table playing traditional instruments in what they call a “freewheeling modern hootenanny.” From experiencing this band live, I can attest that you will feel more like you are part of a jam session than sitting in an audience and you’ll want that jam session to last all night.
Friday, October 5, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
I have to admit that I have a soft spot for hipsters, and Parsonsfield is hipster music at its best. Their sound ranges from Americana to folk rock and it is all delivered with a charm and sincerity that makes the band instantly endearing.
Friday, December 14, 2018 • 7:30 p.m.
Unlike most of the bands in the Live @ Armes series, I hadn’t heard of Doe Paoro until her agent sent me a link and said, “you should check this out.” Halfway into the first song, I was ready to make an offer. Her indie-pop, urban sound is a bit different for this series and incredibly engaging.
Thursday, May 2, 2019 • 7:30 p.m.
When it comes to folk music, Jeffrey Foucault has worked with some of the best. His music leans towards country, with the earthy undertones for blues and rock.
Findlay Light Opera Cabarets
This series features local artists performing Broadway hits in an intimate setting and all proceeds go to support a large scale community musical at MCPA in the summer of 2020. The Findlay Light Opera Cabarets for the season are With a Song in My Heart: A Celebration of FLOC on Friday, September 21, 2018, A Hometown Holiday on Friday, December 7, 2018, Up in Armes: Findlay’s Notorious Speakeasy on Friday, March 22, 2019, and Hitchhiking Across America: A Contemporary Cabaret on Friday, June 14, 2019.
MCPA Family Series
This year we are presenting four shows for the entire family! The MCPA Family Series includes The Okee Dokee Brothers on Saturday, October 13, 2018, Your Alien Saturday, January 19, 2019, Popovich Comedy Pet Theater on Saturday, March 16, 2019 and The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites on Saturday, March 23, 2019.
School Day Performances
This series of weekday matinees is targeted towards schools, preschools and home schools, but the public is welcome too! This season’s School Day Performances are Nugget & Fang on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, ArcAttack presents “Electricity” on Friday, November 2, 2018, Canadian Brass on Monday, December 3, 2018, The Magic School Bus: Lost in Solar Space on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Underneath a Magical Moon, on Monday, April 8, 2019.
Tickets for all these shows will be available to the public to purchase on Tuesday, June 26 at 11 a.m. and are currently on sale for donors. We will see you at the show!