Park City Institute continues its Main Stage season | ParkRecord.com

Park City Institute continues its Main Stage season

After taking a couple of weeks off to accommodate the Sundance Film Festival, the Park City Institute will continue its Main Stage season at the Eccles Center with Peabody Award-winner and radio host Ira Glass on Feb. 6, said Teri Orr, executive director of the Park City Institute.

(See story titled Ira Glass will ‘Reinvent the Radio’ in Park City)

This is the first time we were able to get him," Orr told The Park Record. "In the past, we weren’t able to get him because KPCW doesn’t air him, but since we have developed a good relationship with KUER, we were able to book him."

Glass, who will present a program called "Reinventing the Radio," will include snippets of his radio show as well as his television show, according to Orr.

A week after Glass steps off the stage, the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus will occupy it on Feb. 13.

"This is the first time they will leave California," Orr said. "They have never toured before, and they thought I was kidding when I called because I was calling from Utah."

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The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus held its first impromptu concert in 1978 on the steps of San Francisco’s City Hall during the vigil for the assassinated Harvey Milk and George Moscone, and has performed its message of unity ever since, Orr said. The performance will feature 60 of the 300 singers.

On Feb. 20, the Americana counrty sounds of Railroad Earth will come to Park City.

"They were part of Bruce Hornsby’s band who came in two summers ago," Orr said. "The folks loved them and they were scheduled to pass through, so we grabbed them."

Originally, New Orleans music icon, producer, pianist, bandleader, singer and songwriter Allen Toussaint was scheduled to perform on Feb. 27. But in the wake of his untimely death on Nov. 10, the Park City Institute had to find a replacement.

"We’ll be presenting the Heritage Blues Orchestra," Orr said.

The Grammy Award nominee — featuring guitarist Bill Sims, Jr., singer Chaney Sims, guitarist Junior Mack, saxophonist Bruno Wilhelm, harmonica player Vincent Bucher and drummer Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith — will bring its New Orleans soul, jazz and blues to Park City.

"It’s not Allen, but it’s in the same vein," Orr said.

March will feature three performances: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company on March 5; Grupo Corpo on March 19, and a spoken-word production with Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye on March 26.

"I’ve had my eye on Bill T. Jones for years," Orr said. "He’s a legend in the dance world. He’s a beautiful human and performer."

The production Jones will bring to Park City is a personal one.

"It is based on his partner’s mother’s story about getting out of the concentration camps in World War II and what it took to survive," Orr explained. "The piece was performed at Jacob’s Pillow last summer to rave reviews."

The dance company will also do both student and community outreach, according to Orr.

Two weeks after Jones’ performance, Grupo Corpo will make an appearance at the Eccles Center.

"It’s been 10 years, I think, since we last presented them, because they don’t tour a lot out of Brazil," Orr said. "They do a fresh, high-energy dance/theater. It’s just beautiful."

Orr said she is also very excited to bring Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye to town.

"Sarah and Phil are slam poets and put together a program called Project Voice," Orr said. "They go around the world and teach, not just students, but underserved members of the community, how to find their voices.

"Sarah is a TED speaker and has gone to India, Thailand and places where teaching people to speak out is a big deal."

The three performances in April — Ruthie Foster, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Imagination Movers — will wrap up the 2015-16 Main Stage season.

Foster will perform on April 2.

"Ruthie is a Grammy-nominated artist, who should be a Grammy winner," Orr said. "She plays a soulful blend of rootsy, bluesy music."

Then on April 9, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will return.

"I’ve said this before, but, they think they should be called the Aspen Santa Fe Park City Ballet Company, because we have presented them many times," Orr said with a laugh. "They are an elegant company, but are very whimsical in how they present their works. We love them."

The final performance of the season will be Imagination Movers on April 16.

"We always have something for younger members of the audience," Orr said. "This is a Disney show and it’s really difficult to find quality children’s entertainment that the parents don’t want to run screaming into the night after the first 10 minutes."

The production features the Emmy Award-winning team of Rich Collins, Scott Durbin, Dave Poche and Scott "Smitty" Smith, who make music that connects with children. The themes include everything from bedtime fears to eating healthy foods.

Orr said she is looking forward to seeing the audiences’ reactions to the scheduled artists.

"Some presenters do get into a groove and bring in pretty much the same kinds of performances year after year," she said. "We try really hard not to do that. Although the core element is dance, theater and music, we want to make sure you’re not seeing the same dance companies over and over again. Although we will jump at the chance to offer something like the extraordinary Grupo Corpo and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet Company again."

For more information about the Park City Institute’s Main Stage Season, visit http://www.ecclescenter.org .