Edison Ovations announces final season

2014-15 highlights include Ira Glass, Scrap Arts Music and the Reduced Shakespeare Company

Ira Glass joins Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass in “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host” Nov. 1-2. (High-res image available upon request.) (Credit: David Bazemore)

It’s been a good run, but eventually the house lights come up.

Since 1973, the Edison Ovations Series has brought nationally and internationally known performing artists to Washington University in St. Louis and to the community. But the 2014-15 season will be the Ovations’ last.

“All good things come to an end,” said Charlie Robin, executive director of Edison. “For 41 seasons, the Edison Ovations Series has provided trend-setting music, theater and dance artists with a receptive and adventurous audience.

“I’m very proud of everything we’ve achieved,” Robin said. “To help celebrate that legacy, for this final season, we’re welcoming a mix of old friends, a U.S. premiere, and unexpected new collaborations.

“This year will be our final statement,” Robin added. “We’re thrilled to share it. See you in the lobby.”

The Reduced Shakespeare Company tackles “The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) Nov. 14. (High-res image available upon request.) (Credit: courtesy Photo)

The 2014-15 season

The season opens Sept. 27 with “Unveiled,” a one-person show by Chicago’s Rohina Malik, which explores the lives of Muslim women in post-9/11 America. Then, on Oct. 24 and 25, Edison welcomes Arabesque — the first private, neo-classical and contemporary dance company in Hó Chí Minh City, Vietnam — in their U.S. premiere, with “The Mist.”

On Nov. 1 and 2, “This American Life” host Ira Glass joins Monica Bill Barnes & Company for “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host.” The inventive evening combines two art forms, dance and radio, that, as Glass jokingly puts it, “have no business being together.”

Concluding the fall season, on Nov. 14, is Edison favorite the Reduced Shakespeare Company in “The Complete History of Comedy (abridged).”

Doug Varone and Dancers in “Caruggi.” (High-res image available upon request.) (Credit: Cylla von Tiedemann)

The spring semester opens Jan. 16 with “The Clothesline Muse,” a multidisciplinary performance — featuring six-time Grammy nominee Nnenna Freelon — that celebrates the unlikely links between domestic labor and community empowerment. New York’s Doug Varone and Dancers return for a pair of shows Jan. 23 and 24.

In February, Edison presents two events in WUSTL’s 560 Music Center. On Feb. 14, Broadway veterans Liz Callaway and Jason Graae combine love songs and comedy in “Happily Ever Laughter: A Valentine’s Party.” Then, on Feb. 21, Edison welcomes The King’s Singers, one of the world’s most celebrated vocal ensembles, for an evening of impeccable a cappella.

Ovations stalwart Scrap Arts Music, the Earth-friendly, Vancouver-based percussion ensemble, returns March 20.

Concluding the Ovations series, April 10 and 11, will be Giordano Dance Chicago. Founded in 1963 by native St. Louisan Gus Giordano, the distinguished company is both a pioneer of jazz dance and a leading advocate for its recognition as a distinctive American art form.

The King’s Singers, named for King’s College in Cambridge, England, jump the pond Feb. 21 for a one-night-only show at the 560 Music Center. (High-res image available upon request.) (Credit: B. Ealovega)

ovations for young people

In conjunction with Ovations, Edison’s ovations for young people (oyp) will host three specially priced, all-ages matinees.

On Nov. 22, Jeff Boyer will present his one-man “Bubble Trouble,” an inventive mix of comedy, music and jaw-dropping bubble science. On March 21, oyp will welcome the percussionists of Scrap Arts Music. Giordano Dance will conclude the series April 11 with “Jazz Dance Beat … Then and Now.”

Scrap Arts Music returns to Edison March 20. (High-res image available upon request.) (Credit: Anneke Janissen)

Tickets and information

Tickets to Ovations events are $36, or $32 for seniors; $28 for WUSTL faculty and staff; and $20 for students and children. Subscriptions are available at the basic level (three, four or five events at $32 per ticket) and at the premiere level (six or more events at $28 per ticket).

Ovations for young people tickets are $12 each. Subscriptions to that series are $27, or $24 for WUSTL faculty and staff.

Edison Theatre is located in the Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. The 560 Music Center is located in University City at 560 Trinity Ave. For more information or to order tickets, call the Edison Box Office at 314-935-6543; email edison@wustl.edu or visit edison.wustl.edu.

Edison programs are made possible with support from the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency; the Regional Arts Commission, St. Louis; and private contributors.

Jazz dance pioneers Giordano Dance Chicago conclude the Ovations series April 10 and 11. (Credit: Gorman Cook Photography)