Reg Lenna prepares for a wide-ranging 2014-2015 season

JAMESTOWN – The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts reaches into its own past while also taking a big step forward with a wide-ranging schedule of arts and entertainment set for the 2014-2015 season.

The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts will kick off its first full season in five years this fall with a concert that has been in the making for over 30 years. Harry Chapin: A Family Celebration (Friday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m.), features the titular performer’s family and touring band mates performing his most beloved songs.

Chapin performed on The Reg stage (then known as The Palace) in 1981, promising to return for a fundraiser if Jamestown residents committed to restoring the theater. He died tragically a month later, but his enthusiasm inspired the community to pull together to reopen the venue in 1990. The concert will feature Chapin’s brother Steve and bandmates Big John Wallace and Howard Fields. Joining the musicians will be Chapin’s nieces, Abigail and Lily, as well as Wallace and Steve Chapin’s sons.

Broadway veteran, Ron Orbach will host the performance. Orbach has a special relationship to the Chapin’s, earning his Actor’s Equity card in 1983, appearing in “Harry Chapin: Lies & Legends in Chicago.” That production featured Steve and Tom Chapin as Co-Musical Directors. Orbach will perform with the musicians, and former Reg Lenna Civic Center director, Phillip Morris, will share a special memory from the original concert via video.

On Tuesday, Nov. 11, 7:30 p.m., Cirk La Putyka will perform their high-energy “Contemporary Circus”, Slapstick Sonata. Using dance, pantomime, comedy and acrobatics, the performers tell the story of the overnight shift of a Prague warehouse where the workers turn their boring work routine into a celebration of silliness, movement and humor! The performance is set to the familiar music of Mozart, Handel and other legendary composers. If you liked Cirque Ziva, you’ll love this event.

Latin dance will warm up a cold Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m., with The Soul of Flamenco, a performance by Flamenco Vivo, under the direction of Artistic and Founding Director Carlota Santana. Featuring accomplished dancers and musicians from the United States and Spain, the production touches on the universal themes of Pride, Passion, Love, and Sorrow, striking a chord with audiences of all ages, cultural backgrounds and arts experiences. A Flamenco Master Class will be offered to the public as well.

Kicking off the St. Patrick’s Day Month on Sunday, March 8 at 7 p.m. will be the return of Irish music to The Reg as Caladh Nua takes the stage. This tightly knit group of Irish musicians and singers use banjo, fiddle, guitar and more to present an evening of traditional Irish music blended with contemporary stylings.

Musical theater meets improvised comedy in the final show of the Reg Presents series. Broadway’s Next H!t Musical is presented on Saturday, April 25 at 8 p.m. Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor, and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full blown improvised musical. An improv workshop will be open to the public on the afternoon of the performance.

A season pass featuring seats to all The Reg Presents shows mentioned above will give buyers 5 shows for the price of 4 at the seating level purchased. The season pass excludes the $10 seats. The season pass is on sale now.

Individual ticket prices will be $25, $35 and $45 depending on the seating level chosen. For the first time, the Reg will also offer fifty $10 tickets in the first three rows of the main floor for each show, to patrons aged 13 – 30 years. Single tickets go on sale August 1.

In addition to The Reg Presents series, there will be many other offerings including WRFA celebrating their 10th Anniversary in Concert with special guests 10,000 Maniacs, Movies @ The Reg (which will expand to include family movies, weekend matinees and genre offerings), Rolling Hills Radio With Ken Hardley at the Reg Studio Theater (and two shows on the Reg stage – audience included) and Southern Tier Brewing Company LIVE Series of concerts. Watch for on sale dates for all these events.

The Reg will also continue to host performances from our community partners including nationally-known comedians from Lucy Desi Center For Comedy, The Nutcracker from Chautau-qua Regional Youth Ballet, BANFF Mountain Film Festival from Roger Tory Peterson Institute, Chautauqua Regional Youth Symphony and Symphoria presented by Jamestown Concert Association.

The season announcement coincides with a relaunch of the organization as a whole. A new website design by Jonathan Woolson of thinkplaydesign in Fredonia features a new logo by Gary Peters Jr. of Jamestown. Over the summer, new signage, posters and more designed by Peters will be installed throughout the Reg Lenna Center For The Arts facilities and venues, including the lobby, box office, Reg Studio Theater and 3rd On 3rd Gallery.

Significant improvements to the facilities have been made including new air-conditioning, lighting in the 3rd On 3rd Gallery and a digital movie projection system. Executive Director, Kath-leen Eads, is excited to bring longtime patrons to the venue along with new audiences. “This season will appeal to audiences from across the area with performances spanning the arts. Music, theater, dance, comedy, film and art are the cornerstones of arts and entertainment and we’ll have them all here,” Eads said.

Information about all events at The Reg Lenna Center for the Arts can be found at the newly designed website, www.reglenna.com. Reg Presents Season Passes and tickets to other events may be purchased online, over the phone at 484-7070, or in person at 116 East Third Street in Jamestown, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.