Hippo Manchester
August 25, 2005

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Curtain to rise on Dana Center

Silver anniversary season promises diverse array of programming

By Michelle Saturley 

Comedy, Shakespeare, Celtic music and children’s entertainment are just a few of the events planned for Saint Anselm College’s Dana Center for the 2005-2006 season. This year marks the performing arts venue’s 25th anniversary of bringing theater, dance, music and art to the St. Anselm campus and the surrounding community.

The lineup kicks off on Friday, Oct. 14, with a performance by The Capitol Steps. This group of former Congressional staffers has been taking jabs at both sides of the political aisle since 1981. Their new CD of parody songs includes such gems as “If Ever I Would Leak You” (no doubt a reference to the recent CIA security scandal), “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea” and “God Bless the SUV.”

On Oct. 28, folk group Crooked Still and ukulele sensation Jake Shimabukuro will take the stage. Crooked Still has been called “the most important folk group to emerge since the early ’60s,” while Shimabukuro, a Honolulu native, is wowing audiences worldwide with his unique, lightning-fast Ukulele playing.

While the bulk of the Dana Center’s programming consists of rental touring acts and concerts, the venue also produces its own shows. The Anselmian Abbey Players, the college’s resident student drama company, will perform The Importance of Being Earnest and Pippin this season, as well as the student-directed One-Act Play Festival. The New Art Theatre, a troupe founded by the Dana Center’s director, Bob Shea, will present Hamlet. And the Saint Anselm Choir will present two shows this season: their traditional Christmas program, “Decembersong,” and a spring show, “An Evening With the Saint Anselm College Choir.”

Each year around Saint Patrick’s Day, the Dana Center goes all out to offer Irish music and cultural programs, and this year is no different. Emerging Irish band Danú will take the stage on March 16, while tenor Andy Cooney will provide entertainment on March 17.

Ireland won’t be the only region represented in this year’s season: a myriad of cultures, sounds and sights will take center stage all year long. The Portland Taiko is an Asian percussion ensemble with roots in ancient Japanese drumming techniques. The Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats will combine gymnastics, Kung Fu, brilliant costumes and Chinese comedy for an unforgettable night. The legendary Marcus Roberts and his quartet, along with new Cajun artists Balfa Toujours, will represent New Orleans jazz with a performance.

For a full schedule and description of the Dana Center’s new season, go to anselm.edu/dana, or call the Dana Center Box Office at 641-7700. The Dana Center is located on the Saint Anselm College campus at 100 Saint Anselm Drive in Manchester. 

DANA Center 2005-06 season

  • The Capitol Steps, Oct. 14

  • Crooked Still and Jake Shimabukuro, Oct. 28

  • Danny, King of the Basement, Nov. 4

  • The Importance of Being Earnest, Nov. 10-12

  • The Ying Quartet, November 15

  • Hamlet, Nov. 17

  • Shangri-La Chinese Acrobats, Nov. 18

  • Lauren Wool and the Gleason-Brown Quartet, Nov. 19

  • A Christmas Carol, Nov. 30

  • Decembersong, Dec. 3

  • A Celtic Christmas, December 2

  • St. Anselm College One-Act Play Festival, Feb.-11

  • The Marcus Roberts Quartet, Feb. 16

  • Balfa Toujours and Zoe Speaks, Feb. 23

  • Danú, March 16

  • Irish Tenor Andy Cooney, March 17

  • The Seacoast Big Band presents An Evening With the Duke, March 21

  • Portland Taiko Asian Percussion Ensemble, March 24

  • An Evening with the Saint Anselm College Choir, March 25

  • Pippin, March 31-April 1, April 7-8

  • River North Jazz Dance Company Chicago, April 21

  • Doctor Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, April 25

  • The Berenstain Bears On Stage, April 28