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Legendary entertainers headline MIAC Live season

Thursday, June 29, 2017

From legendary performers to emerging artists, the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture’s 2017-18 season boasts an impressive roster of world-class talent, including a dynamic lineup for its MIAC Live series that is sure to appeal to both new and seasoned patrons of the arts.

The eight MIAC Live performances include iconic entertainers, such as Broadway star Bernadette Peters, legendary comedienne Lily Tomlin and master storyteller Garrison Keillor, as well as award-winning performers from contemporary dance, jazz, folk music and children’s theatre.

“I am thrilled to announce my first full season as director of programming,” said Brett D. Johnson, Ph.D. “Our line-up includes an array of artists who engage the world — who help us to see, to feel and to think in new ways. My hope is that our audiences will be inspired and energized by these remarkable performers.”

Opening the MIAC Live season on Thursday, Sept. 28, is Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, who will perform a special concert of signature songs from her illustrious career. A multiple Tony and Grammy Award winner admired for her peerless performances of Stephen Sondheim's work, Peters has been a radiant presence on Broadway and on the solo concert stage for over 50 years. Her celebrated performances include starring roles in Into the Woods, Gypsy, Sunday in the Park with George, A Little Night Music, Follies, Song and Dance and Annie Get Your Gun.

Taking the stage in November is legendary comedienne Lily Tomlin. From her early days on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In to her Emmy-nominated performance as Frankie on the hit Netflix series Grace and Frankie, Tomlin has spent the better part of five decades making America laugh with her insightful, witty and completely original characters. On Tuesday, Nov. 7, Tomlin brings the most beloved of these characters to the stage once more in An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin.

On Tuesday, Feb. 13, one of America’s greatest storytellers comes to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center for An Evening with Garrison Keillor. In this intimate solo performance, the longtime host of NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion shares hilarious anecdotes about growing up in the American Midwest, the people of Lake Wobegon and late-life fatherhood.  With a wonderful, dry sense of humor, Keillor captivates audiences using his unique blend of humor, charisma and wisdom.

The MIAC Live season also includes internationally acclaimed dance company Pilobolus, who returns to Mercyhurst for a mixed repertory program on Tuesday, Oct. 10; acclaimed Irish ensemble Danú, who will perform Féile na Nollag (A Christmas Gathering), an evening of traditional Irish music, vocals and guest dancers, on Wednesday, Dec. 6; and Imago Theatre, who will astound audiences of all ages with their spectacular adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, featuring puppetry, shadow theatre and other special effects on Saturday, Feb. 3.

For the fifth year in a row, the Institute will host its artist-in-residence program. Grammy Award-winning jazz ensemble Turtle Island Quartet will spend three days in the Erie community, offering workshops and mini performances at such organizations as the Barber National Institute, the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum and the Mercy Center for the Arts. The band’s residency will conclude with a tribute to iconic jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker in Bird’s Eye View: The Legend of Charlie Parker on Thursday, March 15.

Concluding the MIAC Live season is a special guest who has inspired audiences worldwide for more than 50 years. More information will be announced at a later date.

Returning this season are the National Theatre Live broadcasts, which bring the best of British theatre from the London stage to the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, and The Met: Live in HD broadcasts, a series of simulcasts from New York City’s acclaimed Metropolitan Opera.

Audiences can also expect outstanding performances from the university’s academic programs. The Dance Department will present ‘Tis the Season featuring The Nutcracker Suite, and Raw Edges XX; D’Angelo Opera Theater will mount a fully staged production of Verdi’s Rigoletto; and the Mercyhurst Theatre Program will produce a season of comedies, including Forbidden Broadway’s Greatest Hits, All in the Timing, The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 and, in collaboration with the Dance Department, the classic musical comedy Guys and Dolls.

The 2017-18 MIAC Live Season is sponsored by Cumulus Media.


With last season ending in four consecutive sold-out shows, the Institute is anticipating a high demand for tickets during the 2017-18 season. Patrons eager to gain early access to ticket sales can become season subscribers by contacting the box office at 814-824-3000. With the purchase of tickets to three or more MIAC Live performances, subscribers can save 20 percent on single ticket prices.

THE 501

Patrons can also gain early access to tickets – and enjoy exclusive benefits such as premium seats at star-studded performances, access to exclusive pre-show events and an invitation to the highly anticipated Summer Soirée on Saturday, Aug. 12 – by becoming a member of THE 501. More information is available online at


For more information about the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture, to purchase tickets, to become a season subscriber, or to join THE 501, visit

Single tickets go on sale Monday, Aug. 14, and can be purchased online, by phone at 814-824-3000 or at the box office in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. The box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.



Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center


Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center


Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center


Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center


Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, 2 p.m.

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center


Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center


Thursday, March 15, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Walker Recital Hall