Zev Buffman and Owensboro’s RiverPark Center are forging new territory this coming weekend. They are producing an original operetta in Owensboro. The production includes ten brilliant singing guest stars and a dazzling dance troupe from New York. The brilliant and dazzling will join the equally brilliant and dazzling Owensboro Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in creating the largest professional musical production ever presented at RiverPark Center. There will only be two performances; Saturday, October 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, October 17 at 3:00 p.m.
“The infusion of local talent into a major musical production is a new way of thinking for many of Kentucky’s performing arts presenters,” says Kentucky Arts Council START Initiative program coordinator, Lori Meadows. “It is a great way to build arts participation within a community. Through the Wallace Foundation’s START Initiative grant, RiverPark Center has also partnered with the Museum of Science and History to produce Owensboro’s first Oktoberfest, this weekend. The festival atmosphere will bring people into downtown Owensboro and the RiverPark Center.”
RiverPark Center is both producing and presenting “From Vienna to Broadway,” which means that other performing arts centers and venues could present this great performance with their own local symphony and chorus. The guest stars are signed and ready to take the show on the road to join with local talent. Orchestrations and vocal arrangements can be sent months in advance. “We are so used to importing musicals and stage productions in Kentucky,” says Arts Council Executive Director Gerri Combs. “It’s great to have a product to export.”
“I have been fortunate enough to have produced over 40 Broadway musicals and revivals as well as hundreds or touring companies,” says Zef Buffman President and CEO of the RiverPark Center. “I am producing ‘From Vienna to Broadway’ because I believe that the operetta musical form will be making a major return to Broadway and London in the near future.” Houston, San Francisco, Minneapolis and New York presented “The Merry Widow” as a part of their season last year to sell-out audiences and rave reviews. “From Vienna to Broadway” is an opportunity for performing arts presenters to introduce the melodious art form and have great audiences.
The Kentucky Arts Council is a state agency in the Commerce Cabinet. Working in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arts Council invests in programs that develop vibrant communities, provide lifelong education in the arts and support arts participation. Every $1 in grant funds awarded by the Kentucky Arts Council helps grantees secure $15 in earned income and matching funds from individuals, philanthropic sources and other levels of government.
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