Built in 1858, Thalian Hall in Wilmington served as home to the town government, library and opera house, hosting traveling acts including Buffalo Bill Cody, Lillian Russell and John Phillip Sousa. Remaining in nearly continuous operation since then, it was included on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and now presents music, dance, theater and a film series. Upcoming mainstage events include cutting edge piano and violin with Igudesman and Joo’s A Little Nightmare Music, Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21; The John Brown Jazz Orchestra with A Big Band Hit List Friday, May 11; and the Cinematique Film Series, presented in conjunction with WHQR, which runs now through the month of May. For more details, visit www.thalianhall.org.
Marking its 60th anniversary this year, the Flat Rock Playhouse presents Broadway musicals, comedies, dramas and theater for young audiences. Growing out of a traveling performance group called the Vagabond Players in 1937, the Playhouse was designated the State Theatre of North Carolina in 1961. Mainstage shows this spring include My Favorite Things: The Songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein (through April 22), Our Show of Shows (Thursday, May 3 through Sunday, May 20) and The Spitfire Grill (Wednesday, May 30 through Sunday, June 24). For more information, visit www.flatrockplayhouse.org.
Mozart’s “Jupiter” Symphony No. 41 will be part of a double bill with Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, an innovative collaboration between Pittsburgh’s Attack Theatre and the Asheville Symphony, Saturday, April 14. The Symphony presents seven full orchestra concerts per year in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium at the Asheville Civic Center. On Saturday, May 12, The Pines of Rome will include Schumann Symphony No. 1 “Spring” and Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin and Piano. For more information, visit www.ashevillesymphony.org/.
April has been designated as Jazz Appreciation Month to draw greater public attention to the extraordinary heritage and history of jazz and its importance as an American cultural heritage. The NCCU Jazz Festival, featuring pianist Cyrus Chestnut and vocal group Take 6 runs Monday, April 16 through Saturday, 21 in Durham; the Billy Taylor Jazz Festival, with trumpeter Jon Faddis and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon takes place Monday, April 16 through Saturday, April 21 at East Carolina University in Greenville; the North Carolina Jazz Repertory Orchestra presents Swing into Spring: A Big Band Cavalcade at UNC-Chapel Hill, Friday, April 27; and bassist John Brown and his 15 piece Big Band join forces with the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival to present Such Sweet Thunder at the Cotton Room in Durham, April 26 at 8pm.
The Performing Arts in North Carolina website is your guide to more than 100 music, dance and theater artists and organizations across our state. Experience North Carolina’s rich performing arts heritage and thriving contemporary arts scene by visiting www.ncartstrails.org/performingarts.