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SPARK

Winter 2019-20

B L U M E N T H A L P E R F O R M I N G A R T S – I G N I T I N G C U LT U R E

Home LOCAL ARTISTS WHO CALL

BLUMENTHAL p.6

DAVID GOODMAN A LASTING LEGACY p.22

WHAT'S COOKING ON BROADWAY p.12

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CONTENTS

Ignite a SPARK:

WINTER 2019-20

NEWS BRIEFS 11

New Blumenthal program helps kids prepare for life after high school

A tour milestone, plus the return of Hamilton, and more.

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CELEBRATING LOCAL ARTISTS Blumenthal gives area talent a place to call home

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PART OF THE FAMILY Get to know some of the local artists Blumenthal supports

Instagram.com/BlumenthalArts

Twitter.com/BlumenthalArts

BlumenthalArts.org/News

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LIVING OUR MISSION 4

INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE

Facebook.com/NCBPAC

IN THE NEWS

ON THE STAGE 12

WHAT'S COOKING ON BROADWAY When are they coming to Charlotte?

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Photo by Matthew Murphy

PODCASTS HIT THE ROAD

Hadestown is one of the hottest new shows on Broadway.

Charlotte loves them!

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PROFILES 20

SHARING THE MAGIC OF THEATER Runner goes the distance for young girls

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A LASTING LEGACY Late Blumenthal trustee David Goodman, center in the back, poses with some of Blumenthal's Junior Ambassadors. Goodman's legacy lives on through the people whose lives he touched, especially students; through the causes he championed; and through his love for the arts.

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Remembering David Goodman, a beloved member of the Blumenthal family

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MARVIN HINSON Putting the gleam on our spaces ON THE COVER: Gypsies perform on the Knight Theater stage during Charlotte SHOUT! NEXT PAGE: Tom Gabbard. Photo by Chris Edwards.

Get ready for the return of Hamilton.

SPARK

SPARK is produced by the Blumenthal Performing Arts Marketing staff.

Vice President of Marketing Wendy Oglesby Editor, Graphic Designer Mark Wallace Creative Services & Publications Manager

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Content Coordinator & Writer Rebecca Bereiter Communication & Creative Content Producer

Contributing Writers Liz Rothaus Bertrand Adam Rhew Page Leggett Shameika Rhymes

Lorrie Henry

Editing Support Tim Jonassen John Luebke


FROM THE PRESIDENT

MISSION STATEMENT To present the best in the performing arts and in partnership with others, share and employ the arts as a major catalyst to strengthen education, build community cohesiveness and advance economic growth.

Board of Trustees Richard Battle Kristin Hills Bradberry, Immediate Past Chair Bobby Chesney, Compensation Chair Brian Cromwell Dena R. Diorio Julie Eiselt Charlie Elberson Jonathan D. Feit Erin Lavely Fisher John Giannuzzi Jeffrey Hay, Board Chair Renee Hobart, Education Chair Jerri Kallam Michelle Y. Lee Portia Sherman MacKinnon Susanne H. McGuire Barbara Meeks, Development Chair Gail Sharps Myers

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Thanks for reading SPARK, where we share stories and insight into how Blumenthal Performing Arts is working to make our community stronger. Although over a half million people annually walk through our doors, we never forget that the impact of our work is felt by individuals. Just walking through the doors to be welcomed warmly by our team is crucial to helping our kids feel valued and included. Our programs span pivotal years for young people. From Broadway Junior, which is focused on elementary and middle schoolers, to the Blumey Awards and Loonis McGlohon Young Jazz Artist Competition for high school, to college scholarship programs, we now have a unique chance to positively influence our kids. Read in SPARK about our expanded mentoring strategy. Nurturing local artists whose styles range from edgy theater, to hip-hop and spoken word happens daily in our venues. They are a hub for rehearsals as well as performances. Artists value the quality and low cost of the venues. The public values knowing they are coming to safe, central locations with which they are familiar. Smoothly running our venues is a very big job. Blumenthal’s full-time staff now exceeds 110. Among those who are key to our success is Marvin Hinson, who oversees the myriad setups at Spirit Square. Reading about his commitment will inspire you as his example inspires us each day. Theater fans rely on us to bring the best of Broadway to Charlotte. Theatergoers have an exceptional number of touring Broadway shows to choose from. Fans here have more titles available each year than in major cities likes San Francisco or Boston. To keep that pipeline strong, Blumenthal is a leader in investing and helping to produce new shows for Broadway and London. We do that all with an eye of bringing great shows to Charlotte. Throughout its history, Blumenthal Performing Arts has been blessed by people who believe in the power of the arts to make lives better. We’re thankful for the support of Juli Marley, who has done so much through her work with Girls on the Run and now Blumenthal. Finally, we pay tribute to Blumenthal trustee David Goodman. Sadly, we lost David just weeks after he was voted to be chair-elect of our board of trustees. David and his wife, Barbara, have been leaders in supporting programs like Junior Ambassadors and the Jimmy® Awards. We thought long and hard about how best to honor his legacy and are doing so through creating the David Goodman Apprentice program.

George A. Raftelis Courtney D. Rogers Matthew Salisbury, Secretary Anjali Shah Scott Tozier, Facilities Chair

Tom Gabbard President & CEO

Kevin R. White, Treasurer

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LIVING OUR MISSION

INVESTING IN OUR FUTURE NEW BLUMENTHAL PROGRAM HELPS KIDS PREPARE FOR LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL by PAGE LEGGETT

Part of Blumenthal's education program involves managing master classes, like this one led by Central Academy of Technology and Arts alumnus and former Hamilton cast member Tyler McKenzie. But a new role for the department provides extra support for students needing help with things like college applications.

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What if you were a high school student, had studied hard, earned a standout GPA, held down a job, participated in extra-curriculars – theater, maybe – and wanted to go to college but didn’t know how to go about applying? That’s the reality for some bright and ambitious students. They’ve done all the right things, but perhaps no one in their family has ever been to college. And no one knows how to help navigate the burdensome, often-confusing application process. To say nothing of scholarship applications. Some teens face obstacles in their lives not immediately evident. Blumenthal Performing Arts CEO Tom Gabbard recognized there was more he and his staff could be doing for some of the kids involved in theater programs – something beyond professional development.

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“We began to see that some of the kids participating in our programs needed help with life skills,” Gabbard said. “From family issues to applying to college – there were things they just couldn’t get help with at home. We realized we could be a lifeline.” Outreach – especially to young people – has always been an essential part of Blumenthal’s mission. But what Gabbard proposed was beyond introducing kids to theater as a career path. He envisioned mentoring on a whole new level. “We realized we’re in a position to help kids succeed personally and professionally,” he said. The list of tasks Blumenthal staffers might help with is long: navigating applying to college and applying for scholarships, creating a personal budget, networking and so on. This new strategy – which is not a formal program – is possible because Blumenthal created a position that’s dedicated, in part, to developing deeper connections with students who need a little extra support and direction.

THE RIGHT PERSON FOR THE JOB Tommy Prudenti joined Blumenthal in February 2019 in the newly created role of special programs manager. Half of his time is dedicated to, as he said, “managing the educational programs that are part of the Blumenthal canon – in-school masterclasses, school matinee performances, Jr. Theater Celebration” and more – and the other half is devoted to advising the kids who need assistance. Prudenti won’t do this alone. He’s part of a team with an overarching department goal of life-skills mentoring. Blumenthal isn’t seeking just any kids who need assistance with life skills. As Gabbard tells it, they’re looking to deepen relationships with kids already involved in Blumenthal programming.

As part of the overall philosophy of Blumenthal's new mentoring program, Tommy Prudenti coordinated a night of educational activities around the Harlem 100 show to build relationships with underserved students and give them resources and opportunities for personal and professional growth.

The ideal candidate, said Prudenti, will be: • Open to advice and constructive criticism. • Invested in the arts. • Seeking more financial or socioemotional resources. “What we’re doing goes well beyond preparing kids for a possible career in the performing arts,” said Prudenti. “We’re helping to build a foundation of life skills and creative thinking.” Since it’s not a formal, structured program, students can’t apply for it. Instead, Prudenti will be looking to teachers to cue him on which students could benefit from having this kind of guidance. Prudenti is a natural for the role. He was the education programs coordinator at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte for five years before joining Blumenthal. Before that, he worked in New York as a booking agent for kids interested in theater, film and commercial work. Another reason he’s a good fit? His family had limited financial resources when he was growing up, he said. “One thing I had on my side were teachers who believed in me and invested in me. Having the support of mentors inspired a deep confidence in me at a young age. “Knowing you have people in your corner advocating for you is a valuable key to success and self-confidence,” Prudenti said. T

Prudenti

“ ” “We’re helping to build a foundation of life skills and creative thinking” TOMMY PRUDENTI

SPECIAL PROGRAMS MANAGER AT BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS

Tommy Prudenti, second from right, coordinated a dance/ movement-focused master class led by David Wright, next to him, for students at East Mecklenburg High School when Wright came to town with the Cruel Intentions tour.

To help more kids in our community experience live theater at Blumenthal, consider making a contribution by visiting BlumenthalArts.org/arts-for-all.

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LIVING OUR MISSION

CELEBRATING LOCAL ARTISTS BLUMENTHAL GIVES AREA TALENT A PLACE TO CALL HOME

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by ADAM RHEW

Sanwone and Santae Benjamin are used to moving in tandem. The brothers, who are native Charlotteans, grew up dancing all across their hometown. They brought their unmistakable flair to local rec centers, to public school hallways, and to the neighborhoods where they grew up as foster children. And there’s this: Sanwone and Santae are identical twins. They know what it’s like to perform as a unit. “We’ve always been musically inclined,” Sanwone says. “We’ve danced everywhere since we were kids.” The Benjamin brothers graduated from Hawthorne High School in Charlotte. Performing as Twin Nation, they focus on hip-hop choreography influenced by jazz and modern dance. “We’ve always had a really big imagination, looking at the Michael Jacksons, the Jackie Wilsons … people like that,” Sanwone says. “Whatever we’ve envisioned in our head was to put that onstage.” They got their first big break in 2015, when they performed as part of the inaugural, two-day Breakin’ Convention, presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts. The festival celebrated hip-hop music, dance, and culture – and the Benjamin brothers were a smash. After that first year, they began working with Blumenthal more frequently, returning to Breakin’ Convention in 2016 and 2017. “They gave us the opportunity, and it’s been history ever since,” Sanwone says. Every day in Charlotte, local artists step up to microphones, practice in garages and driveways, and sit in front of notebooks to write lines of poetry. CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Sanwone and Santae Benjamin with Twin Nation perform on the Knight Theater stage during Charlotte SHOUT!

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Krumbine


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At left, jugglers perform during Charlotte SHOUT! Below, Noel Freidline and Maria Howell perform at a press night event ahead of their "Home for the Holidays" show at McGlohon Theater.

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These artists often find a home – to perform but also to practice – at Blumenthal. “It’s a core mission element going back to our founding,” says Blumenthal CEO Tom Gabbard. While many patrons may think first of Blumenthal’s dazzling Broadway Lights series or other national productions that travel to Charlotte, providing space for local artists is essential to Blumenthal’s existence. “They deserve the recognition of a place like Blumenthal,” Gabbard says. “They deserve to be on this stage.” To artists, Blumenthal’s physical assets are as important as financial support. “Access to facilities – not just performance facilities but rehearsal facilities – can be integral to these groups having a life,” Gabbard says. “Facilities in and of themselves can make or break these groups. And we control a lot of real estate.” Breakin’ Convention, which launched Twin Nation quite literally into the spotlight, was also transformative for Blumenthal. “That was really a pivot point for us,” Gabbard says, “to broaden our focus and connect with more under-the-radar groups. There’s a stewardship responsibility to make sure our facilities are serving these folks.” Gabbard sees the evolution of Charlotte SHOUT! – a multiweek festival of art, music, food and ideas produced in partnership with Charlotte Center City

A break dancer performs during Charlotte SHOUT!

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Partners – as another inflection point. “I think it’s probably the best opportunity Charlotte’s ever had in its history to nurture local artists of all sorts,” Gabbard says. “It can be part of redefining, in the public’s mind, who is an artist.” Importantly, Blumenthal’s partnerships with grassroots artists are collaborative, not paternalistic. “We don’t try to micromanage them,” Gabbard says. “We want them to try to find their own authentic voice. We want them to pursue their art in their own way. I’m proud of that supportive, low-touch environment. These folks … they need time; they need some loving support; they need the asset of a place; they need the asset of an audience to perform to.” Today, the Benjamin brothers have all that, performing throughout Charlotte and teaching a weekly hip-hop dance class at Spirit Square. “We’re investing even more in costumes and items and props that we can put onstage to make our story come to life,” Sanwone says. “The Charlotte arts scene is growing, but we’re not really making spaces for grassroots artists – or any artist really – to have their own space,” he says. That’s why the partnership with Blumenthal is so critical. “Space is something that is essential to us, just like it is in business.” T


GET TO KNOW SOME ARTISTS BLUMENTHAL SUPPORTS Blumenthal’s partnerships with local artists arc across genres, demographics and styles. Following are a few local artists with whom Blumenthal is proud to work.

BECKY SCHULTZ - THEATER LEADER

Above, Three Bone Theatre presents Oslo. At right, Becky Schultz.

For Three Bone Theatre, a resident company at Spirit Square’s Duke Energy Theater, performances offer an opportunity to expand its patrons’ horizons. “Our mission is to use great theater as a catalyst for conversation and change in our community,” says Becky Schultz, the company’s executive director. “In order to do that, we need to be able to produce challenging works, often that people have never heard of, so that we can stretch our audiences and help them learn more.” Three Bone is part of Blumenthal’s rental waiver program, which empowers grassroots groups by providing access to rehearsal and performance spaces. “We’re allowed to have a lot more freedom, take a lot more chances, and focus on our artists because we’re focused on the story and not on trying to make a budget,” Schultz says. That enables Three Bone to attract top artistic talent. “We can’t do that if we’re having to worry about paying rent somewhere and making a bottom line.”  The company’s partnership with Blumenthal has also fostered relationships among artists. Schultz says that by having a place at Spirit Square, Three Bone is stronger than if it were isolated elsewhere in the community. “It has become our home. We feel really comfortable here. It’s where all of our patrons know to find us, and we feel like we’ve become part of the Spirit Square community,” she says. “It really is what we love about Charlotte: It’s bringing community together and, in most cases, celebrating them through the arts.”

JOHN TOSCO - LIVE MUSIC HOST John Tosco has been hosting a variety of live music events – starting in his own living room and eventually growing to fill up Knight Theater – featuring an eclectic mix of genres and talents. His nonprofit, Tosco Music, is one of Blumenthal’s resident companies, hosting lively Tosco Music Parties that feature more than a dozen acts, sing-alongs and a house band. “We’ve grown a lot over the last 20 years with the help of Blumenthal,” Tosco says. “And through us, their support also helps local artists.” Most of the acts that participate in Tosco Music’s five major events each year are from the Charlotte community. “We’re giving them an opportunity to get in front of an audience. Most local artists haven’t been in front of 1,200 people before.” Tosco says he is especially grateful for the well-rounded nature of the nonprofit’s relationship with Blumenthal. “They have helped us by making it affordable to rent the venue, staff support, help with marketing. We have very much felt like it’s a real partnership and not that we’re just a client renting a venue,” he says. “It’s really one big circle in a way of everyone working together to really do some positive, wonderful things for the community as a whole.”

At left, John Tosco. Below, Tosco's band performs at a Tosco Music Party at Blumenthal's Knight Theater.

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Bluz emcees at a local event.

BLUZ - AWARD-WINNING SLAM POET IN CHARLOTTE

Above, the Slam Charlotte team, from left, Cocoa Flo, Jay Ward, Breeze, Bluz, Jordan Bailey (seated), and Angelo "Eyeambic" Geter. At right, Bluz wields a slam poetry award.

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Years ago, Boris Rogers, better known around Charlotte by his stage name, Bluz, was working with a group of slam poets at the city’s old Afro-American Cultural Center to produce an event called the Queen City Soul Slam. But the event’s funding stream eventually disappeared. “Blumenthal stepped up and said, ‘Hey, we want to keep you guys here. Whatever we have to do to make that happen, let’s do it,’” Bluz recalls. “So they housed us and sponsored us from then on.” That partnership gave birth to the slam poetry group Slam Charlotte. Blumenthal funds travel expenses so that the Slam Charlotte team can compete in national and regional competitions. It's the only team in the country to have won three national titles, plus individual members have received a host of international accolades. “We started small with just wanting to have a poetry slam, not really wanting to accomplish anything beyond that,” he says. “People weren’t really coming uptown a lot at that time, especially for poetry, but Blumenthal saw the value in it.” Slam Charlotte has performed at many Blumenthal venues, including for sold-out crowds at McGlohon Theater, and has a permanent home at Spirit Square. Bluz says the group’s partnership with Blumenthal is stronger than ever. “They’ve had a genuine interest in keeping us alive and active. “Blumenthal gave poets another chance to use their voices in other avenues and other arenas,” he says. “They recognized the value and power in the voice of a poet from Charlotte who could impact the whole community.”


NEWS BRIEFS

IN THE NEWS

ALADDIN TOUR CELEBRATES PERFORMANCE 1,001 The North American tour of Disney’s Aladdin, which was adapted from the animated Disney film and the centuries-old folktales including “One Thousand and One Nights,” celebrated performance 1,001 on Sept. 18 in Belk Theater at Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. To commemorate the occasion, Korie Lee Blossey (the tour’s new Genie) surprised Parkwood Middle School drama teacher Nicole DePietro onstage by recognizing her vast contributions to the Charlotte arts community and presented her with a check for $1,001 for her school’s drama department. Nicole’s students from Parkwood Middle were in attendance to witness the special presentation.

Photo by Disney Theatrical Productions

The Aladdin cast poses with Parkwood Middle drama teacher Nicole DePietro after presenting her with a check for her school's drama department.

HAMILTON TO RETURN FOR 2020-21 SEASON Producer Jeffrey Seller announced that the national tour of Hamilton will return to Charlotte as part of the 2020-21 PNC Broadway Lights season. Hamilton dates will be announced, along with the rest of the season, in spring 2020. “Bringing together fans of all ages and backgrounds, Hamilton unified our community around a compelling story and remarkable artistry," said Blumenthal President and CEO Tom Gabbard. "We are thrilled to see the show return.” Current PNC Broadway Lights Season Ticket holders will have the first opportunity to lock down seats for Hamilton by renewing their Season Tickets next spring. New Season Ticket orders will be accepted after renewals are complete, if any remain. PNC Broadway Lights Season Tickets are limited to 16,000, and on Hamilton’s prior visit, they sold out. For information on becoming a PNC Broadway Lights season subscriber, visit BlumenthalArts.org/Broadway or call 704-335-1010.

TOURING BROADWAY'S LOCAL ECONOMIC IMPACT: $38.2 MILLION Touring Broadway shows generated more than $38.2 million in economic impact in Charlotte, according to a study recently released by The Broadway League. The study was based on the 2016-17 Broadway touring season. “The economic impact of touring Broadway is significant, and it’s also important to note that this is just part of the picture,” said Blumenthal President and CEO Tom Gabbard. “The League study does not include the hundreds of other events presented in our six venues during the 2016-17 season, so the actual impact is even greater than $38.2 million.” In the 2016-17 PNC Broadway Lights season, which ran from September 2016 through August 2017, touring Broadway shows played for 13 weeks at the Charlotte theaters managed by Blumenthal Performing Arts. Noteworthy titles included the 2015 Tony Awards Best Musical winner Fun Home, Finding Neverland, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder and The Bodyguard. More than 127,000 Broadway fans attended the shows that grossed $8.5 million in ticket sales.

MORE NAT GEO ADVENTURES! Blumenthal Performing Arts and Discovery Place Science renewed their partnership in a second installment of the popular National Geographic Live series. CompuCom has continued its support of the program as the local sponsor for the 2019-2020 presentations. The acclaimed speaker series, featuring thought-provoking presentations by today’s leading explorers, scientists and photographers, kicked off Oct. 29 with "The Search for Life Beyond Earth." Two additional programs, "Designed by Nature" and "Into the Arctic Kingdom," are slated for January and March. National Geographic Live participants receive a special invitation to enjoy cocktails, conversation and hands-on activities themed to that evening’s National Geographic Live topic at Discovery Place Science. The National Geographic Live speaker will present at McGlohon Theater in Spirit Square, directly across the street from Discovery Place Science. Tickets for the remaining National Geographic Live shows are on sale now at BlumenthalArts.org or at 704-372-1000.

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ON THE STAGE

WHAT’S COOKING ON BROADWAY? by SHAMEIKA RHYMES

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Moulin Rouge.

Photo by Manuel Harlan

Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.

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There's a lot to look forward to at Blumenthal Performing Arts. One of the roles of Blumenthal President and CEO Tom Gabbard is to check out the latest and greatest shows – some before they even hit American stages. This, and the fact that Blumenthal invests in many ventures, makes it possible for Charlotte to get the best shows around. Here's a Q&A with Gabbard about what's cooking on Broadway and what's around the corner for Blumenthal.

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TOM'S TAKE ON BROADWAY'S HOTTEST SHOWS Q: What role does Blumenthal Performing Arts play in developing shows outside of Charlotte to help them get on Broadway? Gabbard: We help raise investment money and provide strategic advice to shows very early in their creation. We play an important role in encouraging these shows to happen. People don't realize how fragile and difficult the whole process is. It can be hard for a show to raise money, or to get the right encouragement from opinion leaders like me that a show is viable. We’ve been investors in over 130 different shows. Among those that we were very early investors and advocates for are The Color Purple, Waitress, Kinky Boots, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Legally Blonde and Pippin. Q: Why do the Tony® Awards matter in relation to the Broadway shows that come to Charlotte?

Below, Hadestown with 2013 Blumey Awards Best Actress winner Eva Noblezada as Eurydice.

Gabbard: We bring the best of Broadway here. When a show wins the Tony® for best new musical or best revival of a musical, people can expect to see it here because Charlotte deserves that. Every best new musical winner and nearly all of the best revival of a musical winners have been here since we opened. We want people in Charlotte to see the best of Broadway and London without having to go to there. Q: Let’s talk about some of the current shows on Broadway. What is your take on Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations?

Gabbard: The show has this iconic music that generations have loved, but also a really compelling story. The true story of The Temptations is wrapped in the music that made them famous. It’s not only the personal stories of these individuals, but also the story of America, and the change in us as a society and the impact of race in America. It shows the racial divide this group had to manage on their way to become one of the greatest singing groups ever. I saw the first production of the show out in Berkeley and was thrilled to organize a group of investors for Broadway.

Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard and his wife, Vickie, attend attend opening night of Moulin Rouge on Broadway.

Q: What are your thoughts about Hadestown? Gabbard: In New York, it stars Charlotte's own Eva Noblezada – our 2013 Blumey Award winner who went on to the Jimmy® Awards. She was nominated for a best actress Tony® Award this last year for this performance. Anais Mitchell, who is a folk singer and performed in Charlotte at Tosco Music Party and The Muse … wrote the score. It just draws you in with this very mysterious, soulful and emotionfilled sound. This story is a version of Greek mythology, with Eurydice and Hades, but it’s told with a haunting folk music score. Q: How about Moulin Rouge! The Musical? Gabbard: Moulin Rouge was one of the first to open in the Broadway season that concludes in late April. It’s already established itself as a huge hit. People who are fans of the movie will

Photo by Matthew Murphy

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Photo by Matthew Murphy

Moulin Rouge. CONTINUED FROM PAGE 13

certainly love this updated version. It has a largely different score because the movie was a few years back, so it was important to update the music. It has over 70 different songs in it. Visually, it is mind-blowing and stunning. It's big, bold, very sexy, with lots and lots of red, and very environmental. The performers are out in the theater, and so you really feel like you're at the Moulin Rouge. Q: Can you tell us about the critically acclaimed musical Tina: The Tina Turner Musical? Gabbard: Tina was first a hit in London, where I saw it a year ago. It’s gotten even better for New York, where it just opened and is selling out. We hear all the great songs but learn so much about her courage. Tina Turner fled the domestic abuse of her husband with only 36 cents. She went on to not only relaunch her career and become a superstar, but she found herself and real fulfillment. We’re thrilled that Blumey Awards and Charlotte Squawks alum Nkeki Obi-Melekwe is playing the role of Tina during select performances on Broadway following her run in the London production! Q: The show Oklahoma! won best musical revival, so what can people expect to see? Gabbard: It’s an entirely new interpretation of that show. People who appreciate reinterpret14 SPARK | WINTER 2019-20 | BLUMENTHALARTS.ORG

ing classics have loved it. Some who don't want to see classics messed with have been a little irritated since it definitely is a new take on the show. They haven't changed a word in this show and yet it has a very different vision of Oklahoma. The actors deliver their lines in a more conversational way. Shows of that era can today seem like a caricature. This version is far more real and subdued. I find people leaning in more as they watch it. They use a smaller band that gives it a wonderful folk and country music feel. Q: What are your thoughts on the classic Tootsie? Gabbard: The film took place in Los Angeles and centered around the soap opera business. This version moves it to New York and revolves around Broadway and a Broadway actor who's very opinionated. Because he has strong opinions … usually contrary to the director, he ends up being fired from every job. He dresses up as a woman for auditions because the guy desperately needs a job. Q: Talk about David Byrne’s American Utopia. Gabbard: It has received unanimous rave reviews. David is a wonderfully quirky artist who was part of the group Talking Heads. This


show combines music from throughout his career with some new songs about America today, but with a wonderfully hopeful vision. He brings a great sense of optimism that the future is in our hands. One of the most consistent themes in all the reviews is that it's a very uplifting show. We’re proud of Thomas Laub, a Blumey Awards alum who is one of the producers. Q: What is your take on Jagged Little Pill the Musical? Gabbard: The songs are from Alanis Morrisette's “Jagged Little Pill” album, with an original story. She’s a natural for the musical theater because she writes these character-driven songs that provide insight into what people are thinking. Q: Do you have a favorite show that’s currently on Broadway? Gabbard: I love them all! It’s important to know that we’re very early in the current New York season. If it were a baseball game, this is just the third inning. Watch out for SIX, a musical about the six wives of Henry VIII. Our Blumenthal team saw it first in a tent at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018 and it’s wonderful. Mrs. Doubtfire, a musical version of the beloved film, should be wonderful based on a first reading of the show I went to last spring.

Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva

Jagged Little Pill.

The London revival of Company is transferring and switches genders, with the lead character of Bobby portrayed by a woman rather than a man. Broadway is in the midst of a new golden age as brilliant new shows continue to be created. That’s good news for Charlotte. T

Photo by Matthew Murphy

The stage adaptation of the movie Tootsie.

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ON THE STAGE

BLUMENTHAL HELPS DEVELOP NEW SHOWS

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by LIZ ROTHAUS BERTRAND

Did you know that Blumenthal helps to develop new shows for Broadway, London and national tours? Blumenthal is part of the Independent Presenters Network, a consortium of 40 leading Broadway presenters around North America, Asia and the U.K. that invest in creative assets. IPN provides funding and strategic advice to new shows that have the potential to tour later. Although Blumenthal CEO Tom Gabbard is no longer president of the IPN, Blumenthal staff continues to manage it. The IPN is integral to encouraging the creation of fresh, new shows, and to seeing them come to Charlotte early in their tours.

AND THE TONY GOES TO ... As a co-producer and investor, Blumenthal has won Tony ® Awards for Best Musical and Best Revival. • • • • • • • • • • • •

Hadestown Oklahoma! The Band’s Visit Dear Evan Hansen Hello, Dolly! The Color Purple revival Kinky Boots Pippin RED La Cage aux Folles Monty Python’s Spamalot Thoroughly Modern Millie

LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING MANY OF THESE SHOWS IN CHARLOTTE

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Tracing the legendary band’s extraordinary journey. Successfully opened on Broadway in March 2019.

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Scan the QR codes below with your smart phone to quickly link to more photos, videos or information for some of the shows.

Photo by Evgenia Eliseeva

Inspired by Alanis Morissette’s Grammy Award-winning album. Broadway opened December 2019.

Photo by Matthew Murphy

Successful Broadway opening in April 2019. Musical version of the film takes off in Manchester, England, prior to London, and eventually the U.S.

Successful Broadway opening in April 2019. Tony Award winner for best new musical.

Opened in July 2019 and is a huge hit.

Photo by Little Fang

Broadway opening in April 2019. Tony Award winner for best musical revival. North American tour will follow a limited Broadway run.

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ON THE STAGE

PODCASTS HIT THE ROAD CHARLOTTE LOVES THEM!

P

by SHAMEIKA RHYMES

Podcasts have transformed the way people listen to the world around them, making them increasingly popular in recent years. Instead of being confined to the studio, podcasters are taking the show on the road to connect with audiences and introduce themselves to potential new listeners. Several touring shows, including Straight Up With Stassi, My Favorite Murder, and Happier Hour With Gretchen Rubin, have made stops at Blumenthal Performing Arts this past year. “They have really become a mainstream way for people to access entertainment, news and politics,” said Blumenthal Performing Arts Director of Programming Stephanie Cantrell-Dowd. “You can get your hands on a podcast centered around just about any topic you can think of. Just two or three years ago, there were really only a handful of touring, live podcasts. Once entertainment agencies discovered that there was an active audience who would be willing to pay to see their favorite podcast hosts live, the number of touring shows really ramped up.”

The Small Town Murder podcast takes the stage at McGlohon Theater during the Queen City Comedy Experience.

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LEARN MORE:


“It’s our job to fully embrace the trends when they are here, and as the public moves onto something else, we’re right there with them.” TOM GABBARD

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS

According to a recent study by Westwood One’s Podcast Download Fall 2019 Report, one out of five podcast listeners attended a live podcast show in 2019 with the majority of listeners saying they would spend money and travel over 25 miles to see their favorite podcast live. Joni Deutsch is WFAE’s manager of on-demand content and audience engagement, and as the creator and host of WFAE’s music podcast “Amplifier,” she said it’s important to build a relationship between the listener and the host. “Podcasting is equivalent to pen pals. Listeners feel a real kinship to podcast hosts, their guests and their conversations, even if those listeners live a thousand miles away from where the host, guest and conversation are recorded.” Tom Gabbard, president and CEO of Blumenthal Performing Arts, said the organization is glad to bridge the gap for listeners and podcasters who bring their shows to the Queen City. “We have an interesting opportunity to be a convener – to take these podcasters and people locally who listen to them, and to bring them together to see each other face-to-face. It’s a service we can provide. A measure of local interest in podcasting is a meetup group of over 350 people who are podcasting or aspire to.” Curating the touring shows hasn’t been an easy feat because the metrics for success are still in the gray area, but that isn’t stopping Blumenthal from bringing the best of the best touring podcasts to the city. “It’s more about evaluating whether or not what we are being pitched will be a right fit for Charlotte,” said Cantrell-Dowd. “Some of the factors considered include the number of downloads, even though that doesn’t necessarily translate into hard ticket buys; visibility and popularity of the host; topic relevancy to what is going on in pop culture; Charlotte happenings; and ticket sales history from live shows at other theaters.” Gabbard said, “This is such a new area, that there’s not enough history to translate listenership to ticket sales, so it is a lot of pure risk experimentation for now.” Still, there’s no question that listeners in Charlotte are tuning their dial to podcasts. WFAE’s “Amplifier” is a great example of how Deutsch is connecting listeners here and around the world to the rich music scene in the city. Deutsch says the secret to the popularity of “Amplifier” is being a growing amalgamation of sounds, stories, neighborhoods, life experiences and music dreams that spotlights the past, present and future of music in Charlotte. “At its heart, ‘Amplifier’ is about

Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, hosts of the My Favorite Murder podcast show at Belk Theater.

shining a light on Charlotte’s artists and amplifying their amazing stories and songs throughout the city, the state of North Carolina, and the world,” said Deutsch. “To do this, ‘Amplifier’ has invested in a multiplatform experience for both music fans and music-makers.” The show has also partnered with Blumenthal to host its Lunch-Time Concert Series that features musicians from Charlotte. “Attendees have walked away with a pep in their step and a new Charlotte tune to share with their colleagues. That is the power of music, podcasting, and community collaborations,” says Deutsch. Moving forward, it’s possible the number of live touring podcasts will continue to grow and the trends may even shift a little. “Originally, only the really popular podcasts were touring, but as the trend is going now, I think the smaller shows will take a shot at touring as well, even if their aim is to play and sell out 400-seat rooms and below,” said Cantrell-Dowd. Blumenthal is up for the challenge of embracing the shows regardless of their size. “It’s our job to fully embrace the trends when they are here, and as the public moves onto something else, we’re right there with them,” said Gabbard. “We want Blumenthal to be light on our feet and be able to pivot to the public’s changing interest. That’s how we are going to continue to best serve the public, if we stay with them as these things change.” T BLUMENTHALARTS.ORG | WINTER 2019-20 | SPARK

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PROFILE

DIFFERENCE MAKER

SHARING THE MAGIC OF THEATER RUNNER GOES THE DISTANCE FOR YOUNG GIRLS by PAGE LEGGETT

J

“ ” Juli Marley

“I loved the idea of broadening our girls’ world by providing access to the arts ... ” JULI MARLEY

CPA AND ADVOCATE OF GIRLS ON THE RUN PROGRAM AND BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS

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Juli Marley didn’t see a Broadway show until she was in college. But when she finally got to Broadway in the 1980s, she saw one of the most beloved musicals of the modern era – Cats. “I thought it was magical,” she said. She’s been a theater fan ever since. Marley, a private equity investor and CPA, grew up outside of Syracuse, New York, in what she describes as a lower-income family. She wasn’t introduced to the performing arts as a kid, and so when she saw an opportunity to help young girls experience musical theater, she wanted to make it happen. Marley is a lifelong runner who has completed 21 marathons, including the famed Boston Marathon. When she moved to Charlotte with Blue Point Capital in 2001, she heard about Girls on the Run, a Charlotte-based, global nonprofit dedicated to inspiring girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a creative curriculum that includes running. She signed on and ended up coaching with the group’s founder, Molly Barker. Since 1996, Girls on the Run has helped girls become more physically fit and goal-oriented as they build self-confidence, make friends and develop social skills. The homegrown organization has flourished and today includes more than 200 councils stretching from the Shenandoah Valley to Alaska. The organization has served more than 1.8 million girls since its inception. Marley has been involved with the group for almost 20 years as a coach, a fundraiser and eventually a board member. She joined the Girls on the Run International board in 2015 and is the immediate past board chair. Girls on the Run instills self-confidence in participants in much the same way theater can. With Girls on the Run, running is the conduit for the program’s empowering lessons, but it's more than just a running program, Marley said. “Our coaches always say, ‘Where was this program when I was little?’”

SOMETHING WORTH SHARING When some of the youngsters in third, fourth and fifth grades participate, it broadens their viewpoint and helps them see greater potential for themselves and others. It’s a moment akin to when Marley discovered theater. A revelation, it opens your mind to wider possibilities and exploring the talents we all have in some form … something worth sharing and celebrating. Marley wanted


Students and coaches in the Girls on the Run program see American Girl Live at McGlohon Theater thanks to a special fund started by Juli Marley.

the girls to experience the magic she did, but at a much younger age. She first got involved with Blumenthal at the donor level through Jeff Hay, Blumenthal’s board chair. She began giving annually to the fund Hay established in memory of his brother. The Gordon Hay Scholarship Fund annually awards one exceptional Charlotte-area student a one-time award of $5,000. “I asked Jeff how else I could help,” she said. “One of the concepts we discussed was a way to further Tom Gabbard’s efforts in both community collaboration and providing access to the arts for everyone. We discussed combining those with my passion for Girls on the Run. “I loved the idea of broadening our girls’ world by providing access to the arts, particularly for those girls who may not otherwise have that opportunity,” Marley said. She made a major contribution to get the fund started. Thanks to Marley’s generosity, Girls on the Run participants from select Title I schools get to see what, for most, is the first Broadway show of their lives. The first group of 16 girls, plus four coaches – all from Windsor Park Elementary – attended American Girl Live at the McGlohon Theater last March. In September, 45 girls and their coaches from Whitewater Academy attended the Disney musical Aladdin at Belk Theater. The fund covers the cost of tickets and transportation, which Blumenthal staff arranges. “The logistics of getting permission from parents and getting the girls uptown is a lot,” Marley said. “The Blumenthal staff is well-versed in making it happen.”

Windsor Park and Whitewater Academy were among the 43 Title I elementary schools participating in Girls on the Run Charlotte during the 2018-19 school year. Marley expects the program to continue expanding organically. “As more coaches talk about it to their teams, the more it will grow.” The girls who experienced the shows are already talking. One parent emailed a coach: “We heard all about the show tonight at dinner. Teagan and Quinlan now have the theater bug and already have been asking about other productions.” One Whitewater Academy student who attended a show declared it “the best day ever,” according to her coach, Janira Reza. And perhaps the ultimate compliment was from a student who simply said, “OMG.” Marley has never stopped going to the theater. She and her partner, Mark Clarke, subscribe to the PNC Broadway Lights series, have attended the annual Charlotte Jazz Festival and usually make it back to Broadway once a year. She knows firsthand that all it takes to spark the magic is a single introduction. With her help, scores of young girls may just become lifelong theater fans, too. T To help more kids in our community experience live theater at Blumenthal, consider making a contribution by visiting BlumenthalArts.org/arts-for-all. To learn more about Girls on the Run, visit www.gotrcharlotte.org.

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PROFILE

David Goodman poses with members of the Junior Ambassadors.

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A LASTING LEGACY REMEMBERING DAVID GOODMAN, A BELOVED MEMBER OF THE BLUMENTHAL FAMILY

A

by ADAM RHEW

A few years ago, during a Blumenthal Performing Arts board of trustees meeting, David Goodman asked to say a few words. With his characteristic warmth and enthusiasm, he explained that there was need for a networking opportunity during the Jimmy® Awards – the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York. David thought the trustees should provide financial support to launch a party that brought together supporters of all the regional awards programs across the country like Charlotte’s Blumey Awards. “It will get all these folks together in the same room to celebrate all the good work we’re doing in our respective cities,” he said.  And, because he was springing it on his colleagues at the last minute, Goodman said he’d personally pay for the first year. “I want us to lead by example,” Goodman said.  “I wanted to cry right there,” recalls Blumenthal CEO Tom Gabbard. “It was such a natural fit because David was so passionate about what we do – but especially about young people … about nurturing and motivating young people.” The gesture of generosity was classic David, says fellow trustee Kristin Hills Bradberry. “He just lived his life with intention and openness,” she says. “The way he attended to people and paid attention to them was special.” David passed away unexpectedly in February 2019, not long before he was set to begin his term as chair of the board of trustees. He was a beloved part of the Blumenthal family, a generous donor whose leadership lifted those around him and whose spirit will ripple through Blumenthal for decades to come. CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 23

From left, Barbara and David Goodman enjoy a trip to New York with other Blumenthal donors.

“ ” “David had an unmatched passion for the arts ... and he had this desire to bring people along with him so they could experience that passion, too.” JAIME MONDAY

FRIEND OF DAVID AND BARBARA GOODMAN

“He’s one of those people who just very quickly lifted the spirits of any room he walked into,” Gabbard says. “That’s something we all benefited from.”

TOUCHING LIVES David’s eyes would twinkle when he told people about how he met his wife, Barbara. “I always loved when he told this story,” she says. “We met through a want ad, but not the kind you’d think.” In 1991, David was expanding his business, Diversified Marketing Group, which sold military textiles to government contractors. It was a big step – moving out of his home near Philadelphia and into a formal office for the first time – and he bought a newspaper ad seeking help managing his office. Barbara responded to the ad, and David hired her to handle the finances so he could focus on sales. “We became just really good friends,” Barbara remembers. “And it blossomed. We worked together, had lunch together, and eventually, in 1998, we got married.” Both had been married before and found in each other a kind of love that is transformational. “He made me a better person. But he would tell you that I made him a better person. We found in each other what we really needed but hadn’t had before,” she says. Starting with their engagement and wedding, and then on every anniversary that followed, David wrote Barbara a love poem. He was a hopeless romantic. While visiting family in Charlotte, they fell in love with the area so much they decided to move here after their 10th wedding

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anniversary. David, a passionate boater and fisherman, was drawn to Lake Norman. “He would say, ‘This is just great water,’” Barbara recalls from a rocking chair facing the lake – their favorite spot to sit together. She came up with the name of his fishing boat, Grampy’s Therapy, as a nod to his love for the water and for their four grandchildren. David, whose fun and mischievous side delighted others, had hats and shirts embroidered with the boat’s name as a joke. Friends grew to expect a tongue-in-cheek hat or shirt printed with a goofy saying as a gift when they traveled with David. “He made so many things fun and memorable with the silly stuff he did,” Barbara said. The Goodmans developed their connection to Blumenthal during this time, too, after warm customer service on an otherwise routine trip to the theater resonated with David. “The people were so passionate that they inspired passion in us,” Barbara recalls. The Goodmans made a generous financial gift to Blumenthal, which began an inspiring friendship with the organization. “Any room that they walked into was quickly a better place,” Gabbard says. The Goodmans attended shows at Belk Theater, traveled with other patrons to Broadway, and eventually David joined the board of trustees. “David had an unmatched passion for the

David Goodman enjoys cruising Lake Norman at the helm of his boat.


“” “He was probably one of the finest encouragers I’ve ever known in just making people feel good about themselves and good about the world.” TOM GABBARD

PRESIDENT AND CEO OF BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS

Above, David Goodman, board chair Jeff Hay and Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard attend Blumenthal's 2017 annual meeting.

arts,” says Jaime Monday, who befriended the Goodmans on donor trips to New York. “And he had this desire to bring people along with him so they could experience that passion, too.” He served on the development committee with Bradberry, and she recalls a meeting in which David made a point to support her after a heavy conversation. “He was so present and intentional,” she says. “That is how I experienced him from the very beginning. “He just had this sparkle about him. He had that energy that emoted warmth. He listened to everybody with real intention and you could tell by his reaction and his facial expressions that he was really listening to what you said.”

AN INCREDIBLY WONDERFUL MAN Five years ago, during a gala at their neighborhood’s yacht club, David suffered an aortic dissection – a serious heart issue that is typically fatal. Thanks to quick action by his medical team, David survived, and the experience shook him. “Especially after that, he was so grateful for every day,” Barbara says, blinking back tears. “He became even more passionate and more involved in what he did.” Afterward, David would tell friends that he had three mottos in life: Make a difference, lead by example, and make it fun. Many of David’s friends knew that these values were deeply embedded in him; they were already a part of his fabric. “He was kind and caring,” Monday says. “He had this infectious joy that made everyone around him smile. It didn’t matter what type of mood you were in, if you came in contact with David, your whole day brightened.” He brought that spirit to his work on the Blumenthal board. He and Barbara funded the Junior Ambassador program, which allows high school students to serve as volunteer ushers, and made a gift to the Foundation for the Carolinas to ensure that program continues in perpetuity. “I know

it makes him sound just incredibly wonderful,” Barbara says with a laugh, “but he really was. I keep realizing the amazing impact he had on so many people. You get back what you give. He gave a lot and he got back a lot.” His colleagues on the board agree. “He was probably one of the finest encouragers I’ve ever known in just making people feel good about themselves and good about the world,” Gabbard recalls. In memory of David’s spirit of service and inspiration for young people, Blumenthal has established the Goodman Apprenticeship – a program that will build on the high school ambassador program to allow interested young adults to participate in paid learning opportunities in various Blumenthal departments – ensuring David’s legacy will be embedded within Blumenthal forever. “He was amazingly generous,” says Bradberry, “but I feel like his gifts to Blumenthal were so much bigger and more lasting than the financial part. His curiosity, his discovery, his willingness to be transformed – it was almost like he was the embodiment of what we aspire for people to feel when they have any encounter with Blumenthal.” T

David Goodman, left, and his wife, Barbara, raise a glass during Blumenthal's anniversary finale celebration "The Room Where it Happens."

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PROFILE Marvin Hinson, Blumenthal's building services supervisor

MARVIN HINSON PUTTING THE GLEAM ON OUR SPACES

“” by LIZ ROTHAUS BERTRAND

“It is not as easy as I make it look – it looks easy because I love what I do.” MARVIN HINSON

BUILDING SERVICES SUPERVISOR AT BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS

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B

Building Services Supervisor Marvin Hinson knows there’s a lot more to running a theater than meets the eye. For the last six years, he has been part of the team that cleans Blumenthal’s uptown spaces and sets up for the many events that take place in them. Hinson, who is a fan of movies, big theatrical spectacles and music (he used to be a disc jockey), says he was simply in the right place at the right time when Goodwill’s job placement service helped him find a position at Blumenthal. “I am so glad they did,” said Hinson in an email interview. “I could not have asked for a better job.” His work has also enabled him to create special memories while attending shows with his wife, two daughters and extended family. One of his favorite moments was watching Disney’s The Lion King with his family in Belk Theater back in August 2018. That’s when his youngest daughter, who lives in Houston, took the bus all the way from Texas – nearly a full day’s ride – to come see the show with him. Here’s more from Hinson about his experiences working behind the scenes and what keeps him busy when he’s not at the theater. We’re happy to share his story because he’s in a field where doing it well often means not drawing attention to yourself and your efforts. But what’s imperceptible to the audience is essential to the successful operations of Blumenthal’s three uptown campuses.


Q: Which theaters and buildings do you help clean? Hinson: All of them: the Belk, Spirit Square and the Knight. Q: What do you enjoy most in your work? Hinson: The people here are great. Everyone is always happy. Q: What aspects of your work are most challenging? Hinson: Cleaning the theaters – we want everyone to enjoy the show in a nice clean environment. Q: Have you ever had any unique encounters with celebrity performers? Hinson: Not yet, but I hope to. Q: What types of shows or arts genres do you enjoy the most?

BUILDING SERVICES BY THE NUMBERS

4 411,917 7 365

NUMBER OF BUILDINGS MAINTAINED, INCLUDING BLUMENTHAL PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, SPIRIT SQUARE, KNIGHT THEATER AND BECHTLER MUSEUM OF MODERN ART. TOTAL SQUARE FEET OF SPACE SERVICED.

DAYS A WEEK

DAYS A YEAR

BLUMENTHAL'S GLEAM TEAM AT WORK

Hinson: All the BIG ONES: The Lion King, Hamilton, Aladdin. I also like it when they have R&B shows. Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working? Hinson: Watch sports and movies, spend time with family, maybe even have a cold beer. Q: The holiday season is right around the corner – do you have a favorite family tradition? Hinson: Yes, I play music (using a mixing board with a double CD player) during Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, while my wife and family prepare food. We also watch some of the football games. Q: Tell me more about when you were a DJ – what kind of music did you play? Hinson: R&B and a little hip-hop. I was just a local DJ mostly for family and friends but still good enough that people requested me to do parties all the time. I was pretty good at it too, if I say so myself. Internet and YouTube almost made DJing obsolete, so now I just play for family.

From the top, Nicole Henderson, Koreh Levalle and Victoria Hutchins work to keep Spirit Square clean for guests.

Q: What is something that you wish people knew about the work you do? Hinson: That it is not as easy as I make it look – it looks easy because I love what I do. Q: Anything you’d like to add? Hinson: Thank God for my mentor (Building Services Manager) Glenn McDowell for giving me this opportunity. I’ve never been happier on a job. T

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BLUMENTHAL

in Pictures QUEEN CITY COMEDY EXPERIENCE

Above, a crowd enjoys a performance at the Queen City Comedy Experience. At right, headliner Preacher Lawson performs.

Guests participate in Blumenthal's open house at Belk Theater, that included checking out their seats, tours and more.

Tony Lucca performs at Sounds on the Square this past summer.

Jason Harper of "Good Day Charlotte" walks around uptown in full costume and makeup as Bill Bailey from the musical CATS..

THE BAND'S VISIT MOMENTS

Above, The Band’s Visit cast members do a popup performance uptown to promote the show. At right, Holocaust survivors chat with a cast member from The Band's Visit.

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Blumenthal employees take part in the 2019 Charlotte Pride parade.


UPCOMING EVENTS JANUARY 7-12 13 16-18 17 21-26

Center, Reneé Rapp, the 2018 Blumey Awards Best Actress winner who stars as Regina George in Mean Girls on Broadway, and Blumenthal President Tom Gabbard have a photo taken with a group of Blumenthal supporters.

COME FROM AWAY * † Belk Theater

HELLO FROM THE MAGIC TAVERN McGlohon Theater

LITTLE BLACK DRESS THE MUSICAL Booth Playhouse

JESSE COOK

McGlohon Theater

MY FAIR LADY *

Ovens Auditorium

23

SON LITTLE

26

INDIGO GIRLS

Stage Door Theater WITH SPECIAL GUEST SARAH SHOOK AND THE DISARMERS

McGlohon Theater

28 JAN. 28FEB. 2

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC LIVE! – OCEAN SOUL McGlohon Theater

THE NEW COLOSSUS Knight Theater

FEBRUARY 3-5 7

Jonah Ho'okano, back right, who played the title character in Disney's Aladdin, greets fans at Stage Door after the show.

MEET RICHARD PRYOR The Comedy Zone

ROLLING STONE REPORTS – THE YEAR IN MUSIC McGlohon Theater

12

DINOSAUR WORLD LIVE

12

ARLO GUTHRIE

15

BILL MAHER

15

YVONNE ORJI: LAGOS TO LAUREL TOUR

16

TONY BENNETT

22

ANDERSON EAST AND FOY VANCE: 12 ROUNDS TOUR

Knight Theater

McGlohon Theater Belk Theater

McGlohon Theater Belk Theater

WITH SPECIAL GUEST AARON RAITIERE

McGlohon Theater

25-26 29

ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER Belk Theater

DIANA ROSS Belk Theater

MARCH 4

A CAPPELLA LIVE

7

MARC BROUSSARD

10 Blumenthal ushers perform a special Book of Mormon themed intro for the 2019 Best of Open Mic celebration.

McGlohon Theater McGlohon Theater

KRISTIN CHENOWETH IN CONCERT Belk Theater

For a complete list of upcoming events, visit BlumenthalArts.org *

† Founders Room available for Producers Circle members one hour prior to curtain and during intermission.

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THANK YOU TO OUR GENEROUS SUPPORTERS CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FROM NOV. 1, 2018-NOV. 1, 2019

PRODUCER’S CIRCLE $25,000+

Peg and Jay Adamczyk Gary Bechtel Vickie and Tom Gabbard Barbara and David+ Goodman* Laura and Jeff Hay* Renee and Chris Hobart Julianne Marley Ann and Michael Tarwater

$10,000+

Robin and Lea Burt In honor of Katherine and Emery Cherok Mary Anne Dickson Victoria and Porter Durham Beth and Jonathan Feit Bob and Jena Gallagher Sandra and Stephen+ Godofsky Nancy and David Hauser Rebecca S. Henderson and J. Michael Booe Michelle Lee Mr. and Mrs. William B. McGuire, Jr. Michael, Jaime and Allie Monday Charlotte and Arthur Mott Linda and Tony Pace Mr. and Mrs. George Raftelis* Jean and Matthew Salisbury Carolyn Shaw Glenn Tynan and Karen Jensen-Tynan Joan Zimmerman

$7,500+

Betsy and Alfred Brand Morgan and Brian Cromwell Dorlisa and Peter Flur Barbara and Josh Meeks Courtney and Casey Rogers Tracey and Scott Tozier

$5,000+

Anonymous Cathy and Jim Baily Tom and Sharon Barnes Mr. William M. Barnhardt and Mrs. Nancy B. Thomas* Kelly and Richard Battle Christine and Arthur Becker Dr. Milton and Arlene Berkman Philanthropic Fund The Blumenthal Foundation Amy and Philip Blumenthal Ben Bourne Belinda and Timothy Gunter Dale Halton and Fred Wagner Beverly and Jim Hance Charles and Diane Harrington Mr. George and Dr. Koh Herlong Neil and Janet Kaplan Julie and Howard Levine Karen and Robert Micklash Courtney and Jared Mobley Robert H. Norville, Jr. Dr. Derek Raghavan Kelli and Mike Richardson Rose and Tom Sherard Lori and Eric Sklut Melissa and Kevin White Anja and David Zimmerman

$2,500+

Anonymous Becky and Michael Alcione Elizabeth Austin Randy and Nancy Baker Rubina and Samuel Batt Shavonda and Reginald Bean Margaret and Howard Bissell

Mr. and Mrs. Alan Blumenthal Doug and Shelly Bose Chris and Steve Brace Kristin and Buck Bradberry George Brooks James R. Bullock Nathalie and Daniel Carrizosa Cheryl and David Carson Mary Catherine and Robert Chesney Nan and Hal Clarke Lorin, Erica, and Lydia Crenshaw Karin and Sean Davies Amy and Alfred Dawson Jim Donahue Michele Durkin Dr. Bryan Edmiston and Mr. Felipe G. Edmiston Julie and Tom Eiselt Lou Kinard and Charlie Elberson Erin Lavely Fisher Michele and Walter Fisher Karen Griffin and John Galloway John and Kathleen Giannuzzi Douglas R. and Elizabeth G. Goldstein Mrs. Gail Grim Debby and Mike Groenhout Robin and Blaine Hawkins Patti and Mark Hawley* Jennifer and Stephen Henry Nora and Thomas Hughes Susan and David Jamison Ronald Kahn The Leon Levine Foundation Sandra and Leon Levine Holly and Joseph Machicote Portia MacKinnon Fara Maltsbarger Marie-Claire Marroum-Kardous Anna and Tom Nelson Rene and Brian Noonan Andrew Olah and Lara Shurig LeeAnn and Crawford Pounds Laura and Fidel Prieto Nadine and Leif Rauer Kathleen C. Richardson Wendy and Frank Rosen Amanda and Neil Salvage Mr. and Mrs. Jason C. Schmidly Vesime and Marty Schroering Gail Sharps Myers Lisa and Glenn Sherrill Peggy and Pope Shuford The Marc and Mattye Silverman Foundation Patricia and John Stewart Jennifer and David Teifer Carrie and Jeff Teixeira Jacqueline A. Tucker Rita and Bill Vandiver Ellen and Ron Vilas Ed Weisiger, Jr. and Betsy Fleming Dr. Matthew Wheelock and Dr. Jill Smith-Wheelock Mr. and Mrs. Michael L. White Karen and Ed Whitener Dara and Bob Whiting Lisa and Kenny Wilson Amy Wooden and Joe Kolodziej

$1,500+ Marty Anderson Holly and Jeff Atkins Bryan and Kristen Barboza Cheryl Barringer and Mike Sherman Anne and John Barry Joanne and Steve Beam Ralph Beck, in memory of Linda

The Donald H. and Barbara K. Bernstein Family Foundation Julie and Riaz Bhamani Lakana and Tony Bikhazi Andrew Blumenthal and Stephanie Baumann Sam Blumenthal Peggy and Ray Bouley Mona Brandon Lauren and Peiffer Brandt Pat and Tim Brier Kathleen Britton Susan and Greg Brouse Steve and Rhonda Bueche Sarah and Bret Busby Joy and Chris Butler Karmen Cassell Delane and Walter Clark Ofelia and Philip Claxton Brent Clevenger Steve and Martha Clifford Dr. Elaine and Steve Coats Melissa M. and Howard R. Cohen Edward Cook Lori and Derek Copeland Catherine Cordle Harvey and Muri Corzin Craig and Sara Cummings Rose and Bill Cummings Bill Dantos Gloria De Arcangelis Jessica Dienna Pamela and Greg Dills Claude Duet Marcia and Bob Dynko Sidney and Andres Echevarria Lorine and Ray Edwards Kelli Enos Elaine and Jeffrey Fagan Greg and Jennifer Faucette Windy and Jef Fullagar Kelly and Doug Gardner Todd E. Gardner, MD Joseph H. and Carol Gigler Jessica and William Griesser Randy Griffin Kathy R. Hairston Leland Helms Frances and James Hill Sarah Hollar and Peter Macon Jim and Frankie Honeycutt Christine and Robert Hopkins Carol and Chris Horn Mr. and Mrs. William T. Houser Larissa and Ken Huber Peggy and Jim Hynes Beth Ipock Jonathan Ishee Kathy and Charlie Izard David S. Jacobson Juanita and Lloyd Johnson Michelle Johnson Ginger Kemp Lyndon W. Kennedy Linda and Kerry Kenner Virginia A. Kern Mary Jean and Howard L. Kushner Patty and Chris Lambert Chase and Ron Law James Ledbetter Meghan Daigle and Troy Leo Margie and Victor Lisciani Thomas Madson Joseph and Uschi Marko Ashley and Scott Mattei Jill Maxwell Jane and Hugh McColl Laurie and Pat McCormick

Betsy and T. Bragg McLeod Ms. Marie Mitchell Jill and Ed Newman Janet and Peter Nixon Paul Norris Dr. Valerie and Mr. Barton O'Kelley Jack Page and Robert Myers Geri and Jacob Palillo Anne Patefield Donna and Steve Pernotto Peggy and Terry Peterson Susan and Dale Pond Jim Putnam Mary and Dave Pylipow Irena and Lee Rimler Lisa and Robert Rollins Carla and Ed Rose Mikel and Diane Ryan Chryll and Wayne Salow Anne and Steve Schmitt David Senay Emilie and Gene Sharbaugh Deanna and Norman Shue Skinkle Tona Family Susan and Edwin Small Dr. Ramada Smith and Mr. Kevin Smith Tom E. Smith Cindy and David Soliday Dia and Paul Steiger Phil and Michelle Stillman Sheri and Kelly Straub Suzanne and Michael Stritch Dr. and Mrs. Robert Sullivan Joseph and Christine Thomas David Thomason Sandy and Greg Vlahos Ellen and Jim Wade Lisa Whitney Mary Ellen and Reid Wilkerson Margaret and Ward Williams Johnnie Willis and Michael Green In loving memory of my Rip Cathey Winfield Jennifer and John Wozniak

$1,000+

Keith Alyea Mrs. Corey W. Becker Scott Bengel Bonnie and Jim Blair Laura and Sam Bowles Susan and Ralph Brackett Mary and Frank Brown Rich and Beth Buchanan Peter and Cynthia Buck Jesica Bullrich and Patrick Halsch Caroline and Matt Chambers Karen and Kevin Chapman Lillian M. Chapman Linda and Richard Cook Brooke and Steve Cornwell Katie and Lee Cornwell Dennis and Rita Daar Virginia A. Davis Tara DellaVecchia and Ryan Zepp Dena R. Diorio Mrs. Roddey Dowd Sr. Bobby Drakeford Christine and James Drost Marcy and Fred Dumas Sandra and Eddie Edwards Kayla Freeman Darcy and Steven Garfinkel Glenn and Krissa Gaston John R. Georgius Robin Gershen Linda and Greg Gombar William Gorelick

Cynthia Greenlee Sharon and Benjamin Hager Amy Hamilton and Michael King Neil and Sharyn Handelsman Eric Hauser and Phillip Butts Jon and D'Linda Highum Kathy and Ben Hill Juliet and Brian Hirsch Carol Hitselberger Michelle and Brian Howell Mike and Cathy Hyzy Beth and Hytham Imseis Lynn Jeffrey Dr. Leslie Y. Johnson Karen and Newmoon Jung Jerri Kallam Charity Kates Mr. and Mrs. Randall King Joan Kirschner Tricia and Ryan Knatz David and Amy Kulbok Janice S. Ladley Robert Larson Beverly and John Lassiter Jennifer and Ross Levin Mollie and Grant Lyman Richard and Anna Marriott Suzy and Ed McMahan Darlyne Menscer Dr. and Mrs. Alden Milam Shelley and Andy Misiaveg James and Koh Morrisey Amy and Jason Murphy Dr. Robert and Norma Nagy Linda and Edward Need Donna Nellis Amanda and James Nichols Rachel and Steve Nystrom Wendy Oglesby and David Higbe Denise Olexa and Charlie Rapp Drs. Elaine and Thomas Pacicco Debbie and Bill Pendleton Julia and Kline Pepper Mr. and Mrs. Jerome Perlongo, Jr. Brad Platt and Steve Crook Timothy Prentice Lynn and Barry Pronier Robin and John Raley Robbin and Patrick Riley Sally and Russell Robinson William R. Rollins Carol and James Salisbury Beth and John Schleck Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlesinger In memory of Dr. Daniel Schneck Charles Shelton Jan and Scott Smith Wendy and Brian Smith Mary and John Spegal Sara and Morgan Spencer Ken Spielfogel and Richard Withem Claire and Jim Talley Mr. and Mrs. Jack H. Thomas Kathryn and Mark Thompson Pam and Andy Warlick Abby and James Warren Jacqueline and Rusty Wasco Jerri Webb Drs. James and Jackie Wheeler Teresa and Stick Williams

* Members of The Legacy Society – Blumenthal Performing Arts' planned giving program + In memoriam

Membership gifts make inspiration possible in our community. Join today! BlumenthalArts.org/givenow or call 704.379.1288 30 SPARK | WINTER 2019-20 | BLUMENTHALARTS.ORG


CATALYST PARTNERS The Arts & Science Council supports Blumenthal Performing Arts’ 2019 fiscal ear budget with operating and programmatic grants.

THE DOCTOR FAMILY FOUNDATION

Blumenthal Performing Arts receives support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

STRATEGIC PARTNERS

SIGNATURE PARTNERS

CHAIRMAN PARTNERS

$15,000+

LO U N G E

$10,000+

HOSPITALITY PARTNERS

$5,000+

$7,500+ Publix Super Markets Charities

Alston & Bird LLP British American Business Council Deloitte Ernst and Young LLP

Great River Hemp Company InterCon Building Company Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel KPMG, LLP McKenney’s Inc.

Metromont Corporation Moore & Van Allen Parker Poe Pinnacle Financial Partners Rodgers Builders Inc.

RSM US LLP SteelFab, Inc. Troutman Sanders LLP Uncle Maddio’s

$2,500+ Baird Foundation, Inc. Baird Private Wealth Management BDO Bradley LLP Carolina CAT C Design, Inc.

Collier Law PLLC Foundry Commercial Garmon & Company Inc. Commercial Flooring Gray Dog Investments, Inc. Hood Hargett & Associates, Inc. LBA Haynes Strand, PLLC

McCracken & Lopez, P.A. McGuireWoods LLP Mechanical Contractors Inc. NARENCO PMMC Robinson Bradshaw

The Dowd Foundation, Inc. Tippens & Zurosky LLP Walbridge Southeast White Knight Engineered Products, Inc.

$1,000+ BB&T Cabarrus Glass Company, Inc Carousel Capital Charlotte Business Journal Charlotte Labor Source Chicago Title Insurance Company Coddle Creek Farms, Inc.

Crosland Southeast /C4 Builders Donald Haack Diamonds & Fine Gems Fitzpatrick Engineering Group, PLLC Galvan Industries, Inc. High Performance Technologies, Inc. Hoopaugh Grading Company, LLC

Howard Brothers Electric Co Jenkins Peer Architects Lil Associates II, Inc. McVeigh & Mangum NC Interiors Contracting, Inc. Odell Associates Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

PAGE Power Systems, Inc. Piedmont Properties Preferred Electric Co., Inc. Robert E. Mason & Associates, Inc. Savills Schindler Elevator Corporation Sentinel Risk Advisors

Velligan Medical Services, PC Warco Construction Waterstone Multi-Family Group

BLUMENTHALARTS.ORG | WINTER 2019-20 | SPARK

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Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Charlotte, NC Permit No. 3036

130 N. Tryon St. | Charlotte, NC 28202

DREAM

Achieved

Reneé Rapp was named best actress at Blumenthal Performing Arts' 2018 Blumey Awards, won national attention as best actress at The Jimmy® Awards in 2018 and went on to land the role of Regina George in Mean Girls, now playing in New York on Broadway at the August Wilson Theatre. Blumenthal Performing Arts has been entertaining and inspiring our community since 1992.

Your gift can help more big dreamers achieve their dreams

WE INSPIRE BIG DREAMS 130 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28202 704.372.1000 • BlumenthalArts.org

Photo by Joan Marcus

Profile for Blumenthal Performing Arts

SPARK Magazine Winter 2019  

SPARK Magazine Winter 2019