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Eclectic lineup of entertainment announced for 2009-10 season at Naples Philharmonic

By Staff | Jul 29, 2009

Last week, the 2009-10 season schedule for the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts was announced, with a diverse schedule of acts coming to Southwest Florida for their 21st anniversary season.

“It’s a special season with something to fit everyone’s tastes,” said Myra Janco Daniels, CEO and founder of the Philharmonic Center. “We’ve also come up with a number of specially priced programs so that everyone can experience the power of the arts. From Tony Award-winning musicals to some of the world’s great classical performers, from David Copperfield to the Peking Acrobats, we have a season that will delight audiences of all ages.”

Several longtime favorites at “The Phil” are returning, including Smokey Robinson (Nov. 8), Tony Bennett (Jan. 10), Itzhak Perlman (Jan. 11), Michael Feinstein (Feb. 13), Steve Tyrell (Feb. 26), Johnny Mathis (March 21), Marvin Hamlisch (April 13) and Neil Sedaka (April 20).

But there are also plenty of fresh faces heading to the venue this season, including a number of entertainment legends, comedic icons, Broadway smashes and world-renowned dance companies.

Kicking off the season will be “An Evening with Ronan Tynan and the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra on Saturday, Nov. 7. Tony Bennett, winner of 15 Grammy Awards, stops in on Sunday, Jan. 10 while Bjorn Again, the number one ABBA tribute show in the world, brings disco to the 21st century on Sunday, Nov. 22.

Other great voices coming to Naples include Bernadette Peters (Jan. 5), Debby Boone (Jan. 24), Engelbert Humperdinck (Feb. 24), Gladys Knight (Feb. 12), Roberta Flack (April 11), Chubby Checker and Lou Christie (March 2).

Movie director Woody Allen may be better known for films like “Annie Hall” and “Broadway Danny Rose,” but the native New Yorker’s passion is playing clarinet. Woody Allen’s New Orleans Jazz Band will make a rare appearance on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

“A Tribute to The Beatles” will play on Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 21-22, while the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra – with guest vocalist Randy Jackson and guest conductor Brent Havens – will perform “The Music of Led Zeppelin” on Wednesday, Nov. 18.

Seven-time Emmy winner Ed Asner will portray the former president in “FDR” on Saturday, April 10, Frank Ferrante performs “An Evening with Groucho” Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23, Lauren Bacall will discuss her legendary career on Monday, Feb. 8 and “Seinfeld” sidekick Jason Alexander stars as “Donny Clay, America’s fourth leading motivational speaker” on Sunday, Jan. 17.

The comedic world will be well represented with acts including Dave Barry (March 3), The Smothers Brothers (Dec. 1), Bob Newhart (Jan. 6) and Lily Tomlin (Feb. 28) on the bill.

Also coming to the center are Broadway offerings “In The Heights” (March 29-April 3), “Chicago – The Musical” (Dec. 26-28), “The Color Purple” (Dec. 8-13), “Xanadu” (April 23-25), “Little House On The Prairie – The Musical” starring Melissa Gilbert (March 9-14) and “A Chorus Line” (Jan. 26-31).

The Miami City Ballet will make several visits to Naples, including the popular holiday performance of “The Nutcracker” on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 28-29. Other dance ensembles include the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in “A Cinderella Story” (Jan. 25), Moscow Festival Ballet in “Coppelia” (March 1), The Tchaikovsky Ballet Theatre in “Sleeping Beauty” (Feb. 14) and Les Ballets Trockadero De Monte Carlo (Feb. 2).

“In challenging times such as these, the arts have the power to inspire and enlighten us, to touch our hearts and our souls, showing us new possibilities,” added Daniels. “Join us and experience the excitement of the arts in 2009-10.”

For ticket information and the complete lineup of 2009-10 season performances, call 239-597-1900 or visit their Web site at www.thephil.org.