February 1, 2014 11:34:57 PM
The Mississippi State University Riley Center in Meridian has released the lineup for its spring and summer Performing Arts Series. The star factor is high.
The legendary Tony Bennett anchors a season offering A-list artists, ballet and family theater at the venue that frequently draws audience members from the Golden Triangle area.
Bennett's July 26 show features the famed singer who had his first No. 1 song, "Because of You," in 1951 and was still winning Grammys in 2012. (He has taken 17 home, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.) The performer synonymous with jazz standards and classic show tunes captured the attention of one generation, then staged a comeback by winning over the grandkids of his original fans.
The Riley Center season boasts a diverse roster of entertainers, beginning in March. They include:
Current season ticket holders must renew by Wednesday, Feb. 5 to receive their same seats. New season ticket buyers may begin purchasing season tickets Monday, Feb. 10.
Patrons can "build a package" of three or more shows to receive a discount and early seating options starting Monday, Feb. 17.
Individual show tickets go on sale Feb. 24. For tickets or additional information, visit msurileycenter.com or call the box office, 601-696-2200. Two shows from the previous season are still ahead: Women of Ireland, an evening of traditional Irish dancing and song on Feb. 21, and the Walnut Street Theatre's production of "Driving Miss Daisy" Feb. 28.
The MSU Riley Center for Education and Performing Arts, located at 2200 Fifth St. in downtown Meridian, opened its doors in 2006. Its mission is to entertain and enrich, further lifelong learning and improve the quality of life for people of Mississippi and West Alabama through education and the arts, while enhancing the reputation and offerings of MSU.
The center includes a fully restored 1889 grand opera house theater that seats about 950, a 200-seat studio theater, and 30,000 square feet of meeting space, exhibit hall and boardrooms.
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Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.