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University of Iowa News Release

April 8, 2005

Today's Special: Hancher 2005-06 Season Is Open For Business

The 2005-06 performing arts season at the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium is now open for business, with a menu ranging from beloved comedian Lily Tomlin to opera diva Renee Fleming to the Munich Symphony to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet's "Magic Flute" to Broadway hits including "The Producers" and "Thoroughly Modern Millie."

Returning hits from recent seasons include the ABBA musical "Mamma Mia!", the Mingus Big Band, Cirque Eloize, South Africa's Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields.

Hancher's on-going commitment to family programming is epitomized by events including the Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Company, the theatrical hip-hop of Rennie Harris Puremovement and the Children of Uganda.

"Today's Special," a free, full-color mail-order brochure -- whose cover is dominated by a neon "OPEN" sign -- is now available, and was mailed on April 8 to everyone who regularly receives mailings from the auditorium. Order forms may also be downloaded from the Hancher Web site:

The brochure, which plays off of the dual meaning of "Today's Special," is available now from the Hancher box office -- 335-1160 in Iowa City or toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. E-mail requests should be addressed to

The season will be launched with a dance party on the Hancher stage to the Puerto Rican big band Plena Libre, in an event featuring Puerto Rican treats and beverages.

Hancher's ambitious statewide project "Spot: The Hancher Family Arts Adventure" continues with "master of the impossible" Tomas Kubinek and San Jose Taiko. Launched through funding by the Wallace Foundation, "Spot" is an audience-building, family-oriented partnership with the Iowa communities of Spencer, Perry, Iowa City and Marshalltown. As in the inaugural season, the "Spot" events in Hancher will include a family picnic, included in the ticket price.

Hancher's pre-performance dinners have proved popular, and the auditorium will offer themed dinners for even more events this season. Dinners may be reserved in conjunction with the performances by Ballet Flamenco Jose Porcel; the Munich Symphony; "The Exonerated" performed by Tim Robbins' Actors' Gang; the Pipes, Drums and Highland Dancers of the Black Watch; and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A brunch will precede the Sunday matinee performance of "Mamma Mia!"

Advance ticket-buyers not only enjoy the best choice of seats, but also can take advantage of volume discounts on most events in the season. A simultaneous purchase of five events or more qualifies for a 15-percent discount. Purchases made before the end of June may be paid through Hancher's installment plan.

UI students, senior citizens and audience members 17 and younger also qualify for special discounts to most events. UI students and senior citizens receive a 10-percent discount on tickets to most events, with $15 Zone 2 and 3 tickets available to UI students for most events. Youth tickets are typically 30 percent off.

Hancher's top seating priority goes to Hancher Circle contributors at the $500 level and above. Contributors at this level who order tickets before May 31 receive the first seating assignments, in the order that their forms are received.

Designated parking spaces, hearing and visual augmentation units, and large print playbills are available at every event in the Hancher season, and playbill copy especially prepared for the visually impaired is posted in advance at the UI Center for Macular Degeneration website --

Seating for patrons who use wheelchairs is available on a limited basis; reservations are required. When possible, the auditorium will arrange to provide sign language interpretation and tape-recorded playbills; requests for these services must be made one month in advance.

Groups of 20 or more receive a special discount on tickets to most Hancher events. Call 319-335-0009 for information and arrangements.

Hancher experimented with earlier curtain times for some events in the 2004-05 season. In 2005-06, evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. and matinee performances will begin at 2 p.m.

Corporate, foundation, media and individual sponsors for 2005-06 Hancher season events through the University of Iowa Foundation include (in chronological order): Eta Burken, Bon Vivant Fine Foods; Carl and Julie Schweser; Dahl Ford of Davenport, Inc.; Douglas and Linda Paul; Jim and Maureen Mondanaro, Fresh Food Concepts; William and Karen Rubright; Drs. Lisa and Amir Arbisser, Eye Surgeons, Inc.; Nancy Droll; the Iowa City Press-Citizen; Betsy Fahr in memory of Sam Fahr; Rhoda Vernon in memory of David Vernon; Mace and Kay Braverman, Southgate Development, Lepic-Kroeger Realtors; Kevin and Pat Hanick, Lepic-Kroeger Realtors; John and Sue Strauss; W. Richard and Joyce Summerwill; Richard and Judith Hurtig; Hancher Guild; Universal Climate Control, Thomas and Kathryn Nereim, owners; Hills Bank and Trust Company; KDAT-FM; Roger and Gayle Klouda; Iowa House Hotel; Hayes Lorenzen Lawyers, PLC; John and Lynne Geweke; Gary A. and LaDonna K. Wicklund; Everybody's Whole Foods; Cambridge Place Apartments, Phyllis Miller, owner; Terry and Johanna Abernathy; Mark and Leslie Nolte, Nolte Academy of Dance; University of Iowa Community Credit Union; Iowa Memorial Union Catering; the Gazette; Scheels All Sports; Cantebury Inn & Suites; an anonymous family foundation; Don and Sandy Heistad; Darlene and Michael McNulty; William and Marlene Stanford; Gwen Johnson, Lepic-Kroeger Realtors; Gary Stetzel, Tanner Development LLC; UI Hospitals and Clinics; Richard and Mary Jo Stanley; Oaknoll Retirement Residence; Hartwig Motors, Inc.; Iowa State Bank and Trust Company; Meardon, Sueppel and Downer PLC; Shive-Hattery, Inc.; Sheraton Iowa City Hotel; Peggy Scholz; the Wallace Foundation; Hy-Vee Food Store, Iowa City, Waterfront Dr.; the Heartland Arts Fund; and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher's website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

* * *

Hancher Auditorium
2005-06 Season
Evening performances: 7:30 p.m.
Matinee performances: 2 p.m.

24     Plena Libre
30     Marian McPartland Trio

6     Ballet Flamenco Jose Porcel
8     Peter Cincotti
14     Lily Tomlin
27     Dawn Upshaw, eighth blackbird, Gustavo Santaolalla, "Ayre"
29     Munich Symphony Orchestra

6     Johannes String Quartet, Clapp Recital Hall

4     Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Co.
10-11          "Thoroughly Modern Millie"

21     Rennie Harris Puremovement
24 & 25     "The Exonerated"
28     Alpin Hong, piano, Clapp Recital Hall

1     Shen Wei Dance Arts
7-9     "The Producers"
11     Royal Winnipeg Ballet, "The Magic Flute"
16     The Black Watch and the Band of the Welsh Guards
21     Mingus Big Band
24 & 25     Cirque Éloize, "Rain"

3     Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Gil Shaham, violin
4     Ladysmith Black Mambazo
7     Renée Fleming
23     Trio Mediæval, First Presbyterian Church, Iowa City
26     Children of Uganda
31     Joe Goode Performance Group

4-9     "Mamma Mia!"

7     Tomas Kubinek

18     San Jose Taiko

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

PHOTOS are available at