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University of Iowa News Release


June 2, 2011

Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra among 2011-12 Hancher highlights

The University of Iowa's Hancher has announced its 2011-2012 schedule of performances, which includes dance, music, theater and family events -- including a holiday visit from "America's Orchestra." Tickets for the entire season are now on sale via an order form available on the Hancher website.

The season will get underway at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, when the dancers of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago perform a free, outdoor show on the Hancher Green, located just outside the original Hancher Auditorium. The event is a designed to be a farewell to the auditorium and a celebration of all the artistic achievements that have taken place inside.

In conjunction with the Hubbard Street performance -- which falls on the anniversary of the birthday of Virgil Hancher, the UI president (1940-1964) for whom the organization is named -- Hancher is requesting that community members share their memories of the auditorium. Stories may be e-mailed to

The free performance is supported by John and Sue Strauss, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Hancher Partners, with media support from Press-Citizen Media.

Iowa City will be one of just three stops on the 2011 edition of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra's Holiday Pops tour. At 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, "America's Orchestra," under the direction of Keith Lockhart, will perform holiday classics and original music in a concert that also will feature a cappella group Rockapella. The event, which will wrap up the Thanksgiving weekend, will be held in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Hancher's ticket prices are the lowest on the brief tour, and discounted tickets are available through Sept. 30.

The Holiday Pops performance is supported by ACT, Inc., Riverside Casino & Golf Resort, John and Sue Strauss, Herbert A. and Janice A. Wilson and the Hancher Partners, with media support provided by The Gazette and KCRG.

In keeping with its reputation as a major dance presenter and commissioner, Hancher will present Hubbard Street 2 performing a new piece that UI dance students will also learn and perform at Dance Gala. The renowned Paul Taylor Dance Company and innovative Lucky Plush Productions will also appear.

Two additional Hancher commissions are on the schedule. Iowa City-based playwright Sean Christopher Lewis is writing "Mayberry," a new play about diversity -— real and idealized -— in Iowa City. Lewis and Working Group Theatre will perform the new work. Stew & The Negro Problem will present a set of songs about Iowa City crafted from impressions the songwriter -— best known for the Tony winning musical "Passing Strange" —- collects on a visit to the community several months ahead of the band's performance.

L.A. Theatre Works will return to Iowa City to present "The Rivalry," a play built out of the famed Lincoln-Douglas Debates of 1858. Comedian and "Daily Show" correspondent John Oliver will offer up a more contemporary look at politics and society.

Jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco and jazz vocalist Catherine Russell are the first two artists in a new, intimate "Club Hancher" series. Both events will take place in The Mill, a legendary Iowa City eatery and performance space. Russell will also be part of the all-star American Beauty Project that re-imagines the music of the Grateful Dead and includes popular folk band Ollabelle and other top-notch talents.

Other offerings cover the full gamut of musical expression from all around the world. For classical music lovers, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, the American String Quartet and Maia String Quartet, the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and the Enso String Quartet are all on the schedule. Jazz performers include pianist Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers, as well as saxophonist Dave Pietro. International sounds will be provided by Bomba Estéreo (Columbia), the AnDa Union (Mongolia), and the Soweto Gospel Choir (South Africa). Legendary funk group Tower of Power is also part of the lineup.

The National Acrobats of The People's Republic of China and the Gizmo Guys will entertain families with amazing feats. The Gizmo Guys, a duo of comic jugglers, are the 2012 artists for Spot—The Hancher Family Arts Adventure.

Hancher's outreach programs continue in earnest with a large number of the season's artists participating in residency events on campus, in the local community, and around the state. In addition, Roseneath Theatre will present "Danny, King of the Basement" at Horn Elementary School. The play, which revolves around a boy and his friends struggling to cope with some very adult problems, is being presented in partnership with the Iowa City Community School District and will be attended by district fifth-grade and sixth-grade students.

Roseneath Theatre's presentation is supported by Herbert A. and Janice A. Wilson, and by Mary K. Calkin.

For the second consecutive year, Hancher has secured more than 100 Hancher Partners -— corporate, media and individual sponsors -— for the upcoming season. A full list of Hancher Partners can be found in the season brochure and on the Hancher website.

The season brochure -— which again trumpets the organization's "Can't Contain Us!" spirit -— and the website also include full details about each event and more information about Hancher's outreach programs.

Tickets for the 2011-2012 Hancher season may be ordered using the season order form through July 18 to allow for priority seating for Hancher contributors at the $500 level and above. For more information or for assistance with the order form, call the Hancher Box Office at 319-335-1160 or 1-800-HANCHER. Ticket order forms may be mailed, faxed, or delivered in person to the Hancher Box Office, located in the University Capitol Centre (formerly Old Capitol Mall).

Hancher Season Schedule 2011-2012

Sept. 4
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, 7 p.m.
Hancher Green

Bomba Estéreo, 9 p.m.
IMU Main Lounge

Sept. 22–23
Hubbard Street 2, 7:30 p.m.
Space Place Theater

Sept. 29
Joey DeFrancesco Trio, 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Club Hancher/The Mill

Oct. 2
Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, 3 p.m.
City High School, Opstad Auditorium

Oct. 19
National Acrobats of The People's Republic of China, 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

Oct. 20
National Chamber Choir of Ireland, 7:30 p.m.
St. Mary's Catholic Church

Oct. 27
AnDa Union, 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

Nov. 1
Paul Taylor Dance Company, 7:30 p.m.
West High School Auditorium

Nov. 8–9
Roseneath Theatre, "Danny, King of the Basement," 9 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Horn Elementary School

Nov. 18
American String Quartet with the Maia String Quartet, 7:30 p.m.
Riverside Recital Hall

Nov. 27
Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra featuring Rockapella, 7 p.m.
Carver–Hawkeye Arena

Dec. 8
Catherine Russell, 7:30 p.m.
Club Hancher/The Mill

Dec. 9
American Beauty Project, 7:30 p.m.
Riverside Casino Event Center

Jan. 28
John Oliver, 7:30 p.m.
IMU Main Lounge

Feb. 2
Stew & The Negro Problem, 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

Feb. 10
Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers, 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

Feb. 23
L.A. Theatre Works, "The Rivalry," 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

March 2
Tower of Power, 7:30 p.m.
Riverside Casino Event Center

March 6
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, 7:30 p.m.
Coralville Center for the Performing Arts

March 8
Lucky Plush Productions, "Punk Yankees," 7:30 p.m.
Space Place Theater

March 27
Soweto Gospel Choir, 7:30 p.m.
Riverside Casino Event Center

April 5
Dave Pietro, 7:30 p.m.
Englert Theatre

April 27–29
Working Group Theatre, "Mayberry", Fri–Sat, 7:30 p.m.; Sun, 2 p.m.
Riverside Theatre

May 4
Enso String Quartet, 7:30 p.m.
Zion Lutheran Church

May 20
The Gizmo Guys, 2 p.m.
City High School, Opstad Auditorium


STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Rob Cline, Hancher, 319-335-3827,; Steve Parrott, University News Services, 319-384-0037,