Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O'Hara kick off MPAC Anniversary


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Broadway stars Brian Stokes Mitchell and Kelli O'Hara kick off the Mayo Performing Arts Center's 20th Anniversary season, Friday, Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $59 to $99.

Opening Night features a double bill of Broadway royalty. Dubbed "The Last Leading Man" by The New York Times, Tony-winning Broadway star Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime, Man of La Mancha, Kiss Me Kate) performs songs from some of The Great White Way's most memorable musicals, as heard on his recent release Simply Broadway.

Nominated for five Tony Awards (Nice Work If You Can Get It, Pajama Game, South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza, and most recently, The Bridges of Madison County), Kelli O'Hara is one of Broadway's most in-demand leading ladies.

Opening Night is just one of the many September festivities that MPAC is staging as it kicks off its 20th season.

On Sunday, Sept. 28, MPAC presents Community Day, in association with the Morristown Festival on the Green. From noon to 5 p.m., the Theatre will stage a variety of free activities, including outdoor concerts, a performance by the Teen Performing Arts Company, theatre tours, giveaways, special membership incentives and other surprises.

Monday, Sept. 29 is the official 20-year anniversary of the Theatre's first concert in 1994. In honor of that anniversary, MPAC will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 6 p.m. to celebrate the completion of the front of house renovations. More than $2 million was raised to improve the Theatre's main lobby. The event will honor the individuals and foundations that helped to fund the project. Started over a year ago, the front of house expansion includes the electronic marquee, the new box office, expanded restrooms, an elevator to the balcony and a refurbished lobby, complete with new concessions, lighting and carpeting. The event will also feature the debut of an original song composed by Tony-nominee Keith Hermann written specifically for MPAC and to be performing by the Theatre's teen Performing Arts Company.

"We hope that our donors and patrons will have the opportunity to come to the Theatre for one of these events to celebrate how far we've come in the last 20 years and as we chart our course for the next twenty," said Allison Larena, President and CEO of the Mayo Performing Arts Center.

In January, the theatre welcomes back Valery Gergiev, the noted Russian conductor who performed at the original opening night concert in 1994. The Jan. 30, 20th anniversary concert will mark the first time he has performed at the Theatre since that memorable night in 1994.

The Mayo Performing Arts Center is located at 100 South St. in Morristown. For more information contact the box office at 973-539-8008 or www.mayoarts.org.

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