Bill Cosby, Randy Newman among stars scheduled for Seven Days of Opening Nights 2011
The 13th season of The Florida State University's annual festival of the fine and performing arts has been announced — and prepare to be dazzled.
Running from Feb. 11 to Feb. 21, Seven Days of Opening Nights will offer a unique combination of performances and exhibits ranging from beloved entertainer Bill Cosby to acclaimed singer-songwriter Randy Newman, and from tap-dancing virtuoso Savion Glover to celebrity chef and bestselling author Anthony Bourdain.
Even before the February festival begins, the Seven Days spirit starts to build with several major performances scheduled in venues around Tallahassee. On Oct. 2, blues legend B.B. King will give the first show in Florida State's newly renovated Ruby Diamond Auditorium. And on Feb. 3, classical pianist Simone Dinnerstein and singer-songwriter Tift Merritt will merge their contrasting musical styles in a concert at Tallahassee Community College.
Two final performances will also be offered after Seven Days' main run concludes. On March 14, The Acting Company — "the major touring classical theatre in the United States," in the words of The New York Times — will perform Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors," one of the Bard's earliest, most farcical works. And on April 10, hilarious essayist and monologist David Sedaris makes a Seven Days return engagement — his 2009 performance was an instant sell-out — when he visits Ruby Diamond Auditorium.
The annual festival spotlights The Florida State University's commitment to the arts — music, theater, dance, visual art, film and literature.
"There are very few universities in the country that stage an annual festival of this caliber, and the educational opportunities that many of these artists and performers provide for our students while they're here just make it that much more special," Florida State President Eric J. Barron said. "From B.B. King all the way through to David Sedaris, I'm personally looking forward to seeing some of the greatest artists of our time."
Education is integral to the festival, and the majority of the artists who perform at Seven Days of Opening Nights also spend time with Florida State students in master classes, giving invaluable insights into craft, process and art. Students and faculty are frequently invited to perform onstage with the artists as well.
"I think we hit a lot of bases this season," said Seven Days director Steve MacQueen. "The festival runs the gamut from longtime legends to up-and-coming stars, from the deeply serious to the deeply silly — some very familiar stuff and some brand-new things."
The full Seven Days of Opening Nights schedule is as follows:
Ticket sales for Seven Days members begin Sept. 14 and run through Oct. 4. (See www.sevendaysfestival.org for details.) Tickets for the general public go on sale Oct. 5.
For more information, visit www.sevendaysfestival.org or call (850) 644-7670.
"There are very few universities in the country that stage an annual festival of this caliber…"
Eric J. Barron
Florida State University President