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ASU Gammage to celebrate 50th anniversary with series of events

stage still of "The Phantom of the Opera"
March 18, 2014

In September 2014, ASU Gammage will kick off its 50th anniversary with a series of special events and programs. The celebratory calendar of events will include a blockbuster 2014-2015 Broadway season, world-renowned artists, free events and exclusive anniversary performances.

Fifty years ago, ASU Gammage opened its doors and has since grown into a top cultural destination in the Valley. The Frank Lloyd Wright-designed performing arts center located on the Tempe campus of Arizona State University is one of the largest university-based presenters of performing arts in the world, home to the Desert Schools Broadway Across America – Arizona and BEYOND series. ASU Gammage’s mission of Connecting Communities goes beyond the stage and the programs, and impacts the community through shared experiences in the arts.

"ASU Gammage’s 50th anniversary is a time to celebrate the best of the last 50 years, and to cheer on our plans for the next 50 years," says Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director. “With a terrific Broadway and BEYOND series planned, we are also most excited to open the building to the public on Sunday, Sept. 28, so everyone can celebrate with us."

ASU Gammage will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sept. 28, which will include complimentary birthday cake and refreshments, building tours, free performances and more.

The 50th anniversary Desert Schools Broadway Across America – Arizona series will include Tony Award winning hits like "Kinky Boots" and "Pippin," as well as two shows that changed the Broadway touring business, and two of ASU Gammage’s most successful shows in history: "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Wicked." The 15-week Broadway series is expected to bring in more than $100 million of economic impact into Tempe and the Valley.

The full Broadway line up will feature:

• Kinky Boots
• Pippin
• Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
• Dirty Dancing
• Cinderella
• Motown The Musical
• The Phantom of the Opera
• Chicago (special engagement)
• Wicked (special engagement)

The BEYOND series for 2014-2015 will showcase the return of some of the greatest artists to perform in the series, including the ASU Symphony and the School of Music, who will perform a tribute to the 1964 inaugural concert that featured Eugene Ormandy & The Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. Former ASU Gammage residency artist Daniel Bernard Roumian will return to perform a program including his eclectic signature compositions with an All Star Arizona High School Symphony. The Dance Theatre of Harlem returns to bring their distinctive style and grace to the ASU Gammage stage.

The series will also feature Phillip Glass and guest pianists performing a celebration of his full 20 Piano Etudes, as well as Kota Yamazaki and the Fluid Hug-Hug Dance Company.

“The 50th Anniversary season will have something for everyone; we hope the community will join as we celebrate some of the greatest performers and shows to have ever graced our stage, as well as celebrate this iconic Frank Lloyd Wright design as it celebrates its Golden Anniversary,” Jennings-Roggensack says.