PRINCEIt’s homecoming week at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and Givens Performing Arts Center is pulling out all the stops with two unique performances. The shows are open to the public. Shanghai Nights features China’s premier acrobats, while the second show, The Purple Xperience is a tribute to musical great Prince.

“We’ve brought acrobat acts to GPAC previously, and our audiences have loved them. It’s a family-friendly show that thrills everyone regardless of age,” said GPAC Marketing Director Chad Locklear. “We usually bring a concert during UNCP homecoming weekend to add to the festivities. There are UNCP alumni returning to campus and families and friends of our students are visiting, so it gives them a time to come together to celebrate and another option of entertainment during the week.”

On Oct. 18, don’t miss the Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China debut of their brand new program Shanghai Nights! Visit the Far East through performance art. The acrobats use stories and vignettes along with movement, music and color to take the audience to the lively and diverse city of Shanghai. The sophistication, bustling energy and beauty of the city are all played out on stage. More that 50 of China’s finest acrobats come together to bring the Shanghai experience to the audience.

“The performances are breathtaking, and you can sense the enthusiasm from the performers. Many of them train their entire lives to perform. Audiences can expect to be mesmerized by their talents, focus and energy. They really are pushing the limits of the human body. Many of the acts you witness seem impossible,” said Locklear. 

The company of Shanghai Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China 2016 belongs to the artistic entities of governmental finance allocation. An elite performance group, the company is one of China’s most decorated company, performing in more than 30 countries since the 1980s and bringing home awards from acrobatic and circus competitions around the world. In 2009, the troupe won the Silver Clown award at the Monte Carlo International Circus Festival. 

“The Shanghai Acrobats started in 1959 and are considered one of the best acrobatic troupes in the world,” said Locklear. “They’ve won many awards throughout the years and traveled extensively. You might see similar circus acts to the ones you would see in Cirque du Soleil, but many of these are unique to this company and you won’t see them anywhere else. The costumes, music and occasional dance that you will see are all Chinese in origin.” 

On Friday, Oct. 21, The Purple Xperience takes the stage with Matt Fink leading the five-piece Prince tribute band. Find is a three-time Grammy Award winner and an original member of the Prince and The Revolution. The Purple Xperience started in 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The performance includes all the fan favorites from the Prince catalog.

“This show is going to be a lot of fun,” said Locklear. “Audiences are going to see Dr. Fink perform who was Prince’s original keyboardist for years and even has co-writing credits for some of Prince’s songs. Marshall Charloff will perform as a Prince impersonator. He sounds very much like Prince and does a great job at channeling Prince’s appearance and stage presence. Many people didn’t get a chance to see the legend before he passed away earlier this year. With one of Prince’s original band members, this is one tribute band that can perform the music of Prince’s catalog authentically.”

Purchase tickets online at or by calling 910.521.6361. 

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