No matter what suits your fancy, from Old World Charm to Carolina Beach Music, Givens Performing Arts Center delivers in April. Givens Performing Arts Center at UNC Pembroke is one of the best kept secrets in our local performing arts scene bringing in Broadway touring musicals, European Orchestras and more.

During April, GPAC kicks off the month in the grand tradition of Russian Ballet on April 2 with Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake performed by the Russian National Ballet. This outstanding presentation is followed by The Acting Company’s performance of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men on April 25, and the month is wrapped up by the ever-rousing performer of North Carolina Beach Music, Jim Quick and the Coastline Band, Robert Lee Smith and the original Tams and The Embers on Friday, April 26.

If you wish to make your evening complete, match your musical tastes with culinary delights. Each of these performances is matched with a four-course meal served in the Chancellor’s Dining Room and deliciously prepared by Sodexo. The dining experience is $25 per person which includes a wine and cheese reception prior to dinner. Reservations are required.

One popular misconception is that the shows which come to the Givens Performing Arts Center are not03-20-13-broadway-series.gif the same touring groups which perform in larger venues across the state, however, this is not the case.

The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in Moscow during the period of Perestroika in the late 1980s with the help and support of the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation. The company and its dancers are dedicated to the timeless tradition of classical ballet while incorporating new developments in dance from around the world. In 1994, the legendary Bolshoi principal dancer Elena Radchenko was selected by Presidential decree to assume the first permanent artistic directorship of the company.

Swan Lake will continue its U.S. tour later in April appearing in Pennsylvania and New York. Quoting from the Washington Post, “The Russian National Ballet Theatre is a cut above its rivals.”

The Acting Company was founded in 1972 by two NYC graduates of Julliard’s Drama Division, producer/director/actor John Houseman and producing director Margot Harley. The company has won numerous awards for performance and education including the Obie, Audelco, Los Angeles Critics Circle Award and a TONY for Excellence in Theater “The Acting Company endures as the major touring classical theater in the United States,” according to The New York Times. After leaving Pembroke the show will continue its April offerings in N.C., Ky., Tenn., and Va.

Beach Music requires no introduction in North Carolina, so whatever your tastes may be, don’t overlook these fi ne opportunities for an evening of dance, drama or songs offered and supported by UNC Pembroke and GPAC.

All performances are at 8 p.m. with tickets available through the box office at (910) 521-6361. Find out more about GPAC and the Broadway Series at www.uncp.edu/gpac/broadway.

Photo: GPAC features Of Mice and Men as part of its Broadway and More Series.

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