If you’ve ever met Patricia Fields, you know she is an optimist. On a recent Wednesday morning, when the rest of the community was covered in rain, Fields’ outlook was sunny, and grew only more so as she talked about the upcoming season at the Givens Performing Arts Center.
    “This has got to be one of the best seasons we’ve ever had — it’s definitely one of the most diverse,” she said.
Fields knows what she’s talking about. The 2008-2009 season at the center has a little bit of something for everyone. “We have everything from Broadway to ballet, from puppets to football players,” she said. “We are really doing great things this season.”
    At the top of the list of things Fields wants to talk about is the Broadway and More series. This year the series will bring eight phenomenal shows to the stage.
    “We are very fortunate to do things that are kind of on the curve of what’s happening in the main stream,” said Fields. “Last year we did Hairspray, right on the heels of the movie, and introduced a whole new generation to live theatre. They saw the movie and then decided it would be a good idea to see the play. We’re doing that again this year with Sweeny Todd. I have had several ladies whose husbands have seen the movie, but would never have thought about coming to the theatre, say they want to come see it on stage.”
    The Broadway and More series kicks-off in October with the classic Oliver! on Friday, Oct. 24 at 8 p.m. But that’s just the beginning:
Ain’t Misbehavin’
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
The 30th Anniversary Tour of the Fats Waller Broadway Musical starring 2003 American Idol Winner Ruben Studdard and his Idol Cast mate, Frenchie Davis. The outrageously prodigious comic and musical soul of 1930s Harlem lives on in this rollicking, swinging, finger-snapping revue that is still considered one of Broadway’s best well-crafted revues of all time.

The Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
    Founded in the mid 1800’s, The Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra, together with the Royal Irish Academy of Music, represented the pillars of Irish classical music life at a time when Dublin, after London, was considered the most vibrant and distinctive city in the British Isles. 

Sweeney Todd
Friday, February 6, 2009
    This triumphant new cutting-edge production of Stephen Sondheim’s Broadway tour de force will take your breath away. The 2006 winner of two Tony Awards and four Drama Desk Awards has stunned theater goers as never before. The legendary demon barber, hell-bent on revenge, takes up with his enterprising neighbor in a delicious plot to slice their way through England’s upper crust…literally! Justice will be served-along with lush melody, audacious humor and oh yes, there will be blood!

Sleeping Beauty: The Russian National Ballet Theatre
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
    The Russian National Ballet Theatre was founded in 1989 when legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet Sergei Radchenko sought to realize his vision of a company which would bring together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet. 

To Kill a Mockingbird
    Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, now celebrating the 50th anniversary of its publication, was brought to the screen in an Academy Award-winning adaptation by Horton Foote in 1962 and was later adapted for the stage by Christopher Sergel. Though over 35 years old, this stage adaptation continues to compel and delight viewers worldwide with its warmth, wit, and wisdom. 

Movin’ Out
Monday, April 27, 2009
    Five-time Grammy winner Billy Joel and legendary director/choreographer Twyla Tharp have joined forces to create this spectacular musical.  Winner of two 2003 Tony Awards, Movin’ Out brings Billy Joel’s classic hits to electrifying new life as it tells the story of five life-long friends over two turbulent decades.  It all adds up to one unforgettable Broadway musical.

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