The Lied Center for Performing Arts’ spring season features a diverse lineup ranging from Tony Award-winning Broadway stars to virtuosic musicians to headline entertainment. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all spring events will feature both in-person and virtual attendance options.
“In a time when the vast majority of the nation’s performing arts centers remain closed, we’re so happy to be welcoming many of the world’s top artists to the Lied Center this spring,” said Bill Stephan, the Lied’s executive director. “From one of the nation’s top orchestras to some of the world’s best pianists to exciting modern dance, brass, jazz, bluegrass and Broadway, this is going to be a truly inspiring spring season. We’re also proud that nearly all of this spring’s events include the opportunity to either attend in person or watch from home. Bringing the arts to the people of Nebraska is something we remain committed to, no matter the circumstances.”
Season highlights include the Lied Center debut of the virtuosic Silkroad Ensemble on April 15; the return of Grammy Award winner Chris Thile on March 24; and a special online concert for Lied audiences with the world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra on March 20. Broadway star and Tony Award winner Kelli O’Hara will perform June 12, and comedy superstar Paula Poundstone returns on July 24. Including the previously announced Lied Live Online series, more than two dozen events are coming to the Lied this spring.
Through continued collaboration with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, all shows with in-person audiences will feature socially distanced seating, and masks are required inside the Lied Center. Since the Lied reopened to the public in July, dozens of events welcoming thousands of patrons have been presented safely.
Tickets for spring shows go on sale at 11 a.m. Feb. 9 here, by phone at 402- 472-4747 or in person at the Lied Center box office, 301 N. 12th St. Patrons who purchase tickets to four or more shows will get a 20% discount on their entire order.
For the first time ever, the Lied will also offer a $99 virtual season pass, allowing online access to all 13 paid ticketed events. Most events are available to watch from home for $20 or less.
The Lied’s 2021 spring schedule:
Mike Super, magic and illusion, Feb. 20, 2 and 7:30 p.m., in-person only — As the winner of NBC’s hit show “Phenomenon,” a finalist on “America’s Got Talent” and a featured magician on “Penn & Teller’s: Fool Us,” Super is the only magician in history to win a live magic competition on primetime U.S. network TV and be voted America’s favorite mystifier. This family-friendly performance is filled with intrigue, danger and anticipation.
Behzod Abduraimov, piano, Feb. 28, 4 p.m., in-person and virtual — Introduced to Lied audiences in 2018 as a soloist with Russia’s Mariinsky Orchestra, Abduraimov has quickly established himself as a rising classical music star. Described as displaying “prodigious technique and rhapsodic flair” by The New York Times, Abduraimov returns to the Lied Center with a performance that includes Sergei Rachmaninoff’s grandiose “Sonata No. 2.”
“Rhapsody in Black,” March 9, 7:30 p.m., free, in-person and virtual — Following a powerful Lied Center performance in 2016, writer/actor Leland Gantt presents an inspiring and thought-provoking online production as part of the Lied’s MOSAIC series. In this one-man theatrical performance, Gantt processes a lifetime struggling with what it means to be Black while deconstructing notions of race and realigning perspectives.
The Modern Gentlemen, March 13, 7:30 p.m.; March 14, 2 p.m., in-person and virtual — This quartet shared the stage with Frankie Valli for a decade as the Four Seasons. During their tenure with Valli, they developed their own signature sound and incredibly precise dancing. They are now touring the world, performing hits of the ’60s and ’70s with four-part tight harmonies in styles ranging from pop and rock to jazz and doo-wop.
Michael Londra and The Celtic Fire, March 16 and 17, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — Irish singing sensation Londra and his dazzling cast of “Riverdance” and “Lord of the Dance” alumni perform a lively evening of traditional Irish music and step dancing. Backed by an ensemble of Ireland’s finest musicians, Michael Londra and the Celtic Fire promise an electric St. Patrick’s Day celebration straight from the heart of the Emerald Isle. Included in the spectacular cast is Trent Kowalik, who at age 13 won the Tony Award for best actor in a musical for the title role in “Billy Elliot the Musical.”
The Philadelphia Orchestra featuring Gil Shaham, March 20, 7:30 p.m., free, virtual only — Last appearing at the Lied Center in 2001, the Philadelphia Orchestra takes the Lied’s virtual stage this spring for an unforgettable performance. Lied audiences will delight in Antonio Vivaldi’s iconic and transcendent “Four Seasons” in a performance that soars to new heights with world-renowned violinist Gil Shaham, who will both perform the solo and lead the ensemble.
Dino-Light: A Glow-in-the-Dark Adventure, March 21, 1:30 and 4:30 p.m., in-person and virtual —This glow-in-the-dark adventure brings a friendly dinosaur to life to discover a wonderful world full of creatures that light up the darkness. Recipient of the prestigious Jim Henson Foundation Grant, Dino-Light blends cutting-edge puppetry, technology and dance in a show that is fun for all ages.\
Chris Thile, March 24, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — Multiple Grammy Award winner and MacArthur Fellow Thile is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist; a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek; and was host of the radio program “Live from Here.” Thile returns to the Lied Center for an evening of music that transcends genres while creating a distinctly new American musical aesthetic.
Naughton Duo, March 30, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — Identical twins Christina and Michelle Naughton have been hailed by the San Francisco Examiner for their “stellar musicianship, technical mastery and awe-inspiring artistry.” The piano duo with make their Lied Center debut with a program of works by Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Frédéric Chopin, Johannes Brahms and Maurice Ravel.
Diane Schuur, April 7, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — Regarded as one of contemporary jazz’s leading vocalists, Schuur is as eclectic as she is brilliant. She has been blind from birth but gifted with perfect pitch and three-and-a-half-octave vocal range. With a recording career that spans more than three decades and includes two Grammy Awards, she has explored almost every corner of the American musical landscape.
Michelle Ellsworth, April 10, 7:30 p.m., free, virtual only — One of the world’s most creative multimedia dance artists, Ellsworth “churns out surprises, from coin-operated choreography to implausible science experiments,” according to The New York Times. A Guggenheim Fellow, she combines movement with science, architecture and the humanities for a mind-blowing multimedia presentation.
Silkroad Ensemble, April 15, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — Founded by cellist Yo-Yo Ma, this ensemble has been called “vibrant and virtuosic” by The Wall Street Journal and “one of the 21st century’s great ensembles” by the Vancouver Sun. The group creates music that engages difference, sparking radical cultural collaboration and passion-driven learning to build a more hopeful world.
Super Diamond, April 17, 4 and 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — In tribute to international pop icon Neil Diamond, Super Diamond performs such timeless classics as “Sweet Caroline,” “America,” “Cherry Cherry” and “Forever in Blue Jeans.”
“Everytime I Talk About …: Black Voices in a Time of Change: Poetry, Art and Music,” April 20, 7:30 p.m., free, virtual only — Drawing on the poetry of the late Lucille Clifton, University of Nebraska–Lincoln poets will celebrate the long history of Black poets bringing often uneasy truths to the heart of America. Curated by Kwame Dawes, the poets, in conversation with music and visual art, will perform their own compositions and selections of poems by Clifton, whose words continue to resonate in modern society.
Canadian Brass, April 29 and 30, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — Celebrating its 50th season, this famous brass group has performed in major concert halls worldwide and has been seen by millions of viewers on “The Tonight Show,” “Entertainment Tonight” and PBS. The group’s repertoire ranges from Renaissance and baroque music to Dixieland, ragtime and Broadway show tunes.
Arnaldo Cohen, piano, May 13, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — This Brazilian-born pianist has long had a reputation for astonishing audiences with his musical authority and blistering virtuosity. He returns to the Lied to celebrate the music of composer Franz Liszt after an unforgettable performance during the 2013-14 season.
Kelli O’Hara, June 12, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — One of Broadway’s biggest stars performs songs from her acclaimed career on stage and screen. Winner of a 2015 Tony Award for her performance in the Broadway revival of “The King and I,” O’Hara also co-starred with Matthew Broderick in “Nice Work If You Can Get It” and with Harry Connick Jr. in “The Pajama Game.” She has performed as a soloist at the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall and other major venues around the world.
Paula Poundstone, July 24, 7:30 p.m., in-person and virtual — A revered panelist on NPR’s “Wait, Wait … Don’t Tell Me,” Poundstone was the first woman to host the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, is the recipient of an American Comedy Award for best female stand-up comic and was recognized by TIME magazine for one of “The Top 5 Funniest Stand-Up Specials Ever.”
For more information on these shows and others, click here.