The Lied Center for Performing Arts’ 2023-24 season will feature more than 30 events, including top artists and ensembles from around the world in dance, classical music, jazz, musical theater, comedy, family entertainment and illusion.
“The thrilling 2023-24 season truly fulfills our promise of ‘something for everyone,’” said Bill Stephan, the Lied’s executive director. “From opening night with The Blues Brothers to the return of Lied audience favorites such as Wynton Marsalis and Joshua Bell, the Nebraska premieres of ‘Coco in Concert’ and MOMIX’s ‘Alice,’ as well as additional just-announced Broadway show ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ it’s going to be a spectacular one.”
“Create Your Own Season” packages go on sale at 11 a.m. May 16 online, by phone at 402-472-4747 and at the Lied Center box office, 301 N. 12th St. To become a subscriber, patrons can select any four or more shows in the season and receive a discount of up to 20% off the entire order.
The Lied Center’s 2023-24 schedule:
- The Blues Brothers: Jim Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m. — Aykroyd and Belushi, playing characters Elwood and Zee, have been charming audiences and pulling people out of their chairs for years, playing all the hits from the official Blues Brothers canon and putting their inimitable twist on classic tunes.
- Emanuel Ax, Sept. 24, 4 p.m. — A Lied audience favorite, eight-time Grammy-winning pianist Ax returns to Lincoln. One of the world’s most virtuosic pianists, he gives performances that have been called “poetic and full of illuminating touches” by The New York Times. A highly sought soloist and partner throughout the world, he can be seen performing regularly with the world’s finest orchestras, as well as working on special projects with classical music giants such as Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman.
- “Disney’s Aladdin,” Oct. 3-8 (eight shows) — From the producer of “The Lion King” comes the timeless story of “Aladdin,” a thrilling new production filled with unforgettable beauty, magic, comedy and spectacle. It’s an extraordinary theatrical event where one lamp and three wishes make the possibilities infinite.
- Jake Shimabukuro, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. — Often referred to as the “Jimi Hendrix of the ukulele,” Shimabukuro puts his inspired touch on everything from island standards to popular tunes and classical symphonic concertos. Elevating the ukulele from a beloved Hawaiian folk instrument to a world-class vehicle, he fearlessly traverses musical boundaries and has collaborated with artists such as Bette Midler, Yo-Yo Ma, Ziggy Marley and Chris Botti.
- Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m. — A nine-time Grammy winner and the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize, Marsalis has led the 15-piece Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra since 1988. The group honors the rich heritage of Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong while presenting a stunning variety of new works and fresh arrangements.
- Tom Papa, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m. — Papa is one of the top comedic voices in the country with Netflix stand-up specials such as “What a Day,” “You’re Doing Great!” and “Tom Papa Live in New York City.” He is a regular guest on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, a panelist on NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” and has appeared multiple times on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” and “Late Show with David Letterman.”
- Super Diamond, Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. — 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.” With a nod from Diamond himself, Super Diamond is one of the most celebrated tribute bands in the world.
- “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse”: Live in Concert, Oct. 29, 4 p.m. — Featuring a soundtrack that blends symphonic orchestral music with hip-hop, this event pairs a screening of the Academy Award-winning animated film with live musicians and a DJ. Emmy winner Daniel Pemberton composed a sprawling score of boundary-pushing original music that is complemented with song contributions by Post Malone, Lil Wayne, Jaden Smith and Nicki Minaj. The score is woven throughout the fabric of the film, supporting its themes of resilience and universal heroism.
- “Coco in Concert”: Score Performed Live by Orquesta Folclorica Nacional De Mexico, Nov. 1, 7 p.m. — Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Lied Center with Disney Pixar’s “Coco in Concert” tour, featuring a screening of the film with Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer Michael Giacchino’s musical score performed live by a 20-member Latin ensemble. Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Héctor, and they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history.
- Metro Jazz Quintet, Nov. 3, Feb. 23, 2024, and April 19, 2024, Lied Commons — Experience jazz “club style” with the Metro Jazz Quintet in the intimate setting of the Lied Commons. This new quintet includes many of Nebraska’s finest jazz musicians performing a wide variety of standards. The club scene will feature table and theater seating, a candlelight atmosphere and cocktails available for purchase.
- “Not Too Far Distant,” a new play by Becky Boesen, Nov. 7-8, Carson Theater (two shows) — A young man from the Midwest is sent to war, carrying with him the hopes of the free world. What Staff Sgt. Clarence Williams encounters there challenges and changes humanity forever. History touches the present when a new generation takes a journey through time to experience World War II alongside Clarence. Filled with hope and heart, “Not Too Far Distant” honors the experience of the American soldier and reminds audiences that we all have the power — and responsibility — to help create a brighter future.
- Behzod Abduraimov, Dec. 5, 2023, 7:30 p.m. — 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, he returns after a virtuosic 2021 Lied Center performance praised by the Lincoln Journal Star as “perfectly nuanced … brilliant, dynamic.”
- Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis, Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. — Mannheim Steamroller Christmas has been an American holiday tradition for more than 35 years. Grammy winner Davis has created a show that features holiday classics in the distinctive Mannheim sound. The program celebrates the recent 35-year anniversary of the group’s first Christmas album and includes dazzling multimedia effects.
- “Les Misérables,” Jan. 9-14, 2024 (eight performances) — Cameron Mackintosh presents this acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musical. Set against the backdrop of 19th century France, “Les Misérables” is a testament to the survival of the human spirit. It has been seen by more than 130 million people in 53 countries and offered in 22 languages.
- Kinetic Light: Descent, Jan. 27, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Inspired by the sensual writings and art of French sculptor Auguste Rodin, “Descent” gives the mythological characters of Venus and Andromeda new life as interracial lovers. The sensuality of this work is palpable, and risk is interwoven throughout as wheelchair wheels fly precariously at the edge of the ramp. Performed on a custom-designed architectural ramp installation with hills, curves and peaks, “Descent” explores the pleasures of wheeled movement and reckless abandon. Combining dance, architecture, design and technology, the work challenges cultural assumptions of what disability, dance and beauty can be.
- “Jesus Christ Superstar,” Feb. 1-4, 2024 (five shows) — Celebrating its 50th anniversary, a new production of the iconic musical returns to the stage. Originally staged by London’s Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, this production won the 2017 Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival. With lyrics and music by Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winners Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Jesus Christ Superstar” details the final weeks in the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas. Reflecting the rock roots that defined a generation, the legendary score includes “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” “Gethsemane” and “Superstar.”
- Les Grands Ballets Canadiens: “Dancing Beethoven,” Feb. 14, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Canada’s virtuosic Les Grands Ballets returns to Nebraska for the first time since the Lied’s opening season, performing “Dancing Beethoven.” Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra will bring Ludwig van Beethoven’s iconic 5th and 7th symphonies to life, accompanied by more than 50 dancers.
- “The Rainbow Fish,” Feb. 20, 2024, 7 p.m. — Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia’s creative, visually striking production of “The Rainbow Fish” brings the pages of the beloved storybook to life with innovative puppetry, striking scenic effects and evocative original music. “The Rainbow Fish” will enchant even the youngest child with his silver scales and heart of gold in this award-winning adaptation.
- “Shrek The Musical,” Feb. 29-March 3, 2024 (five shows) — Shrek the ogre is an unlikely hero who finds himself on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess who resists her rescue. This Tony-winning musical brings to life all the beloved characters from the Oscar-winning DreamWorks animated film.
- Drum Tao, March 7, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — A feast for the eyes and ears, Drum Tao’s mesmerizing productions combine thunderous traditional taiko drumming with dazzling staging, theatrical costumes and dramatic lighting effects. The international troupe of 40 performers has collaborated with the Bolshoi Ballet, staged sold-out productions off-Broadway, appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and at the Olympics, and recorded for Universal Music. Flute, marimba and harp are added to the drum ensemble for dramatic effects, and high-octane choreography contributes fresh new energy to this centuries-old Japanese art form.
- Trinity: Classically Irish with special guest Mairead Carlin, March 14, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Straight from its new PBS special, Trinity: Classically Irish is the next big thing in Irish music from the creator and producer of the Irish Tenors. Three accomplished young singers with experience in Celtic Thunder and Riverdance and on stages around the world, perform fresh arrangements of beloved music. The group will be joined by special guest Carlin from Celtic Woman, performing songs such as “Red is the Rose,” “Danny Boy,” “The Parting Glass” and “The Rocky Road to Dublin.”
- The Magic of Rob Lake, March 16, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — One of the world’s most celebrated illusionists, Lake produces mind-blowing tricks that dazzle and entertain. He was named “world’s greatest illusionist” by NBC and “top illusionist in the world” by Caesars Entertainment.
- “Neil Berg’s 100 Years of Broadway,” March 23, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Five of Broadway’s top stars perform hit songs and classic dances from groundbreaking shows such as “West Side Story,” “Jersey Boys” and “Chicago” and current blockbusters such as “Moulin Rouge” and “Wicked.” “100 Years of Broadway” features a live band and performers whose credits include “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Les Misérables,” “Cats” and “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
- “Show Way: The Musical,” March 26, 2024, 7 p.m. — Soonie’s great-grandma was just 7 years old when she was sold to a big plantation without her mother and father, with only some fabric and needles to call her own. She began to stitch a Show Way, a quilt with secret meanings to show enslaved people the way to freedom. As each generation passes, the Show Way shines a light on the past and paves a road to the future, stitching together possibility and promise.
- MOMIX: “Alice,” March 30, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Travel down the rabbit hole, MOMIX-style, with Moses Pendleton’s newest creation, “Alice,” inspired by the classic novel “Alice in Wonderland.” As Alice’s body grows, shrinks and grows again, MOMIX dancers extend themselves by means of props, ropes and other dancers. Take a journey that is magical, mysterious, fun and eccentric.
- “The Cher Show,” April 2-3, 2024 (two shows) — For six straight decades, Cher has dominated popular culture — breaking down barriers, pushing boundaries, and letting nothing and no one stand in her way. “The Cher Show” is the Tony-winning musical of her story, and it’s packed with so much Cher that it takes three women to play her: the kid starting out, the glam pop star and the icon. “The Cher Show” features 35 smash hits, six decades of stardom, two rock-star husbands, a Grammy, an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and plenty of sequin-studded gowns.
- Jon Nakamatsu, April 7, 2024, 4 p.m. — Piano virtuoso Nakamatsu makes his highly anticipated return after performing a sold-out show with Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra to close the Lied’s 25th anniversary season in 2015. Catapulted to international attention in 1997 as the gold medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition — the only American to achieve this distinction since 1981 — Nakamatsu has performed with more than 150 orchestras across the globe and regularly appears at the world’s top concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center.
- “Mean Girls,” April 12-14, 2024 (five shows) — Direct from Broadway, “Mean Girls” is the hilarious hit musical from book writer Tina Fey (“30 Rock), composer Jeff Richmond (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”), lyricist Nell Benjamin (“Legally Blonde”) and director Casey Nicholaw (“The Book of Mormon”). “Mean Girls,” based on the 2004 film starring Lindsay Lohan, is the story of a naïve newbie who falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies.
- Brian Regan, April 18, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Regan is one of the most respected comedians in the country, with Vanity Fair calling him “the funniest stand-up alive” and Entertainment Weekly naming him “your favorite comedian’s favorite comedian.” He appeared more than 25 times on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” has released eight comedy specials and is a regular guest on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.”
- Susan Werner, April 20, 2024, 2 and 7:30 p.m. — Werner returns to Lincoln after sold-out shows across the country to perform highlights from the Nebraska-commissioned “Hayseed” album, new music from “The Birds of Florida” and many of her greatest hits. Praised by the Chicago Tribune as “one of the most innovative songwriters working today,” Werner relies on trademark songcraft and wry, poetic lyrics that have established her as a Lied Center favorite.
- “The Simon and Garfunkel Story,” April 23, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Featuring a live band, state-of-the-art video projection and original film footage, this immersive theatrical concert chronicles the amazing journey shared by folk-rock duo Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. Featuring such hits as “Mrs. Robinson,” “Cecilia,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Homeward Bound,” the concert tells the story of the duo’s humble beginnings, their incredible success in the ’60s, their dramatic split in 1970 and their famous “Concert in Central Park” reunion in 1981.
- Joshua Bell and Larisa Martinez: “Voice and the Violin”, May 9, 2024, 7:30 p.m. — Grammy-winning violinist Bell and renowned soprano Martinez are joined by celebrated pianist Peter Dugan for “Voice and the Violin,” an evening of beloved romantic arias and modern classics featuring music from Felix Mendelssohn, Antonin Dvorak, Giacomo Puccini and “West Side Story.”
- “Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird,” June 11-12, 2024 (two shows) — All rise for Academy Award winner Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of Lee’s masterwork. New York Magazine calls it “a real phenomenon. Majestic and incandescent, it’s filled with breath and nuance and soul.” With direction by Tony Award winner Bartlett Sher, “To Kill a Mockingbird” has quickly become “one of the greatest plays in history,” according to NPR.
- The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, June 17, 2024, 7 p.m. — The most popular big band in the world returns to the stage with timeless classics such as “Tuxedo Junction,” “Moonlight Serenade” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.” Get “In the Mood” for an elegant evening of swing as the 17-piece orchestra dazzles and delights in its return to Lincoln.
For more information on these shows and others, click here.