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Highlights include: Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, Christmas with Aaron Neville, Jon Anderson: The Voice of Yes, Travis Tritt, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Carrie Fisher

The Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. today announced its 2011-12 Star Series with 23 outstanding performances in a newly-renovated Fletcher Hall beginning October 1 with a concert by Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham. Highlights include concerts by Sweet Honey in the Rock and Aaron Neville, comedy by Mike Birbiglia, and a performance by actress and author Carrie Fisher.

The season includes a number of exciting solo acoustic performances by pianist Bruce Hornsby, country legend Travis Tritt, former Yes lead singer Jon Anderson, and Chris Thile of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers.

The Carolina’s tradition of great jazz continues with return appearances by Boney James and George Winston, and a duo piano concert featuring David Benoit & Brian Culbertson.
Family shows include John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean, the world famous Peking Acrobats, and Nick Jr. favorites Max & Ruby.

“This is truly a dynamic collection of shows,” said Bob Nocek, President/CEO of the Carolina Theatre of Durham, Inc. “We’re extremely proud to be able to offer so many phenomenal artists, many of whom have never before performed in Durham.

Programming has been the number one priority throughout my first year as CEO, and I think the result is a season that will excite the Carolina Theatre’s fans.”

The shows announced today will go on sale Friday, June 10 at 10 a.m. at the Carolina Theatre box office at 919-560-3030, online at, and through Ticketmaster. New for 2011 are a pair of multi-show discount plans – Pick 3 (15% discount) and Pick 5 (25% discount) that will enable the Carolina’s most active fans to save by attending even more shows this season.

All performances take place in the 1,043-seat Fletcher Hall, which will undergo significant renovations as part of $1.8 million in construction in the city-owned Carolina Theatre complex. The changes include new carpeting, plaster repairs and painting, sound upgrades, and the opening – for the first time – of the six private boxes next to the stage.

“I honestly can’t wait to see these great artists in what will feel like a brand new hall,” Nocek said. “We’ve always had a wonderfully intimate space, and with some touching up, it’s going to be truly spectacular.”

The season includes several partnerships with area arts organizations. Duke Performances is a co-presenter of Numero’s Eccentric Soul Revue and the solo acoustic Chris Thile concert. Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show is a joint effort with the Durham Performing Arts Center. Appearances by Mike Birbiglia and The Second City are part of the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival.

“One of the things I most love about the arts in the Triangle is the eagerness of my peers to work together,” Nocek said. “None of us are beyond putting our egos aside to present great shows and create successful relationships.”

The season announcement is a traditional starting point for the Carolina Theatre’s programming year, but as in the past, additional shows will be added and announced throughout the year.
“This is just the beginning,” Nocek said. “Some of the most exciting names are still in the works.”

2011-2012 Star Series

Lindsey Buckingham
Saturday, October 1 at 8:00 p.m.
Fleetwood Mac frontman Lindsay Buckingham kicks off the season with an intimate solo performance. One of the best songwriters and performers of our time, Buckingham’s catalogue includes Fleetwood Mac megahits “Go Your Own Way”, “Big Love” and his solo classic “Holiday Road.”

7 Walkers
Sunday, October 23 at 8:00 p.m.
Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann’s new band, featuring guitarist and vocalist Papa Mali, Kreutzmann brings together a hybrid of Bay Area rock with passionate New Orleans funk in an electrifying sound that crosses genres.

Boney James
Saturday, November 5 at 8:00 p.m.
Sporting his trademark fedora, Boney James makes his saxophone sing like the human voice. Soulful and gifted, this saxophonist and songwriter is one of the most respected and best-selling instrumental artists of our time.

Duke Performances and the Carolina Theatre present
Chris Thile
Sunday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m
Mandolin virtuoso Chris Thile of Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers mixes bluegrass, jazz and classical music with a fresh, cutting-edge sound and youthful attitude.

John Tartaglia’s ImaginOcean
Tuesday, November 15 at 6:00 p.m.
From the creator of Avenue Q, comes a unique black-light puppet show that is a magical musical undersea adventure for kids of all ages. Three best friends, who happen to be fish, set out on a journey of discovery.

Duke Performances and the Carolina Theatre present
Numero’s Eccentric Soul Revue
Featuring Syl Johnson, The Notation & Renaldo Domino backed by The Sweet Divines & D-Town Brass.
Saturday, November 19 at 8:00 p.m.
Experience the heyday of classic soul. A time when school gyms and meeting halls brought together screaming youth and the heroes they adored on 7 seven-inch singles and transistor radios. The Eccentric Soul Revue is an unrelenting, sweat-soaked revue starring unsung heroes of ’60s and ’70s Chicago soul.

Christmas with Aaron Neville
Tuesday, November 29 at 8:00 p.m.
Insightful, honest and heart-wrenching, Aaron Neville’s angelic voice is woven into the fabric of our lives. His 1966 debut single “Tell it like it is” made him an overnight success and household name. Known for gentle, heartfelt vocals, he generates a magic that few, if any, singers can match.

Leahy Family Christmas
Wednesday, December 7 at 8:00 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays with this Canadian powerhouse group of eight musical brothers and sisters as they perform traditional Celtic melodies and Christmas favorites in a blend of energy, emotion and passion.

George Winston
Thursday, December 15 at 8:00 p.m.
George Winston – A solo piano concert – His performance consists of pieces from his melodic seasonal recordings, Vince Guaraldi’s Peanuts pieces, New Orleans R&B piano, stride piano, songs by The Doors and more, including pieces from his new CD, Love Will Come – The Music of Vince Guaraldi, Volume 2.

Paula Poundstone
Friday, January 20 at 8:00 p.m.
Taking the stage with a stool, a microphone, and a can of Diet Pepsi, Paula Poundstone is famous for her razor-sharp wit and spontaneity.  A favorite on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, she draws on her own complex life with three kids, 13 cats and getting older to keep her comedy free flowing – moving in unexpected directions without a plan and without a net.

Travis Tritt
Saturday, January 21 at 8:00 p.m.
Travis Tritt’s blend of traditional country and southern rock made him a superstar and distinguished him from the new country singers of his era.  Armed with only his guitar and soulful vocals, this rare solo performance will feature acoustic renditions of his timeless hits.

DPAC and the Carolina Theatre present
Sandy Hackett’s Rat Pack Show
Friday, January 27 at 8:00 p.m.
They were style with substance, swing with swagger and a non-stop party that everyone wanted access to. Now audiences can experience this critically acclaimed, hugely entertaining theatrical production which includes exciting new arrangements of the classic songs everyone knows and loves.

The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and the Carolina Theatre present
Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend
Friday, February 3 at 8:00 p.m.
In Mike Birbiglia’s My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend, Mike shares a lifetime of romantic blunders and miscues that most adults would spend a lifetime trying to forget. On this painfully honest journey, Birbiglia struggles to find reason in an area where it may be impossible to find — love.

The North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and the Carolina Theatre present
The Second City
Saturday, February 11 at 8:00 p.m.
The Second City Touring Company is a mind explosion of political and social satire cropping up in every nook and cranny of this great nation. Armed from Chicago with a battery of the most hilarious sketch comedy and improvisation on any continent, they’ve loaded up the tour bus to mock the millennial generation and beyond.

Bruce Hornsby
Tuesday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Bruce Hornsby, in this intimate solo performance, will draw on one of the most diverse and adventurous careers in contemporary music. Known for his breakthrough hit, “The Way It Is,” his music is influenced by the vast wellspring of American musical traditions.

Jon Anderson: The Voice of Yes
Thursday, March 1 at 8:00 p.m.
There are few vocalists in the history of rock music that are as immediately recognizable by their sound as Jon Anderson, former lead singer of progressive rock icons Yes. In this personal and engaging solo performance, Anderson draws from his staggering number of hits including “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and “It Can Happen.”

An Evening with Carrie Fisher
Friday, March 2 at 8:00 p.m.
Writer and actress Carrie Fisher tells her incredible tale; from her childhood as the daughter of film stars Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher to her big break starring as Princess Leia in Star Wars and her struggles with addiction and mental illness.

Sweet Honey in the Rock
Friday, March 9 at 8:00 p.m.
This internationally-renowned female a capella group’s soulful sound is textured by the rich traditions of African American music – including gospel hymns, spirituals, jazz improvisation, African chant and ancient lullabies. Their message gives voice to hope, love, justice, peace and resistance.

The Peking Acrobats
Saturday, March 10 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Experts at treacherous wire-walking, trick-cycling, precision tumbling, somersaulting, and gymnastics – The Peking Acrobats defy gravity with amazing displays of contortion, flexibility, and control. Set to a live Chinese Orchestra these acrobats pull out all the stops to create a thrilling entertainment experience audiences won’t soon forget.

Cinematic Titanic
Friday, March 16 at 8:00 p.m.
Live on stage, the creators and original cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000 continue their tradition of riffing on the unfathomable, the horribly great, and the just plain cheesy movies of the past. Follow the Carolina Theatre on Facebook to participate in a special fan poll to help choose which frightful film the Cinematic gang will goof on.

David Benoit & Brian Culbertson: Piano 2 Piano
Wednesday, March 21 at 8:00 p.m.
Two of the highest profile keyboardists in contemporary jazz come together for a rare and special performance. Playing two acoustic grand pianos, Benoit and Culbertson combine their very distinctive styles to perform their best known compositions along with original music.

Henson Alternative Stuffed and Unstrung
Friday, April 20 at 8:00 p.m.
What happens when Henson puppeteers are unleashed? You get a new breed of intelligent nonsense that is “Stuffed and Unstrung” – a live, outrageous, comedy, variety show for adults only. Enjoy an unpredictable evening when six talented, hilarious, expert puppeteers will improvise songs and sketches based on audience suggestions.

Max & Ruby: Bunny Party
Saturday, April 21 at 1:00 p.m. & 5:00 p.m.
Join bunny siblings Max and Ruby as they embark on a musical bus ride to find the greatest present in the world for the Bunny Party. This fast-paced theatrical production will have the whole audience singing and hopping to original tunes.

Tickets for the 2011-2012 Star Series go on sale at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 10 at the theatre box office located at 309 W. Morgan Street in downtown Durham or online at Call 919-560-3030 to purchase tickets. Box office hours are weekdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are also available through Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787 or

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