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St. Catherine University: O’Shaughnessy announces 2009-2010 season

The 2009-2010 season showcases dance, theater and musical artists as well as authors — including the return of Maya Angelou in May 2010.FROM ST. CATHERINE UNIVERSITY


The O’Shaughnessy’s first season as St. Catherine University features a diverse array of artists and authors designed to enlighten, inspire and entertain.

Committed to excellence in arts education and audience development, the 2009-2010 season showcases dance, theater and musical artists as well as authors, including the return of Maya Angelou in May 2010!

Attracting more than 100,000 audience members annually, The O’Shaughnessy’s season feature affordable ticket prices, convenient free parking and more than 50 restaurants within a mile.

Tickets for performances and events may be purchased through (unless otherwise noted) or at The O’Shaughnessy Box Office.

Purchase tickets to three or more selected O’Shaughnessy season events and receive a 10-15 percent discount. Choose and purchase your “O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler” performances through the O’Shaughnessy Box Office (Season Sampler discount is not available for all events).

Women of Substance Series Presents:
Brandi Carlile
Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 23 (sold out) and 24, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.

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Brandi Carlile was born in Ravensdale, Washington, a small town 50 miles from Seattle. With few neighbors or friends nearby, Carlile learned to make her own entertainment. She enjoyed camping and hiking in the nearby woods and teaching herself to sing. She grew up listening to the classic country music her parents favored (Patsy Cline remains Carlile’s favorite singer), and she made her stage debut at age 8 after her mother took her to a local country radio show.

At 17, Carlile took up guitar, having developed a taste for contemporary rock and pop music through Elton John’s classic albums of the 1970s. She began hitting the Seattle bar scene and encountered a band called the Fighting Machinists, featuring twin brothers Tim and Phil Hanseroth. Impressed by their instrumental skills and spot-on harmonies, Carlile persuaded the Hanseroth twins to form a group with her when the Fighting Machinists broke up.

Carlile’s emotionally powerful songwriting and acoustic guitar work soon drove the new group’s sound. They began headlining small venues and opening shows for Dave Matthews, Shawn Colvin and India.Arie. After some self-released recordings, Carlile debuted on the Columbia Records label at age 23, and in 2005, Rolling Stone magazine named her an “Artist to Watch.”

Her current worldwide tour is taking Carlile from stages in Portugal, Ireland and Switzerland to the House of Blues in Boston and Beacon Theatre in New York. The Women of Substance series at The O’Shaughnessy is delighted to welcome Brandi Carlile and her band to the Twin Cities.

Tickets: $26.50 Adult.

The O’Shaughnessy Presents:
Ruthie Foster
Friday, Oct. 16, 2009, at 8 p.m.

“Everybody ought to have a stone love,” says Ruthie Foster on the opening cut of “The Truth According to Ruthie Foster.” And when Ruthie lays it down, you’d be well advised to listen.

This extraordinary songwriter and performer tackles life’s big issues throughout her sizzling new album. Ruthie repeatedly testifies to her core message — that through all of life’s ups and downs, you must stay true to yourself. The pain and the joy of love, the strength that comes from weathering challenges, the hope that grows from seeds of faith and wisdom: all of this breathes inspiration and celebration into “The Truth According to Ruthie Foster,” her fourth album.

One critic calls her voice “drop-dead gorgeous” and heralds her ability to “wrap it around any musical genre: blues, jazz, folk, funk, soul.” Foster could sing the phone book or jam on a grocery list and send everyone home happy. The combination of uplifting lyrics and electrifying vocals, backed by a band of world-class players bristling with soul, proves impossible to resist on The Truth According to Ruthie Foster. She delivers the same experience in concert.

Tickets: $32 Adult.

Women of Substance Series Presents:
Kao Kalia Yang
Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009, at 7 p.m.

The O’Shaughnessy welcomes Kao Kalia Yang for a discussion about her first book, “The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir,” published by Minneapolis-based Coffee House Press.

The award-winning book is a tribute to the author’s grandmother, whose spirit and strength held the family together after Yang’s extended family immigrated to America when she was 6 years old.

Beginning her story in the 1970s, as the Hmong were being massacred for their collaboration with the United States during the Vietnam War, Yang recounts the harrowing tale of her family’s captivity in Laos, the daring rescue undertaken by her father and uncles, and their narrow escape into Thailand, where Yang was born in the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp.

The winner of two Minnesota Book Awards, both for creative nonfiction/memory and as the Readers’ Choice Book of the year, “The Latehomecomer” is a tribute to all the homes not founded in place or time. It also was named a notable book by the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in 2008, based in Boston.

Tickets: $10 Adult.

The O’Shaughnessy Presents:
Southern Fried Chicks
Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009, at 8 p.m.

The Southern Fried Chicks are three very different women, all from the South, and their hilarious take on life, love and the pursuit of happiness. This impressive roster of female comics are top headliners in the nation. It’s where the “New South,” the “Old South” and the “Deep South” come together for an evening of clean, clever story telling for every generation.

Life and love in the USA has never been funnier as when the original “desperate housewives” give their points of view. You’ll leave The O’Shaughnessy wiping your eyes, holding your sides and waiting for your next helping of the Southern Fried Chicks!

Tickets: $30 Adult, $28 Groups of ten or more, $28 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler.

O’Shaughnessy Dance Presents:
TU Dance
Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20–21, 2009 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 22, 2009 at 2 p.m.

Artistic Directors Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands lead Minnesota-based TU Dance in its return engagement at the O’Shaughnessy.

A harmonious infusion of culture with choreography, emotion with precision and metaphysics with movement, TU Dance surpasses boundaries through graceful innovation.

The vocabularies of contemporary ballet, traditional West African and hip-hop influences collide into a new frontier of dance expression and language, communicating with all the efficiency of a newborn hybrid.

Known for their flawless synchronization and emotionally wrought physicality, TU Dance “gives body and soul to the audience without reservation,” says the Minneapolis-based “Star Tribune.”

Tickets: $27 Adult, $25 Groups of 10 or more, $25 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler, $16 Students and Children under 12.

Women of Substance Series Presents:
Katie McMahon’s Celtic Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, at 7:30 p.m.

Katie McMahon is best known as the original voice of “Riverdance.” With a soaring soprano that the “Irish Times “has described as “poetry, perfection and purity,” McMahon augments her considerable talent for this performance with harmonizing vocalists, rhythmic percussion and a variety of festive strings.

In a return to the roots of the Christmas season, the troupe performs Irish favorites as well as a patchwork of European carols and lullabies. McMahon’s commanding voice conquers forgotten songs of yore in Gaelic, English, French and German. Accompanied by the Corda Mor Irish Dancers, “Katie McMahon’s Celtic Christmas” has become the liveliest of The O’Shaughnessy traditions.

Tickets: $25 Adult, $23 Groups of ten or more, $23 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler, $20 Seniors (65+), $16 Students (with valid ID), $10 Children under 12.

Women of Substance Series Presents:
“Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad”
Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2010, at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

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This stirring drama with music is a classic tribute to the great American who freed herself and hundreds of her people from the bonds of slavery.

Known as the “Moses” of enslaved African-Americans, Tubman was born into slavery in Maryland in 1820. After her daring escape to the north in 1849, she returned to slave-holding states numerous times and helped 300 slaves escape in her native Maryland alone, including her aging parents.

As Harriet Tubman and her friend Sarah Bradford narrate her adventurous life, we share in the joys, sorrows and challenges faced by this brave woman whose courage changed the world. Share her adventurous life with your students in this historically accurate and deeply moving musical history lesson.

Complimentary tickets available to schools, please visit The O’Shaughnessy or call 651-690-6700.

Women of Substance Series Presents:

The Wailin’ Jennys
Friday, Feb. 19, 2010, at 8 p.m.

“Like three little birds singing softly and sweetly in the early morn, the harmony of the Wailin’ Jennys pleasantly rises from the speakers and greets the listener with a refreshing start to the day,” says David McPherson of “Exclaim!”

As regular guests on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” these Canadian singer/songwriters have strummed their own groove in the folk rock genre. Soprano Ruth Moody, mezzo Nicky Mehta and alto Heather Masse harmonize in both voice and aura to create sublime musical bliss that critics say is “almost too good to be true.”

Instruments ranging from acoustic guitar to stand-up bass and harmonica round out earthy rhythms infused with heavenly, pristine vocals in a mixture of folksy optimism and country twain. The Wailin’ Jennys are masters of their craft, as well as vibrant and empowered Women of Substance.

Tickets: $31 Adult, $29 Groups of ten or more, $29 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler.

The O’Shaughnessy Presents:
Baby Wants Candy
Friday, March 19, 2010, at 8 p.m.

An improvisational comedy troupe formed in 1997, Baby Wants Candy has featured performers over the years who’ve gone on to acclaim on MadTV, Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock.

Its musical performances are completely improvised, based on the title of a musical that the audience shouts out—and that has never been performed before.

Accompanied by a full band, the group performs the first title that it hears, creating an improved 60-minute musical on the spot.

“Nothing ever really stumps us,” the troupe proclaims on its website, “because we can make up anything we want to.”

Tickets: $25 Adult, $23 Groups of ten or more, $23 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler.

Women of Substance Series Presents:
Chic Gamine
Friday, March 26, 2010, at 8 p.m.

Chic Gamine, the stylish and endearingly playful Winnipeg and Montreal–based vocal quintet, has been serenading audiences since summer 2007.

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The group is composed of the 5 “A’s”: singers Ariane Jean, Andrina Turenne, Alexa Dirks and Annick Bremault, and drummer and percussionist Alexandre Sacha Daoud.

Accomplished singers all, the members of Chic Game have been integral parts of numerous projects. Alexa sings with the rhythm-and-blues and soul sensation little boy boom. Sacha played with the Brazilian funk- and pop-flavored Gaia. And Ariane, Andrina and Annick were founding members of the award-winning world vocal ensemble Madrigaia.

With a solo percussionist as their main musical support, Chic Gamine uses their diverse voices as instruments, effortlessly launching into intricate string arrangements, bass-heavy rhythm sections and lush harmonies. Must be heard to be believed!

Tickets: $25 Adult, $23 Groups of ten or more, $23 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler.

O’Shaughnessy Dance Presents:

James Sewell Ballet
April 16-18, 2010

The James Sewell Ballet welcomes spring and the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth with the incredible pianist Tadeusz Majewski, artistic director of the Chopin Society, to collaborate on “Good Mourning returns,” an elegiac tribute to the passage of loved ones.

The spring performance will also include new solo works that spotlights the remarkable talents of the ballet company’s incredible dancers.

Don’t miss First Chance Dance! Geared to first-time audiences of all ages, including infants, First Chance Dance is a program of excerpts from the company’s regular season’s repertoire. House lights remain partially-lit, and audience members can come and go as they choose. Ages 3 and under attend free.

Tickets: $32 Adults, $19 Groups of ten or more, $19 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler, $16 Students (with valid ID) and Children under 12.

O’Shaughnessy Dance Presents:
Zenon Dance Company
Friday and Saturday, April 30 – May 1, 2010, at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 2, 2010, at 2 p.m.

Bill T. Jones. Doug Varone. Bebe Miller. Tere O’Connor. These acclaimed American choreographers created significant works early in their careers for Zenon Dance Company, one of the nation’s only professional modern- and jazz-dance repertory troupes. Renowned for their stylistic diversity, technical virtuosity and artistic integrity, the Zenon dancers are also an international favorite among critics and audiences for their fearless physicality and emotional intelligence.

Experience the next generation of iconic choreographers as Zenon brings to kinetic life premieres by New York choreographer Seán Curran, known for his lush, intricate, sublime dances; and Minneapolis’ Morgan Thorson, whose provocative works are interlaced with invention, humor and power. Repertory works showcasing the dancers’ flexible embrace of contemporary dance complete a signature evening by Zenon, a peerless troupe described by the Star Tribune as “the dance company that can do it all” and “in a league of its own.”

Tickets: $ 27 Adult, $25 Groups of ten or more, $25 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler, $16 Students (with valid ID) and Children under 12.

Women of Substance Series Presents:
Maya Angelou
Sunday, May 16, 2010, at 8 p.m.

Maya Angelou is the most distinguished and recognized voice in contemporary literature. As a poet, educator, historian, best-selling author, actress, playwright, civil-rights activist, producer and director, she continues to travel the world, spreading her legendary wisdom.

Her works “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “I Shall Not Be Moved” and “Phenomenal Women” have captured entire generations of readers with their profound and relentless call for the rights and dignity of all people. Join us as we welcome the distinguished Maya Angelou back to The O’Shaughnessy stage for a poetry reading as only her visionary nature and sweet, sonorous voice can bring.

Tickets: $36 Adult, $34 Groups of 10 or more, $34 O’Shaughnessy Season Sampler, $20 Students (with valid ID).