Opening Nights kicks off winter program

Opening Nights

Tickets are on sale to the general public for the Opening Nights Performing Arts’ winter program events at Florida State University.

Winter program highlights include concerts by Tony Bennett, Patti LaBelle and Ana Gasteyer as well as several Director’s Choice performances, including the celebrated dance company Shen Wei Dance Arts, stage siren Storm Large and Grammy-winning jazz pianist Billy Childs.

“We have a number of not-to-be-missed, never-before-seen-in-Tallahassee performers coming this winter,” said Opening Nights Director Christopher Heacox. “Be sure to get your tickets to avoid missing out!”

In addition to performances, the Southern Circuit Film Tour, provided via South Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, will feature one documentary, Almost There, during the winter program. The film is described as “a coming-of-(old)-age story about Peter Anton, an elderly ‘outsider’ artist living in at-risk conditions whose world changes (and maybe not all for the better) when he’s discovered by two filmmakers.” The screening will take place at the Challenger Learning Center’s IMAX Theatre in collaboration with the Challenger Learning Center and the College of Motion Picture Arts and the Torchlight Program.

Creative Conversations will continue to bring community members, educators and artists together for stirring discussions surrounding this season’s artists and the realm of the performing arts. Free master classes, K-12 opportunities and Pop-Up events are peppered throughout the remainder of the season and vary in style and subject. For more information on Opening Nights engagement opportunities, visit

Tickets for the general public are currently on sale and $10 student RUSH tickets will be available Jan. 19. Student RUSH tickets may be purchased online, over the phone, at the Fine Arts Ticket Office or at the venue one hour prior to the event. Limit 2 RUSH tickets per student ID.

For ticket information, please visit or call the Fine Arts Ticket Office at (850) 644-6500.
Dates and performances for the Opening Nights 2016 winter program are:

  • [SOLD OUT] Jan. 12 – Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, 7:30 p.m., Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. New Orleans native Troy Andrews, known by the stage name Trombone Shorty, is the bandleader and frontman of Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, a hard-edged funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition. Trombone Shorty and his band have toured the United States and Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan. Andrews has appeared on recordings by artists ranging from Zac Brown to Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart to Cee Lo Green and had a recurring role on the hit HBO series Treme.
  • Jan. 24-25 – Maya Beiser, 2 p.m., Pebble Hill Plantation (1/24); 7:30 pm, The Carriage House at Goodwood Museum (1/25). Maya Beiser defies categories. While studying classical cello repertoire, Beiser dedicated her work to reinventing solo cello performance in the classical arena. She’s been a featured performer on the world’s most prestigious stages, including Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center, and she’s collaborated with a wide range of artists across many disciplines.
  • Jan. 26 – Shen Wei Dance Arts, 7:30 p.m., Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Hailed as “one of the great artists of our time” by The Washington Times, choreographer, director, dancer, painter and designer Shen Wei is internationally renowned for the breadth and scope of his artistic vision. Widely recognized for his role as the lead choreographer for the Opening Ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Shen Wei crafts work for his company that draws on influences as varied as traditional Chinese culture and arts, European Surrealism, American high modernism and the ritual power of ancient drama.
  • [SOLD OUT] Jan. 29 – Pablo Ziegler & Lara St. John, 7:30 p.m., Opperman Music Hall. Following the wild success of a 2012 concert that drew the largest crowd to Central Park’s Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in the series’ 107 years, acclaimed violinist Lara St. John and Pablo Ziegler, the Argentine pianist and composer who helped shape the modern tango, are now offering that concert as a special touring program that celebrates tango grand-maestro Astor Piazzolla’s famous Central Park Concert. The program includes some of the late Argentine composer’s most beloved works, as well as exquisite compositions by Ziegler.
  • Feb. 2-3 – Broadway’s Next H!T Musical, 8 p.m., Fred Turner Auditorium. Every song is fresh. Every scene is new. Every night is different. It’s all improvised and it’s all funny. Master improvisers gather made up, hit song suggestions from the audience and create a spontaneous evening of music, humor and laughter. The audience votes for their favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical complete with memorable characters, witty dialogue and plot twists galore. Don’t miss the next great American musical — it could be written in Tallahassee!
  • Feb. 4 – Kathleen Madigan, 7:30 p.m., Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Kathleen Madigan is one of the most respected comedians of her generation. Over her 25-year career, Madigan has performed on nearly every standup television show: Leno, Letterman, Conan, Ferguson and most recently The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and she filmed her fifth appearance on Ron White’s Salute to the Troops for CMT. Her third hour-long special, Madigan Again, was named one of the Best Comedy Albums of 2013 by iTunes and premiered exclusively on Netflix to rave reviews.
  • Feb. 5 – Southern Soul Assembly, 7:30 p.m., Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Southern Soul Assembly boasts seasoned singer-songwriters JJ Grey, Luther Dickinson, Anders Osborne and Marc Broussard. Hailed as a “perfect night” filled with “a mutual appreciation from the fans and artists alike,” the show takes audiences on a musical and storytelling journey complete with “soaring moments, heartfelt laughs and lots of toe tapping.” The result: “sheer dynamite.”
  • [SOLD OUT] Feb. 6 – 2CELLOS, 7:30 p.m., Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Young Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, together known as 2CELLOS, have achieved sensational success by taking the cello to a new level. Discovered by Elton John, Sulic and Hauser have no limits when performing live and are equally as impressive when playing Bach and Vivaldi as they are when rocking out AC/DC and Iron Maiden.
  • Feb. 7 – PRISM, 2 p.m., Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Featuring students from Florida State’s College of Music, PRISM offers a wide array of entertainment from Chamber Winds, Symphonic Band, jazz ensembles, the Marching Chiefs and many more exciting groups. Come experience this unique event that lauds our students and faculty. It’s fantastic, fresh and not to be missed!
  • [SOLD OUT] Feb. 8 – Patti LaBelle, 7:30 p.m., Ruby Diamond Concert Hall. Over time, Patti LaBelle’s name has become synonymous with grace, style, elegance and class. Belting out classic rhythm and blues renditions, pop standards and spiritual sonnets has bolstered the unique platform of versatility for which Ms. Patti is known and revered.