- Category: Volume 88 (Fall 2016 - Spring 2017)
- Published: 05 October 2016
- Written by PRESS RELEASE
Guitar master Roni Benise brings his 10th anniversary tour and an international troupe to Monmouth U’s renovated Theatre, with “Strings of Passion.”
The Center for the Arts at the University has announced that tickets are now on sale for “Strings of Passion,” an Oct. 15 concert event headlined by The Prince of Spanish Guitar, Roni Benise.
Presented inside the Pollak Theatre, the 8 p.m. concert promises to be a spectacular showcase for the recently refurbished flagship auditorium of the Monmouth campus. In addition to boasting improved sight lines and nearly 700 new seats, the Pollak Theatre offers guest artists a newly enlarged stage area — a space that is more than up to the task of accommodating Benise, his touring orchestra, and an international troupe of dancers in their coastal New Jersey area debut.
Billed as a “10 Year Mosaic” retrospective, “Strings of Passion” marks the decade-long legacy of “Nights of Fire!” the 2006 stage production that put the “nouveau-flamenco” guitarist Benise on the pop-cultural map, and resulted in an Emmy- winning PBS television special. Not bad for a Nebraska-born former street busker. Benise married his passion for world music and ethnic stylings to a lifelong fascination with the showmanship and alluring mystery of the traveling circus.
With the flowing-tressed guitarist as ringmaster, “Strings of Passion” takes the audience on a whirlwind tour through exotic ports of call and the American heartland — a family-friendly journey with a soundtrack that ranges from Spanish flamenco, South American tango, Cuban salsa, Brazilian samba and European waltz, to the radio-rock classics of AC/DC, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones.
It’s a festival of music, movement and multimedia that’s been branded a Latin cousin to the phenomenally successful Riverdance tours; a “celebration of culture” that, in the words of Benise, “pushes the boundaries of traditional Nuevo Flamenco/Spanish guitar, while combining the elements of dance and theater.”
Joining the onstage musicians will be The Gitanas, a hand-picked, multi-cultural company of dancers recruited from all corners of the world. The sensual choreography of Benise tour veteran Alex Magno, joins forces with breathtakingly colorful costumes and spectacular staging, in a way that gives the traditional forms of Spanish dance a “fresh and luminous makeover.”
Drawing from the artist’s numerous albums and video releases, rooted in his humble beginnings as a Midwest farm kid who aspired to rock stardom (and his hard-earned status as a globe-trotting musical ambassador), “Strings of Passion” ushers in an exciting new era of entertainment events in the Performing Arts Series at Monmouth — a keynote to the Pollak Theatre taking its place among the area’s premier venues for music, dance, and theatrical presentations. The event also stands as the last scheduled U.S. show on the tour before the company embarks on a major slate of engagements in Asia.
Tickets for the Oct. 15 “Strings of Passion” concert featuring Benise are priced at $45 and $60, with a Gold Circle option of $80 that includes a VIP Fan Experience package, in addition to premier seating in the first four rows of the theatre. VIP ticketholders enjoy “behind the scenes” access with private sound check plus meet and greet with the cast, as well as a personal photograph with Benise and souvenir laminate. Reserve tickets through the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts.
Tickets for other upcoming Performing Arts events — including Grammy winner Rosanne Cash (Oct. 21) and “Rockin’ Road to Dublin” (Feb. 9) — are also on sale now. To schedule interviews, please contact Kelly Barratt at 732-263-5114.
Image courtesy of Monmouth University Center for the Arts