Al Jarreau will appear Feb. 11 at The Touhill.

On its 2010-11 calendar, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis will again showcase events that span many genres, including classical, opera, jazz and dance. Single tickets for most events are on sale now.

The breadth and wealth of talent that will grace the two stages at the performing arts center is largely reflective of continued partnerships with esteemed local arts organizations, including Dance St. Louis, Modern American Dance Company, Ambassadors of Harmony, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, Arianna String Quartet and Jazz St. Louis, as well as select, outstanding resources on the UMSL campus.

These partners previously announced many of the upcoming Touhill performances, including Al Jarreau, Houston Ballet, MOMIX in Botanica and the Saint Louis Ballet’s 10th annual production of “The Nutcracker.” Additions to the lineup include comedy shows, jazz, theater, opera and children’s shows.

Martin Short will bring his famous brand of funny to the Touhill Nov. 20, and The Second City, will again unleash unbridled topical sketch humor in the intimate Lee Theater April 28-30

Under the direction of bassist/educator Jim Widner, director of jazz studies at UMSL, The St. Louis Jazz Orchestra will swing into the Lee Theater cabaret Oct. 7 – claiming the Touhill as a new home. The orchestra brings together some of the finest jazz artists in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.

Wickedly funny, ironic and provocative, the theatrical production of C.S. Lewis’ novel “The Screwtape Letters” will hit the stage Sept. 25 for two shows.

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players will return to the Touhill March 11 with “The Mikado.” Gorgeous Japanese sets, vibrant costumes, soaring music and that Gilbertian humor with a satirical edge make “The Mikado” arguably the most popular work in the history of musical theater.

Two new interactive children’s shows round out the season. On Nov. 5, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis will present “Opera on the Go!,” an introduction to the fantastic world of opera through mini workshops. And the Arianna String Quartet is producing two special events for young audiences: “Imagination and Imagery” Feb. 20 and 23 and “Music and Movement” May 1 and 4.

Now in its eighth season of presenting the finest in the performing arts to the St. Louis region, the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center opened its doors in September 2003. The $52 million facility designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners, features the 1,625-seat Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall and the 350-seat E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater.

Tickets are available at the Touhill Performing Arts Center Ticket Office, online at or by phone at 314-516-4949.

The Touhill’s Ticket Office is located at One University Blvd. in St. Louis County (63121). Student, group, and senior discounts are available. Check with the Ticket Office for eligibility.

Gold Circle seats are available for some shows. They allow patrons to get right on top of the performance, including access through a dedicated entrance and an exclusive opportunity to bring beverages into the hall.

Some performances also include the Touhill’s Explore–Experience–Engage, or E3!, program, which offers great insight into the cultural realm. The Explore phase involves a pre-show discussion with experts and provides guidance for patrons who wish to gain a greater understanding of the performance. After the Experience – the performance itself – patrons assemble for a reception to Engage in conversation. Frequently artists join these post-show gatherings to speak with the audience and answer questions.

The Touhill calendar with show times and ticket prices includes the following events:

All performances are in the Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall, except those marked with an asterisk, which denotes performances in the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater.

(GC) denotes Gold Circle tickets available at top ticket price for the show.

(E3!) denotes an E3! Performance

ARIANNA STRING QUARTET: Death and the Maiden *
8 p.m. Sept. 10 – $23
The first concert of the season showcases three composers – Antonín Dvořák, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Franz Schubert – whose dramatic creations helped map the course of classical music.  (E3!)

CHINESE DANCE:  Classical, Modern, and Folk Presented by the Center for International Studies *
8 p.m. Sept. 18 – $18
In three acts – Dragon Rhythm, Chinese Trend and Swing China—this evening of dance takes the audience through a sweeping scope of Chinese culture.  (E3!)

4 and 8 p.m. Sept. 25 – $38-$89
Wickedly funny, ironic and provocative, the theatrical adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ novel “The Screwtape Letters” comes from New York for two shows at the Touhill on the first stop of a nationwide tour.

SAINT LOUIS BALLET: Fall Into Ballet *
7: 30 p.m. Sept. 26 – $25
In its fall contemporary concert, Saint Louis Ballet presents a set of eight original ballets written by composer-in-residence Joe Morra and choreographed by artistic director Gen Horiuchi.

MADCO: 34th Season Opener *
8 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2 – $20
MADCO is proud to perform the work of Michael Uthoff, executive and artistic director of Dance St. Louis. See MADCO reprise the crowd-pleasing, driving work “Untied” by St. Louis choreographer Cecil Slaughter, performed with live music by the University of Missouri–St. Louis Percussion Ensemble. (E3!)

2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 2 – $35
“In the mood” for some swing? Glenn Miller’s signature sound made the Glenn Miller Orchestra the most sought-after big band in the country.

7 p.m. Oct. 7 – $20 general admission; tables start at $50
After seven years and countless touring miles since it formed, the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra swings into the Lee Theater cabaret this fall – claiming the Touhill as a new home.

HOUSTON BALLET Presented by Dance St. Louis
8 p.m. Oct. 8 and 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 9 – $30-$50 – on sale Sept. 7
What is “classical”? A time period of history, a language, a style, a way of thinking? One of America’s premier ballet companies gives a joyful three-part answer, when Houston Ballet opens Dance St. Louis’ 45th season.

OLIVER! Presented by Variety Children’s Theater
9 a.m. Oct. 14, 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 15, 2 and 8 p.m. Oct. 16, and 2 p.m. Oct. 17 – $25
Based on the classic novel by Charles Dickens, the enduring musical famously engages audiences with pathos and drama, while delighting with outstanding musical numbers.

AMY GRANT: Pieces of Our Lives Tour *
An event to support Compassion International’s Leadership Development Program
8 p.m. Oct. 26 – $300
For more information about Compassion International’s Leadership Development Program, call the Event Concierge at 615-829-8472.

Presented by the Center for International Studies
7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 – $18
Founded by oud player Mavrothi Kontanis, Maeandros Ensemble specializes in traditional folk, urban and classical music of Greece and the Near East.  The group weaves a distinctive sound of Turkish, Armenian, Persian, Arabic, Jewish, Gypsy and Assyrian cultural influences.  (E3!)

8 p.m. Oct. 29 – $23
Inspired by the support of the hometown crowd, the Arianna String Quartet has compiled a list of 12 masterpieces from which audience members can select, with the top vote-getting works to be performed at the second concert of the season.  Vote at  Voting ends September 11. (E3!)

OPERA ON THE GO! MARRIAGE OF FIGARO  Presented by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis
2 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 5 – $10
The Opera Theatre of Saint Louis offers this interactive introduction to the fantastic world of opera through mini-workshops.  Participants see that by applying make-up a singer transforms into character.  They get a peek behind the curtain to learn there’s as much action backstage as on stage.

8 p.m. Nov. 19 – $35
The power couple of the fiddling world, Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, play and step-dance through the states in their first tour together. (E3!)

8 p.m. Nov. 20 – $45-$100
A household name from his star comedic turn on “Saturday Night Live,” he recently garnered critical raves for his role as a cold, calculating attorney in the television drama “Damages.”  Short’s range extends beyond television; his prolific talent includes writing, song and dance and improvisation.  (GC)

8 p.m. Dec. 3 – $20
The St. Louis Philharmonic Orchestra presents their Holiday “Pops” Spectacular with a strong, passionate 150-voice choir.

THE AMBASSADORS OF HARMONY: “Sounds of the Season 2010”
8 p.m. Dec. 10, 2 and 8 p.m. Dec. 11 and 2, and 7 p.m. Dec. 12 Dec. 10 – 12 – $25-$33 • on sale Oct. 11
This December, the Ambassadors of Harmony, along with gold-medalist quartets Crossroads and Vocal Spectrum, will channel the spirit of the holidays at their powerful and heartwarming annual show.

SAINT LOUIS BALLET: “The Nutcracker”
7 p.m. Dec. 17, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18, 19 and 22, and 7 p.m. Dec. 23 – $25-$47
Choreographed by Gen Horiuchi, the ballet is set to the classic score by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky.  Filled with enchanting scenery, magical lands and splendid dancing, the production caters to all ages.

8 p.m. Jan. 28 – $23
Hailed by the New York Times as “something extraordinary” and by the Boston Globe for their “fiercely committed performances,” the Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. (E3!)

8 p.m. Jan. 28 and 2 and 8 p.m. Jan. 29 – $30-$50 • on sale Sept. 7
In just seven years, this New York-based troupe of 16 international dancers has vaulted into the front ranks—hailed for “dancing that pull the viewers right out of their seats” (New York Times).  The company thrives on taking chances and is beloved by adventurous audiences worldwide.

TAIKOZA Presented by the Center for International Studies *
8 p.m. Jan. 29 – $18
Tiakoza combines thunderous rhythms of ancestral Japanese drums with delicate melodies of bamboo flutes to revitalize an art form pulsing with energy. (E3!)

AL JARREAU  Presented by Jazz Saint Louis
8 p.m. Feb. 11 – $40-$150
Al Jarreau’s innovative vocal style has made him one of the most exciting and critically-acclaimed performers of our time with five Grammy Awards, scores of international music awards and popular accolades worldwide.  (GC)

ARIANNA STRING QUARTET: “Imagination and Imagery” *
3 p.m. Feb. 20 and 10 a.m. Feb. 23 – $10
The Arianna String Quartet will reveal the “secret” techniques they use to bring great music to life, and how you can use them to transform your listening experience.  This interactive concert will conclude with the kids joining the quartet on stage to draw to the music.

7 p.m. Feb. 24 – $20 general admission; tables start at $50
Under the direction of bassist/educator Jim Widner, the orchestra brings together some of the finest jazz artists in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.

CHIWONISO: “Rebel Woman” Presented by the Center for International Studies *
8 p.m. Feb. 26 – $18
Emboldened by the historic spirit of African music with the perspective of American protest songs, Chiwoniso writes and sings brilliantly reflective, entrancing compositions. (E3!)

8 p.m. March 5 – $39
Experience the power and intimacy of Dvorak, Elgar and Brahms, as the ASQ shares the stage with world-renowned pianist Anton Nel.  (E3!)

THE MIKADO Presented by New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players
8 p.m. March 11 –$35-$50
Gorgeous Japanese sets, vibrant costumes, soaring music and the Gilbertian humor with a satirical edge make The Mikado arguably the most popular work in the history of musical theater.  (E3!)

7: 30 p.m. April 2 and 2 p.m. April 3 – $25-$47
The most popular series among ballet enthusiasts, the “Contemporary Ballet” series, returns in April 2011 with the St. Louis debut of world renowned choreographer Christopher d’Amboise’s “Tribute.” The program also includes the return of “Confessions” by Jessica Lang and “More Morra” by Gen Horiuchi.

MADCO:  VEZA (Connection) *
8 p.m. April 1 and 2 – $20
Modern American Dance Company honors the 50,000 Bosnians living in St. Louis with new work that will showcase Bosnian heritage and bring Bosnian and American communities together.  (E3!)

MOMIX in Botanica Presented by Dance St. Louis
8 p.m. April 8 and 2 and 8 p.m. April 9 – $30-$50 • on sale Sept. 7
Mother Nature blooms on stage as never before, thanks to the impossibly nimble dancer-illusionists of MOMIX in Botanica.  This full-evening fantasy refracts the entire natural world through the sensuous choreography and psychedelic imagination of Moses Pendleton.

8 p.m. April 15 and 16 – $10-$35
Every year, outstanding jazz professionals come to town to mentor music students from across the region.  During the day, they teacher master classes and conduct clinics.  At night, they take the stage to perform with the UMSL Jazz Ensemble.

8 p.m. April 28 and 29 and 5 and 9 p.m. April 30 – $36 general admission; tables start at $82
The Second City brings “Fair & Unbalanced,” an unbridled comic pleasure in the foibles of our politicians, celebrities and even our significant others.  No institution escapes the satiric eye of The Second City!

ARIANNA STRING QUARTET: “Music and Movement” *
3 p.m. May 1 and 10 a.m. May 4 – $10
The Arianna String Quartet and the Modern American Dance Company (MADCO) will guide young listeners through a hands-on journey to explore rhythm, breath and expressive movement.  Children will learn to explore and experience music in new ways and how to creatively express themselves.

8 p.m. May 6 – $23
Landmark quartets by three composers—Mozart, Bartok and Debussy—forged new paths for musical expressivity with their innovative languages and styles. (E3!)

TRIPTYCH Presented by the Center for International Studies *
8 p.m. May 14 – $18
Triptych is a vivacious three-part ensemble that delivers elegant and soulful renderings of traditional music and step dance, from Irish, Scottish, and French-Canadian traditions.  (E3!)

EMERSON SPRING TO DANCE 2011 Presented by Dance St. Louis and the Touhill
5 p.m. May 26 to 28 – $10 – on sale: to be announced
A travelogue of great dance from Missouri to Minnesota, and a cornucopia of styles from ballet and contemporary dance to hip-hop and tap.

THE AMBASSADORS OF HARMONY: Voices in Harmony 2011
2 and 8 p.m. June 18 – on sale: TBA
The best of the best in a cappella singing.  The group well-known for its Sounds of the Season concerts earned the 2009 title of Barbershop Harmony Society International Champion Chorus.

7:30 p.m. June 24, 2 and 7:30 p.m. June 25 and 2 p.m. June 26 – on sale: TBA
Forbidden romance and intense turmoil unfold with fiery elegance in the world premiere of “Romeo and Juliet,” choreographed by former Royal Ballet of England Principal Dancer Keith Martin.

Carla Gibson

Carla Gibson