Touhill launches Discover Series to bring unique acts to UMSL, St. Louis community

by | Jun 24, 2019

CeCe Winans, America and other Grammy-winning artists will grace the Touhill stage during the 2019-20 season.
CeCe Winans

Grammy-winning artist CeCe Winans is part of the Touhill Performing Arts Center’s new Discover Series lineup. The 2019-20 season will also feature one-of-a-kind performances from artists such as America, Richard Marx and Arlo Guthrie. (Submitted photo)

Staff members at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center – and likely many St. Louis residents – have noticed a pattern across city venues.

The same artists cycle through the region year after year. The performances don’t change much from season to season either, but the Touhill directors at the University of Missouri–St. Louis hope to break the cycle.

As part of its commitment to enrich the artistic, cultural and educational vibrancy of the campus and local community, the Touhill has launched its new Discover Series. Shows during the 2019-20 season will provide new and one-of-a-kind experiences, from intimate acoustic performances to educational presentations and comedy shows.

Tickets for the Discover Series went on sale Monday.

The series includes America’s 50th Anniversary Tour, an ensemble tribute to Ray Charles and a musical performance by actor Mandy Patinkin. The Touhill has also partnered with the Saint Louis Science Center to bring National Geographic LIVE! to the UMSL campus. This three-part educational series will feature astronaut Terry Virts, wildlife photographer Steve Winter and professor of Egyptology Kara Cooney.

“The whole idea behind the Discover Series is that we want to offer something special to our audiences,” Touhill Director of Programming Shelley Dotson said. “Many of these artists have played other venues in St. Louis, but what they are doing here is a unique program. Either it’s a new format, a new collaboration or an entirely new program.

“You’re not going to see these shows anywhere else. It’s a one-time experience that’s important to the artist.”

UMSL students enjoy a steep discount to these shows with a select number of tickets available for $10. Faculty, staff, alumni and volunteers also have access to insider prices throughout the season. These exclusive but limited discount tickets are only available at the Touhill Ticket Office.


2019-20 Discover Series schedule

Discover America
America, 50th Anniversary Tour
Sept. 20; UMSL Insider tickets: $53, $41, $34 or $27

For 50 years, America has entertained audiences across the world with megahits like “A Horse with No Name” and “Sister Golden Hair.” Fronted by the timeless duo of Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell, the Grammy Award-winning band was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2006 and received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2012. At the Touhill, Beckley and Bunnell will take the audience on a trip through time, performing hits and telling stories from a catalog that spans five decades.

Discover Soul
CeCe Winans
Sept. 27; UMSL Insider tickets: $31, $24 or $17

Gospel lovers rejoice! The 12-time Grammy winner Priscilla Marie Winans Love – better known as CeCe Winans – will bless the Touhill stage with an inspiring evening full of soulful gospel and blues. Don’t miss this chance to see the best-selling female gospel artist of all time.

Discover Space
Terry Virts: A View from Above
Nov. 1; UMSL Insider tickets: $22

Join former NASA astronaut and pilot of the space shuttle Terry Virts to get a whole new perspective of space and the planets. Virts will share captivating imagery and stories from the International Space Station, where he spent more than 200 days. Many of the images were later used in the National Geographic book “View From Above” and the IMAX film “A Beautiful Planet.” But to hear Virts tell it, no photo can truly capture the perfect shade of blue produced by a sunrise viewed from outer space.

Discover Broadway
Mandy Patinkin in Concert: Diaries
Nov. 10; UMSL Insider tickets: $55, $44, $34 or $27

You may know Patinkin as Saul Berenson on the Showtime series “Homeland,” or you may recall his role as Inigo Montoya in “The Princess Bride,” but have you experienced Patinkin as Che in “Evita?” Alongside his successful film and television career, Patinkin has been a Tony-awarded performer. “Diaries” is a chance to hear Patinkin perform songs from throughout his musical career as well as some unique interpretations of all-time classics such as “Cat’s in the Cradle” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Discover Adventure
Steve Winter: The World of the Big Cats
Jan. 31; UMSL Insider tickets: $22

Join award-winning National Geographic photographer Steve Winter for a thrilling journey into the world of large cats. Winter’s mission is to share the beauty of these animals while reinvigorating efforts to save them. From trekking high into the Himalayas in search of rare snow leopards to stalking the elusive jaguar in Latin American jungles, this determined explorer comes face-to-face with his subjects. Spend an evening daringly close to the big cats through unforgettable stories and images.

Discover Date Night
Richard Marx, An Acoustic Evening of Love Songs
Feb. 8; UMSL Insider tickets: $41, $34, $27 or $22

Richard Marx is a Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, musician and producer who has sold more than 30 million records. Performing hits such as “Endless Summer Nights,” “Right Here Waiting” and “Now and Forever” in St. Louis for the first time since 2013, Marx’s unique and intimate show is sure to delight couples and music lovers alike just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Discover a Legacy
Georgia on My Mind, A Celebration of the Music of Ray Charles, featuring Take 6, Nnenna Freelon, Kirk Whalum and Clint Holmes
Feb. 27; UMSL Insider tickets: $48, $37, $29 or $22

Ray Charles made a permanent impact on American music with his album “The Genius of Ray Charles” and continues to influence and inspire artists. This show celebrates Charles’ music with an all-star cast of award-winning performers who will come together to honor and pay homage to a true music legend. Experience this one-time performance and discover the profound ways that Charles’ influence shines through in some of today’s finest performers.

Discover Egypt
Kara Cooney: When Women Ruled the World
March 6; UMSL Insider tickets: $22

Join Kara Cooney, professor of Egyptology at the University of California, Los Angeles, for a look at a time in ancient history when women ruled the world. Often neglected in history books, these powerful women were considered exceptions to the rule in a patriarchal society. Their power and influence are undeniable, and Cooney shares illuminating insights on how women such as Cleopatra and Neferusobek ruled and earned their places in history.

Discover the Story
Arlo Guthrie
March 18; UMSL Insider tickets: $44, $34, $27 or $22

Back by popular demand, Arlo Guthrie returns to the Touhill with a special performance commemorating the “Alice’s Restaurant” story. A true singer-songwriter, Guthrie is known for singing songs of protest, none more memorable than his debut piece, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree.” Today, Guthrie shares new perspectives and stories surrounding his career and his iconic 18-minute song, including never-before-seen instrumental additions and video components.

Discover Comedic Genius
Whose Live Anyway
March 27; UMSL Insider tickets: $41, $34, $27 or $22

Prepare to laugh until you cry when four of the world’s greatest improv comedians take the stage at the Touhill. Ryan Stiles and Greg Proops, both seen on ABC’s “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” as well as Jeff B. Davis and Joel Murray will leave you gasping for air as the performers create hilarious scenes on the spot from audience suggestions.

Learn more about the upcoming season and the Discover Series at

Sara Bell

Sara Bell

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