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Craterian Performances 2008-2009

Craterian Performances has announced its 12th season with a lineup that includes 24 shows, the sixth annual GingerBread Jubilee, plus free community events.

The nonprofit organization that operates the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater in Medford offers a diverse array of celebrity, music, dance, comedy, musical theater, spectacle and family programs in its annual season that runs fall through spring each year.

Martin Short performs Sept. 17. The Canadian-born comedian's credentials include "Second City Television," "Saturday Night Live," movie roles (most notably "The Three Amigos," "Innerspace," and the 1991 remake of "Father of the Bride") as well as a Tony Award-winning performance on Broadway in the 1999 revival of "Little Me." His Emmy-nominated show "Primetime Glick" featured his preposterous characterization of fictional TV reporter Jiminy Glick.

Tony and Emmy Award-winner Mandy Patinkin visits the Craterian Feb. 22. Audiences remember him as Che, the fiery revolutionary from "Evita," or the brilliant but unstable Dr. Geiger of TV's "Chicago Hope." To still others he can only be Inigo Montoya, revenge-obsessed swordsman from "The Princess Bride." Patinkin's Craterian appearance will feature his dramatic tenor voice in a one-man concert of popular song.

Five touring musicals will continue the Craterian tradition of bringing Broadway-style entertainment to downtown Medford. The line-up includes classic family favorite "Oliver!" Sept. 22; Tony-winner "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" Oct. 30; and "Chicago" on Sept. 3. "Movin' Out," the "rock ballet" featuring Billy Joel songs and Twyla Tharp choreography will take place Jan. 15; and there will be a 30th anniversary production of "Annie" Jan. 26.

The off-Broadway song and dance romp "Nunsense" plays on Sept. 30 with the 25th anniversary tour starring Sally Struthers.

The season features seven music acts. Neil Berg returns with another ensemble of Broadway performers recreating pivotal moments in the history of the Great White Way in "101 Years of Broadway" Oct. 15.

Cantabile, also known as The London Quartet, combines exquisite a cappella harmony with wacky British wit Sept. 27. Cherryholmes, the Grammy-nominated family band, delivers music described as "bluegrass on steroids" Jan. 10.

The Spanish Brass Feb. 8 and Duke Ellington Orchestra on March 10 provide the season's brass and jazz flavors.

Taking rock music back to its gospel roots is the American Soul & Rock & Roll Choir Jan. 20. Barrage, Feb. 7, features a cast of string-playing, singing and dancing virtuosos in a show that has been called "Stomp with fiddles."

"America 1968" will be staged March 14. It is a multi-media music event that portrays an unforgettable year in contemporary American history and culture with a live band and a compact ensemble of actor-singers.

Holiday events in the coming season include the Craterian traditions of the GingerBread Jubilee in November, "Christmas with the Trail Band" shows of holiday music Dec. 6 and 7, as well as a Valentine date for the whole family with "Cirque Voila!" Feb. 14. Juggler-dancer-physicist-sorcerer Michael Moschen performs Jan. 17.

Three dance programs are in the lineup for 2008-09 beginning with "Champions of the Dance," showcasing the talents of some of the best ballroom dancers in the world, comes to town Oct. 24.

DanceBrazil offers its fusion of traditional and contemporary Afro-Brazilian dance, modern choreography and capoeira (an acrobatic, dance-like martial art form) on April 3.

The Eugene Ballet will perform the classical ballet "Swan Lake" April 22.

Presentations tailored for youth and families include "Mad Science CSI: LIVE!," an interactive journey through the world of crime scene investigation on Nov. 8; and "The Phantom Tollbooth," featuring the Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour program March 5.

Free community events planned for the coming season include "Stars on Stage: Celebrating State Soloists," featuring Jackson County winners of the District 8 high school solo music competition April 19 as well as the interactive "Viva Voce Community Sing-Along" May 15.

Also in the schedule are performances by Rogue Opera, the Rogue Valley Chorale, Rogue Valley Symphony, Ballet Rogue, Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon and Rogue Valley Youth Choruses.

Ticket orders for members by mail or fax will be processed in each membership level according to date received, beginning June 3 and continuing for seven weeks. Membership begins at $50 and supports the theater's programming and operations.

For membership information, contact Maureen Esser at 779-8195, ext. 303.

Public sales begin on July 22. Internet sales are set to begin Aug. 5. See www.craterian.org or call 779-3000.

A touring production of the musical 'Chicago' will open the Craterian 2008-2009 season on Wednesday, Sept. 3. - Craterian Performances