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Ben Vereen: Steppin' Out

  • Steppin’ Out With Ben Vereen

    May 3, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.–10:30 p.m.
    Fisher Auditorium, IUP Performing Arts Center

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    Few entertainers today are as accomplished or versatile as Ben Vereen. His acclaimed performances on stage, television, and film have transcended time and generations and have been woven into the fabric of this country’s artistic legacy.

    From his 1967 Broadway beginnings being cast in Bob Fosse’s production of Sweet Charity (and in its film adaptation the following year opposite Sammy Davis, Jr.), Vereen’s passion for the stage secured his name in the lights for decades to come. In 1971, he earned critical recognition for his dazzling performance as Judas Iscariot in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar. The following year, Fosse cast him again, this time as the effervescent leading player in Pippin, for which he won the prestigious Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical and a Drama Desk Award. His other Broadway credits include Wicked, I’m Not Rappaport, Chicago, Hair, Fosse, Jelly’s Last Jam,A Christmas Carol, and Fetch Clay, Make Man.

    The big screen had Vereen also working alongside Barbara Streisand in Funny Lady in 1975. Later, he also starred in Idlewild, All That Jazz, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, I’ll Take You There, and I Want to Sing. He also did voice-overs for the animated films of Khumba and Once Upon a Forest. Most recently, Vereen has co-starred with Chris Rock in Top Five and with Richard Gere in Time Out of Mind.

    Television was added to Vereen’s list of conquered platforms with his crafty portrayal of Chicken George in Alex Haley's 1977 landmark TV miniseries Roots, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. In the mid-1980s, he appeared in the Golden Globe-winning series Ellis Island, being nominated himself for the award. He won a Prism Award for his appearance on Grey’s Anatomy, and was nominated for the NAACP Image Award for his performance in Hallmark’s An Accidental Friendship. He has had roles in other television series over the course of his career, including How I Met Your Mother (recurring), NCIS, Hot In Cleveland, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Tenspeed and Brown Shoe, Louis Armstrong—Chicago Style, Anne Rice’s Feast of All Saints, Zoobilee Zoo, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. He also portrayed Dr. Everett Scott in Fox’s 2016 revival of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

    Vereen is currently developing a new show for Broadway that will open next season, and he continues to tour the world—making a stop at Fisher Auditorium—with his one-man show, Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen, which receives rave reviews internationally. In this platform, Vereen has become the first simultaneous winner of the Entertainer of the Year, Rising Star, and Song and Dance Star awards from the American Guild of Variety Artists. He also earned a coveted spot in the Casino Legends Hall of Fame and will be named IUP’s most recent Wilfred E. Helwig Distinguished Artist.

    Tickets to see Ben Vereen and to attend the Wilfred E. Helwig Distinguished Artist pre-show dinner are available by clicking on the button above or by calling the Lively Arts’ ticket office at 724-357-1313. Tickets for any seats remaining will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to the performance start time. Tickets are priced at $40 for regular admission, $36 for seniors (60 or older), and $18 for active I-Card holders, students, and children. Group rates are available for parties of 15 or more.

    Dinner tickets are priced at $45 each.

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