Landmark Unveils 2010-2011 Lineup of Performance

They Might Be Giants, Shawn Colvin, Raul Malo, Ben E. King and many more set to grace the stage

Raul Malo, Shawn Colvin, They Might be GiantsIt is going to be an exciting 2010-2011 season at Landmark on Main Street’s Jeanne Rimsky Theater. This year’s lineup is particularly varied and includes performances in the folk, roots rock, American Songbook, world beat, dance, children’s and nostalgia genres. Among those performing this year are Raul Malo (returning for the third time), Shawn Colvin, Ben E. King, Loudon Wainwright III, The Roches, Buckwheat Zydeco, Alejandro Escovedo, The Smithereens, David Bromberg, Maureen McGovern and Jimmy Webb. And that’s just a fraction of what’s to come.

Patch music reporter Ann Latner had the opportunity to speak with Landmark’s Executive Director, Sharon Maier-Kennelly, about Landmark’s lineup of shows.

Ann Latner: You’ve got quite a packed calendar of performances for 2010-2011. Which show are you most excited about?

Sharon Maier-Kennelly: Trying to choose one show that I’m most excited about is like asking me who is my favorite child. They are all very special. I’m very proud that two of our double bills are programs Landmark helped to shape – Adam Pascal and Anthony Rapp’s tour came to be after we made an inquiry about booking them together. Likewise, while Maureen McGovern and Jimmy Webb are fans of each other’s work, Landmark pitched the pairing to them and they both were pleased to work together. We’re thrilled to expand our Roots Rock Series and to continue to develop new audiences for Dance and World Music. Each year, our Gala event is just stunning and having Sutton Foster appear just before she heads back to Broadway to be in “Anything Goes” is such a treat. Jay Johnson’s “The Two and Only” is also a new type of show for us — it’s a very funny and very sentimental theatrical piece. The Three Little Pigs Children’s Opera is very unique and is the creation of someone who now lives in the New York area — a really unique and fun way to expose children to opera. The season is going to be fresh and exciting straight through Lucie Arnaz’s final note in our June 18th finale!

AL: You’ve got many big-name performers this season. Which act was the most challenging to book?

SMK: I’m not sure if there was any one act that was more challenging to book than others, but sometimes we have to be more patient to book an artist. For example, we had hoped to present Alejandro Escovedo and David Bromberg in previous seasons, but tour schedules and availability didn’t line up. Good things come to those who wait, though!

AL: Which shows do you expect to sell out quickly?

SMK: I think the Folk and Roots Rock Series have especially become increasingly popular. They Might Be Giants – with two shows, one for adults and one for children – is going to be a terrific season opener!

AL: How do you come up with ideas about who to book?

SMK: Ideas for booking come from lots of sources — we have a fabulous staff and Board of Directors with strong programming ideas. John Platt from WFUV, of course, is a most incredible resource. And, I regularly solicit and receive feedback from our patrons — which I get through Facebook and emails. In fact, one of our Facebook fans let us know that composer Jeanine Tesori was a Port native, and we’re so excited Jeanine will open our “Conversations from Main Street” Series. At times, grants open up incredible opportunities for us like the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation’s support of the Parsons Dance Company.

AL: The Roots Rock Series is relatively new, isn’t it? What about the Fabulous Folk series?

SMK: Our Roots Rock Series first debuted last year, though we’ve been developing that sort of programming for a while with acts like Joan Osborne, Jorma Kaukonen, Shelby Lynne and Steve Earle. The Fabulous Folk Series began a few years ago with the Fabulous Females of Folk. It’s expanded from a three-part series to a four-part series and now tries to give equal opportunity to both genders.

AL: You have a new series this year – Nostalgic Nights. What was the inspiration for that?

SMK: We’ve always tried to have at least one nostalgic act. The Kingston Trio, Lesley Gore, Chad and Jeremy were past performers that fulfilled that genre. After we booked Maureen McGovern and Jimmy Webb together, and we were pursuing a 60’s motown-type performer, we thought it would be a nice idea to allow people the opportunity to save money and buy both shows together. We’re so excited about presenting Ben E. King in that new series. He may be nostalgic, but everyone knows the song “Stand By Me.”

AL: How closely do you work with the community?

SMK: We’re so happy that we’re able to continue our mission to enhance the spirit of the community and to receive such great support and patronage. We hope people keep their suggestions coming – we’re listening!