Arts and Culture Preview

The Capitol Steps at the Lyric Theatre benefiting PARCA

Thursday, September 27, 2018

At the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, working to inform and improve government in Alabama is serious work—and we’ve been doing it for 30 years. But sometimes you just need to laugh. Cue The Capitol Steps!

The Capitol Steps have elevated political satire to an art form. Before The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and features on NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS and NPR, this Washington, DC-based comedy troupe gave audiences laugh cramps with their bipartisan lampooning. The Capitol Steps began in 1981 as a group of Senate staffers who set out to satirize their employers and haven’t let up with their hilarious skits and musical comedy. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat, neither side is safe from the group that puts the “MOCK” in Democracy!

 Join us on September 27th for an uproarious evening with The Capitol Steps at the historic Lyric Theatre in downtown Birmingham. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. For more information and to purchase your seats, visit

 All proceeds benefit the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama. PARCA is a 501(c)3 organization working to inform and improve the decision making of state and local leaders in Alabama through objective research and analysis.

Opera Birmingham

From famous grand operas, to intimate musical experiences, to community “pop-up” concerts, Opera Birmingham has it all! Opera Birmingham’s 2018-19 Season continues the company’s long history of world-class operatic productions, featuring glorious music and incomparable voices.

This season opens with Catch a Rising Star on October 14, featuring baritone Emmett O’Hanlon, winner of the 2018 Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition, in a recital of opera, classical song, and musical theatre favorites. Sounds of the Season on December 16 will start off your holidays on a good note! Drawing on the talent of the Opera Birmingham Chorus, the concert will feature a variety of solo and ensemble performances by native Birmingham artists, setting the perfect mood for the holiday season.

Headlining the 2018-19 season are:

Glory Denied: Performed at the Southern Museum of Flight on January 25 and 27, Glory Denied is the story of an American family during the turbulent Vietnam War era. This intimate chamber opera chronicles the saga of Colonel Jim Thompson, America’s longest-held prisoner of war, from his suffering in the jungles of southeast Asia to the personal struggles of his family following his liberation and repatriation.

Tosca: On March 23 and 25, Puccini’s dramatic and beloved masterpiece sweeps Opera Birmingham’s mainstage in a tale of love, lust, deceit, and murder. A tragic and political love story, Tosca explores sacrifices made for love. Treat yourself to magnificent melodies and nonstop action! Maestro Craig Kier will lead the musicians of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and the Opera Birmingham Chorus.

The nationally recognized 41st Annual Opera Birmingham Vocal Competition will conclude this incredible lineup on May 18 and 19, offering a chance to hear 20 of our nation’s most talented young opera singers.

Opera Birmingham’s season and single tickets can be purchased online at or by calling the Opera Office at (205)322-6737.

Virginia Samford Theatre

Built in 1927, the historic Virginia Samford Theatre is the oldest performing arts venue in Jefferson County. The theatre has a rich history in the development of local artists and has emerged as the centerpiece of theatre arts activity in Jefferson County. The multi-purpose arts facility enriches lives in the community by providing a diverse offering of locally produced stage presentations as well as educational services. From children to seniors, the Virginia Samford Theatre offers opportunities for creative minds to flourish by actively encouraging participation in the performances or being an audience member. As a result, the theatre is a beacon for local talent in the community and provides opportunities for life-long creative learning.

In addition to its contribution as a vibrant member of the cultural fabric of the greater Birmingham community, the Virginia Samford Theatre employs a full-time staff and part-time artists as stage directors, actors, choreographers, dancers, musicians, scenic designers and costumers who collaborate as an artistic team for the Virginia Samford Theatre Productions. The annual Broadway style performances and award-winning STARS (Students Take A Role at the Samford) arts education initiatives consistently receive accolades from theatre critics as well as arts patrons. The VST is proud to help provide direct economic benefits to our community and the state by creating jobs, attracting investments, generating tax revenues, and stimulating the local economy through tourism.

Vulcan AfterTunes at Vulcan Park & Museum

Enjoy cool tunes, craft brews and sweet views with these up-and-coming artists as well as everyone’s favorite cast iron statue, Vulcan. Chill out in Birmingham’s backyard with your lawn chairs and blankets and bring the whole family out to enjoy some of the country’s best new entertainers. Gates open at 1 p.m. Concerts start at 3 p.m. General seating includes museum admission, the tower and Kids’ Zone. Tickets and seating are first-come, first-served. Cash bar and food trucks onsite. Beer, wine and soft drinks will be available for purchase. No pets or outside alcohol allowed.

September 23: Duquette Johnson and Los Cologne

October 7: Will Stewart & Iron Horse

October 21: Maddie Medley & Great Peacock

For more info and tickets:


Alys Stephens Center Season Highlights

k.d. lang

Friday, September 14, 2018

k.d. lang is that rare performer who, over 25 years as a major-label artist, has matured before our very ears. The 25th anniversary celebration of the GRAMMY-award winning, critically acclaimed album Ingénuecontinues when k.d. lang brings a live performance of the platinum-selling record to Birmingham on her Ingénue Redux tour.

An Evening with Rickie Lee Jones with special guest Anders Osborne

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Rickie Lee Jones: Two-time Grammy winner Rickie Lee Jones exploded onto the pop scene in 1978 and has made a career of fearlessly experimenting with her sound and persona over 15 critically acclaimed albums. New Orleans’ Anders Osborne is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today.

Seán Curran w/ Third Coast Percussion

Friday, October 5, 2018

Seán Curran Company opens its 20th anniversary with its debut performance at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. Curran and nine exceptional dancers offer a world premiere of an ASC commissioned piece, “Everywhere All the Time.” The program includes live music by GRAMMY award-winning ensemble Third Coast Percussion.

An Evening with Chris Thile

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Multiple Grammy Award-winner and MacArthur Fellow Chris Thile, a member of Punch Brothers and Nickel Creek, and now the host of Live from Here, is a mandolin virtuoso, composer and vocalist.

Las Cafeteras

Friday, October 12, 2018

Las Cafeteras have taken the music scene by storm with their infectious live performances and have crossed genre and musical borders. Las Cafeteras create a vibrant musical fusion with their Afro-Mexican beats, rhythms, and rhymes delivering stories of a community seeking love and justice.

Brian McKnight

Friday, October 26, 2018

Brian McKnight has gained international and domestic recognition, earning himself a spot in contemporary music history, selling over 30 million albums worldwide. A singer, songwriter and producer, McKnight is also a multi-instrumentalist who plays nine instruments

An Evening With Keb’ Mo’ Solo

Thursday November 8, 2018

Over the past two decades, Keb’ has cultivated a reputation as a modern master of American roots music through the understated excellence of his live and studio performances. Album after album, 14 in total, garnered him 11 GRAMMY nominations and four GRAMMY awards along with 11 Blues Foundation Awards and 6 BMI Awards for his work in TV and film.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar and other Eric Carle Favourites

by Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Three beloved stories by Eric Carle, award-winning children’s book illustrator and author, are retold on stage through the magic of black light and fanciful puppets. The imaginative approach to storytelling through theatre has earned international recognition for Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia.

Patti LaBelle 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Beautiful simply does not describe the incomparable force known to the world as Patti LaBelle. As time continues to evolve, the soulful songbird’s name has become synonymous with grace, style, elegance and class.

A Very Electric Christmas by Lightwire Theater

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Brighten your holidays with Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas! Lightwire Theater was featured as semi-finalist on America’s Got Talent and their electroluminescent artistry, a combination of theater and technology, bring stories to life in complete darkness!

Alabama Dance Festival featuring Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre 

Saturday January 26, 2019

The ASC and the Alabama Dance Council are proud to co-present the Rosie Herrera Dance Theater (RHDT) as the guest company-in-residence for the 2019 Alabama Dance Festival. Rosie Herrera is a Cuban-American dancer, choreographer and artistic director of RHDT in Miami.

Delfeayo Marsalis presents the Uptown Jazz Orchestra 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Steeped in New Orleans groove, NEA Jazz Master and GRAMMY Award-winning producer Delfeayo Marsalis and The Uptown Jazz Orchestra deliver the true essence of jazz with edge, sophistication and good old-fashioned fun.

Cowboy Junkies 

Friday, March 8, 2019

Cowboy Junkies are a Canadian alternative country/blues/folk rock band. The group was formed in Toronto in 1985 by Margo Timmins (vocalist), Michael Timmins (songwriter, guitarist), Peter Timmins (drummer) and Alan Anton (bassist).

Rosanne Cash and Band She Remembers Everything 

Sunday, April 7, 2019

One of the country’s preeminent singer/songwriters, Cash has released 15 albums, winning her four GRAMMY Awards and 11 nominations as well as 21 top 40 hits, including 11 No. 1 singles. Cash has also authored four books and is recording a new album of original songs called She Remembers Everything with a scheduled release in October 2018.

Joan Baez Fare Thee Well… Tour 2019   

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

VIP Dinner Packages Available.

Six decades after rising to fame in the folk music revival, Joan Baez determined that “2018 will be my last year of formal extended touring.”  With her 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction topping off a lifetime of awards and honors for her recordings and human rights achievements around the globe, the symmetry of Joan’s decision reverberates.

David Sedaris   

Saturday, April 13, 2019

David Sedaris is one of world’s transcendent humorists. He is the master of satire and one of today’s most observant writers addressing the human condition, especially apparent in his latest book titled Calypso (May 2018). Beloved for his personal essays and short stories, Sedaris has over 10 million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into 25 languages.

An Evening with Gladys Knight   

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Gladys Knight, the Empress of Soul and winner of seven GRAMMY Awards, possesses one of the richest voices in pop music. Rolling Stone listed her among the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, and she’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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