Brett Batterson, executive director of the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, praises his landmark Chicago performance space for having the ability to be "intimate," while still offering the capacity to seat 3,900.
"Even though our space can seat as many as 3,900, we still try to keep most events at around 2,600 max," says Batterson, who has been in his position since 2004. "For anyone who has ever been to our theater, they know us as a familiar and comfortable space."
But for the 2012-13 season, Batterson might need to use more of his available seating. "We have a number of our returning traditional season favorites, but also some new names audiences are looking forward to seeing on our stage," he says. "To have internationally renowned companies sharing the stage with Chicago’s own musical and choreographic talents is an honor."
The 2012-2013 season features six world-class dance productions, annual favorites from the Joffrey Ballet, and musical headliners to attract a variety of audience interests. The programming kicks off September 15 with the popular "On Stage With…" cabaret series featuring an up-close-and-personal performance by renowned singer-songwriter Susan Werner.
Mel Katten, chairman of the board of directors for the Auditorium Theatre, says the cabaret headliners in recent years have always been popular with audiences, all of whom are seated at tiny cafe-seating tables directly on the stage for the performance. "When you are part of the audience set up on the stage for a concert at Auditorium Theatre, it offers an entirely new and fresh perspective to enjoying the entertainment while sharing the stage with the performer in the spotlight," says Katten, a resident of Long Beach. "I continue to be amazed at the range of arts and entertainment we offer on this stage throughout the year, from rock concerts to children's shows."
Legendary American singer, pianist and music revivalist Michael Feinstein unites with Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra on Sept. 29 for his first time on the Auditorium stage, showcasing the most beloved tunes from the American Songbook.
Ballet Folklórico de México de Amalia Hernández takes the stage Oct. 6 and 7, bringing Mexican culture to the Auditorium audiences and introducing the magic of traditional Mexican folk music.
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet brings the Parisian Belle Époque to the Auditorium with their production of "Moulin Rouge" on Nov. 2-4, featuring high-kicking choreography and a passionate story of love, aspiration and heartbreak.
"Too Hot to Handel—The Jazz-Gospel Messiah," the joyful, exuberant and all-American version of Handel's beloved oratorio, returns to the Auditorium for the eighth year in celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, with performances Jan. 19-20.
The season continues with a commissioned co-production between River North Dance Chicago, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University presenting the world-premiere performance of "The Cuban Project," exploring the origins and evolution of Cuban jazz and music from the Afro-Cuban Diaspora on April 13.
Due to what Batterson calls "the overwhelming popularity and high demand" for "America's cultural ambassador to the world," Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater performs for two consecutive weeks for the first time in Chicago. With ten full-length performances March 8-17, Alvin Ailey celebrates the uniqueness of the African-American cultural experience and the preservation and enrichment of American modern dance through the leadership of artistic director Robert Battle.
Eisenhower Dance Ensemble will take audiences on a tour through decades of Motown classics on April 14 with "Motown in Motion," a fast and fun production of music and dance, while also offering audiences a taste of their most celebrated company pieces.
Capping off the eclectic season is the world-renowned Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg bringing their production "Rodin" to the stage May 17-19 for a new full-length ballet based on the life of sculptor Auguste Rodin, telling the tale of artistic inspiration and the terrible price of genius.