Big-Mouthed Bass: Joan Rivers, Lewis Black and Carol Burnett To Take Fort Worth

Bass Hall's 2011-2012 season is sounding pretty mouthy right about now, and that's not a bad thing. Today's press release from the venerable venue features some groundbreaking names, for which tickets go on sale this Saturday at 10 a.m.

Names like television comedy legends including native Texan and variety show royalty Carol Burnett, and the fairly filterless Joan Rivers. Back them up with the short-fused Lewis Black and sketch comedy star turned Twitter weirdo Michael Ian Black and that's some explosive on-stage comedy.

The schedule includes varied musical performances as well: Texas darling Jimmie Vaughan, Jim Brickman, a post-hiatus Paco de Lucia, The Chieftains and others. And don't forget the dance as the tap world's incendiary and boundary-crossing Savion Glover will perform A Classical Encounter. The National Acrobats of the People's Republic of China, the Rhythmic Circus and Blue Man Group will also jump through the proverbial performance hoops.

One can even pull up a cozy theater seat for Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion Summer Love Tour 2011, if one were so inclined.

It's a fantastic line-up for a single year to be certain, so check out the complete schedule courtesy of the press release after the jump.

Oh, and if you were wondering why Lewis Black prefers playing Fort Worth, he told our sister publication, the Houston Press, back in 2008 that we have "no center" and he'd "even take Lubbock in a pinch." Ouch. Shall we invite him for a tour of the Dallas Arts District?

Listed by series, the schedule for the 2011-2012 Performing Arts Fort Worth season: BROADWAY AT THE BASS *Season subscriptions start at $135.58 and go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 16. *Single tickets on sale TBA.

Shrek The Musical November 8-13, 2011 SHREK THE MUSICAL, based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks film that started it all, brings the hilarious story of everyone's favorite ogre to life on stage. In a faraway kingdom turned upside down, things get ugly when an unseemly ogre - not a handsome prince - shows up to rescue a feisty princess. Throw in a donkey who won't shut up, a villain with a short temper, a cookie with an attitude and over a dozen other fairy tale misfits, and you've got the kind of mess that calls for a real hero. Luckily, there's one on hand... and his name is Shrek. The show features a terrific score of 19 all-new songs, big laughs, great dancing and breathtaking scenery, and WWOR-TV proclaims SHREK THE MUSICAL is "FAR, FAR AND AWAY THE FUNNIEST NEW MUSICAL ON BROADWAY!"

Irving Berlin's White Christmas November 29-December 4, 2011 Get ready to discover a delightful new show that's as fresh and rare as newly fallen snow! The classic holiday tradition WHITE CHRISTMAS comes to the stage at last, as a brand new Irving Berlin musical direct from Broadway and opening at Bass Performance Hall this November. Brimming with such Berlin hits as "Blue Skies," "How Deep is the Ocean?" and, of course, the unforgettable title song. Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS tells the story of two showbiz buddies putting on a show in a magical Vermont inn and finding their perfect mates in the bargain. Full of dancing, laughter and some of the greatest songs ever written, Irving Berlin's WHITE CHRISTMAS promises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the whole family!

Monty Python's Spamalot February 7-12, 2012 The funniest show on earth is back to taunt Fort Worth for a second time! Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best Musical, Monty Python's SPAMALOT, the musical comedy sensation lovingly ripped off from the film classic "Monty Python and The Holy Grail," now returns to spread laughter and cheer throughout the kingdom. SPAMALOT tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. But before they can find their grail, they're taking a little side-trip to the fair city of Fort Worth.

Mary Poppins March 27-April 8, 2012 MARY POPPINS is bringing its own brand of Broadway magic to theaters across the country, which has Variety raving, "This is the rare touring production that over-delivers on every level!" Featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dance numbers and spectacular stage-craft, MARY POPPINS is everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show! So get swept up in the fun of this high-flying musical the New York Post gives 4 out of 4 stars and calls "a perfect piece of musical theater."

Blue Man Group June 26-July 1, 2012 Experience the phenomenon. BLUE MAN GROUP is best known for their wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts which combine comedy, music, and technology to produce a totally unique form of entertainment. The New York Times heralds the show as "One of the most delightful performance pieces ever staged." E! Entertainment News exclaims, "BLUE MAN GROUP is what every live performance aspires to be." The Baltimore Sun raves, "Blue Man Group packs a wallop. It's a big, loud, funny, silly, visually arresting production!"

Although the show is impossible to describe, people of all ages agree that BLUE MAN GROUP is an intensely exciting and wildly outrageous show that leaves the entire audience in a blissful, euphoric state. With no spoken language, BLUE MAN GROUP is perfect for people of all ages, languages, and cultures. BLUE MAN GROUP is now on the road for its first U.S. theatrical tour. This unique experience is a form of entertainment like nothing else; guaranteed to be an outing you will never forget.

BROADWAY SPECIALS *Currently available only to Broadway at the Bass, Family Series at the Bass or Broadway Off Bass at McDavid season subscribers. *Single tickets on sale TBA.

The Wizard of Oz September 30-October 2, 2011 There truly is no place like home as the greatest family musical of all time, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, twists its way across the country! The entire family will be captivated as they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and beyond with Dorothy, Toto and their friends the Cowardly Lion, Tin Man and Scarecrow, in this lavish production, featuring breathtaking special effects, dazzling choreography and classic songs.

A spectacular celebration of the iconic 1939 MGM film, THE WIZARD OF OZ will blow you away from the moment the tornado touches down and transports you to a dazzling art deco Oz, complete with munchkins and flying monkeys. Don't miss the chance to travel "Over the Rainbow" and experience this national treasure on stage.

The Midtown Men October 26, 2011 After a successful 2010 national tour of nearly 50 cities across the U.S. and Canada, THE MIDTOWN MEN - featuring four stars from the original cast of Jersey Boys - bring their highly anticipated concert act to Fort Worth at Bass Performance Hall. THE MIDTOWN MEN are Tony Award Winner Christian Hoff, Michael Longoria, Daniel Reichard, and Tony nominee J. Robert Spencer. The group's jump-to-your-feet show features top hits from a who's who of the '60s, including The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Temptations, The Jackson 5, and The Four Seasons, whose story they brought to life every night as stars in the original cast of Jersey Boys. Not a performance of, not affiliated with the show Jersey Boys.

Young Frankenstein March 14-15, 2012 The classic Mel Brooks movie is ALIVE...and it's headed here! You'll have a monstrously good time at this spectacular new production, winner of the 2008 Outer Critics Circle Award and the Broadway.com Audience Award for BEST MUSICAL! Don't miss the sensational cast delivering all your favorite moments from the classic film, plus brand-new show-stopping numbers for the stage, including "Transylvania Mania," "He Vas My Boyfriend" and "Puttin' on the Ritz." This wickedly inspired re-imagining of the Frankenstein legend follows bright young Dr. Frankenstein (that's Fronkensteen) as he attempts to create a monster--but not without scary and hilarious complications. The brains behind the laughter is mad genius and three-time Tony® winner Mel Brooks himself - who wrote the music and lyrics and co-wrote the book- along with his record-breaking team from The Producers: five-time Tony-winning director and choreographer Susan Stroman and three-time Tony-winning writer, Thomas Meehan.

SPECIAL ATTRACTIONS *Tickets will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 16

Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion Summer Love Tour 2011 September 6, 2011 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $44 "A Prairie Home Companion" has been a public radio mainstay since 1974. It is heard by more than four million listeners on 600 public radio stations nationwide, as well as on XM Radio, the Armed Forces Network Europe, the Far East Network, and in dozens of European cities via the Astra satellite network.

The National Acrobats of The People's Republic of China October 10, 2011 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $27.50 Direct from Beijing, The National Acrobats of The People's Republic of China (China National Acrobatic Troupe) was the first National Performing Arts Troupe established by the government of the People's Republic of China in 1950. It has performed extensively throughout the world. The company's repertoire includes a myriad of international and national Gold Prize-winning acts.

Masters of the Fiddle October 17, 2011 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $16.50 Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are two of the world's most celebrated fiddlers. They also happen to be married. Together, Natalie and Donnell meld their virtuosities into a whirlwind of fiddle-driven music, dance, and song, combining the best of French, Celtic and American bluegrass and even Cajun styles and making it their own.

The Intergalactic Nemesis October 24, 2011 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $22 The Intergalactic Nemesis is a hilarious, uplifting adventure of heroes-by-circumstance overcoming impossible odds. The year is 1933. Pulitzer-winning reporter Molly Sloan, her intrepid assistant Timmy Mendez, and a mysterious librarian named Ben Wilcott face the most serious threat Earth has ever known: an impending invasion of sludge monsters from the planet Zygon. This period-sci-fi-horror-suspense-comedy-romance is presented in a whole new format: While three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music, more than 1,000 hand-drawn, full-color, hi-rez, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, all performed LIVE. This show is appropriate for all ages.

Chanticleer October 31, 2011 7:30 p.m. All tickets $27.50 Called "the world's reigning male chorus," by New Yorker magazine, San Francisco-based Chanticleer is known around the world as "an orchestra of voices" for the seamless blend of its 12 male voices, ranging from countertenor to bass, and its original interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to jazz, from gospel to venturesome new music.

A Classical Encounter with Savion Glover November 1, 2011 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $22 If there's an epithet to be had, Savion Glover has earned it. From "best tap dancer alive today" to "best tap dancer of all time," Glover is truly the King of Tap. With gravity-defying rhythm and inventive sounds, A Classical Encounter with Savion Glover seems to achieve the impossible: a continuous flow of percussive taps with the subtlest of moves.

The All New Original Tribute to The Blues Brothers March 19, 2012 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $22 Featuring original members from the West End run, this all-new "original" show brings you all those amazing favorite moments and songs with a few new twists, a few new moves and a clean, freshly laundered suit. The boys are joined by the sassy Bluettes, three amazing ladies with voices to knock you clean off your perch. "A rip-roaring, foot stomping boogie" - Daily Mail

FAMILY SERIES AT THE BASS *Season subscriptions are $115.50 for adults and $104.50 for children ages 12 and younger and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 16. *Single tickets on sale TBA.

The Wizard of Oz October 2, 2011 2 p.m. This special afternoon performance of The Wizard of Oz kicks off Performing Arts Fort Worth's Family Series at the Bass.

Junie B. Jones January 29, 2012 4 p.m. Outspoken, precocious, lovable Junie B. Jones stars in a colorful, funny, fast-paced musical about new friends, new glasses, sugar cookies, the annual kickball tournament and other various first-grade, angst-ridden situations. Follow her adventures as she writes down the story of her life in her "Top-Secret Personal Beeswax Journal."

Doktor Kaboom! April 29, 2012 4 p.m. Doktor Kaboom! is an interactive one-man science variety show suitable for all elementary and middle school audiences. Creatively blending theatre arts with the wonders of scientific exploration, Doktor Kaboom keeps his audiences riveted with interest on a sidesplitting tour of the modern scientific method while demonstrating spectacular applications of the physical sciences.

Rhythmic Circus: Feet Don't Fail Me Now July 29, 2012 4 p.m. Rhythmic Circus has quickly risen from an underground percussive-dance phenomenon to an innovative live performance company known for transforming their tap shoes into instruments of rhythm. Infusing their unpredictable blend of hard-hitting tap, high-spirited humor, and finger-snapping tunes, Rhythmic Circus satisfies their "rhythmic appetite" on everything from sand to folding chairs, and in one number even utilizes the technology of electric drum triggers to change the sound of their taps! The Minneapolis Star Tribune calls it, "flat out amazing!"

POPULAR ENTERTAINMENT *On sale 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 16

Jimmie Vaughan with Dave Millsap September 25, 2011 7 p.m. Tickets start at $22 Jimmie Vaughan's love affair with blues and rock 'n' roll goes back to his childhood in Dallas: listening to R&B and blues on the radio, seeing Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show, watching his uncles pick country tunes on their guitars. Vaughan founded iconic The Fabulous Thunderbirds in 1974, becoming famous for the high-octane blues-rock formula that earned their music the tag "Blue Wave" in the media. Vaughan released a duets album with his brother, guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan, in 1990, shortly before the latter's untimely death, before beginning his solo career. Opening the show is Fort Worth blues master Dave Millsap.

An Evening with Joan Rivers November 2, 2011 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $27.50 Joan Rivers is a force of nature, and one of the hardest-working celebrities in the world. She's a comedienne; Tony-nominated actress; best-selling author; Emmy Award-winning television talk-show host; playwright; screenwriter; motion picture director; columnist; lecturer; syndicated radio host; jewelry designer and cosmetic company entrepreneur; red-carpet fashion laureate; businesswoman and, most importantly to her, mother and grandmother.

Michael Martin Murphey's Cowboy Christmas December 12, 2011 7 p.m. Tickets start at $34.65 Michael Martin Murphey returns with his annual "Cowboy Christmas" holiday tradition at Bass Hall.

Jim Brickman's "A Christmas Celebration" December 19, 2011 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $33 This holiday season, two-time Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling artist Jim Brickman is creating a musical celebration for audiences seeking an escape from the hectic demands of the holiday season! In a spectacular concert, Jim and his very special guests present an evening of dazzling solo piano and vibrant vocals, plus plenty of warmth and humor. Jim weaves together new and old traditional holiday favorites, plus all his hits! Enjoy an unforgettable night with Jim Brickman's "A Christmas Celebration."

Robert Earl Keen December 30, 2011 8 p.m. Tickets start at $33 Robert Earl Keen's annual Eve-of-New Year's Eve concert returns to help close out 2011 and ring in 2012!

Lewis Black January 27, 2012 8 p.m. Tickets start at $39.50 Lewis Black, making a triumphant return to the Hall, is one of the most prolific and popular performers working today. He executes a brilliant trifecta as stand-up comedian, actor and author.

Country Royalty February 15, 2012 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $22 The two biggest legends of country music on the same stage at the same time: Hank Williams and Patsy Cline. "Hank Williams: Lost Highway" star and 2003 Obie Award winner Jason Petty re-creates the role he has become famous for, while Grammy-nominated singing sensation Carolyn Martin gives a jaw-dropping performance as Patsy Cline.

The Chieftains February 28, 2012 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $27.50 The Chieftains are recognized for bringing traditional Irish music to the world's attention. They have uncovered the wealth of traditional Irish music that has accumulated over the centuries, making the music their own with a style that is as exhilarating as it is definitive.

Ricky Nelson Remembered April 10, 2012 Tickets start at $22 Ricky Nelson Remembered is a unique multimedia entertainment event featuring the live music of Ricky Nelson's hit songs (including "Hello Mary Lou", "Travelin' Man", "Garden Party") performed by Ricky's own twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar, and includes never-before-seen big screen video footage of the Nelson family, along with interviews from celebrities influenced by Ricky Nelson.

Laughter & Reflection with Carol Burnett April 19, 2012 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $55 Carol Burnett, award-winning actress and best-selling author, is widely recognized by the public and her peers for her work on stage and screen, most notably The Carol Burnett Show. Named in 2007 by Time magazine as one of "100 Best Television Shows of All Time," The Carol Burnett Show ran for 11 years, averaged 30 million viewers per week and received 25 Emmy Awards, making it one of the most honored shows in television history. But it is Carol's artistic brilliance, her respect and appreciation of her fans, and her graciousness, integrity, warmth, and humor on and off screen that have made her one of the most beloved performers in entertainment and one of the most admired women in America.

Paco de Lucia April 30, 2012 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $38.50 Following five years of creative silence, Paco de Lucia is back to change the face of music with "Cositas Buenas." Torn between Spain and Mexico, plotting a course between sanity and "the hereafter," Paco has once again done battle with the dark side and won.

McDAVID STUDIO CONCERT SERIES *Tickets will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 16

Michael Ian Black October 8, 2011 8 & 10:30 p.m. $27.50 Comedian and actor Michael Ian Black makes his McDavid Studio debut with two performances at 8 and 10:30 p.m. Black has starred in several TV comedy series, including Ed, Michael and Michael Have Issues and the hit MTV show, The State. He has also hosted several episodes of VH1's enormously popular I Love the... series.

Chris Smither November 12, 2011 8 p.m. $22 For four decades, folk singer Chris Smither has turned the heads of critics, fans and other artists alike. Name-brand talents such as Bonnie Raitt and Diana Krall have covered his material. The New Orleans-bred Smither is touring behind his latest album, Lost and Found.

Tom Russell December 1, 2011 8 p.m. $27.50 Tom Russell, a former cab driver in Queens, N.Y., has amassed an impressive body of work, not to mention an endless stream of kudos from the likes of Johnny Cash, Nanci Griffith, k.d. lang and Iris Dement, all of whom have covered Russell's material.

Sara Hickman & Terri Hendrix December 2, 2011 8 p.m. $27.50 Two of Texas' finest singer/songwriters on one stage, swapping songs and sharing the heartwarming and heartbreaking stories that go along with them.

Bugs Henderson December 9, 2011 8 p.m. $27.50 Dallas blues legend Bugs Henderson returns to McDavid Studio for another evening of fiery and ferocious guitar playing.

Austin Lounge Lizards February 11, 2012 8 p.m. $27.50 This avant-garde ensemble has been an integral part of Austin's thriving music scene since 1980. Over the course of several albums, the group has made a name for itself as a forward-thinking group whose music combines folk-rock sensibilities with humorous twists and turns.

BROADWAY OFF BASS AT McDAVID *Season subscriptions start at $59.40 and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 16. *Single tickets on sale TBA.

Dixie's Tupperware Party February 14-26, 2012 Back by popular demand after a six-show, sold-out earlier this year, Dixie Longate is a fast-talking Tupperware Lady who packed up her catalogues, left her children in an Alabama trailer park and took Off-Broadway by storm! Now, join Dixie as she travels the country throwing good ol'fashioned Tupperware Parties filled with outrageously funny tales, heartfelt accounts, FREE giveaways, audience participation and the most fabulous assortment of Tupperware ever sold on a theater stage. See for yourself how Ms. Longate became the #1 Tupperware seller in the U.S. and Canada as she educates her guests on the many alternative uses she has discovered for her plastic products! "Who knew Tupperware is so fun - or so naughty?" - Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Late Nite Catechism May 2-6, 2012 LATE NITE CATECHISM is an uproariously funny play that takes the audience back to their youth. The irrepressible Sister teaches class to a roomful of "students." Throughout the course of the class, the benevolent instructor rewards the "students" for correct answers with glow-in-the-dark rosaries and other nifty prizes. Naughty students may well find themselves on stage sitting in a corner reflecting their actions. However, even the most reluctant "students" will be clamoring to get into this Sister's class.

The Wonder Bread Years July 25-29, 2012 A salute to the Baby Boomer Generation, THE WONDER BREAD YEARS is a fast-paced, hilarious production that gracefully walks the line between stand-up and theater. Audiences across the country are enjoying a show that not only restores a much-needed sense of wonder, but leaves audiences laughing and savoring the past like never before. "Pure unpasteurized nostalgia" - The Los Angeles Times

Tickets for season performances range in price according to event and seating location. Patrons can order season subscriptions by phone, by calling (817) 212-4450 in Fort Worth; 1-877-212-4280 (toll-free) outside Fort Worth; or online at www.basshall.com. Season subscriptions are also available at the Bass Performance Hall ticket office at 525 Commerce Street. Ticket office hours: Monday through Friday 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

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