Powerful older women and public radio personalities will headline the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts’ 2006-07 season.
The center, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, will host performances by folk singersongwriter Joan Baez (Oct. 21), Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis (in “The Rose Project,” Feb. 2-3) and Broadway star Elaine Stritch (who’s bringing her Tony Award-winning solo stage memoir, “Elaine Stritch: At Liberty,” March 9-10).
The new season also turns the dial to National Public Radio to bring several radio personalities — from a reprisal reading by bestselling humorist and “This American Life” contributor David Sedaris (Oct. 25) and New York Times/NPR “Weekend Edition” puzzle master Will Shortz (presenting an evening of puzzles, May 8) to an appearance by “Talk of the Nation” host Neal Conan in a multimedia production called “A Universe of Dreams” (Nov. 17), which fuses Celtic music with imagery from the Hubble Space Telescope.
Marian McPartland, pianist and host of “Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz” on Valley public radio station KJZZ-FM (91.5), performs May 2.
Anticipate a jazzy time in downtown Scottsdale. Musical notables in the center’s upcoming season, announced Monday, include saxman Sonny Rollins (Nov. 19) and up-and-coming pianist/singer Peter Cincotti (Nov. 4). The veteran Dirty Dozen Brass Band of New Orleans, who hit the pop radar playing on Elvis Costello’s 1989 album “Spike,” will play Feb. 18. Vocalist Dianne Reeves rounds out the lineup March 30.
In the classical genre, avant-garde composer Philip Glass celebrates his 70th birthday with a career retrospective with his Philip Glass Ensemble (Feb. 21).
Theatrical highlights include L.A. Theatre Works’ radio play “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial” (Oct. 29), starring Eric Stoltz, and a production of George Orwell’s “1984” (March 23-24) by Tim Robbins’ The Actor’s Gang, a troupe that performed Robbins’ “Embedded” at the Scottsdale center in 2004, then played the Mesa Arts Center with its “The Guys” in 2005.
Meanwhile, Patti Hannon, star of “Late Nite Catechism,” which turned six years old and remains the Valley’s longest-running play, will star in a third installment of the “Catechism” series, “Sister’s Christmas Catechism: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold,” Nov. 30-Dec. 31 in the center’s smaller Theater 4301.