From the Streets of Jersey to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

They had a look and an attitude that was all their own, and it might have landed them in jail if they hadn’t become one of the greatest musical acts of the 1960s.

Before the members of The Four Seasons even turned 30, they had sold 175 million records worldwide. Despite this, history hasn’t institutionalized them the way it has with the Beatles. Perhaps that’s why fans are so hungry for their music, and their incredible story.

While many people know Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons for their multitudes of classic hits like “Sherry”, “Walk Like a Man,” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” they don’t know the whole story of the group’s rise to fame. Jersey Boys, the Tony Awarding-winning Best Musical, tells the heart-wrenchingly honest story of Frankie Vallie and the Four Seasons. It’s a story about how four New Jersey hoodlums established a brotherhood that would see them through the wild successes and traumatic lows of pop stardom.

“In many ways, the band was a reflection of the people who were buying their records,” notes Rick Elice, co-writer of Jersey Boys. “They didn’t have long hair or accents. There was no glamour quotient to them at all, which is why they were never written about. For fans of the band, the show is an edification of who they are, because the cultural establishment ignored them too.”

They were blue-collar kids, first-generation Americans and high school dropouts who were flirting with careers in crime. “It was the archetypal American rags-to-riches story: You start with nothing, achieve success and then try to navigate your life through the waters of success,” says Elice. Friendship took them from the mean streets of Jersey to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “That was a very powerful hook,” says Elice.“We all know what it’s like to want acceptance, to want respect and to try to find a sense of home with people that are not just the family we’re born into but the family that we choose.”

Go behind the music and inside the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons at the Fort Collins Lincoln Center, Nov. 30–Dec. 2. Tickets start at $20 at

Become a Fairy Godmother

The Fort Collins Lincoln Center, The Junior League and the company of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella are pleased to announce that beginning one hour prior to every Cinderella performance, November 9-11, we will be accepting donations of new and gently used costume jewelry and women’s dress shoes for the Junior League Career Closet. We will also be accepting donations of children’s dress-up clothes and costumes, from princess dresses to Batman costumes. We invite you to be a fairy godmother and make someone’s fairytale come true with a charitable donation.

The Junior League Career Closet is the signature project of the Junior League of Fort Collins, providing clothing appropriate for work and school to more than 300 women annually at no cost to them in an effort to help clients achieve economic independence.

This Cinderella Dress-up Drive partnership is especially close to Cinderella cast member Leslie Jackson’s heart. Ms. Jackson, who plays Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother in this production says, “I love being a part of Cinderella because of its beautiful and inspiring message about kindness and believing in yourself and others. Everyone, no matter their situation in life, is capable of amazing things. The Fairy Godmother helps Cinderella by giving her the tools to find her voice and her confidence, which ultimately make her dreams a reality. I am honored to be a part of this partnership, which not only spreads the message and practice of kindness, but also provides girls with the confidence to see that they are beautiful inside and out. Together we can make fairytales come true!”

Donations will be accepted beginning at 6:30 p.m. on November 9, 10 and 11 and at 1:00 p.m. November 11. Tickets are not required to drop off donations.

Cinderella performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Nov 9-11 and at 2 p.m. on November 11 at The Lincoln Center located at 417 W. Magnolia, Fort Collins, CO.

“Now go — to the ball. In the name of every girl who has ever wished to go to a ball in a beautiful dress.  In the name of every girl who has ever wanted to change the world she lived in. Go! with the promise of possibility!” —Fairy Godmother in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Book by Douglas Carter Beane

The Power of Music

Under the close watch of his physical therapist, a stoic man marches up and down a four-inch step with admirable consistency. His left hand holds a walker for support, but his feet endure in their instructed endeavor; forward and backward, up and down, left and right.

The therapist barely says a word, but he doesn’t have to. This man — a victim of Parkinson’s disease and a stroke — heeds another master, a primal part of his brain that craves rhythm and symmetry.

UCHealth uses a variety of musical-based techniques in conjunction with physical, occupational and speech therapies to improve stimulation of sensory and motor systems for patients injured by accidents or strokes.

Regaining function, say the experts, is the main goal of rehabilitation. And it often occurs faster — and better — when it’s set to music.

It’s not about teaching the patient to sing, but rather working on such things as speaking skills. It’s about the patient using their air to develop lung capacity. Using music can help the body move better, help muscles work together in a more coordinated fashion, help strengthen muscles that are weak, and help retrain neurologic pathways.

The rhythm of music helps support fluid and more natural movements, said UCHealth music therapist Joe Haines. Then when instruments are added, there is that visual, auditory and tactile feedback.

Another major benefit is the natural opportunity for repetition. “When you add a beat to a certain movement — reaching, stepping, lifting — patients become part of the creative process,” he said.

With multiple opportunities to do something, it leads to better performance, carry-over into normal activities, and, quite often, a level of enjoyment rarely seen in the challenging process of recovery from debilitating injuries or managing a disease.

To learn more about music therapy, visit

Brought to you by our season sponsor, UCHealth.

Elephant Revival Blooms With Symphonic Backing on “Petals”

Elephant Revival has garnered a reputation for its haunting, lush acoustic sound that is at once evocative and mysterious. The Nederland, Colorado-based group is comprised of multi-instrumentalists playing fiddles, horns, banjos, cellos, washboards and even the occasional musical saw that all blend into a hard-to-define sound that is rooted in Americana, gypsy, Celtic and folk songcraft. Petals, the latest album by the group, is their most intimate album to date and carries a message about how much life there is in loss, how much potency, how much love. What could make such a rich sound even more powerful? The Fort Collins Symphony. The indie band will perform songs from “Petals” with the Symphony on November 25 at The Lincoln Center.

Bonnie Paine, who plays the washboard, djembe, musical saw, stompbox and serves as the primary vocalist for Elephant Revival, says that the symphonic collaboration “gives the songs a sense of blooming.” There are “so many layers that are suddenly able to weave in and out; the orchestrators make the music even more dynamic.” The orchestra will soften to allow the band to shine, or intensify depending on the song. Paine says “It’s a dance — one of the most exhilarating things I’ve ever done is to get to play with the symphony.”

With so many polarizing political views these days, Paine says a lot of people are feeling isolation and a lack of unity, and “for me, the beauty of music is it brings you back into that — it’s not something you can tell or show somebody to do. It has that effect of encompassing everyone all of a sudden in your pain and joy.” Elephant Revival strongly believes that music is a universal language, one that brings us all closer together.

Elephant Revival featuring members of the Fort Collins Symphony promises to be a truly unique concert experience. Tickets start at $28 and are available at

The Power of The Moth Pulls Us Closer

Heartfelt storytelling is no longer isolated to intimate conversations with your closest friends. The Moth has brought storytelling to the main stage — via podcasting, The Moth Radio Hour, story slams, books and through its classic live Moth Mainstage performances since 1997. This November, The Moth will bring its storytelling magic to the Lincoln Center stage.

Just because it’s performative, doesn’t mean it’s only for show. The Moth chooses real individuals from all backgrounds, often with no stage experience, and trains them how to best communicate their stories in front of an audience. Applicants can call in and leave a voicemail preview of their story for review, but often The Moth finds its storytellers by word of mouth, news or any other source. For each Mainstage event, locals are often chosen to participate as well, and the stories develop into a theme for each event.

“Besides a great evening of stories, there’s something about the live audience that’s different than the podcast,” says senior producer Meg Bowles. “Something about being in the same room as a person as they share their story, there’s a connection.” As the stories build, the audience leans in closer, even though they’re seated in a performance hall housing over a thousand people. “A person standing at a microphone and sharing their life can make a room feel small,” Bowles says.

Connection is what The Moth is all about. According to its site, “The Moth celebrates the ability of stories to honor both the diversity and commonality of human experience, and to satisfy a vital human need for connection.” Something that can often go missing in our chaotic world today.

There’s often not enough listening to others in the day-to-day, and “The Moth allows you to listen to a person and share their experience, maybe understand a bit better where that person is coming from, taking a step closer to each other rather than away from each other,” Bowles says. And because the speakers are regular people, the audience also tends to empathize much more with the person on stage. It’s all about coming just a little bit closer.

The Moth Mainstage will be at the Lincoln Center on November 5 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at and start at $15.

Bobby Rush Pours His Soul Into “The River”

“If you don’t like the blues, you don’t like your mama,” says Grammy-winning bluesman Bobby Rush. “Blues are the foundation — the roots of music.” And Rush should know. He lived and worked in Chicago during the height of the Chicago blues scene. He’s performed with Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Singing the blues since the late ’40s, Rush is turning 84 in November with 274 records to his name and an average of over 200 shows per year for the past 60 years.

Rush is currently touring with Take Me to The River Live, a soul and rhythm & blues review, that hits the Lincoln Center stage October 26. A featured performer, Rush will be taking the stage along with Grammy award-winning R&B and soul legends William Bell and Charlie Musselwhite.

“It’s history,” remarks Rush about the live show. “Once this is gone, it’s gone. You won’t see this anymore.”

The performance isn’t just a showcase of living blues legends, at its core, the show is about mentoring across generations and collaborating across musical genres. In addition to featuring the Hi Rhythm Section and alumni from the STAX Music Academy, the show also highlights hip-hop artists Frayser Boy and Al Kapone. That’s why being involved with this project is so important to Rush. “Someone needs to carry this music on when I’m dead and gone,” says Rush.

Take Me to The River began as a documentary film that set out to tell the story of American soul music, specifically reflecting on the heydays of Memphis soul. The award-winning film, which is currently available to stream on Netflix, details the recording of the Take Me to The River album. The recording brought together iconic Memphis and Mississippi Delta musicians and today’s best talent from the region for a vintage-blues-meets-hip-hop collaboration. Artists like Terrance Howard, Snoop Dog, Frayser Boy and 8Ball were featured alongside blues greats Bobby Rush, Otis Clay and Mavis Staples.

Rush has been intimately involved with this project since the film was released in 2014 and says “Since we started, there have been 7 or 8 artists that have passed away. We need to pass the torch before none of us are left.”

The opportunity to work with this younger generation of artists has been a blessing, says Rush. “They are so respectful. These young rappers like Frayser Boy, Al Kapone and Snoop Dog, they know my music better than me. They grew up listening to our music. Their mamas and grandmamas played our records over and over. People like Snoop enjoyed what we did. They know they are where they are, because of us.”

Now he doesn’t always agree with the lyrics and topics these young artists rap about, and he doesn’t care for the way they wear their pants so low. But he does believe in working together because he says, “We lift the head level up and the pants will come with.”

According to Rush, being on tour and traveling with these younger artists has been easy. “I’m so used to it. It’s not hard. It’s gravy for me,” quips Rush. This comes from a man, mind you, who starts his morning routine by running 3 miles every day.

But perhaps part of the reason why touring for him today is so easy is because of how remarkably different it is compared to when he started back in the late ’40s and early ’50s. Back then, in the era before the civil rights movement, “They used to make us play behind the curtain so folks didn’t see our faces,” says Rush. “When we performed, there was no place to stay, no place to eat, no place to drink, no hotel.”

“But,” remarks Rush, “the more things change the more they stay the same.” For him back then, it was about bringing blues music to white audiences. “They liked it like we liked it… they just didn’t know it yet. That’s the thing about music; it’s the link between us all. It’s the Band-Aid for all the troubles in the world.”

For Rush, this Take Me to The River collaboration between generations and genres has truly been a blessing. As he sees it, music is a gift and one to be shared. Rush excitedly declares, “Music is one of the only things that bonds folks regardless of race, religion, politics, gender or age. It unites us.”

This historical, once-in-a-lifetime evening of Memphis soul music comes to the Lincoln Center stage October 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $15 and are available at

Get a taste of Take Me to the River here:


Wear Art to Support the Arts

Kicking off with a fashion show in the Performance Hall on Friday, October 20, at 7:30 p.m., the 18th ArtWear Biennial brings a fusion of fashion and art to Fort Collins. The Lincoln Center Art Gallery will be transformed into a boutique that opens to the public on Saturday, October 21. Browse and shop for one-of-a-kind handmade wearable garments and accessories designed and made by 56 artists from around the country! You’ll see unique designs and clothing made with interesting fiber arts techniques including shibori dyeing, silk painting, hand-stitching and embroidery, nuno felting, needle felting, and lots more.

A purchase from the ArtWear Sales Boutique not only supports the Lincoln Center Visual Arts Program, it supports the artists. Proceeds from ArtWear Fashion Week have provided significant funding for the Lincoln Center Art Gallery since its start in 1992. When you purchase a garment, 40% of the proceeds will go to support the Lincoln Center Visual Arts Program and 60% will return to the artist. The garments are unique, one-of-a-kind art pieces that represent many hours of work and creativity.

As part of the Biennial, we will also be offering a selection of free lectures and demos, as well as hands-on workshops. Visit for more details.

Fashion Show
Friday, Oct 20
7:30 p.m.
$15 General Admission

Sales Boutique (Lincoln Center Art Gallery)
Oct 21, 22, 26, 27, 28
Noon to 6 p.m.
Free to the public

Cinderella’s Magical Transformation from Small Screen to Big Stage

November 9-11, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much-loved, Tony Award-winning musical Cinderella casts its spell on Northern Colorado with its hilarious, romantic and surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale.

Although it premiered on Broadway in 2013, Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella has seen success on the small screen and in productions around the world for the last 50 years. In fact, Cinderella is the only musical created by Rodgers and Hammerstein that was written for television. The TV special starred Julie Andrews in the title role, and it was seen by over 100 million people — about 60% of the U.S. population at the time.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella was so beloved that in 1997, Walt Disney Productions released a re­make star­ring Brandy as Cinderella. With such success, it seemed the Broadway stage would be a natural transition.

William Ivey Long, who won the Tony Award for his costumes, says that Cinderella is like a period piece. Long has designed 330 sumptuous period costumes for this production which is presented in Anna Louizos’ equally sumptuous forest-inspired setting. “The scale of this show is big, because it’s a grand fairytale,” says Louizos. “This is not story-theater. It’s a Broadway show.”

This revisionist telling of the traditional story features Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic songs with a cheeky new script by playwright Douglas Carter Beane.

The director says he was immediately taken by Douglas Carter Beane’s transformational approach to the material: “The first thing I thought was that Doug had done a fantastic job of taking the traditional story of Cinderella that everybody knows and keeping to the heart of it, but upending our expectations of who the characters were and how the story unraveled.”

Transformation is a big theme in Cinderella. Long has designed jaw-dropping costume changes in both acts, where Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother go from rags to ball gowns in the blink of an eye, right in front of the audience. How are these changes accomplished? Long won’t say: “I would have to kill you if I told you,” he laughs.

Louizos adds, she thinks this version of Cinderella is a fairy tale that will appeal to everyone: “We approached it as any other brand new musical. It’s not a children’s show; it’s a Broadway show that adults should be able to appreciate and enjoy and be entertained just as much as children would.”

Come see the lush production the Associated Press proclaimed “Pure magic!” and USA Today called “A dazzling delight for all ages!” Tickets start at $20 and are available at