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Cruz Bay
Wednesday, July 24, 2024


Sea, sun, sand, and shopping. You can find them on just about any Caribbean island. The good news is that if you enjoy them on St. Croix, you don't have to resign yourself to being out of touch with the international worlds of dance, music, and theatre.
Island Center for the Performing Arts is celebrating 32 years of presenting superb artists in a beautiful setting for the delight of visitors and residents alike, and the upcoming season promises to be even more spectacular than past offerings.
To view a complete schedule of the upcoming season, check the Showcase category under Arts/Entertainment.
The 1000-seat arts center has an enviable history of bringing to its stage performers such as Dizzy Gillespie, Eartha Kitt, the Ink Spots, the Vienna Boys' Choir, Jose Feliciano, and the Boston Pops Traveling Ensemble. Dance enthusiasts have enjoyed the Joffrey and New York City ballet companies, London Ballet Theatre, Ballet Folklorico de Puerto Rico, and the National Dance Company of Senegal.
Shows such as Harvey, Annie Get Your Gun, The Sound of Music, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Camelot, The Fantasticks, and Oklahoma have played to packed houses. Variety shows have included the Golden Dragon Acrobats, Orson Bean, Flip Wilson, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Illusions of the Orient, the Caribbean Folk Arts Festival, the Great American Vaudeville Show, and our own Victor Borge.
And these are only a handful of the many artists who have graced the stage of Island Center in the last 32 years.
In addition to bringing first-class entertainment to St. Croix, Island Center has produced dozens of musicals and dramas featuring local talent in shows such as Guys and Dolls, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Wiz, A Chorus Line, Evita, and Cabaret, as well as The Odd Couple, Harvey, Fences, and The Purgatory Experience of Booker T. Washington Jones, written by St. Croix playwright Lorraine Joseph, founder of the Courtyard Players.
Situated in the approximate geographic center of St. Croix, Island Center continues to be the hub for productions featuring local talent, collaborating with the University of the Virgin Islands to present Nobel laureate Derek Walcott and his production of "Celebration", being the venue for performances by the world-renowned Caribbean Dance Company and, most recently, Kakilambe, an African story-telling through dance and music and featuring the "healing drums".
Whatever your taste may be, you will surely find some performances on Island Center's schedule that will delight you. If you try some of the performances not known to you, you may well find more favorites to add to your list.
The next upcoming program features the Zephyros Quintet on Oct. 30. These recent graduates of the Curtis Institute and the Juilliard School have competed nationally and internationally, and have played with major orchestras. Their combination of bassoon, oboe, flute, clarinet, and French horn, will interpret the music of Britten and Debussy among others, to the certain delight of classical music lovers.
Among other upcoming events are a jazz festival featuring the Avashai Cohen Sextet and the Steve Wilson Quartet, followed by acclaimed classical pianist Awadagin Pratt, a perpetual favorite on St. Croix, and more musical evenings, including a production of Peter Pan.
Curtain Up! will keep you informed about Island Center presentations throughout the year, with previews, reviews, and backstage news about the performers.
Stay tuned.

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