Josh Turner (photo submitted)
Josh Turner (photo submitted)
VAN WERT — The annual season reveal came on Wednesday, pushing back the veil and showing off another strong schedule of entertainment coming to the Niswonger Performing Arts Center (NPAC). The facility billed the 2014-15 season as “entertainment for everyone in the family,” and the variety in the performers and shows is obvious, even from the Community Concert Series of artists already announced. The Grand Series will feature big names as well as variety, as Van Wert will play host to performers like Kenny Rogers, the Temptations, Newsboys, Sinbad, and even Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. between October and April.

NPAC Executive Director Paul Hoverman showed an introductory video to invited guests on Wednesday and touted the variety present in the schedule. Season sponsors for the year will be Statewide Ford Lincoln and Van Wert Federal Bank, along with many sponsors for separate shows.

The season begins with a trio of shows from the Community Concert Series — The Annie Moses Band on Saturday, Oct. 4, Peter Yarrow on Oct. 9, and Habaneros or Oct. 13.

The Annie Moses Band combines Americana with folk and jazz to combine a unique sound that has entertained audiences across the country.



Folk hero Peter Yarrow, formerly of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary will be joined by Mustard’s Retreat to play old favorites and other tunes.

The Cuban group Habaneros is comprised of virtuoso clarinetist, Alden Ortuño Cabezas and a string quartet of members from the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

On Oct. 18, the music of Broadway is brought to the stage as inspirational quartet, Ernie Haase & Signature Sound teams up with Broadway sensation, J. Mark McVey from Les Miserables to perform the great music of Broadway. They will perform countless Broadway classics in a show for all ages.

On Nov. 1, America’s Got Talent winners the Olate Dogs will bring a show no dog lover can resist. The show has been touring the nation featuring rescue dogs that can do tricks that will amaze audience members. The Olate Dogs are a high-energy, fast-paced theatrical act filled with amazing pet tricks. ?

Just a few days later, the Dallas Brass returns to the Niswonger stage with vocalist Bryan Anthony to give the night a Frank Sinatra style. With music ranging from Classical to Broadway and Jazz, Dallas Brass will help the Van Wert Area Performing Arts Foundation honor a very special person on this memorable night.

It’s country music on November 15 in the person of singer-songwriter Josh Turner. The deep-voiced singer leaped onto the country scene with Long Black Train and has now sold more than five million albums and gathered three more chart-toppers.

Next up, Christmas time hits with full force, beginning with The Ballet Theatre of Toledo performing the classic, The Nutcracker on Dec. 6. That is followed by a jazzy holiday show called It’s a Peter White Christmas featuring contemporary jazz and guest performers Mindi Abair and Rick Braun.

Then on Dec. 12, the unforgettable Kenny Rogers will perform at the NPAC. The singer who has been performing for over 52 years with songs most everyone knows will sing the songs of his career in the first act, then the sounds of Christmas in the second.

Then, the first ever holiday on ice show will dazzle and amaze the audience with the Holiday Ice Spectacular on Dec. 15. Yes, the performers will be ice skating on the NPAC stage in a fast-paced show for the Christmas season.

The Christmas season at the Niswonger will extend to Dec. 19 with a performance by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., singing duo, and both former members of the Fifth Dimension. The pair has received seven Grammys, 15 gold records and three platinum records during their 40-plus years in the music industry.

With the coming of 2015, the weather will likely be cold. And to match Paul Nicklen, National Geographic explorer biologist, and photographer , will bring his expeditions to life on Jan. 25 on the NPAC stage. Nicklen has worked for National Geographic for years, taking pictures in the polar regions since 1995.

Winners of NBC’s The Sing Off, country music vocal band Home Free will perform their mix of country and pop on Jan. 31.

Then Nov. 7, the show gets funny with comedian Sinbad, ranked by Comedy Central as one of the top 100 standup comedians of all time. The humor will come fast and furious with Sinbad takes the stage.

Broadway’s Anything Goes is set for Feb. 15 at the Niswonger. This much-loved musical-comedy is an audience favorite.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy brings the look and the sound of contemporary swing to Van Wert on Feb 21.

?Two of TV’s all-time biggest stars headline the play Love Letters on March 8. Barbara Eden of “I Dream of Jeannie” and Hal Linden of “Barney Miller” star in this classic.

Christian Supergroup Newsboys make a Van Wert appearance on March 21. The group, whose song “God’s Not Dead” provided music for the recent hit movie of the same name, is a popular draw for fans of contemporary Christian music.

The bodybuilding concert pianist Leon Bates returns to the NPAC stage on March 22. Bates will demonstrate his mastery of the piano, and will conduct a master class for piano lovers and a seminar about the contributions of African-American composers to American music.

The hot Broadway show Memphis will take the NPAC stage on March 28 and 29, fresh from its hit Broadway run and 55-city North American tour. The music goes back to when blues and gospel combined to form rock and roll in the underground clubs of the south.

The kids favorites for generations, The Berenstain Bears will make an appearance on April 12 in The Berenstain Bears LIVE! in Family Matters.

On April 14, stepdancing and even a little tap will be a part of the performance by The StepCrew. Six incredible dancers and three extremely talented fiddlers put on a show with a Celtic air.

Back for one more run, it’s the Church Basement Ladies who will be hosting The Last (Potluck) Supper on April 19. In this final episode, it’s 1979, and the remembrances and antics from the past years come flashing back.

Rounding out the schedule, on April 25, the Niswonger welcomes Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famers, The Temptations for one night of timeless classics. This Motown cornerstone group have a huge library of hits to take audience members back to a simpler time.

Season tickets go on sale as early as June 19. Members will of course get to choose tickets first. Tickets in the Grand Series ? go on sale July 1-3?.? ?The Select Series seats go on sale July 8 . Individual events go on sale approximately 90 days prior to the event date.