Media Releases

North Central College Fine and Performing Arts Calendar of Events for February

Jan 26, 2023

The following is a calendar of events for North Central College’s Fine and Performing Arts in February:

Feb. 4 - Theater: North Central College presents TheatreWorksUSA’s “The Magic School Bus – Lost in the Solar System” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. in Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. When the class gets lost on the way to the planetarium, Ms. Frizzle saves the day by blasting into outer space for an epic interplanetary field trip! But when rivalries both old and new threaten to tear the students apart, our young heroes must learn to pull together or risk getting forever lost in the solar system. Hop on the Magic School Bus for a ride in this new musical adaptation based on the original book series published by Scholastic. Music and lyrics by Matthew Lee Robinson and Book by Marshall Pailet. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit  

Feb. 5 - Music: North Central College presents “Denyce Graves” at 3 p.m. in Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. Recognized worldwide as one of today's most exciting vocal stars, Graves continues to garner unparalleled popular and critical acclaim in performances across four continents. USA Today identifies her as "an operatic superstar of the 21st Century," and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution exclaims, "If the human voice has the power to move you, you will be touched by Denyce Graves." Her career has taken her to the world's great opera houses and concert halls. The combination of her expressive, rich vocalism, elegant stage presence, and exciting theatrical abilities allows her to pursue a wide breadth of operatic portrayals, delighting audiences in concert and recital appearances. Graves has become particularly well-known to operatic audiences for her portrayals of the title roles in "Carmen" and "Samson et Dalila." Tickets are $55-65 (price range per seating); call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit  

Feb. 11 - Music: North Central College welcomes the 35th Annual Gospel Extravaganza at 3 p.m. in Grace United Methodist Church, 300 E. Gartner Rd. Join the College’s Voices of Praise Gospel Choir for an evening of praise and worship. We will be celebrating Black History Month with local college choirs, spoken word artists, and other performances. This is a time to learn about African American culture through various art forms and we would love to have you. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors, and free for students and children; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit  

Feb. 11 - Music: North Central College welcomes the DuPage Symphony Orchestra (DSO) “Up Close and Personal: American Spirituals & American Jazz” at 7:30 p.m. in Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. A noteworthy friendship and collaborative spirit existed between two important American composers of the early 20th Century: William Grant Still and George Gershwin, who got their start in Tin Pan Alley composing popular songs and stage music. Our mid-winter concert highlights important works by both artists: Still's 1937 Symphony No. 2, "Song of a New Race," and Gershwin's 1925 "Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra." Celebrated pianist Wynona Wang, First Prize Winner in the 2018 Concert Artists Guild International Competition, is our guest soloist. Tickets are $15-43 (price range per seating); call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit  

Denyce Graves headshot

Feb. 16-19 - Theater: North Central College presents “Renascence” at Madden Theatre, 171 E. Chicago Ave. “Renascence” is a theatrical exploration of identity and artistry through the poems of Pulitzer Prize-winning, Edna St. Vincent Millay with music by Carmel Dean, book by Dick Scanlan, and directed by Mitzi Smith. At the age of 19 Millay writes a profoundly powerful poem, “Renascence,” catapulting her to stardom and releasing her from her rural, humble beginnings into a bohemian, reckless and unconventional urban lifestyle. Millay captivates both men and women with her unapologetic sensuality and frank intellect and becomes the “original riot girl” of her time. “Renascence” not only follows the early years of this artist’s life, but also invites its performers and audience to sit in this poet’s soul, and view humanity and nature as if through her window. The show is meant for a mature audience and is not geared towards children. If you have questions about content, please contact the Box Office, who can put you in touch with the appropriate individuals for that production's information. Performances run February 16, 17, and 18 at 7:30 p.m. and February 18 and 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $10 for students and seniors; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit  

Feb. 18 - Music: North Central College presents “Forever Motown” at 8 p.m. in Pfeiffer Hall, 310 E. Benton Ave. Performed by a cast of veteran entertainers, including former members of The Jones, The Main Ingredient, The Spinners and The Marvelettes and peppered with Broadway savvy performers who had leading roles in "Dream Girls," "Your Arms Too Short to Box With God," "Porgy & Bess" and "Showboat," Forever Motown resumes its successful theater tour that broke its own box office records in 2018. The veteran entertainers offer a nonstop, high-energy trip down memory lane featuring the note-for-note hits America grew up on. The iconic Motown sound was recreated down to the slightest vocal and musical nuance by such American icons as Marvin Gaye & Tammie Terrell, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Gladys Knight & The Pips, The Temptations, The Four Tops, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder and the entire Motown roster of stars. The look and feel of authenticity extends to costumes from Tony Award-winning designer Evie Ross and classic Motown choreography from American Dance Theater director Terri Giordano who succeeded in creating visuals and choreographies that capture the unique Motown style. Sing, dance and celebrate the music of your life to songs like "My Girl," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," "Reach Out," "Dancin' In The Street," "Stop! In The Name of Love," "Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough," and many more - nearly 30 nonstop hits in all! Tickets are $30-$40 (price range per seating); call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

Forever Motown group performance shot

Feb. 22 - Music: North Central College presents the Honors Choral Invitational at 7 p.m. in Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. The annual Honors Choral Invitational Festival brings visiting ensembles for a day of workshops, rehearsals, and a public concert. This year’s guests are Hinsdale Central High School Chamber Choir and Chorale (Jennifer Burkemper, director) and Kenwood Academy (Chicago Public Schools) Concert Choir (Richard Nunley, director).  Joining them will be the North Central College Concert Choir, Chorale, and Chamber Singers, conducted by Ramona Wis with collaborative pianists Jon Warfel and Bob Saul. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students; call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit  

Feb. 25 - Music: North Central College presents “The Langston Hughes Project: Ask Your Mama (12 Moods for Jazz) featuring the Ron McCurdy Quartet” at 8 p.m. in Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave. The Langston Hughes Project is a multimedia concert performance of Langston Hughes's kaleidoscopic jazz poem suite, "Ask Your Mama"—Hughes's homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. "Ask Your Mama" is a 12-part epic poem which Hughes scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel songs, boogie woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin "cha cha" and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso, and African drumming - a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death. A joyous celebration of music, spoken word and visuals, The Langston Hughes Project is performed by the impressively versatile Dr. Ron McCurdy (as narrator and on trumpet) and his talented group of musicians (on piano, bass and drums) who make heads bob, fingers snap and feet tap throughout. Together the words, sounds, and images recreate a magical moment in our cultural history, which bridges the Harlem Renaissance, the post World War II Beat writers' coffeehouse jazz poetry world, and the looming Black Arts performance explosion of the 1960s. The creator of the entire piece, Dr. McCurdy, is a Professor of Music in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, where he served as chair of the jazz department for 6 years. Dr. McCurdy is a consultant to the Grammy Foundation educational programs including serving as director of the National Grammy Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Tickets are $35-$40 (price range per seating); call 630-637-SHOW (7469) or visit

North Central College’s 2022-2023 Fine and Performing Arts Season is partially supported by the following sponsors and partners: Naperville Special Events and Cultural Amenities Fund; Illinois Arts Council Agency; BMO Harris Bank; Naperville Magazine; Advanced Data Technologies; Blooming Color; Chef By Request; Elements at Water Street; Monarch Landing; Naperville Park District; Nicor Gas; Catch 35; Dommermuth, Cobine, West, Gensler, Philipchuck and Corrigan, Ltd.; Marquette Companies; Naper Settlement; Ryan Hill Group; and Naperville Development Partnership.

These upcoming events are among many ongoing programs at North Central College to enrich and broaden the cultural and academic outlook for the College and community. North Central offers a variety of venues accommodating a rich range of local and world-class events, performances and space needs for the public. For a comprehensive schedule of musical performances, theatrical and dance productions, art exhibits and lectures, visit or call the box office at 630-637-SHOW (7469).

Voices of Praise