Five don't-miss performances this winter

STATE COLLEGE – Cold and biting, the weather at State College seems to have no mercy on days when weather apps feature nothing but the freezing point – or worse.

Luckily, however, Penn State’s Center of Performing Arts and the State Theatre do not hold their performances outside and actually provide nights of entertainment during the blustery months of winter and beyond.

This season, welcome the new year with the following five “don’t-miss” performances that leave eyes ignited, the mind enthralled and every hand in the room clapping.

The Birdland All-Stars Featuring Tommy Igoe

Witness The Birdland All-Stars set the new standard for jazz in their remake an evening at Birdland, a New York City jazz club, at the Eisenhower Auditorium January 26 at 7:30 p.m. The band will include new arrangements from David Bowie, the Police and Steely Dan. The Birdland All-Stars will also provide their own take on compositions by Charlie Parker, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock. Don’t miss one of New York’s most popular music performances and Tommy Igoe’s drumming that according to the International Jazz Herald, “defies the laws of gravity.” Tickets can be purchased

Rock the 80’s

There’s nothing like starting 2018 by traveling back to decades of rock and roll. The State Theatre is hosting “Rock the 80’s” Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. Local bands like The Long Afternoon, Velveeta, Cousin Nettie and the Feats of Strength will play hit songs from the past, but this year, with a substantial cause as foundation: the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund. Help finance and support cancer patients through purchasing tickets, while dressing up and reliving the 1980s.

Tickets can be purchased at

Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella

A story of romance and miracles, Cinderella has captivated the hearts of each child and patron of magic. Penn State’s Center of Performing Arts will host Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Tony Award-winning Broadway musical at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 and 21 at Eisenhower Auditorium. Re-visit the days of slippers and mice that talk this winter and sing along to favorites like “Ten Minutes Ago.” Tickets can be purchased

JazzBird and Steel Valley Rhythms

A mix of contemporary dance, jazz and folk scores as well as theatre renditions of the Firebird folktale, Jazzbird and Steel Valley Rhythms is an exciting collaborative to watch at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23 and 24 at The State Theatre. Western Pennsylvania’s link to the iron and steel industry is a vital feature in the professionally choreographed dance, percussive music and historical video. Tickets can be purchased at

Dirty Dancing: The Classic Story on Stage

"Nobody puts Baby in the cormer." Re-visit the American classic as a live performance rife with music, romance and dancing is staged at 7:30 p.m. on March 21 and 22 at Eisenhower Auditorium. Don't miss the hit songs "Hungry Eyes," "Hey Baby" and "(I've Had) the Time of My Life." Perhaps you too will have the time of your life, falling in love with Baby and Johnny's story again.

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