Variety defines upcoming MSU Lyceum Series

A nostalgic trip down Abbey Road will open Mississippi State’s 2017-18 Lyceum Series.

The university’s long-running performing arts program launches Sept. 12 with a concert titled “Cellophane Flowers: A Beatles Tribute.” As with the school year’s four other Lyceum events, it will begin at 7 p.m. in the Bettersworth Auditorium of historic Lee Hall.

In addition to traditional season-ticket packages, Lyceum organizers again are offering a mini-series option with attendance to any three of the five program selections. Mini-series tickets also come at a discounted rate and with guaranteed reserved seating.

“MSU’s Performing Arts Committee worked very hard this year to bring a variety of productions that will enhance the cultural opportunities available to the MSU and Starkville communities,” said Stephen Cunetto, committee chair and associate dean of MSU Libraries.

“During our selection process, we focus on securing high quality productions that will be of interest to MSU students and local community members alike,” he added.

A reinterpretation of Fab Four fan favorites, “Cellophane Flowers” features Jeff Lubin on acoustic guitar and vocals, backed by an all-female string quartet in an unplugged acoustic style. The New York-based group’s two-hour show will include many behind-the-scenes anecdotes about John, Paul, George and Ringo as it covers both their classical hits and others never performed live. For more about the group, visit

“Cellophane Flowers” comes, of course, from lyrics of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” the iconic hit single on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band,” the Beatles’ groundbreaking album currently celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Other Lyceum events will include:

-- Oct. 3, Derik Nelson and Family, an audio and visual concert of three-part vocal harmonies by the Pacific Northwest group, accompanied by a dazzling light show and integrated 20-foot video display. Nelson is best known as the guitarist for “New Directions” glee club in the hit television series “Glee,” which ended in 2015 after six seasons. For more, visit

-- Nov. 3, Ailey II. A New York-based dance company established in 1974 by noted choreographer Alvin Ailey, this 21st century version led by Troy Powell features the country’s best young dance talent in distinctive creations by Ailey and other masters of the artistic genre. For more, see

-- Feb. 12, National Players’ Production of “Othello.” A touring production of the Olney Theatre Center near Washington, D.C., the play retells the famous Shakespearean tragedy by presenting the title character, his wife Desdemona and devious sidekick Iago in a modern setting. For more, visit

-- March 7, TAO: Drum Heart. The latest offering by the internationally acclaimed Japanese percussionists, this production combines highly physical, large-scale drumming with precise choreography and innovative visuals. For more, see

In addition to five primary performances, the 2017 Lyceum schedule includes a free play Sept. 26 and 27 presented by students in MSU’s Judy and Bobby Shackouls Honors College.

As part of their Classical Week observance celebrating Greek, Roman and other ancient cultures, the campus’ high academic achievers will deliver their version of “The Pot of Gold,” a well-known comedy about cheapness and greed by Roman playwright Titus Maccius Plautus (c. 254–184 B.C.). Staging will begin at 6 p.m. each day on the patio of Griffis Residence Hall, home of the honors college.

For ongoing Lyceum patrons, June 12-July 1 are the season-ticket renewal dates, while July 3-21 are dates for new purchases of complete season packets. Mini-series tickets go on sale July 24-Aug. 11; individual tickets, Aug. 14.

General public season tickets are $125 per person; $105 for MSU employees and senior citizens. Mini-season tickets will be $70; $60 for employees and senior citizens. Individual tickets are $25; $20 for MSU employees and senior citizens; $10 for children. Purchases may be made online at

For additional MSU Lyceum Series information, telephone 662-325-2930 or visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Sammy McDavid | Public Affairs

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