BU’s Celebrity Artist Series brings a variety of entertainment

BLOOMSBURG — Celebrating 33 years of offering the best in professional touring entertainment, Bloomsburg University’s Celebrity Artist Series mixes music with magic for two attractions to be presented this month.

The acclaimed series is held in two venues: the 1,800 seat Mitrani Hall in the Haas Center for the Arts, and K.S. Gross Auditorium in the 600 seat historic Victorian performance hall, with all shows beginning at 7:30 p.m.

• Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet (Saturday) — With guest vocalist Irma Thomas and a cameo appearance from the Blind Boys of Alabama, the Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet make a highly anticipated return to the BU campus. Their last appearance 15 years ago marked the only time in the Celebrity Artists’ Series’ history that the audience gave two standing ovations, one at intermission, and the other at the end of their performance, which resulted in an encore.

Representing a tradition that started in 1961 when the band first opened in the French Quarter, the PHLQ is comprised of many revered alumni, who have toured the world with the group for decades.

Joining the tour is the Queen of Heart and Soul, Irma Thomas, the 2006 Grammy Award winner for Best Album, “After The Rain.”

The year 2009 marked the 50th anniversary of Irma Thomas’ first recording session, as the classic and distinctive vocalist remains today a “treasure of the Golden Age of Soul Music.”

Recognized worldwide as living legends of Gospel Music, these Grammy Award winning artists and inductees into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, the Blind Boys of Alabama have careers which span nearly 70 years.

Their recordings date back to 1948, as The Blind boys have gained international acclaim with their inspiring music, ranging from traditional gospel hymns to contemporary spiritual songs.

• The Illusionists (Nov. 18) — With Adam Trent “Presenting the Next Generation of Magic,” The Illusionists return to Bloomsburg University, having sold out their show three years ago. Trent is an “immersive extravaganza” of comedy, music and magic with emphasis on entertaining the whole family.

The 31 year-old’s “futuristic” presentation focuses upon his belief that magic should be entertaining first, and tricky second. He doesn’t want people to remember the tricks, as much as the laughs and memories made with his performance.

The witty, accomplished entertainer inaugurated the first two years of “The Illusionists” record breaking Broadway run, which launched his own television show and current tour.

Sometimes billed as “the next David Copperfield meets Justin Timberlake,” Adam Trent reportedly has a knack for always electrifying theatre audiences with his special brand of magic.

For more information, contact the box office at 570-389-440; or visit www.bloomu.edu/CAS.