Norton Center season finishes with gaming and mayhem

Published 7:00 am Monday, April 25, 2022

The Norton Center for the Arts welcomes zany performances in The Queen’s Cartoonists on April 29, followed by Fifth House Ensemble: Journey Live (May 6) and Kat Edmonson (May 14).

All three performances to finish the Norton Center season have lovable quirks — The Queen’s Cartoonists perform music with your favorite Saturday morning cartoons behind them; Fifth House Ensemble performs the award-winning score to the video game Journey while the game is being played live on stage; Kat Edmonson mixes Disney songs into her vintage pop-jazz vocals.

“We may be nearing the end of our season but the best is yet to come!” Executive Director Steve Hoffman said. “I am especially excited for the family-friendly Queen’s Cartoonists and Fifth House Ensemble shows because I grew up learning about classical and jazz music through cartoons and video games.  It’s probably how most of us got turned on to some great music. So, let’s celebrate spring by reliving our youth or turning today’s youth on to some great music and animation! Tickets start at just $19!”

The Queen’s Cartoonists bring the mayhem, performing synchronized music from classic cartoons like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd,, Popeye, and Betty Boop. They also perform to contemporary animation like The Simpsons, leading the audience through a world of virtuosic musicianship and multi-instrumental mayhem.

“The Queen’s Cartoonists were one of the first performances on the schedule for a COVID-canceled 2020-21 season, and we need their light and fun show more than ever,” Hoffman said. “They say it’s a performance for ages 6 to 106 and I couldn’t agree more. Bring the family!”

Families will also enjoy a trip to see Fifth House Ensemble perform Journey, live on stage. Journey is a non-violent, critically-acclaimed adventure video game that first came out on Playstation 3. The music received a Grammy-nomination in the very first Video Game Composition category.

“Fifth House Ensemble has performed this piece many times, including at national video game conventions,” Hoffman said. “Their music will be impacted by whomever is playing the game live on stage. It’s never the same and something not to miss live!”

Finally, Kat Edmonson rounds out the season — another performer who was on the schedule to a COVID-shortened 2020. Edmonson performs with “lighter than air” vocals, featuring a pop style mixed with jazz for an unmistakable sound.

“Kat Edmonson is an artist who has performed with Norton Center favorites like Lyle Lovett and Willie Nelson,” Hoffman said. “She’s so comfortable on stage and the intimate atmosphere in Weisiger Theatre will be perfect for her sweet and infectious vocals to shine.”

Tickets are available at nortoncenter.com or by calling the box office at 859-236-4692. The lobby, featuring artwork by Siona Benjamin, is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and before each performance.

About the Norton Center for the Arts

With an annual visitation reaching over 50,000, Centre College’s Norton Center for the Arts is home to a world-class annual performing arts series of professional touring artists. Site of both the 2000 and 2012 Vice Presidential Debates, the Center serves as a college and community showplace for such top national—and international—acts as Dolly Parton, Yo-Yo Ma, ZZ Top, and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; along with Broadway musicals, international dance and theatre companies, and a lineup of award-winning culturally and ethnically diverse global artists. Since its opening in 1973, the internationally recognized performing arts center has helped make Danville, Kentucky a “powerhouse palace of culture” (Louisville Courier Journal).

Great performances are just the beginning of the Norton Center experience. The non-profit educational arts organization provides opportunities for Centre students—and the entire community—to creatively explore the complexities and connectedness of the human story while engaging directly with touring and local artists through jam sessions, panel discussions, workshops, masterclasses, and social events every season. In addition to the performing arts, the Norton Center boasts an expansive display of visual art and sculpture year-round, along with a rotating schedule of special exhibitions.