6abc Loves the Arts: The Mann Center

The Mann Center for the Performing Arts is opening for a new summer season with a whole new look.

This marks the first major renovation at the Mann Center since it first opened 43 years ago.

"4,500 new seats, new boxes, video screens, ceiling fans, and heat dissipation system. It's a wow factor," says Catherine Cahill, President & CEO for the Mann Center for the Performing Arts.

Audiences can experience it at Movies at the Mann....with Raiders of the Lost Ark playing those new screens on June 15th. "We are thrilled to be presenting John Williams' spectacular score and of course the Stephen Spielberg special," says Cahill. The Reading Symphony makes its Mann Center debut for the show. "The orchestra plays live perfectly in sync with the actual film," says Cahill.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's Yannick Nezet Seguin (Yah-Neek Nay-zay - Say Gun) has toured the globe... and on June 24th, he'll make his conducting debut on the Mann stage. "Conducting the magnificent Beethoven's 9th symphony," says Cahill.

The first half kicks off with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra ... performing one of Beethoven's famed overtures. "Which really is a reflection of the Mann's commitment to our youth," Cahill says, "Beethoven is a perennial favorite here, complete with fireworks."

On June 27th, NPR's "Wait Wait Don't Tell Me" is back by popular demand. "It's a rollicking comedy radio classic where guest celebrities and folks call in and they talk about the week's news," Cahill says, "It's taped live and then it's broadcast about a week or two later on NPR station. And this is a true national phenomena."

The WDAS Summer Block Party is also a big hit... selling out since 2015. "We have a very terrific R& B Lineup happening here," says Cahill, "Philadelphia native Jill Scott, Jazmine Sullivan, Mase, Musiq Soulchild and DJ D-Nice."

The Mann has musical performances that span all genres in the month of June. "Courtney Barnett. A rock singer, songwriter," says Cahill, "He was the 2017 Grammy winner for best alternative music album."

Lauren Diagle is set to perform on June 21st. "It's a contemporary Christian evening. She's extending her sold out Look Up Child World Tour with a stop here in Philadelphia," says Cahill.

"We're really excited about the diverse program that we're presenting."

The Mann Center's summer season runs thru October 4th. You can find tickets and show times at theartsinphilly.org.
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