LA CROSSE, Wis. – The music and story of the great Ray Charles will be brought to vivid life through the concert and theatre work Ray on My Mind: Tribute to Ray Charles at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28 in the Viterbo University Fine Arts Center Main Theatre.
Portraying Ray Charles, master pianist/vocalist Kenny Brawner leads his 11-piece orchestra and three sultry vocalists (a la the Raelettees), performing this American legend’s most popular hits, including What’d I Say?, I Got A Woman, Mess Around, Georgia On My Mind, and a blazing hot duet on Baby It’s Cold Outside. The music is interwoven with monologues depicting how gospel, blues, jazz, and country influenced Ray’s style, while also reflecting on American social history, his epic battle with drugs, and his triumphant return home to Georgia.
Ray On My Mind assembles an orchestra of profoundly accomplished musicians whose performances are ingrained in American popular culture. Members of the orchestra have been heard prolifically on Broadway, Off-Broadway, film, and television. They have performed all over the world and recorded with a diverse range of influential musical giants, including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Count Basie Orchestra, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Darius Rucker, Jennifer Hudson, Sonny Rollins, Big Daddy Kane, and Bo Diddley.
This performance is supported by WKBT News 8 and in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets are $39 for main floor, $35 for lower balcony, and $29 for upper balcony seating, plus taxes and fees. For more information or to order tickets, contact the Viterbo box office at 608-796-3100 or visit www.viterbo.edu/tickets.