Classic rocker Peter Frampton is just one of the acts highlighting the 2015-2016 NPAC schedule announced Wednesday. (Photo submitted)
Classic rocker Peter Frampton is just one of the acts highlighting the 2015-2016 NPAC schedule announced Wednesday. (Photo submitted)

BY ED GEBERT

DHI Media Editor

egebert@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - The annual announcement came Wednesday. The Niswonger Performing Arts Center, along with season sponsors, Statewide Ford Lincoln and Van Wert Federal Savings Bank, unveiled a 26-event mega-hit season. The bold and colorful line up is completely filled with musical artistry, engaging speakers, illusion, dance, and rock legends. A crowd of nearly 200 crowded into the First Federal Lecture Hall to hear the news.

The season opens on Sun. September 20 with country music sensation, Scotty McCreery. As a teenager, McCreery made a name for himself on American Idol with his deep voice and easy personality. He has already cold 2.5 million albums and debuted three consecutive albums at the top of the Billboard chart.

Up next is a talk from Ohio State football legend Chris Spielman who will speak of his gridiron days and the 12-year battle he shared with his wife Stefanie with breast cancer. Spielman will appear on September 28.

October 10 will be a magical evening with Mike Super. The illusionist has won a national televised contest for magicians and was a finalist on America’s Got Talent last season. Super’s entertaining show will hit the Niswonger stage on Saturday night, March 10.

The excitement of the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be presented in two performances on October 17. The Biblical story comes to life as the favorite son goes from the bottom to the very top in Egypt.

The following weekend, classic rock legend Peter Frampton brings his acoustic tour, Raw, to Van Wert for an October 24 show. Rising out of the ashes of the group Humble Pie in the early 1970s, Frampton released the ultimate live rock album in 1976, Frampton Comes Alive! This special show will span Frampton’s massive career.

Speaking of raw, kids’ favorites the VeggieTales gang will present a live show on November 10. Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, Junior Asparagus, and their friends will present, “Little Guys Do Big Things Too” in a special 7 p.m. show. And yes the Veggies will sing.

People everywhere fell in love with Jersey Boys, the Broadway musical hit. Now the primary cast members have formed a singing group, The Midtown Men, bringing classic songs from the 60s and 70s with their own interpretations. The Midtown Men show will be November 14.

On November 24 and 25, the smash hit musical Mamma Mia! will energize local audiences with a trip down memory lane with the music of 70s group ABBA and a story straight out of today.

The holiday season is always a special time at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center of Northwest Ohio. 2015-16 will be no exception with offerings from Christian/rock band Mercy Me (Dec. 5), saxophonist Dave Koz and Friends (Dec. 6), country acoustic group Home Free (Dec. 12), Christian singer David Phelps (Dec. 13), and fiddlers the DuPue Brothers (Dec. 17).

A country voice on the rise, Craig Wayne Boyd, will kick off 2016 at the Niswonger, Saturday night, January 23. Boyd was the winner of season seven of The Voice and is attracting a larger following every day.

The hit musical, Million Dollar Quartet hits the stage in Van Wert on Sunday evening January 31 at 7:30 p.m. The show recreates the recording session that brought together Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Records studios in 1956. The singers tear through numerous early rock-and-roll classics that will keep audience members moving.

The traditional Valentine’s show at the Niswonger again brings classic romantic songs to the stage. The incredible tenor voice of Russell Hitchcock and the songs of Graham Russell will bring back memories of the 1970s. Air Supply hits the Niswonger stage on Saturday night, February 13.

One of pop, country, and gospels most successful artists, B. J. Thomas, will perform along with the Lima Symphony Orchestra on February 27. Thomas began making hits 47 years ago, and his voice is sure to stir some memories.

On the speaker lineup is Luke Zamperini, who will speak on Sunday, March 6, Zamperini is the son of Louis Zamperini, one of the most well-known prisoners of World War II and subject of the book and the movie, Unbroken. He will bring the stories of his father’s survival to the Niswonger audience.

Christian vocalist Natalie Grant will be playing on Sunday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. in a special show. The distinctive sounds of the group Libera will fill the NPAC on April 3. Jazz artist Brian Culbertson returns to Van Wert on Saturday night, April 30 to close out the 2015-16 Niswonger season.

Events previously announced for next season at the NPAC include Ethan Bortnick on November 1, the Wellington International Ukelele Orchestra on March 3, Riders in the Sky’s salute to Roy Rogers on April 15, and the sounds of Texas Tenors on April 17.

Sales for the 2015-16 season begin now for members. Find out more about membership by contacting the Niswonger (NPACVW.ORG / 419-238-6722). The Niswonger offers buying solutions that help you get more of the entertainment you want and save you money. The entire Grand Series can be purchased for as low as $400 beginning July 1. Select Series (bundling 3 or more events and saving 10-15%) sales begins July 8. Single ticket sales for individual shows typically go on sale 60-90 days prior to each event. Events are known to sell out quickly. Bundling events to purchase prior to individual show release dates helps patrons avoid getting sold out of a choice show.

The Niswonger is coloring the world with entertainment one event at a time. Season catalogs are arriving by mail this week and the Niswonger website is brimming with season information. The Box Office is open Tue-Fri from Noon - 4 PM. Enjoy and share the ride of the 2015-16 Niswonger season. The Niswonger Performing Arts Center is located at 10700 St. Rd. 118 S, Van Wert, Ohio.