|Michigan State University Wharton Center for Performing Arts|
Earlier today, we went to the Michigan State University Wharton Center for Performing Arts to see a Broadway show. It is not the first time we've been to the Wharton Center, and each time we visit, I think how nice it is as a facility.
|Getting artsy outside of the Wharton. :)|
As a Michigan State graduate myself, I am proud of what the institution brings to the community. They provide more programs for the good of others than I could possibly cover in one space, including Seats 4 Kids, a scholarship fund that provides tickets to children otherwise unable to attain them. Cool, right?
As a resident of the state, I love it even more. The center opened in 1982, and is Michigan's largest performing arts venue with four unique stages, all that host many sold-out shows and productions. They are the leading presenting venue among Big 10 institutions (Go State!), having the largest programming schedule of any independent performing arts center (over 100 performances a season!) affiliated with a university in the country.
|Everywhere you look you'll see something that indicates|
you're in a place that fosters creativity (and that's a great thing!).
The Wharton Center is also recognized internationally for their world premier commissions, "The Center is fortunate to hire artists to create new works in jazz, dance, and classical music that make a world debut at Wharton Center."
I'm not surprised...everywhere you look, both inside and outside of the center you get a feel for their love of the performing arts, and creativity. It is truly and environment where one could easily thrive.
|The parking garage is attached to the building...so nice/convenient in the city!|
There is also ample seating inside and outside of the venue.
In addition to the venue offering so so sooooo many great performances (seriously, just take a glance at their upcoming events and you'll see what I mean), they have also thoughtfully designed the building. Right from the get-go they offer the convenience of a huge parking garage on the property, with ample seating right next to it. I love the outside seating options, and can't remember seeing that at any other venue.
|Looking up to the second floor...where people are also looking down. :)|
The inside was just huge, but still well-designed and welcoming. It was hard for me to take pictures in the lobby because the show we went to (The Blue Man Group, which incidentally, was really fun!) was packed...and even arriving early there were people everywhere. Still and the same, while getting pictures (without people in them) was a little tough, it didn't feel uncomfortably crowded in any way.
|The venue offered a lot seating and showcased art was along this (very long) wall.|
It made visiting before and/or after the show a breeze!
The extra large lobby space allowed for a showcasing of art, and afforded many opportunities for patrons to sit down and visit as well. The couch pictured above was one of many running alongside an entire (very long) wall.
|Just a sampling of advertising that was on display.|
Do you see Fly Guy?!?!?! Oh yes, I was excited to see that Fly Guy is coming...
that was the very first book my son read on his own, so he's an absolute favorite. :)
There were advertisement posters both inside and outside of the building. These (pictured above) were inside, just as we came through the door. There are a lot of upcoming performances that we would love to see including the Moscow City Ballet's Swan Lake, Harry Connick, Jr., and the 2 Cellos (they play rock music on their Cellos!), but I have to say I was super excited to see Fly Guy is coming too. One of the books from the Fly Guy author was the first my son read on his own, so the whole collection of stories now has a soft spot in our hearts (and on the bookshelf in my son's room).
|Swan Lake! I Love Lucy! and some new shows I haven't heard of too...|
Oh yes, there is a lot to see, do, and look forward to at The Wharton.
I haven't checked availability, but if there are tickets available, I think we might end up buying I Love Lucy! tickets for my in-laws anniversary gift. That's a show they both love, and it'd be a nice way to treat them. They've been married 50+ years, so we do like to spoil them a bit when their anniversary rolls around. That, and the other shows I've mentioned are just a sampling of shows offered at Wharton Center. Take one quick look, and it's easy to see that they really do have something for everyone, no matter the age!
|There was a four-star statue in place on the way out of the venue.|
Though I like the statue, I think they should have added one more...
The Wharton definitely gets a 5-star review from me & the fam.
What's not to love about an establishment that offers so much to so many, in a multitude of ways that begs to be explored? Whether you are looking to watch a performance, or put on a show of your own, I encourage you to check out the Michigan State Wharton Center for Performing Arts in East Lansing, Michigan. The venue gets 5 out of 5 stars from me and my family, and we honestly can't wait to go back.
You can learn more about Wharton Center by visiting their website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and/or Pinterest.