WMPAC: A Winter Season worth celebrating

Warren Miller Performing Arts Center offers nine shows in 10th season

On Stage

Every fall, the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center (WMPAC) in Big Sky announces the eight shows that make up its signature Winter Season. This year is different for two reasons: first, it’s the center’s 10th anniversary, which is a milestone worth celebrating.

James Sewell Ballet returns to WMPAC with the acclaimed Ahn Trio.
James Sewell Ballet returns to WMPAC with the acclaimed Ahn Trio.Photo © James Sewell Ballet

Second, WMPAC is putting on nine shows this winter. “There were just too many acts that we were excited about, and we figured this milestone year is a perfect excuse to go all out,” said John Zirkle, WMPAC’s executive director.

This season will see a stand-up comedian, taiko drummers, and a live taping of an NPR podcast, among others.

The 2023 season actually kicks off in the last few days of 2022, when mandolin prodigy Sierra Hull takes the stage for two shows, 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28. Hull debuted at the Grand Ol’ Opry at just 10 years old, played Carnegie Hall at 12, and the White House at 20. She was the first woman to ever win IBMA’s Mandolin Player of the Year and has gone on to win it several times since.

She’s followed on Jan. 7 by another double header, this time by stand-up comedian Chad Daniels, who riffs on parenthood, aging, and what it feels like to be an American these days during shows at 6 and 8 p.m. He’s garnered almost a billion streams of his six albums so far, making him one of the most listening to comics of all time.

WMPAC often hosts dancers on its stage, and this year two groups from different sides of the dance world will perform. The perennial favorite James Sewell Ballet returns for their tenth winter, this year pairing again with classical musicians the Ahn Trio for a collaborative performance of music and movement on March 11. WMPAC will also welcome a troupe of movement artists on Feb. 25 for a night of Memphis Jookin’, the distinctly American form of street dance that’s become an international phenomenon.

On Jan. 21, Mexican jazz singer and sensation Magos Herrera will be joined by modern string quartet Brooklyn Rider, as the group tours their Grammy-nominated album Dreamers.

A new type of show on display in WMPAC’s 10th season will be a live taping of the hit NPR show Planet Money. The hosts of the show find creative, entertaining, and accessible ways to explain the craziness of the economy, and will do so with a live studio audience on Feb. 11.

On March 5, the critically acclaimed group The Acting Company brings the swashbuckling classic The Three Musketeers to Big Sky on their national tour.

TAIKOPROJECT is a group of drummers who practice the ancient art of Japanese taiko drumming but blend it with an innovative aesthetic. The group has performed on the Academy Awards, the Grammy Awards, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Conan, and at the iHeartRadio music festival. They bring the passion and power of their sound to Big Sky on March 16.

The 10th season will close with a local favorite, Jitro Czech Girls Choir. The choir first performed at WMPAC in 2016 and were scheduled to perform again in March of 2020 before COVID restrictions closed the theater’s doors. They make their much-anticipated return on March 25.

Tickets and more information are available at warrenmillerpac.org.