Jerry Seinfeld, Jeff Foxworthy and Jay Leno are all coming to Tyler.

The headliner comedians are among the acts booked for the Cowan Center’s upcoming 20th anniversary season.

Susan Thomae-Morphew, director of the performance hall at The University of Texas at Tyler, unveiled the season during a luncheon on Thursday.

In all, the season will include 20 performances - one which will be revealed later - including comedy acts, Broadway shows, musicians and singers and specialty stage shows that blend genres.

Two of the shows, Foxworthy and the two-man comedy “Greater Tuna,” make up the Encore Celebration Series. These are shows that previously have played at the Cowan during its first 19 years.

Also coming are touring shows “Pippin,” “42nd Street” and “Dirty Dancing;” performers Jackie Evancho, Jim Brickman and the duo Black Violin; specialty shows Cirque Dreams Holidaze, The Aluminum Show, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo and The Illusionists Live From Broadway; and speakers Ben Carson and Charles Krauthammer.

The Arts in Education Series will include Black Violin, Bill Blagg’s the Science of Magic and ArcAttack.

Mrs. Thomae-Morphew described The Aluminum Show as “Stomp meets The Blue Man Group.” The season’s brochure said it combines “visual theater, dance and humor into an exciting multi-sensory experience.”

The video clip for Cirque Dreams Holidaze shows a holiday scene in which things like gingerbread men and ornaments come to life and create a backdrop for acrobatics and performers doing gravity-defying feats.

“I have been trying to book it for years,” Mrs. Thomae-Morphew said.

Jackie Evancho, a teenager who sings both opera and pop music, first gained recognition as a contestant on the TV show “America’s Got Talent.”

“She has a glorious voice,” Mrs. Thomae-Morphew said, adding that the center could only book her for a weekend performance, because she is still in high school.

Pianist Jim Brickman’s An Evening of Romance show is booked for Valentine’s Day.

“Date night!” she suggested to those in attendance.

Mrs. Thomae-Morphew said the center will take opportunities during the anniversary season to honor those “who have got us this far,” including entertainers who have performed there and since have died, such as dancer Gregory Hines and bluesman B.B. King.

“It has been a wonderful journey,” she said.

The center is encouraging patrons to send them e-mails concerning their favorite Cowan Center memories over the years.

The season runs from September through April 2017.

More information about each act as well as how to buy tickets is available on the venue’s website,


Performing Arts Series

• The Aluminum Show, Oct. 29

• Cirque Dreams Holidaze, Dec. 1

• Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Feb. 21, 2017

• The Illusionists: Live from Broadway, March 9, 2017


Broadway Series

• “Pippin,” Jan. 31, 2017

• “42nd Street,” March 2, 2017

• “Dirty Dancing,” March 21-22, 2017


Encore Celebration Series

• Jeff Foxworthy, Oct. 22

• “Greater Tuna,” April 7, 2017


Braithwaite Intimate Gathering Series

-- Jackie Evancho, Jan. 21, 2017

-- Jim Brickman – An Evening of Romance, Feb. 14, 2017


Special Events

-- Jerry Seinfeld, Sept. 15

-- Jay Leno, Feb. 4, 2017

--Black Violin, April 11, 2017


Distinguished Lecture Special Series

-- Ben Carson, Sept. 27

-- Charles Krauthammer, Oct. 25 (speaking at Maude Cobb Center in Longview)


Arts in Education Series

-- Bill Blagg’s the Science of Magic, Nov. 17

-- ArtAttack, Feb. 17, 2017

-- Black Violin, April 11, 2017




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