Chautauqua Institution season opens this weekend

CHAUTAUQUA – Chautauqua Institu-tion proudly announces esteemed American author Roger Rosenblatt as headlining speaker during Week One of the 2014 Season, which kicks off today and concludes on June 27. This year, the season begins this weekend and ends Aug. 24.

Chautauqua Institution’s annual summer season features morning and afternoon lectures focusing on weekly cultural themes.

The 2014 Week One morning lecture theme is “Roger Rosenblatt and Friends,” while the afternoon Interfaith Lecture Series theme is “The Fourth Gospel: Tales of Jewish Mystic,” featuring five lectures by retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong. Both lecture series are offset with various art and entertainment events that support the main cultural themes and appeal to diverse interests.

Rosenblatt’s daily conversations will be held at 10:45 a.m. in the centrally located Amphitheater.

The author of 2013’s The Boy Detective: A New York Childhood, he is the winner of a Robert F. Kennedy Book Prize, a Peabody Award, an Emmy and two George Polk Awards. In addition to being a celebrated author, he writes essays for Time magazine and for the “PBS NewsHour.”

Rosenblatt will be joined by noteworthy storytellers: former “NBC Nightly News” anchor Tom Brokaw (Monday); Booker Prize-winning author Margaret Atwood (Tuesday); Pulitzer Prize-winning author Elizabeth Strout (Wednesday); Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Jules Feiffer (Thursday); and New Yorker poetry editor Paul Muldoon (Friday).

Held at 2 p.m. in the Hall of Philosophy, afternoon lecture themes often complement the themes of the morning lectures but capture a different angle of vision. For this year’s opening week, John Shelby Spong will intrigue guests as he explores “The Fourth Gospel: Tales of Jewish Mystic.” Spong was the Episcopal bishop of Newark, N.J., for 24 years.

Chautauqua Institution will showcase various performing arts in the evenings throughout the week. For Week One, guests will be welcomed with the music of the famed Swedish group ABBA, performed by tribute group Arrival from Sweden, sure to delight all ages. The concert will be held at 8:15 p.m. today, in the Amphitheater.

Opening week festivities continue excitement with the amazing, acrobatic performance of Galumpha, whose stunning performance was recently seen on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” MTV and Showtime. The acrobats will take stage in the Amphitheater at 7:30 p.m. on June 23.

On Friday, A Raisin in the Sun will debut at 8 p.m. in Bratton Theater The musical, set in Chicago’s South Side, is the groundbreaking drama that charts three generations of the Youngers, an African-American family trying to find their footing in a racially segregated world. The show will run until July 6.

A lively musical performance from the Canadian Brass will grace the Amphitheater stage at 8:15 p.m. June 23. The live excitement continues in the Amphitheater on June 24, with Valerie Capers Jazz Ensemble and on June 26, with Chautauqua Dance Salon; both performances begin at 8:15 p.m. Under the Streetlamp will delight audiences with a memorable vocal performance at 8:15 p.m. on June 27, also in the Amphitheater.

Day tickets are available for purchase at the Main Gate Welcome Center Ticket Office on the day of your visit. Morning tickets grant visitors access to the grounds from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. for $22. Afternoon tickets grant access from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $14. Combined morning /afternoon passes allow access from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and cost $36. Evening passes grant access from 4 p.m. to midnight and cost $40. For tickets and information, click here or call 357-6250.