Last Modified: Thursday, July 30, 2015 at 6:20 p.m.
WILMINGTON -- Singer and actress Liza Minnelli will kick off the inaugural performance season of Cape Fear Community College's Humanities and Fine Arts Center, director Shane Fernando announced Thursday.
The season announcement was made during the CFCC Board of Trustees meeting. The opening week will begin Oct. 3 with a black-tie gala featuring Minnelli with the North Carolina Symphony.
The center, along with a Star Series, also will include a contemporary dance series and a Broadway series.
On Oct. 5 and 6, the center will present Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," the first of three touring Broadway shows.
Other Broadway shows in the series include "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" on Feb. 25 and "Mamma Mia" on May 3 and 4.
Some of the Star Series guests will include singers Boz Scaggs and Jackson Browne, as well as actor and comedian Lily Tomlin.
Fernando said he and the center's staff have worked to provide a variety of performances.
“We have pulled out all the stops for the center's opening week,” he said. “From classical music, to avant garde, to Disney on Broadway, we have something for everyone at a variety of price points.”
CFCC President Amanda Lee said the new center is going to change Wilmington and will complement what the city already has.
As the announcements were listed, board members were outwardly enthusiastic when such names as Minnelli and Scaggs were listed. Lee, who is most excited about "Beauty and the Beast," said she thinks the community will have a similar reaction to the announcement.
"It was wonderful to sit here with people smiling and taking notes and laughing because everybody got so excited about it, and I think the entire community is going to respond that way," she said. "This is going to be a destination that we are all going to be able to enjoy."
Following the opening gala, the North Carolina Symphony will open its official season Oct. 4 at the center with a "Russian Spectacular" classical music performance.
The center's opening week wraps up Oct. 10 with Artsplosion!, a free festival celebrating the official main stage curtain being raised for the first time, the release said.
Tickets for Cape Fear Stage productions will go on sale beginning Aug. 10 at capefearstage.com or in person at the temporary box office at CFCC's storefront, 254 N. Front St.