The John Lyman Center for the Performing Arts at Southern Connecticut State University has been the main stage for many big name acts in the entertainment world. Laughs from comedians Kevin Hart and Mike Epps to crowd-rocking concerts featuring rap artists Wale and J. Cole have filled the 1,568 seat auditorium.
This Fall Semester, the John Lyman Center will hold a variety of events, such as S.C.S.U.’s popular jazz series, a welcome back concert for the students and homecoming events according to Larry Tomascak, Director of the John Lyman Center.
“Our popular Jazz series is coming back,” he said. “We also have a ‘Laugh Out Loud’ comedy show, that’ll feature three up and coming comics from New York.”
The Fall Jazz series will feature Richard Elliot, the David Benoit Trio, Keiko Matsui, George Duke and Jonathan Butler Christmas, according to the university website.
“The ‘Laugh Out Loud’ comedy show will feature The Lucas Brothers,” he says, “and Michael Blaustein, from MTV’s Punk’D. This show will be free for all students.”
Also, as a part of the “Laugh Out Loud” event, as stated on the university website, on Saturday, November 3, 2012, Bill Burr will be doing a show that will cost $35 to the general public, $25 for staff members, faculty and active alumni, and $10 for Southern students.
Many students at Southern are looking forward to the most talked about event of the Fall semester, Homecoming, said Tiffany Sanders, a junior education major.
“There is homecoming,” said Tomascak. “We don’t have a lot of info. I’m looking for a comedian but haven’t found the right person yet.”
Comedians like, Brian Regan, Kevin Hart, and Mike Epps are all acts that Tomascak said he would like to bring back to the Lyman Center.
“Anyone who sells out a show,” he said, “I would like to bring back, but it’s hard because they get more popular.”
Without naming names, there are acts that he would like to bring to campus but haven’t been able to yet.
“It happens more often than not,” he says, “We call it in the business ‘hard to deliver.’ Most college acts don’t want to play fixed seat venues and we need the resources; expertise staffing, official dates, etcetera.”
Spring Fest 2012 was one of those times when proper resources were a factor, he said.
Rap artist Fabolous headlining the Spring Fest 2012 concert was a last minute booking but students didn’t waste any time getting their tickets, causing it to be a sold out show.
“We absolutely know what students like. It’s easy to know what the students want,” he said. “You don’t need to do a survey to know everyone likes Lupe Fiasco or Wiz Khalifa.”
Since she’s been a student at Southern, Sanders said the university has put on some pretty good concerts and comedy shows that students seem to be interested in.
“I’ve been to a few of the concerts on campus,” she said, “And the ones I’ve been to have been packed with students. If you don’t get there early, you won’t get a good seat.”
Some of the events students can look forward to for this semester are the Welcome Back concert featuring The New Boyz, Laugh Out Loud Comedy Nights, The Rocky Horror Show featuring the SCSU Crescent Players, and Homecoming events.
“Dan Gediman, author of the best-selling book “This I Believe,” Lorraine Warren, America’s ghost hunter, and Garrison Keillor will also be making appearances at the university this Fall semester,” said Tomascak.