Broad Stage Joins Forces with Major International Arts & Culture Institutions
The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center today announced its fourth season, highlighting new twists in its performing arts series, fresh multimedia educational events, and the creation of exciting new artistic partnerships. The popular Summer Season also makes its return with celebrated theater, film and music artists and open-air parties on the plaza of the state-of-the-art modernist arts complex in Santa Monica. In addition, Season 4 increases to 174 performances, two U.S. Premieres, three West Coast Premieres and seven Los Angeles Premieres encompassing visionary artists in Shakespearean, American and avant-garde theater; legends and rising stars of Broadway, opera, jazz, world, classical and new music; the new multimedia lecture series and film.
Summer Season kicks off on July 12, 2011 when Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival hosts its star-laden Centerpiece Gala and film premiere. Following this the official 2011-2012 season begins September 25, 2011 with The Broad Stage's 3rd AnnuAl Westside Jazz Experience, attracting longtime connoisseurs and a new generation of jazz artists and audiences. Pat Metheny is the first of five headliners appearing throughout the season, including legendary and new stars in The Broad's celebration of the great American art form.
Building on a programming vision embracing a variety of genres, generations and global influences, the 499-seat theater and its 99-seat companion, The Edye Second Space, "are now part of far-reaching, forward thinking relationships with other artists and institutions looking to leap forward into the future together," announced director Dale Franzen, joined by artistic advisory board chair Dustin Hoffman, and board of directors chair Austin Beutner.
"We are particularly proud in The Broad Stage's fourth season to become the new Los Angeles home for productions coming out of London's Menier Chocolate Factory and the Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC)," continued the announcement by the three leaders. "These two new presenting partnerships are among several new and on-going artistic relationships that bring the world to the Westside. Both are celebrated as artistic lightning rods and cultural bellwethers for a new era while also being led by artistic directors, David Babani at Menier Chocolate Factory and Mikhail Baryshnikov at BAC, whose own careers have revolutionized the performing arts. Together we are turning vision into reality, nurturing and presenting world-class artists and their most inspired work."
A special ticket package invites audiences to experience four different performances by The Broad's new partners. From July 13-August 7, 2011, The Menier Chocolate Factory presents the U.S.Premiere of Guy Hollingworth's acclaimed solo showThe Expert at the Card Table directed by Neil Patrick Harris in The Edye Second Space. BAC presents the U.S. Premiere of In Paris - A Play April 12-22, 2012 for twelve performances, featuring Baryshnikov as actor; the West Coast Premiere of Spectral Scriabin on March 17, 2012, a multimedia piano and light experience; and the West Coast Premiere of BAC @ The Broad: The Chamber Music Project on March 8, 2012 with violinists Geoff Nuttall and Livia Sohn, violist Hsin-Yun Huang, cellist Nina Maria Lee and pianist Pedja Muzijevic. The program will include Telemann's Gulliver's Suite for 2 violins; Berger's Sink or Swim for solo violin; Schumann's Novelette and Faure's Piano Quartet in G Minor.
Oscar-winner Helen Hunt and the MacArthur Award winning director David Cromer triumph in the West Coast Premiere of this landmark production of Thornton Wilder's Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town that is "David Cromer's rethinking of Thornton Wilder's masterpiece is A LANDMARK" (Wall Street Journal)." The Broad Stage will re-mount the play and physically transform the theater, allowing for only 325 seats so that the audience and actors are at one level, to bring Grover's Corners, the play's every town U.S.A., truly home. "We invite the audience to come and experience The Broad Stage in a completely unique and different way that will add to the value of this production" says Franzen. Oscar-winner Hunt as the Stage Manager leads many of the original Chicago/New York cast in stripping away the myth and artifice to reveal what counts in Our Town and in ourselves. Opens January 13th through February 12th, 2012.
In addition to these now-official partnerships, returning companies with new productions include Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (The Comedy of Errors, November 12-27, 2011) and Impro Theatre (Jane Austen Unscripted, December 3-18, 2011). Also coming back by popular demand are Saturday Morning Mash-Ups, multi-media mixes of classical music and spoken word slam that is a hit for all ages.
First-time presenting partners in Season 4 include Outfest, the oldest continuous film festival in Los Angeles, celebrating LGBT cinema (July 12, 2011), and National Geographic Live, the live events division of the National Geographic Society, whose multimedia lectures from explorers, innovators and naturalists (December 1, 2011; February 16, 2012; March 15, 2012; May 3, 2012) comprise a new educational initiative called Brain Hikes, a series of multimedia arts and education events for all ages.
The Broad Stage is honored to participate in Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. On November 5, 2011 we will have two screenings of the documentary Troubadours followed by a live performance and conversation led by director Morgan Neville. Troubadours traces Carole King, James Taylor and the singer/songwriter scene in Los Angeles during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film also interweaves theintriguing story of the world famous Troubadour club that cemented their musical legacy.
"The artistic and educational mission of The Broad Stage is stronger this year because it is needed more than ever," declared board chair Beutner. "As the Los Angeles Times recently reported, there is a solid body of research linking arts education to gains in overall educational achievement. Underestimating the value of arts education not only compromises the success of America's youth, but also limits their possibilities. The Broad is strengthening its educational programming and outreach this season with our new Brain Hikes, featuring the National Geographic Society; and with the return of Saturday Morning Mash-Ups, an introduction to classical music and spoken word. The Broad Stage will continue to be a strong advocate of the arts and to make the arts accessible to new generations."
"As an semi-alumnus of Santa Monica College I know how the arts can help young people discover the world as well as themselves," explainEd Hoffman. "Exposure to the arts gave me a life. As artistic advisory chair for The Broad Stage I couldn't be prouder of what we're doing to foster lifelong cultural engagement through these new presenting partnerships, our world-class artists and educational programming and outreach. Season 4 is all about fulfilling that goal."
Committed since its grand opening in 2008 to bringing international stars, local luminaries, award-winning productions and visionary new talent to the Westside, The Broad Stage has quickly become a fixture in the cultural ecology of the region. The new season delivers U.S. premieres of new works, popular returning artists and bold new discoveries in music, theater, and film, including exclusive performances in Southern California.
The Broad's Summer Season is sure to make an impression, starting with Outfest's Centerpiece Gala on July 12th. Two major theater events follow in July: Anna Deavere Smith 's Let Me Down Easy, July 20th - July 31st, and The Menier Chocolate Factory's The Expert at the Card Table July 13th- August 7th, 2011.
Let Me Down Easy, conceived, written and performed by Anna Deavere Smith is her first solo show in a decade. Constructed from verbatim interview transcripts -- as was her unforgettable Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 about the LA riots -- Smith first turns her trenchant humor and humanistic vision to the 'fragility and resilience of the human body,' before entering into a poetic and emotionally brilliant testimonial on health, disease and death.
Some of the most exciting theater coming out of London is originating at The Menier Chocolate Factory and The Expert at the Card Table is no exception. Written and performed by sleight-of-hand master Guy Hollingworth 2008 Magician of the Year and directed by protean talent Neil Patrick Harris, this acclaimed adaptation of a notorious, anonymously-penned 1902 book gob-smacked audiences with its tale of two boys whose childhood love of card tricks turns in adulthood into a deadly game of trickery and deceit when they reach adulthood.
The Summer Season would not be complete without music and July 14th brings together Grammy winning neo-soul diva India.Arie and Israeli keyboardist/composer Idan Raichel in their only Los Angeles appearance. Their performances at the Nobel Peace Ceremony in Oslo and at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. galvanized audiences with their message of acceptance and unity.
Music is front and center in the official fourth season as well. New twists on chamber music are to be found in From Mozart to Multimedia: A Chamber Music Celebration, featuring five distinct visions for the musical experience. The West Coast Premiere of Portalskicks off the celebration with violin superstar Tim Fain performing Partita for Solo Violin a piece that modernist icon Philip Glass composed especially for him. This multimedia event features video choreography by Benjamin Millepied, the dance visionary behind the Oscar-winning film BLACK SWAN. The Tokyo String Quartet on March 3rd, 2012 will perform on the Paganini Quartet, a group of renowned Stradivarius instruments perfectly suited to performing Mozart's Quartet in G Major, K. 387; Szymanowski's Quartet No. 1 in C Major, Op. 37; and Dvorak's Quartet in G Major, Op. 106. Then Antonio Lysy joins us again for Music from Argentina program, April 29, 2012. It was The Broad Stage where this cellist extraordinaire recorded the album Antonio Lysy at The Broad: Music from Argentina, including the song that won the 2010 Latin Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
The return of the 3rd AnnuAl Westside Jazz Experience is a gift to jazz lovers with a track record for attracting the genre's giants and introducing its future stars. Last season Esperanza Spalding, 2011 Grammy winner for Best New Artist, took our breath away. This year we're introducing to the Westside fresh faces like Hiromi, the Brad Mehldau Trio, and the James Farm Band featuring Joshua Redman, as well as showcasing jazz great Pat Metheny. World Roots & Rhythms brings sounds from other cultures, including Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura, Israel's Yuval Ron Ensemble and gospel hybrid Lizz Wright to liven up the Westside.
Holidays at the Broad! Who doesn't love to deck the halls? So put on that reindeer sweater from Santa Claus and join humorist Harry Shearer (KCRW's Le Show; television's The Simpsons) and Judith Owen, his singer/songwriter wife, for their annual family-friendly holiday debauch. What began as a private gathering of friends and family in their Los Angeles home has become an international delight of music and mirth. And like any good holiday party there are always surprise guests, with previous Sing-A-Longs attracting Jane Lynch (Glee), Christopher Guest (Spinal Tap) and "Weird" Al Yankovich December 16th, 2011. Then, pop the champagne and break out the bling! The beloved jazz group Manhattan Transfer mixes the fizzy holiday spirits of jazz's past, present and future with their famous vocal licks and swinging showmanship -- December 17th and 18th, 2011.
The Broad Stage transforms itself into the biggest little opera house in the world with Opera Arias: The Shining Stars of Opera in Recital. Opera lovers will swoon to hear Simon Keenlyside, Karita Mattila, and Piotr Beczala perform arias from their most celebrated roles as well as explore the repertoire in new ways, all making their Los Angeles recital debuts. The young winners of the Music Academy of the West's Marilyn Horne Song Competition will also be in recital to showcase new talent. And the return of the family-friendly Saturday Morning Mash-Ups turns conductor Rachael Worby loose in the concert hall with her invigorating and imaginative interpretations of pieces including Saint-Saens Carnival of the Animals, excerpts from Marin Alsop's Too Hot to Handel, and Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf. Incorporating elements of poetry slam poetry, audience participation and traditional orchestra experience, Worby, her orchestra, and her spoken word artists packed the house last year with children, teens and adults experiencing classical music for the first time - or at least she made it seem so. Saturday Morning Mash-Ups' take place on September 5th, November 15th and December 10th, 2011.
The Broad season wouldn't be complete without Showstoppers - From Broadway to The Broad. The Tony Award-winning stars of the Great White Way taking the spotlight this year include Brian Stokes Mitchell (Ragtime, Man of La Mancha) on March 10th and 11th, 2012; and composer/performer Jason Robert Brown (Parade) on March 31st; joined by special guest Anika Noni Rose, star of stage and screen (Caroline, or Change, Dreamgirls).
The Theatrics are also in the spotlight again this season. The Broad Stage marks the U.S. Premiere of In Paris - A Play featuring ballet legend and avant-garde performer Mikhail Baryshnikov and Anna Sinyakina, leading actress in the Laboratory of director Dmitry Krymov. Based on a 1940 short story by Russian writer Ivan Bunin and performed entirely in Russian with projected translations, this meditation on loneliness and loss, using great physicality and extraordinary movement, is one of three offerings this season originating at the Baryshnikov Art Center, The Broad's new presenting partner.
Returning to The Broad for its third year, November 12th - November 27th, is the crowd-pleasing troupe from Shakespeare's Globe Theater in a hectic and hilarious new production of The Comedy of Errors. Impro Theatre is also returning with the always-new improvisational comedy Jane Austen Unscripted combining the high-wire hilarity of improv comedy with the high-brow wit of true Austen lovers on, December 3rd-December 18th, 2011 The December 9, 2011 performance is an invitation-only affair for Broad Stage members featuring a "veddy, veddy" unserious high tea.
This year audiences are invited to take a Brain Hike with major thought leaders, significant explorers or cultural iconoclasts as they take you to new vistas through discussions, multimedia presentations on HD film, and first-hand accounts of the road less traveled. The Los Angeles National Geographic Live speakers include Brian Skerry, renowned underwater photographer and author of the forthcoming book Ocean Soul; Spencer Wells, National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence revealing new scientific findings from The Genographic Project where DNA is used to create a genetic snapshot that maps human migration before modern-day influences erase the path forever; Annie Griffiths, one of the first woman photographers for National Geographic, using her photo memoir of more than 100 countries in a warm and humorous account of her search for balance and the joy of creating a meaningful life; and biodiversity and sustainability advocate Mattias Klum, one of the world's top natural history filmmakers, providing an eloquent adventure travelogue and illuminating roadmap for the revolution in values, leadership, technology, governance and lifestyles needed to meet the challenges that face us and our Earth.
To experience The Broad Stage's 2011-2012 Season, showcasing the full spectrum of performing arts; the music, theater and film of the 2011 Summer Season; the series of multimedia lectures; Our Town with Helen Hunt; Saturday Morning Mash-Up family events; and the first offerings from Baryshnikov Art Center and Menier Chocolate Factory, The Broad's new presenting partners, go to www.TheBroadStage.com or call 310.434.3200. Tickets for the Summer Season are on sale now. Priority tickets for Broad Stage members are on sale now for 2011/12 season. Tickets for non-members go on sale July 1st, 2011 and single tickets go on sale August 6, 2011.