CAP UCLA Reveals 2023-24 Inaugural Season at the new UCLA Nimoy Theater

Learn more about the lineup here!

By: Jun. 07, 2023
CAP UCLA Reveals 2023-24 Inaugural Season at the new UCLA Nimoy Theater

UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) has announced the inaugural 2023-24 season at The UCLA Nimoy Theater (The Nimoy), formerly known as The Crest Theatre, a landmark venue in Westwood that has been renovated and transformed into a flexible 300-seat off-campus performing arts space. 

The Nimoy, named in honor of artist, actor, director and philanthropist Leonard Nimoy, is a reimagining of the historic Crest Theatre, which was acquired by UCLA in 2018. This intimately scaled venue will immerse audiences in a profoundly engaging experience of live performance while providing contemporary performing artists from Los Angeles and around the world expanded opportunities to develop and present new work. It is a true home for artists representing a diversity of voices, viewpoints, ideas and creative expressions in music, dance, theater, literary arts, digital media arts and collaborative disciplines.

“The inaugural season at The Nimoy marks a transformative moment in CAP UCLA’s history of presenting live performances by artists from our local creative communities and around the world,” said Brett Steele, dean of UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture. “With the long-awaited opening of The Nimoy, and the completion of The Hammer transformation, UCLA becomes more vital than ever as a cultural hub serving the Westwood neighborhood and communities across greater Los Angeles.” 

“CAP UCLA plays a leading role in the cultural landscape of Los Angeles, and the arrival of The Nimoy will make the arts at UCLA even more integral to the city’s vibrant culture of creative expression,” said Edgar Miramontes, newly appointed executive and artistic director, CAP UCLA. ”To begin my tenure at such an exciting time for the arts at UCLA is a great honor, and I look forward to celebrating the opening of The Nimoy with our audiences and all of the artists performing as part of this historic inaugural season. Thank you to Co-Interim Directors Meryl Friedman and Fred Frumberg for programming an exceptionally remarkable season.” 

CAP UCLA at The Nimoy

The Nimoy's 2023-24 season continues CAP UCLA's legacy of presenting local and global artists across music, dance, theater, literary arts and multidisciplinary collaborations who reflect the diverse and rich tapestry of artistic expression.

Grammy Award-winning poet, spoken word artist and songwriter J. Ivy opens the CAP UCLA season at The Nimoy (September 23) with his singular style of performance poetry. J. Ivy will be joined on stage by singer Tarrey Torrae and local musicians as part of the first installment of Poetry Uncut, a four-part series of curated poetry evenings hosted by J. Ivy and special guest artists (February 3 & 17), culminating in a final poetry jam (April 6). 

Bringing an energetic and culturally rich experience to The Nimoy stage is Ethiocolor (September 29), a dynamic ensemble that blends contemporary influences with traditional instruments and dances of Ethiopia’s Azmari culture; renowned pipa player and pre-eminent ambassador for traditional Chinese music Wu Man (October 15); and the all-female band LADAMA (May 5), whose use of traditional and non-traditional instruments create rousing Latin Alternative music with a modern twist. 

Audiences will experience captivating theatrical performances throughout the season. Omar Offendum’s genre-bridging performance, The Little Syria Show (November 3-4), set against the backdrop of the lower Manhattan neighborhood once known as Little Syria, spans hip-hop, Arabic instrumentation, and ḥakawātī oral storytelling traditions of the Levant, to imagine early 20th-century life in the heart of this Arab-American community. Emmy-winning puppeteer Ronnie Burkett returns to CAP UCLA with an original piece titled Wonderful Joe (May 9-12), about an old man and his dog, and in celebration of The Nimoy’s opening season, acclaimed playwright Daniel Alexander Jones curates an original series for CAP UCLA, Rites of Passage (May 16-19), featuring renowned Los Angeles artists Lynell George, Roger Guenveur Smith, Luis Alfaro, Adelina Anthony, Alice Tuan, Kristina Wong, and Imani Tolliver.

Postmodern cabaret sensation Meow Meow pays tribute to the trailblazing female singers, dancers and revolutionaries of the Weimar Republic in her dazzling show Sequins and Satire, Divas and Disruptors: The Wild Women of the Weimar Republic (March 8). 

Dance highlights include choreographer-dancer Caleb Teicher and renowned pianist-composer Conrad Tao’s collaborative and stylistically diverse piece Counterpoint (September 30). Harmonic, rhythmic and theatrical, the duo explore the dichotomy of their different artistic practice, expanding their individual expressive capacity through a collective experience.

In addition to The Nimoy, CAP UCLA will continue to program extraordinary artists at UCLA’s Royce Hall and its partner venue in downtown Los Angeles, The Theatre at Ace Hotel.

CAP UCLA at Royce Hall

CAP UCLA programs at Royce Hall welcome to the stage an exceptional lineup of virtuosic jazz stars and genre-blending collaborations. Jazz offerings include singer Dee Dee Bridgewater alongside pianist Bill Charlap (September 22) and the return of 20-time Grammy Award-winning guitarist Pat Metheny (October 29) in a career-spanning performance. NEA Jazz Master and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington will grace the Royce Hall stage alongside an all star lineup of special guests (January 27) to perform selections from her groundbreaking project, New Standards, dedicated entirely to women composers. Longtime collaborators banjo legend Béla Fleck, tabla master Zakir Hussain and double bass virtuoso Edgar Meyer, along with Indian flutist Rakesh Chaurasia come to Royce Hall for their show As We Speak (November 18). The quartet's unique blend of improvisation, rhythm and melody bridges the traditions of bluegrass, classical and Indian classical music.

The season also welcomes back CAP UCLA favorites, multi-Grammy Award-winning string ensemble Kronos Quartet (April 28) as part of the Five Decades Tour, celebrating the esteemed group’s fiftieth anniversary. The quartet will showcase new commissions, signature works and pieces from their Fifty for the Future project. 

Pioneering dance theater company Urban Bush Women will present Legacy + Lineage + Liberation (April 19), an evening in Royce Hall of deeply affecting works exploring the Civil Rights movement, ancestral wisdom and the expansion of women’s rights. The company articulates under-told stories through dance informed by the Women+ and African Diasporic experience. 

CAP UCLA at The Theatre at Ace Hotel

CAP UCLA returns to The Theatre at Ace Hotel with highlights that include a double bill of master musicians Bill Frisell and Ambrose Akinmusire (October 14). First, improvising guitarist Bill Frisell will share the stage with FIVE — Kenny Wollesen, Tony Scherr, Rudy Royston, and Thomas Morgan — a collection of his frequent collaborators and friends blending classical jazz and American roots traditions. Then, trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire will lead his ensemble Owl Song, featuring Bill Frisell and drummer Herlin Riley, in sublime energy and improvisation.

Special Tony Award-winner and bold creator John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) teams up with international cabaret star Amber Martin for the Los Angeles premiere of Cassette Roulette (March 16). The duo is joined by special guests for songs, stories and characters chosen randomly from their extensive and often zany repertoire.

Singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello shares her resonant exploration of American novelist James Baldwin titled No More Water / The Fire Next Time; The Gospel of James Baldwin (April 13). Accompanied by her band and guest artists, Ndegeocello uses music as a vehicle to engage others in the challenge and promise of Baldwin’s powerful body of work.

Design for Sharing

CAP UCLA will also present Design for Sharing (DFS), its K-12 arts education program, at The Nimoy. In addition to attending performances and arts workshops at Royce Hall, thousands of students will also get to experience the joy of live performance in a more intimate venue. Most of the DFS performances at the Nimoy will be paired with lunch and other activities on the UCLA campus, providing our community's kids a first hand look at a public university.



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