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Irvine Barclay Theatre Announces Updated 2021-22 Season


Season includes the holiday classic, The Nutcracker, by Festival Ballet Theatre.

Irvine Barclay Theatre Announces Updated 2021-22 Season

As live performances return to venues throughout Southern California, Irvine Barclay Theatre welcomes a new season featuring an array of renowned performers, from iconic dancers to Grammy-winning artists, the beloved holiday classic The Nutcracker, and Emmy nominee and social commentator Fran Lebowitz, among others.

This season also launches a partnership between Irvine Barclay Theatre and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, as they debut Distinctive Experiences, a three-part series offering a rare opportunity to see and hear world-renowned artists up close and personal in the intimate setting of the Barclay. This inaugural season of Distinctive Experiences features three-time Grammy winner and revered jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra on January 15, acclaimed classical guitarist Miloš performing A Tribute to Segovia on March 6, and renowned French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and cellist Gautier Capuçon on May 10.

Irvine Barclay Theatre was busy during the downtime of the pandemic, installing new seats and carpet in the auditorium, as well as upgraded its HVAC system and air-handlers to use hospital-grade filters throughout the building.

Sunday, Nov. 21, 5pm - Trio Barclay

Led by violinist Dennis Kim, Trio Barclay is an ensemble of big musical personalities who have joined together to create dynamic and exciting musical experiences. The ensemble made its stellar debut at the Barclay in June 2021 and is the first Ensemble-in-Residence in the theatre's 30-year history. Joining Dennis Kim is Jonah Kim on cello and Sean Kennard on piano. Their classical music will include Brahms, Paul Schoenberg, and Mark Abel.

Monday, Nov. 29, 8pm - Christmas from a Celtic Table

Take a journey through Christmas in Ireland with superb storytelling, dancing, singing, and authentic Irish traditional music celebrating the international spirit of the holiday season. Christmas from a Celtic Table features enchanting storytelling with Irish actor Sheelagh Cullen, and an award-winning cast of Irish dancers and singers in a memorable night of family holiday entertainment.

Sunday, Dec. 5, 3pm - Gabriela Montero

Grammy-nominated pianist Gabriela Montero brings her newly premiered Westward program to the West Coast, paying homage to three prominent Russian composers who immigrated to the West in the early twentieth century to escape oppression in their home country. Montero's carefully selected classical program includes pieces rarely heard on this side of the globe and concludes with a real-time improvised score alongside a viewing of Charlie Chaplin's film The Immigrant. This Eclectic Orange performance is presented in partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Dec. 11 - 24, Festival Ballet Theatre's The Nutcracker

A cherished holiday classic perfect for all ages, Festival Ballet Theatre's breathtaking production of The Nutcracker is a full-length traditional production by Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla. Be swept

away by Tchaikovsky's iconic score and enjoy world-renowned guest artists, Festival Ballet Theatre's professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland.

Saturday, Jan. 15, 8pm - Orpheus Chamber Orchestra with Branford Marsalis

Three-time Grammy winner and revered jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis joins the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for a thrilling program of Rossini, Debussy, Turina, and Bryan. Also included is Ibert's Concertino da camera, featured on Marsalis and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's collaboration album Creation, which reached the No. 2 spot on the Billboard classical music charts. This Distinctive Experiences performance is presented in partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Friday, Jan. 21, 8pm - Kulāiwi - Native Lands, featuring Lehua Kalima, Kawika Kahiapo, Shawn Pimental with Pono Fernandez, hula

Kulāiwi ("land of my ancestors") combines three of Hawai'i's leading award-winning performers for an evening of sweet island harmonies and soaring vocals. A recipient of over 20 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawai'i's Grammy) with her trio Nā Leo Pilimehana, Lehua Kalima has won an unprecedented three individual awards for song of the year. Six-time Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner Kawika Kahiapo is a slack key guitarist and singer-songwriter who has contributed his soulful voice and slack key guitar stylings to more than 108 recording projects. Garnering five Nā Hōkū Hanohano awards, Shawn Pimental has performed with some of Hawai'i's leading recording artists, offering his talents on guitar, drums, bass and vocals. Accompanied by award-winning hula dancer Pono Fernandez, Kulāiwi presents the heartbeat of Hawai'i today.

Friday, Jan. 28, 7:30pm - Sittin' In and Groovin' Out with the Metta Quintet

Metta Quintet features some of the most creative performers on today's jazz scene, fueled by a collective, open-minded musical curiosity. The group is equally dedicated to blazing new artistic trails, music education, and community service. The quintet maintains a robust touring schedule and has released numerous critically acclaimed recordings, including Big Drum, Small World and Subway Songs. For their performance at the Barclay, the quintet will be joined on several numbers by select young jazz musicians from local schools and professional guest artists from Southern California. Metta Quintet is the official resident ensemble of JazzReach Performing Arts & Education Association, Inc.

Saturday, Jan. 29, 8pm - The Fabulous Thunderbirds Celebrate 35 Years of Tuff Enuff

The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been a quintessential American band for over 40 years. With their fusion of blues, rock & roll, and R & B, they helped popularize roadhouse Texas blues in the 80's, kick-starting a nationwide blues revival. In 1986, The Fabulous Thunderbirds reached a commercial peak with their fifth album, Tuff Enuff. The single of the same title as well as the singles "Wrap It Up" and "Look at That," all went Top 40. The song "Tuff Enuff" was featured in the film Gung Ho starring Michael Keaton. The band will celebrate the 35th anniversary of Tuff Enuff by performing the album live in its entirety.

Sunday, Jan. 30, 5pm - The Queen's Cartoonists

Join The Queen's Cartoonists for an afternoon of zany family fun as six world-class musicians from Queen's New York play music from classic and modern cartoons. The jazz and classical music performance is synchronized to animations projected on a large screen behind them and includes plenty of audience participation and stories about the cartoons and the composers who helped bring them to life. Fans of Looney Tunes, The Simpsons, old Disney films or cult cartoon classics, will enjoy the unforgettable musical mayhem of Elmer, Bugs, and a host of your favorite cartoon characters.

Monday, Jan. 31, 8pm - An Evening with Fran Lebowitz

In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of our most insightful social commentators. She is the purveyor of urban cool, a witty chronicler of the "me decade," and the cultural satirist whom many call the heir to Dorothy Parker. Forthright, irascible, and unapologetically opinionated, Fran offers her uniquely acerbic views on current events and the media, as well as her own pet peeves - including celebrity culture, tourists, and adults who roller skate. Recently, Fran has been dispensing witty observations in the Netflix documentary series Pretend It's a City, was nominated for a 2021 Emmy in the Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Series category. Her friend Martin Scorsese directed the series, the second documentary he's made that focused on Lebowitz, after the 2010 film Public Speaking.

Wednesday & Thursday, Feb. 2 & 3, 8pm - Sacre by Circa

Seen by over one million people in 39 countries, the Australia-based performance troupe Circa is at the forefront of contemporary circus. Inspired by Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, 10 fearless acrobats will weave together powerful acrobatics with poetic tenderness and raw emotion, while highlighted by a technically and artistically stunning lighting design and set to a stirring new composition. This first-ever circus setting of The Rite of Spring, was created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble.

Sunday, Feb. 20, 4pm - Nat Geo Live: Mark Synnott, Life on the Vertical

Legendary climber and National Geographic adventure writer Mark Synnott made his name as a big wall rock-climber pioneer with numerous first ascents. Today, he helps scientists make significant findings in distant, inaccessible places. Through it all, he's stayed on the leading edge of discovery.

Thursday, Feb. 24, 8pm - Joey DeFrancesco

A four-time Grammy Award nominee with more than 30 recordings as a leader under his belt, Joey DeFrancesco is the master of the mighty B-3. Credited as single-handedly reinvigorating organ jazz in the mid-eighties with his vintage Hammond, DeFrancesco has collaborated with hundreds of jazz's greatest names including Ray Charles, Diana Krall, Miles Davis, and George Benson.

Friday, Feb. 25, 8pm - Linda Eder: By Myself -The Songs of Judy Garland

One of America's dynamic singers and performers, Linda Eder pays tribute to the great Judy Garland in a concert filled with the songs made famous by the beloved singer. The performance includes such favorites as "Almost Like Being in Love," "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart," "The Boy Next Door," "You Made Me Love You" and "Over the Rainbow."

Saturday, Feb. 26, 8pm - Storm Large and Le Bonheur

With a voice that goes from a velvety purr to a mighty Valkyrie cry in a single phrase, Storm Large, accompanied by her fearless band, Le Bonheur, sings the Great American Songbook, Broadway tear-jerkers, rock goddess anthems, and some of her own gorgeous originals -all delivered with a fierce personal style. Storm's interpretation of "I've Got You Under My Skin," on the current season of NBC's America's Got Talent, prompted a standing ovation from the audience.

Sunday, March 6, 3pm - Miloš, Tribute to Segovia

Dubbed "the hottest guitarist in the world" by The Sunday Times, Miloš is reinvigorating the classical guitar repertoire with his passionate and intricately focused performances. Since graduating from the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, Miloš has appeared to sold-out concert halls all over the world and was named by BBC Music Magazine as one of the six greatest classical guitarists of the last century. This Distinctive Experience performance is presented in partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Thursday, March 10, 8pm - Stacey Kent

Stacey Kent is a Grammy-nominated jazz singer whose gorgeously delicate mezzo-soprano voice conjures sublime textures and dreamy romanticism. Kent has graced stages in more than 50 countries, performing her catalogue of 11 studio albums - her most recent, I Know I Dream: The Orchestral Sessions received over 40 million streams. Whether singing French chansons or the Great American Songbook, Kent's interpretations of the timeless songs of love, nostalgia, and intoxicating joie de vivre, have won her a legion of fans worldwide.

Friday, March 11, 8pm - Live from Laurel Canyon: Songs & Stories of American Folk Rock

Live from Laurel Canyon celebrates the music of some of the most influential artists who lived in the famous Laurel Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles between 1965 and 1975. Home to a community of artists who would forever change the sound of American popular music, Laurel Canyon echoed with music from bands like The Mamas and The Papas, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, The Doors, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, James Taylor, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, America, and the Eagles. Live from Laurel Canyon showcases the classic songs you love and the stories that inspired them.

Saturday, March 12, 2 & 7pm - The Perondi's Stunt Dog Experience

Famed trainer Chris Perondi and his cast of rescue dogs entertain audiences of all ages with high-energy excitement including incredible stunts, amazing tricks, comedy antics, dancing dogs and athletic feats. The dogs have been featured on The Late Show with David Letterman, The Ellen Degeneres Show, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Sunday, March 13, 4pm - Nat Geo Live: Alicia Odewale: Greenwood: A Century of Resilience

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, archaeologist Alicia Odewale is uncovering stories of resilience in the hundred years since the attack on "Black Wall Street" in that city's vibrant Greenwood district. Considered one of the worst episodes of racial violence committed against Black people in American history, the Tulsa Race Massacre left a devastating toll on generations of survivors, their descendants, and the footprint of the district itself. Join Odewale to discover how archaeology can be used as a tool for recovering lost stories, reclaiming a narrative, and pursuing restorative justice.

Saturday, March 19, 7pm; Sunday, March 20, 2pm - Festival Ballet Theatre's Don Quixote

Experience the fiery gypsy spirit and passion of Festival Ballet Theatre's production of Don Quixote. Join the gallant Don Quixote on his knightly quests across old-world Spain in this rendition of the beloved ballet, based on the novel by Miguel Cervantes. Celebrate the spirit of adventure with

the flavors and rhythms of 17th-century Spain, captured elegantly in Ludwig Minkus' memorable score. Under Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla, this full-length, traditional production features world-renowned guest artists in the lead roles.

Friday, March 25, 8pm - Bessie, Billie & Nina: Pioneering Women in Jazz

Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Nina Simone were among the most influential and popular singers of their times. Pioneering Women in Jazz celebrates the enduring legacies of these music icons with performances of their classic songs, including Bessie Smith's "Downhearted Blues," Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" and Nina Simone's "Mississippi Goddam." Pioneering Women in Jazz features three dynamic and rising star vocalists, Charenée Wade, Vanisha Gould, and Tahira Clayton, together with a seven-piece all-female ensemble.

Saturday, March 26, 8pm - Jersey Boys & Girls

Celebrate New Jersey's musical legends with a concert extravaganza honoring iconic artists from the Garden State, including Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen, Frankie Valli, Whitney Houston, Dionne Warwick, and Lesley Gore. This night of blockbuster favorites includes "Fly Me to the Moon," "My Eyes Adored You," "That's Life," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," "I Will Always Love You," and more.

Sunday, March 27, 3pm - The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain believes that all genres of music are available for reinterpretation, as long as they are played on the ukulele. Since forming three decades ago, the orchestra has helped to build a new audience for what it calls the "bonsai guitar," playing everything from rock to folk or classical to movie themes. By royal request, the orchestra proudly performed at

a private 90th birthday party for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle. This Eclectic Orange performance is presented in partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Sunday, April 3, 5pm - An Evening with Jack Jones with The All-Star Band

featuring Tom Scott and Graham Dechter

Returning to the Barclay stage following his memorable 2017 concert, Jack Jones remains a true "Singers' Singer" - one of the legendary voices that defined American pop music crooners. Jack is a Grammy Award winner who, for more than 50 years, has performed to sold-out audiences around the globe. His timeless hits include memorable renditions of "The Impossible Dream," "The Love Boat," "Call Me Irresponsible," and "Lollipops and Roses." An outstanding ensemble of world-class jazz musicians will accompany Jack on this performance, including composer, arranger, producer, saxophonist, and multiple Grammy Award winner Tom Scott, and featuring Graham Dechter on guitar. The All-Star Band is a Who's Who of the greatest players in contemporary jazz.

Sunday, April 10, 4pm - Nat Geo Live: Andy Mann: From Summit to Sea

Award-winning filmmaker and photographer Andy Mann uses his work to bridge the gap between science and policy. From his early days as a rock climber to his current passion documenting the critically endangered oceanic whitetip shark, his stunning images tell the story of our rapidly changing planet, from top to bottom.

Saturday, April, 16, 8pm - Waipuna

Like the mountain spring water traveling downstream bringing life, Waipuna's beautiful harmonies rejuvenate the senses and delight the heart. Mixing Hawaiian classics with original songs, Waipuna ("spring water") brings a fresh and contemporary energy to the island sound, preserving tradition while moving it into the 21st century. Winner of eight Nā Hōkū Hanohano Awards (Hawaiʻiʻs Grammy), Waipuna is an exciting collaboration of three talents: David Kamakahi, Kale Hannahs, and Matthew Sproat, all hailing from celebrated Hawaiian musical families. Together, they are upbeat, technically superb, and share a sense of fun that makes them an immediate audience favorite.

Thursday, April 21, 8pm - John Pizzarelli and Catherine Russell: A Tribute to Nat King Cole and the Ladies of Song

John Pizzarelli has been entertaining audiences for over 40 years, singing classic standards and ballads, and playing inventive jazz guitar. With sparkling swing and a stunning vocal approach, Catherine Russell is among the greatest interpreters of American popular song. Together, they pay homage to Nat King Cole and the legendary singers who appeared on his popular TV show. The concert includes Cole's most memorable hits such as "Route 66," "Straighten Up and Fly Right", and "Paper Moon," along with the timeless works from Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, and Peggy Lee - the iconic Ladies of Song.

Saturday, April 23, 8pm - Sheléa: Natural Woman - A Night of Soul

Endowed with a voice that stirs the soul and hands that effortlessly glide over the keys, Sheléa's musical style is one filled with true artistry. From The White House to the Library of Congress and Carnegie Hall, her performances blend traditional pop, jazz, R&B, and soul, bringing a contemporary edge to classics and a classic touch to contemporary pop standards. Her sultry sound has earned her deep and meaningful praise from music industry legends, including Stevie Wonder, David Foster, and Quincy Jones.

Sunday, April 24, 3pm - Tetzlaff Quartet

Praised for its "dramatic, energetic playing of clean intensity" (The New York Times), the Tetzlaff Quartet demonstrates a musical prowess and unique artistry that continually solidifies its reputation as one of the world's most fascinating chamber ensembles. Christian and Tanja Tetzlaff, Hanna Weinmeister, and Elisabeth Kufferath formed their string quartet in 1994, and have since regularly toured Europe and North America, receiving widespread acclaim for their performances. Presented by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County

Friday, April 29, 8pm - Complexions Contemporary Ballet: STARDUST: From Bach to Bowie

Featured on the hit TV show So You Think You Can Dance, Complexions revitalizes the art of movement through a groundbreaking mix of styles, seamlessly fusing ballet, contemporary, jazz, and hip-hop. STARDUST: From Bach to Bowie showcases two exhilarating dance pieces inspired by musical masters. Bach 25, set to the music of Johann Sebastian and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, is an exploration of love and alliances, perfectly merging contemporary dance with ballet technique. A tribute to the late rock icon David Bowie, Stardust also features many of the singer's iconic hits.

Saturday, April 30, 8pm - Selected Shorts: For Better or Worse - Tales of Marriage

This evening of Selected Shorts is story time ... for adults. Spellbinding short stories by established and emerging writers take on a new life when they are performed live by stars of stage and screen. Filled with unexpected twists and turns, it's an evening of funny, moving, and romantic tales about marriage and the bonds we share. In 1985, Selected Shorts was born at Symphony Space in New York City with this simple premise: great short stories performed by great actors. Flash-forward more than 35 years, and Selected Shorts is broadcast on over 150 radio stations around the country, attracting over 300,000 listeners each week through the live show and podcast. Past performers have included Catherine O'Hara, Blythe Danner, Tony Hale, and others.

Tuesday, May 10, 8pm - Jean-Yves Thibaudet and Gautier Capuçon

Musical fireworks abound as two French virtuosos collaborate in a showcase of exhilarating musicality. Praised for his "mellifluous tones" by The Times, acclaimed cellist Gautier Capuçon is lauded "among the greatest of cellists" (The Arts Desk). Capuçon joins forces with two-time

Grammy-nominated pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, who is widely regarded as "the most soulful of players" (Gramophone). This Distinctive Experiences performance is presented in partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Thursday, May 12, 8pm - Bruce Forman, John Clayton & Jeff Hamilton: The Poll Winners Revisited

Guitarist Bruce Forman, bassist John Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton make their public debut on the Barclay stage as they bring back to life the swinging grace of their musical mentors with The Poll Winners Revisited. When guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Ray Brown and drummer Shelly Manne created their trio in 1956, they called themselves The Poll Winners. It was only natural since all three musicians were routinely on the top of DownBeat's polls for their respective instrument. The five Poll Winners albums on the legendary Los Angeles-based jazz label - Contemporary Records - are classics that set the standard for all guitar trio projects that followed. Performing on The Poll Winners' original instruments, Forman, Clayton, and Hamilton revisit the original trio's musical legacy.

Friday, May 13, 8pm - Makana: The Gift of Slack Key Guitar

Makana is a slack-key guitar master whose personal songs weave the roots of Hawai'i's vast musical palette into a universal sound. With his distinctly original songs, infused with the spirit of Hawai'i, along with his own brand of "slack-rock," Makana is blazing a new trail in the 21st century while paying homage to those who have come before him.

Saturday, May 14, 8pm - Ira Glass: Seven Things I've Learned

Ira Glass is the host and creator of This American Life, the iconic weekly public radio program heard each week by more than 2.2 million listeners on more than 500 public radio stations, with an additional 2.2 million podcast downloads. Join one of America's most compelling public radio personalities as he shares lessons from his life and career in storytelling. Using audio clips, music and video, Ira Glass takes us into his creative process: What inspires him to create? What drives his passion? How have failures and successes informed his decisions?

Wednesday, May 18, 8pm - Astor Piazzolla at 100: Philippe Quint and Members of the Joffrey Ballet

Multi-Grammy-nominated violinist Philippe Quint and members of the world-class, Chicago-based Joffrey Ballet celebrate tango legend Astor Piazzolla in a performance of music and dance. Lauded by The Times (London) for his "bravura technique and unflagging energy," Philippe Quint is internationally praised for his unique takes on classical core repertoire, support of contemporary composers and passion for giving new life to neglected works. For this celebration of Astor Piazzolla, Quint collaborates with the renowned Joffrey Ballet, one of the premier ballet companies performing today, and under Artistic Director Ashley Wheater. This Eclectic Orange performance is presented in partnership with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.

Thursday, June 9, 8pm - John Beasley's MONK'estra

In his three-decade-long career, Grammy-nominated pianist and composer John Beasley has worked with Miles Davis and Freddie Hubbard - playing in the bands of both trumpet legends while still in his 20s - as well as with Herbie Hancock, Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, Christian McBride (and even, for one night, with James Brown.) In this special Barclay performance, Beasley leads his smashing 15-piece MONK'estra, a big band that captures the spirit of Thelonious Monk's singular music in fresh arrangements flavored with contemporary sounds that range from Afro-Cuban rhythms to hip-hop. Critics have called it "some of the most mesmerizing big band music of recent memory."

Irvine Barclay Theatre is located at 4242 Campus Drive, adjacent to UC Irvine. For tickets or more information, please visit or call (949) 854-4646.

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