Sierra Madre Playhouse Announces Diverse Slate Of Programs For Fall 2024

The 2024-25 season marks the launch of Dance @ The Playhouse, the first time a dance series has been offered by Sierra Madre Playhouse.

By: Apr. 11, 2024
Sierra Madre Playhouse Announces Diverse Slate Of Programs For Fall 2024
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Sierra Madre Playhouse (SMP) has announced a broad and compelling slate of programs for fall 2024.

Among numerous highlights revealed by Artistic & Executive Director Matthew Cook, the performing arts center presents the world premiere of a new theatrical production with deep local Latinx roots and adds a dance series to its varied offerings for the first time. It also launches two new significant artistic partnerships, one with Retroformat Films, an organization renowned for its dedication to the preservation and celebration of silent cinema, the other with the celebrated contemporary music ensemble Wild Up, which intends make the venue its new East Los Angeles home beginning next fall. In all, the Playhouse presents nearly two dozen theater, music, film, cinema, jazz, and family-friendly programs between August and December 2024. The Playhouse, a local landmark, continues its year-long centennial celebration since opening as a silent movie theater in 1924.

“This is an exciting time of growth for Sierra Madre Playhouse as we forge new cultural paths through innovative and meaningful artistic collaborations, premiere new work, and showcase an expanding range of art forms,” says Cook. “We also continue to champion rising and established artists whose world-class work inspires, delights, challenges, and moves audiences of all ages.”

Building upon its reputation for presenting thought provoking theatrical works, this season Sierra Madre Playhouse produces the world premiere production of the musical ¡Pasaje!, a riveting coming-of-age story. The book is by J. Quiroz, a first-generation Salvadoran American raised in the San Gabriel Valley, with music by multi-GRAMMY-winner Asdru Sierra, co-founder of Ozomatli, the genre-blurring rock band formed in LA. The two-act tour-de-force, directed by Montebello-native Benjamin Perez, explores through the eyes of 18-year-old Andy themes of identity, belonging, and the essence of community.

The 2024-25 season also marks the launch of Dance @ The Playhouse, the first time a dance series has been offered by Sierra Madre Playhouse. The inaugural presentation features Viver Brasil, celebrated for telling stories through bold and engaging contemporary work rooted in the rich history of Afro-Brazilian dance, movement, music, and culture. The Los Angeles based dance ensemble, founded in 1997, is under the artistic direction of Linda Yudin and Luiz Badaró.

A new partnership with Retroformat Films, a leader in the silent film presentation and preservation arena, cements Sierra Madre Playhouse's commitment to honoring its century-old silent movie house roots. The organizations co-present three major silent film programs this fall, each featuring cinematic gems from 1917 - 1927. Among the offerings are the iconic silent film comedies The Butcher Boy, starring Buster Keaton and Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, and Charlie Chaplin's The Floorwalker; Chicago, providing a fascinating glimpse into the Roaring Twenties; and Charlie Chaplin's The Immigrant, a poignant exploration of the hopes and hardships of the immigrant experience in America. Each program, curated by Retroformat Films, harkens back to the golden age of cinema, celebrating the art of silent film, complemented by the emotive power of live piano accompaniment, just as it did when the doors of the Sierra Madre Playhouse first opened on February 2, 1924. The Playhouse also recently added new state-of-the-art projection equipment to better enhance cinematic artistry.

Sierra Madre Playhouse, in another noteworthy partnership, becomes the new long-term Los Angeles-area home for Wild Up, one of the country's leading contemporary music groups. Co-founded by Christopher Rountree and hailed for playing “with astounding musical unanimity, as if they were one giant instrument with one beating heart” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Wild Up presents two concerts with cutting-edge works by LA-based composers during its inaugural season on the Music @ The Playhouse series.

Music @ The Playhouse features seven other distinctive programs, filling the venue with extraordinary music from around globe. Vicki Ray, one of the country's foremost pianists, and soprano Elissa Johnston explore liminal states of consciousness through music contemporary composers ranging from John Cage to Rachel Beetz. Lauded Hindustani vocalist and composer Gaayatri Kaundinya, accompanied by tabla virtuoso Neelamjit Dhillon, presents a spellbinding selection of India's distinctive Maihar gharana vocal compositions, while experimental pop artist Jett Kwong, inspired by her Chinese and American heritage, combines her virtuosic skills on the Chinese guzheng with striking vocals and electronics, creating dreamy soundscapes. TAIKOPROJECT, which recently drew a sold-out crowd to Sierra Madre Playhouse, returns with special guest Gamelan Merdu Kumala, a celebrated Southern California-based gamelan ensemble, to present a fascinating cross-cultural program fusing the rhythmic power of Japanese Taiko drumming with the unique timber of traditional Indonesian gongs, drums, kettles, bamboo flutes, and metallophones. Blurring cultural lines as well, The Raga Trio, featuring premier Indian classical violinist Indradeep Ghosh, American cellist Chris Votek, and tabla virtuoso Neelamjit Dhillon, merges richly nuanced string traditions from the East and West. Also returning to the Playhouse are Tesserae Baroque Ensemble, which offers an all-Baroque program, and singer/actress Kim Eberhardt, who this season presents Holly Dolly Christmas, a special holiday edition of her acclaimed show Love, Dolly, a heartfelt musical tribute to country legend Dolly Parton that showcases such muti-platinum Yuletide hits from the Rock ‘n' Roll Hall of Famer as "Jingle Bell Rock" and "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!"

Providing additional musical élan are five eclectic Jazz @ The Playhouse concerts with a range of eminent world-class artists, among them; Cuban percussion legend Luis Conte and his Super Bien Septet renowned for their sizzling Latin jazz; and drummer Clayton Cameron's Rhythmos Quintet, pairing sophisticated jazz standards with original compositions. Sierra Madre Playhouse also presents funk/soul/jazz guitarist Greg Porée, who curates the popular jazz series and launched his career as the musical director for Sonny & Cher; the Dave Tull Trio, featuring drummer/vocalist Dave Tull, who has toured and recorded with Barbra Streisand; and pianist/composer Yuko Mabuchi, delivering jazz classics and traditional Japanese music through a jazz lens.

Family @ The Playhouse is anchored by the Sierra Madre Playhouse debut of Bob Baker's Nutcracker, Bob Baker Marionette Theater's delightful and spellbinding original 1969 marionette adaptation of the beloved ballet classic featuring more than 100 handcrafted puppets. With 50 performances slated, included morning, matinee and evening shows, this perennial holiday favorite sparks wonder and joy in people of all ages.


Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 West Sierra Madre Boulevard, Sierra Madre, CA 91024. For tickets and information, visit


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