The Carpenter Center Announces 25th Anniversary Season

The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center unveils the 2019-20 season featuring a captivating collection of music, dance, comedy, speakers and family shows across five different performance series: Wit & Wisdom, Dance, WOW!, Sunday Afternoon Concert, and Cabaret. Located on the campus of California State University, Long Beach, the Carpenter Center launches its 25th anniversary season on Saturday, September 21, 2019. New series subscriptions are on sale now with single tickets on sale starting May 21, 2019.

"The Carpenter Center showcases a dazzling array of talent every year, enriching the Cal State Long Beach campus and the Southern California community," says Executive Director Megan Kline Crockett. "We're inviting back some of our favorite performers for our 2019-2020 season as well as welcoming extraordinary artists new to our stage who reflect the broad cultural landscape of Southern California. As we begin our 25th anniversary season, we renew our commitment to celebrate wonder, diversity, and exceptional artistic achievement-today and for the next 25 years."

Find all the upcoming events from the new season below, along with artist links and date information.

Wit & Wisdom

After sold-out shows last season, the popular Wit & Wisdom Series will bring three groundbreaking cultural figures to Long Beach in 2019 and 2020. A pioneer of the one-woman show, Sandra Bernhard will return to the Carpenter Center for a raucous evening of cabaret, stand-up, rock 'n' roll and social commentary. Bernhard tells it like it is; her new show Quick Sand hilariously riffs on politics, family, celebrity and everything in-between.*** Jad Abumrad is the co-creator of Radiolab, one of public radio's most popular shows-Radiolab podcasts are downloaded over 5 million times each month and the show is broadcast on more than 500 stations worldwide. The Miracle of Indoor Plumbing is an immersive evening of music, animation, audio recordings and more-unearthing the ingredients of storytelling that inspire, change, and connect us all. *** Best-selling author Anne Lamottspeaks with unguarded honesty and laugh-out-loud humor about God, politics, motherhood and other unmentionables, in an evening that seeks to find joy in an increasingly chaotic world.

Sandra Bernhard

Quick Sand

Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 8 p.m.

Radiolab's Jad Abumrad

The Miracle of Indoor Plumbing

Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 8 p.m.

An Evening with Anne Lamott

Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 8 p.m.


Four singular artists will be featured in this season's intimate Cabaret Series, where patrons sit on the main stage less than 40 feet from the performers. Table seating comes with the option to enjoy dinner or bar service before the show. America's Got Talent finalist Mandy Harvey will lead off the series, her pitch-perfect voice interpreting songs-from heartbreaking originals to jazz standards and blues-with emotional honesty and an uplifting message of hope. *** Stacy Sullivan celebrates the centennial birthday of Miss Peggy Lee in a tribute to one of the most spellbinding singers in American music history. *** Los Angeles' longest-running Phantom of the Opera, Davis Gaines will bring his masterful, melodic voice to favorite hits from Broadway and the Great American Songbook. *** For the series finale, the Platinum Award-winning Ann Hampton Callaway puts her unique pop/jazz spin on beloved songs from the Streisand songbook, crafting a loving musical portrait of the iconic performer.

Mandy Harvey

Wednesday/Thursday, October 2 & October 3, 2019

Stacy Sullivan

A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee

Wednesday/Thursday, November 13 & November 14, 2019

An Evening with Davis Gaines

Wednesday/Thursday, January 15 & January 16, 2020

Ann Hampton Callaway

The Streisand Songbook

Wednesday/Thursday, March 11 & March 12, 2020

All Cabaret performances start at 7 p.m. Optional dinner service 6-6:50 p.m.


This year's Wow! Series presents daring stunts, dazzling acrobatics and jaw-dropping spectacles that bring the WOW! factor. With artists hailing from Japan, Canada and the United States, every show is a heart-pounding visual tale that's fun for all ages. With star performances on Ellen, Oprah and Animal Planet's Pet Stars, Chris Perondi's Stunt Dog Experience opens the series as former rescue dogs-turned-daredevils show off their amazing tricks.*** The excitement continues when Cirque FLIP Fabrique takes the stage by storm in Blizzard, a fun and tender journey through winter complete with a flurry of aerial acrobatics. *** The series concludes with an all-new show from DRUM TAO. These internationally acclaimed percussion artists showcase the ancient art of Japanese taiko drumming in a dynamic performance complete with contemporary costumes, innovative visuals, and precise choreography.

Chris Perondi's Stunt Dog Experience

Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.

Cirque FLIP Fabrique


Saturday, February 1, 2020 at 8 p.m.


Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 8 p.m.


The 2019-2020 Dance Series continues the Center's reputation as a leading presenter of dance in Southern California and includes companies who are pushing the boundaries of their form, celebrating legends of music, and carrying cherished traditions forward. Complexions Contemporary Ballet presents STARDUST, a dance tribute to the late rock icon David Bowie, as well as the SoCal premiere of WOKE, a ballet set to a remix of music by Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Diplo and more. *** A.I.M by Kyle Abraham brings "lush movement, infectious music and magnetic dancers" (The New York Times) to the Center's stage. Grounded in classical and hip-hop influences, the works are both personal and universal, displaying a visceral freshness that has made Kyle Abraham one of today's most in-demand choreographers. *** Among the nation's premier Mexican folk dance companies, Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles fill the stage with their graceful choreography and colorful costumes. They perform alongside the harmonized, bilingual vocals of Jarabe Mexicano in a joyride through the songbook of Mexican Folk, Tex-Mex music, and rock 'n' roll classics, including a special performance to "Remember Me" from Disney's Coco.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 8 p.m.

A.I.M. by Kyle Abraham

Saturday, January 25, 2020 at 8 p.m.

Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles with Jarabe Mexicano

Cruzando Fronteras

Saturday, May 16, 2020 at 8 p.m.

Sunday Afternoon Concert

This season's Sunday Afternoon Concert Series opens with the return of Lee Lessack & Johnny Rodgers, this time recreating The Everly Brothers' historic 1983 reunion concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. *** The hits continue with the music of Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons in OH WHAT A NIGHT!, a high-energy musical revue featuring such songs as "Sherry," "Can't Take My Eyes Off You," and "Who Loves You." *** Live from Laurel Canyon perform the songs of Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and more in an intimate journey into the music and stories behind the creation of folk rock. *** Completing the series, The Doo Wop Project celebrates the pioneers of Doo Wop and their influence on the sounds of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, The Four Seasons and others. The group even reimagines today's hits in the joyful style of Doo Wop.

The Everly Brothers: Live at Royal Albert Hall [Revisited]

Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 2 p.m.


A Musical Tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons

Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 2 p.m.

Live from Laurel Canyon

Songs and Stories of American Folk Rock

Sunday, March 8, 2020 at 2 p.m.

The Doo Wop Project

Sunday, April 19, 2020 at 2 p.m.

All Sunday Afternoon Concert Series performances are at 2:00 p.m.

Single Events

The Carpenter Center has something for everyone, including an eclectic array of performances that are not part of a subscription series. For the holidays, jazz pianist David Benoit is joined by special guest, jazz vocalist Sara Gazarek for an evening of favorite Vince Guaraldi tunes in A Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown. *** After a dozen sold-out performances at the Carpenter Center, Capitol Steps return with their brand-new, up-to-the-minute political satire songs. *** The sound and showmanship of one of rock 'n' roll's greatest bands is recreated by Gary Mullen & The Works in One Night of Queen.*** Bill Nye the Science Guy brings his infectious blend of humor, intellectual curiosity, and devotion to solving some of the world's most complex challenges through science. As part of the Carpenter Center's fifth annual President's Party, a limited number of tickets are available for a dinner and reception with Bill Nye, with individual tickets available for the show only. *** And to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, America's first all-female mariachi ensemble, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles, along with the Villalobos Brothers, present a rousing evening of music with "The Soul of Mexico."

David Benoit - A Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown

Saturday, December 21, 2019 at 8 p.m.

Capitol Steps

The Lyin' Kings

Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

One Night of Queen

Friday, February 28, 2020 at 8 p.m.

An Evening with Bill Nye the Science Guy

Saturday, April 25, 2020 at 8 p.m.

Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles with Villalobos Brothers

The Soul of Mexico

Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 6 p.m.

Patrons enjoy the best seats in the house when they subscribe to a series. Series subscribers also receive other benefits, including significant discounts on single tickets. A 2019-20 subscription order form is available online at

The WOW! Series three-event subscription is $79, the Wit & Wisdom Series three-event subscription is $149, the Dance Series three-event subscription is $99, the Sunday Afternoon Concert Series four-event subscription is $99, and the Cabaret Series four-event subscription with dinner starts at $228. A Cabaret Series subscription without dinner starts at $140.

Tickets will be available for purchase online at on May 21, 2019, with select discount seats offered online until July 30, 2019 (subject to availability). All programs, performers, prices, dates and times are subject to change. Presentations are made possible in part by Season Media Partner KPCC 89.3-FM and Season Hospitality Sponsor Gelson's Market.

For additional information, contact the Arts Ticket Office at (562) 985-7000 or visit the box office on the California State University, Long Beach campus at 6200 E. Atherton St. Long Beach, CA 90815. The box office is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The front box office is open on weekend show dates, one hour prior to performance times.

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