Center for the Arts at Pepperdine Announces its 2017-2018 Season of Performances

Critically-acclaimed country music artist Kellie Picker, legendary jazz musicians Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Grammy-winner Shawn Colvin, and two Legendary Ladies of Motown, Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Martha Wilson & The Vandellas, are just a few of the artists set to appear at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University during its 2017-2018 season.

Among the musicians and bands coming to Pepperdine's Malibu campus are recent America's Got Talent contestant and jazz singer/songwriter Mandy Harvey; founder of The Byrds Roger McGuinn; virtuoso guitarist Tommy Emmanuel; the dynamic bluegrass ensemble Steep Canyon Rangers; influential folk artist Carrie Newcomer; renowned vocal group The Four Freshmen; the category-shattering trio Time for Three; gypsy jazz and Latin swing quintet Velvet Carvan; and one of America's most beloved pianists Robin Spielberg. The season will also feature a live concert journey based on the documentary film Take Me to the River. Take Me to the River Memphis Soul and Rhythm & Blues Revue brings together Memphis music giants William Bell, Charlie Musselwhite, and Bobby Rush, performing alongside Frayser Boy, Al Kapone, The Hi Rhythm Section, and the Stax Academy Alumni Band with music director Boo Mitchell.

In a special Cine-Concert, composer Benoit Charest brings his Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville to Malibu, where they will recreate the original score and live foley of the award-winning animatEd French feature The Triplets of Belleville.

The thrilling Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin, People's Republic of China kicks of the season's dance and spectacle offerings, which includes the visually striking Ezralow Dance Company, the whimsical Pilobolus Dance Theater, and the LA-based TAIKOPROJECT with their contemporary blend of taiko, music, storytelling, and choreography.

The Gregg G. Juarez Stars of Stage and Screen series includes the sharp wit of comedian Rita Rudner and Tony nominee Jarrod Spector, who graced Broadway as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys and Barry Mann in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.

This season, the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts will once again present the Family Arts Fest, a day of face painting, museum tours, art projects, and two public performances by Sonia De Los Santos, a soulful and important new voice in family music. Other family shows throughout the year Childplay's Go, Dog, Go! and The Passing Zone Saves the World.

The Recital Series, featuring the talents of young classical musicians, includes performances by the pianist Ko-Eun Yi, violinist Tessa Lark, trumPeter Brandon Ridenour, and cellist Sang-Eun Lee.

The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art features an exhibition of artist Alexis Smith who explores how the media shapes our self-image. Two separate exhibitions will explore the storied history of California art, one through the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation collection and the other through paintings by the California Art Club. This marks the Weisman's 25th Anniversary Season, as it was dedicated on September 12, 1992. The museum is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, and is free of admission charge.

The Pepperdine Fine Arts Division presents Gilbert & Sullivan's operetta The Pirates of Penzance; theatre productions of Annie Baker's Circle Mirror Transformation; the new musical based on the John August film Big Fish - 12 Chair Version; Andrew Upton's version of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabbler; Ben Power's version of Euripides' Medea; and a series of performances by Pepperdine student music ensembles throughout the fall and spring semesters.

Additionally, Pepperdine Student Activities presents its popular Dance in Flight and Songfest.

"We are thrilled to announce our 2017-2018 season of performances and exhibitions at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine. Each year, we bring a wide range of performances to Pepperdine to delight and engage our community," says Rebecca Carson, Managing Director of the Center for the Arts. "I look forward to connecting these amazing artists with our enthusiastic audience."

Tickets for all performances are available beginning June 26 by calling (310) 506-4522 from 12 noon to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and two hours prior to curtain time. Tickets to all events are also available at:

Season subscribers (those who purchase tickets to four or more shows) are entitled to a 10 percent discount on select ticket prices.

The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts at Pepperdine University provides high-quality activities for over 55,000 people from 808 zip codes annually through performances, rehearsals, museum exhibitions, and master classes. Located on Pepperdine's breathtaking Malibu campus overlooking the Pacific, the center serves as a hub for the arts, uniquely linking professional guest artists with Pepperdine students as well as patrons from surrounding Southern California communities. Facilities include the 450-seat Smothers Theatre, the 118-seat Raitt Recital Hall, the "black box" Helen E. Lindhurst Theatre, and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art.

The Center for the Arts is located on the Pepperdine University campus at 24255 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, CA. Parking is available during performances next to Smothers Theatre for a fee and in the Theme Tower lot with shuttle service at no charge. All programs and artists are subject to change.

For more information about these and other Center for the Arts performances and exhibitions, visit:


The Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin, People's Republic of China

With more than 100 of the best acrobatic and martial artists in the world, The Martial Artists and Acrobats of Tianjin, People's Republic of China take the stage with thrilling circus acts, illusions, aerial stunts, juggling acts, contortion tricks, and feats of balance in one dazzling performance.

Thursday, September 28, 2017, 7:30 PM

$20-$45 for adults

$17 for youth 17 and under

Smothers Theatre

Childsplay presents

Go, Dog, Go!

By Allison Gregory and Steven Dietz

Adapted from the book by P. D. Eastman

Music composed by Michael Koerner

Go, Dog, Go! brings the adventures of P. D. Eastman's modern classic to life in a frolicking musical romp full of surprises, color, clowning, and vaudeville. Following six loveable dogs through their adventures in cars, hats, a moonlit boat ride, and even a wild game of ball, this hilarious visual spectacle manages to sneak in some important lessons about life between innings.

Sunday, October 1, 2017, 2 PM

$10-$20 for adults

$10 for youth 17 and under

Smothers Theatre

Family Art Day

Join us for special art projects and Weisman Museum tours.

Sunday, October 1, Noon - 2 PM

Family Art Day is free and open to the public.

Gregg G. Juarez Courtyard

Roger McGuinn

Sponsored by Mary and Tom Hawkins

As the founder of The Byrds, Roger McGuinn is an indisputable music icon who delivers a mesmerizing evening of story and song. From his signature 12-string Rickenbacker sound, to his instantly recognizable vocals on hits like "Turn, Turn, Turn", "Eight Miles High," and "Mr. Tambourine Man," McGuinn didn't just make music--he made history.

Thursday, October 5, 2017, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Legendary Ladies of Motown

featuring Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Martha Reeves & The Vandellas

Sponsored by the Office of Andrew K. Benton, President of Pepperdine University and The Law Offices of Hiepler & Hiepler

With the unmistakable voices that helped define an entire generation of music in America, Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Martha Reeves of The Vandellas reign today as two of Motown's most beloved singers, with 14 Billboard #1 singles, seven Billboard #1 albums, and 42 Billboard top ten singles between them.

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Take me to the River - Memphis Soul and Rhythm & Blues Revue

featuring William Bell, Charlie Musselwhite, and Bobby Rush,

Plus Frayser Boy, Al Kapone, The Hi Rhythm Section, and The Stax Academy Alumni Band with music director Boo Mitchell

Sponsored by the Flamminio Family

Take Me to the River is a live concert journey through the soul of American music with artists featured in the documentary film praised by Rolling Stone, celebrating the intergenerational and interracial musical influence of Memphis in the face of pervasive discrimination and segregation. This historic show features a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see legends William Bell (2017 Grammy Winner), Bobby Rush (2017 Grammy winner), and Charlie Musselwhite (2014 Grammy winner) share the stage and perform the classics with the all-star Hi Rhythm Section and The Stax Academy Alumni Band.

Sunday, October 8, 2017, 7 PM


Smothers Theatre

Shawn Colvin

Grammy-winner Shawn Colvin shines with the sublime sensitivity and dry wit that has earned her an enduring reputation as one of America's great live performers. Her songs have topped the Billboard charts, including "Round of Blues," "I Don't Know Why," and "Nothin' On Me," as well as 1997's pop hit "Sunny Came Home," which earned her two of Grammy's biggest awards, Record Of The Year and Song of the Year.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017, 8pm


Smothers Theatre

Ko-Eun Yi, Piano

Korean pianist Ko-Eun Yi, a winner of the 2013 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition, has been praised by the Cincinnati Enquirer for her live performances as "fantasy worlds of shimmering sounds and colors...flawless and dazzling." She has garnered numerous top prizes in her young career, with recent successes at the 2010 World Piano Competition in Cincinnati, Ohio and the 2011 Wideman International Piano Competition in Jackson, Mississippi. Yi will play her program The Glory, featuring Massiaen's Twenty Ways of Looking at the Infant Jesus and Liszt's Poetic and Religious Harmonies.

Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 2 PM


Raitt Recital Hall

Kellie Pickler

Sponsored by the Office of Andrew K. Benton, President of Pepperdine University

Critically-acclaimed country music artist Kellie Pickler first gained fame as a contestant on the fifth season of American Idol, and has since released four popular albums, including 100 Proof, which Rolling Stone named the Best Country Album of 2011. Among her best known hits are the Gold-certified "Red High Heels," "I Wonder," "Best Days of Your Life," and "No Cure for Crazy."

Saturday, October 21, 2017, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall

Sponsored by Gary and Melissa Oakland

With 11 Grammy Awards between them, trumpeter Herb Alpert and vocalist Lani Hall infuse an eclectic mix of jazz, world, and American pop standards with their uniquely effervescent and joyful sound.

Sunday, October 22, 2017, 2 PM


Smothers Theatre

Rita Rudner

Sponsored by the Pepperdine University Crest Associates

She may speak softly, but she carries a big wit. The star of seven award-winning HBO comedy specials and one of the longest running Las Vegas one-person comedy shows, Rudner delivers her stand-up with a wide-eyed sweetness that belies her legendary acid observations.

Thursday, December 7, 2017 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Ezralow Dance Company

Artistic Director Daniel Ezralow

Ezralow Dance Company mingles contemporary dance with playful humor, provocative ideas, striking visuals, and "a fine-scaled, gutsy energy" (New York Times) in performances that transport the audience to a new dimension with an explosive blend of extraordinary creative fantasy and dramatic emotion.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Tommy Emmanuel

Two-time Grammy nominee Tommy Emmanuel, one of Australia's most respected guitarists, has a repertoire that spans pop, jazz, blues, gospel, classical, flamenco, and aboriginal styles, winning him hundreds of thousands of fans worldwide.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018, 8 PM

Thursday, January 18, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Steep Canyon Rangers

Grammy Award-winning Steep Canyon Rangers are best known for their dynamic Americana songwriting, instrumental virtuosity, and high-energy performances. Long-time collaborators of actor/comedian and respected banjo player Steve Martin, Steep Canyon Rangers are "...a great mixture of today's bluegrass styles and excellent harmonies" (Bluegrass Today).

Saturday, January 20, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Tessa Lark, Violin

Recipient of a 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Silver Medalist in the 9th Quadrennial International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, winner of the 2012 Naumburg International Violin Competition, and a recipient of a career grant from the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship Fund for the Performing and Visual Arts, Tessa Lark is one of the most captivating artistic voices of her time. She is praised consistently by critics and audiences alike for her astounding range of sounds, technical agility, captivating interpretations, and multi-genre performance.

Sunday, January 21, 2018, 2 PM


Raitt Recital Hall

Carrie Newcomer

Carrie Newcomer is a conversational, introspective songwriter who celebrates and savors the ordinary sacred moments of life and champions interfaith dialogue and progressive spirituality. Described as a "prairie mystic" (Boston Globe) with "a voice as rich as Godiva chocolate" (Austin Statesman), Newcomer has performed around the world for humanitarian efforts, with Boston's WBEZ naming her one of the most influential folk artists of the last 25 years.

Sunday, January 21, 2018, 7 PM


Smothers Theatre


Combining gymnastics, weight sharing, pop dance, and performance art in a delightfully whimsical human circus, the innovative award-winning dance troupe Pilobolus wears its revolutionary stripes on its sleeves. Like its biological namesake-a feisty little fungus that thrives in farmyards-Pilobolus continues to grow toward the light, expanding and refining its unique methods of collective creativity.

Thursday, January 25, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

The Four Freshmen

Sponsored by Anne Marie and Mitch Bredefeld

Since their inception in 1948, The Four Freshmen have continued to tour worldwide with their unique blend of harmonic jazz arrangements and big band vocal group sounds. The ensemble has "endured for the simple reason that they are top in their class" (CBS).

Sunday, January 28, 2018, 2 PM


Smothers Theatre

Mandy Harvey

An award-winning jazz singer and songwriter, Mandy Harvey lost her residual hearing when she was 18. Though her hearing loss is profound, her timing, pitch, and passion are perfect. Incorporating American Sign Language into her rich performance, Harvey glides from a "breathy jazz standard to growling blues" that gets the audience up on its feet (LA Times), and though she can't hear the applause or her own remarkable voice, she continues to find joy in music and inspire all who can listen.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Time for Three

This groundbreaking, category-shattering trio transcends traditional classification, mixing elements of pop, rock, and classical forms. With an infectious energy, virtuosity, and showmanship, Time for Three performs everything from Bach to Brahms to ingenious mash-ups of hits by the Beatles, Kanye West, Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and more.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Brandon Ridenour, Trumpet

A virtuoso trumpeter and composer, Brandon Ridenour's brilliance and self-assurance on the concert stage led to his victory at the 2014 CAG Victor Elmaleh Competition. Hailed as "a major talent in the making" (Grand Rapids Press), Brandon became the youngest member ever to join the iconic Canadian Brass, playing in distinguished venues around the world, performing on television, recording ten albums, and receiving three Juno Award nominations during his tenure.

Sunday, February 18, 2018, 2 PM


Raitt Recital Hall

Velvet Caravan

Rooted in the gypsy jazz and swing and Latin swing styles, this high-energy, acoustic-based quintet of guitar, violin, standup bass, percussion, and keyboards (including accordion) has emerged as one of the shining lights of Savannah, Georgia's burgeoning music scene. This band plays upbeat tunes from all over the world with thunderous virtuosity and relentless sense of humor that is "vibrantly free" (Beaufort Gazette).

Thursday, March 1, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Sonia De Los Santos at Family Arts Fest

A soulful and important new voice in family music, Sonia De Los Santos has been hailed by Billboard as "one of the Latin Children's music artists you should know." Singing in English and Spanish and playing guitar, mandolin, and jarana, De Los Santos infuses old and new songs with messages of joyful community music making and cultural bridge building. The family-friendly day will feature art activities, food trucks, face-painting, museum tours, backstage tours, and more.

Saturday, March 3, 2018, 11 AM and 1 PM

Family Arts Fest 11 AM - 3 PM


Smothers Theatre and Gregg G. Juarez Courtyard

Robin Spielberg

One of America's most beloved pianists and composers, Robin Spielberg has been winning the hearts of listeners around the world with her compelling melodies and sensitive piano technique, "filled with a gentleness of spirit" and "an undeniable melodic gift" (NY Concert Review).

Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

Jarrod Spector

Sponsored by Ellen and Doug Weitman

Tony Nominee Jarrod Spector has graced the Broadway stage for six years as Frankie Valli in Jersey Boys and for three years as Barry Mann in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, but the journey began years before. Helped by unrivaled childhood archival footage, Jarrod traces his career from Philly to Los Angeles to New York through the songs that have shaped his life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre


A dynamic contemporary blend of taiko, music, storytelling, and choreography, TAIKOPROJECT unites ancient Japanese tradition with 21st-century American innovation. The first and only American taiko group to win the prestigious Tokyo International Taiko Contest in 2005, TAIKOPROJECT is pure "drum nirvana" (Fresno Bee).

Thursday, March 22, 2018, 7:30 PM

$20-$40 for adults

$17 for youth 17 and under

Smothers Theatre

Sang-Eun Lee, Cello

As the winner of both the 2014 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the 2014 YCA Auditions in Seoul, cellist Sang-Eun Lee has been hailed for her expressive artistry and dazzling technique. The Washington Post praised: "she is a prodigiously talented young artist with powerful technique and musical poise." At 15, she won First Prize at the 2009 Johansen International Competition in Washington, DC, and the Young Musician Prize of the Emanuel Feuermann Competition in Berlin.

Sunday, April 8, 2018, 2 PM


Raitt Recital Hall

The Triplets of Belleville Cine-Concert

In 2003, the animatEd French feature The Triplets of Belleville swept the globe, along with its Oscar-nominated score by Benoit Charest, which grabbed audiences by the ears and dragged them into the streets of 1920s Paris and Le Jazz Hot. Benoit is back with Le Terrible Orchestre de Belleville as he recreates the original score and live foley as you watch the misadventures of a kidnapped Tour de France cyclist, his would-be rescuer grandmother, and the titular trio of larger-than life divas. (Film is rated PG-13.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 8 PM


Smothers Theatre

The Passing Zone Saves the World

Can Jon Wee and Owen Morse save the world through laughter and dangerous stunts? Finalists on America's Got Talent, The Passing Zone has been wowing audiences for decades with their award-winning combination of comedy, dexterity, danger, and hilarity.

Sunday, April 22, 2018, 2 PM

$17-$35 for adults

$15 for youth 17 and under

Smothers Theatre


25th Anniversary Season

Open Tuesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and one hour prior to most performances through intermission.

California Dreaming: Contemporary Art from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation

August 29-December 10, 2017

This exhibition marks the 25th anniversary of the Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine, dedicated on September 12, 1992. It celebrates the varied styles found in contemporary California art from the 1960s to the present, an important focus of the Frederick Weisman collection.

Alexis Smith

January 20-April 1, 2018

For over 40 years, Alexis Smith's art has explored the depths of popular culture. She begins with an array of images-ranging from thrift-store finds to nostalgic advertisements-and juxtaposes them with poetic and poignant texts. Her art underscores how the media shapes our self-image and reminds us that meaning is often fugitive and always surprising.

Studio Art Thesis Exhibition

April 12-28, 2018

This exhibition showcases art by the seniors graduating from Seaver College's Studio Art program.

On Location in Malibu 2018

Paintings by the California Art Club

May 19-July 29, 2018

Impressionism and plein air painting were dominant styles in California art in

Major exhibitions are held in the Gregg G. Juarez Gallery and Ron Wilson-Designer Gallery in the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art. Funding for all exhibitions is provided by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation. No admission charge. Museum office: 310.506.7257.


The Pepperdine University Fine Arts Division presents the Mary Pickford-Stotsenberg Performances


The Flora L. Thornton Opera Program presents
The Pirates of Penzance
Music by Arthur Sullivan and Libretto by W.S. Gilbert
Henry Price, Director
With the Pepperdine University Orchestra
Tony Cason, Conductor

"Come Friends Who Plough the Sea!"

Join the Pirate King and his apprentice Frederic as they once again match wits with the Major General and his beautiful daughters. Hear both talented casts in Gilbert and Sullivan's most popular operetta.

Orange Cast: Wednesday and Friday
Blue Cast: Thursday and Saturday

Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 7:30 PM
Thursday, February 22, 2018, 7:30 PM
Friday, February 23, 2018, 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 24, 2018, 7:30 PM
Smothers Theatre


Pepperdine Student Activities presents

Dance in Flight

Dance in Flight embodies the diversity and essence of Seaver College and the liberal arts tradition. For over 20 years, Dance in Flight has provided a safe environment for emerging student dancers and choreographers to cultivate creativity, physical expression, and teamwork in a professional performing atmosphere. The company members come from a variety of dance backgrounds, interests, and fields of study. United by their passion for the art of movement, they are dedicated to presenting an impressive showcase of student artistry.

Thursday, February 8, 2018, 8 PM

Friday, February 9, 8 PM

Saturday, February 10, 2 PM and 8 PM


Smothers Theatre


Pepperdine Student Activities Presents
Songfest is one of Pepperdine's greatest and most unique traditions, and has been a favorite experience shared by generations of students, alumni, and the greater Pepperdine family. This musical variety show features a cast of hundreds and a large pit orchestra, and since 1973 students of all backgrounds have joyfully come together to tell stories through song and dance, thrilling audiences of all ages. Songfest is creative, high-energy, enthusiastic, uplifting, clean, family-friendly fun- an unforgettable event for participants and audiences alike.
Wednesday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 15, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 16, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 17, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.




Free tickets to choir and orchestra concerts are available for Pepperdine students, faculty, and staff with ID.

Pepperdine Wind Ensemble
Tony Cason, Director
Saturday, October 14, 2017 at 1:00 PM
Smothers Theatre

Pepperdine University Orchestra
Tony Cason, Director
Thursday, October 19, 2017 7:30 PM
Smothers Theatre

Pepperdine Chamber Choir
Ryan Board, Director
Friday, October 27, 2017 7:30 PM
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art

Pepperdine Choir and Orchestra Christmas Concert
Ryan Board and Tony Cason, Directors
Thursday, November 30, 2017 7:30 PM
Smothers Theatre

Pepperdine Orchestra and Choir Masterworks Concert
Ryan Board and Tony Cason, Directors
Featuring the 2017 Thomas M. Osborn Concerto Competition winner.
Thursday, April 12, 2018, 7:30 PM
Smothers Theatre

The Pickford Ensemble
Up Against the Screen: New Music with Film
N. Lincoln Hanks, Director
Monday, April 16, 2018, 7:30 PM

Pepperdine Chamber Choir
Ryan Board, Director
Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 7:30 PM
Location to be announced

Pepperdine Wind Ensemble
Tony Cason, Director
Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 7:30 PM
Smothers Theatre


$48 for four events

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