The Broad Stage Ups the Creative Ante with More Performances Slated for Expanded 2010-11 Season

Innovative New Cabaret, Dance, Film & Family Music Series Celebrated with Open-Air Parties and Multi-Media Events

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Apr 22, 2010, 14:00 ET from The Broad Stage

SANTA MONICA, Calif., April 22 /PRNewswire/ -- The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center today announced an expanded season of award-winning productions, genre-defining artists, exciting local discoveries and new film and performance series and events.

The summer pre-season begins on June 17 with the new musical "Daddy Long Legs" and the official season kicks off October 7- 9 with an opening weekend of performances and events featuring dynamic new jazz star Esperanza Spalding; iconic classical cellist Lynn Harrell; and folk legend Judy Collins. Building on a programming vision embracing a variety of genres, generations and global influences, the 499-seat theater and its 99-seat companion, The Edye Second Space, "take a leap forward for the 2010-2011 season," announced director Dale Franzen, artistic advisory board chair Dustin Hoffman, and board of directors chair Austin Beutner at the state-of-the-art modernist arts complex in Santa Monica. Innovations for the third season include the 'Films 4 Change' screening series; '21st Century Cabaret' in The Edye; and Saturday morning multi-media 'Mash-Ups' of classical music and spoken word slam for all ages.

"For two seasons now The Broad Stage has brought to the Westside some of the best artists performing today from the worlds of jazz, Broadway, coffeehouse and concert hall," continues the statement by the three Broad leaders. "The 2010-11 season is even more ambitious, with more programming featuring visionaries in contemporary dance and film, more community and multi-media events, and a recognition that in times like these it is even more important to achieve our founding promise to grow into a global laboratory of creativity and an artistic playground for world famous and emerging talents alike."

"The Broad Stage in only its third season is already establishing traditions to be proud of," says Dustin Hoffman, founding chair of the artist advisory board. "The caliber of the artists has helped the dream of making The Broad Stage a crossroads for cultural conversation become true. The Broad is an intimate setting for the most gifted and well known artists and next season will introduce the "I Wonder…" series, a post-performance conversation moderated by the artists themselves and allowing community interaction by audience participation—the very essence of The Broad."

"In our third season we continue to stretch for excellence and innovation and are excited to present those award-winning masters of their craft and bold new talents who are doing the same," adds Franzen. "This year the world-class artists making The Broad their creative home away from home include Rita Wilson, F. Murray Abraham and Alan Cumming in theater; acclaimed violinist Joshua Bell and jazz saxophonist/composer Branford Marsalis in music; the Bill T. Jones dance company, and the list goes on and on. With new series and events like Saturday Morning Mash-Ups, the Films 4 Change Festival, 21st Century Cabaret and Classical Masters The Broad Stage will keep busy with something for everyone of every age. We're especially excited about adding more contemporary dance this season as part of The Body Electric and offering an aesthetic and interpretive spectrum of Shakespeare plays as part of 'The Broad Does The Bard.'"

"The Broad Stage is one of the things I love best about Los Angeles and part of what keeps our city resilient and moving forward," explains board chair Austin Beutner. "To be embraced by international artists and neighborhood audiences alike is an accomplishment and an asset to the Westside and the entire cultural life of the city. The Broad Stage has become a Westside institution, both reflecting and enhancing the diversity and creative energy in our community and our world."  

Committed since its grand opening in 2008 to bringing international stars, local luminaries, award-winning productions and visionary new talent to the Westside, The Broad Stage's new season delivers popular returning artists and bold new discoveries in music, dance, theater, and film.  

Among the new additions in programming, the Films 4 Change Festival is a screening series of socially conscious documentaries that comprise the opening salvo in future film series for The Broad's state-of-the-art screening capacities. Giving a modern update to old-fashioned children's concerts, The Broad introduces "Saturday Morning Mash-Ups," raucous and exciting multi-media family events interpreting classics by Saint-Saens, Prokofiev and Britten via spoken word slam artists and the Angeli Orchestra. "Mash-Ups" creator Rachael Worby calls the series "a high-energy, interactive leap that breaks barriers in how both kids and adults encounter music." Shakespeare gets the traditional and contemporary treatment in "The Broad Does the Bard," featuring productions from Shakespeare's Globe Theater and a new commission by The Royal Shakespeare Company.

The innovations do not stop there. The Edye Second Space will be entirely transformed into a stylish boite, complete with tables, mood lighting and a well-stocked bar, when "The 21st Century Cabaret" takes up residence for intimate evenings of singular voices breathing new passion into a beloved genre. The smash New York hit "Celebrity Autobiography" makes its home in The Edye repeatedly throughout the year, presenting a rotating roster of major stars, including Rita Wilson, Laraine Newman, Ryan Reynolds, Kristin Wiig, Rachel Dratch, Fred Willard and other comedy heavyweights in scandalously hilarious performances of actual memoirs by celebrities who most certainly will regret their own words.

Musical offerings range from Broadway to Baroque and everywhere in between, including performances by jazz icon Branford Marsalis; jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon; and singer/bassist Esperanza Spalding.  Classical Masters features violinist Joshua Bell; violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg with the New Century Chamber Orchestra; and world-renowned cellist Lynn Harrell.  Musica Angelica returns with two programs of Baroque favorites featuring counter-tenor Daniel Taylor and Bach's "Brandenburg" Concertos 4, 5 and 6. In "Showstoppers" Tony-winners Christine Ebersole, Paolo Szot and Lea Salonga each take their turn in the spotlight for a tour-de-force concert series of headliners direct from Broadway to The Broad. In addition, "Ladies of the Road," presents individual concerts featuring a who's who of female musical pioneers from around the world, including singer-songwriter Judy Collins; Iranian vocalist and performance artist Sussan Deyhim; and Grammy-winning a cappella vocal group Sweet Honey In The Rock, committed to the African American musical legacy and traditions.

Renewing the passion and commitment to dance that was a highlight of its 2008 inaugural season, The Broad Stage welcomes the return of The Body Electric series, featuring Diavolo, String Theory, and Bill T. Jones, three of the leading, visionary contemporary dance companies touring today.

This season's range of theater offerings introduces a new musical, acclaimed solo performances and  "The Broad Does The Bard" featuring Shakespeare's Globe Theater revival of their hit UK production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" and The Royal Shakespeare Company's commission of "The Merchant of Venice" starring Academy Award-winner F. Murray Abraham by Theatre for a New Audience, the first American company to be invited to the RSC's Complete Works Festival.

Lauded as a breakthrough in contemporary musical theater, The Broad opens the summer pre-season with  "Daddy Long Legs," a new two character musical directed by John Caird, the Tony and Olivier Award–winning director of "Les Miserables" and "Nicholas Nickleby," and starring Broadway's Megan McGinnis ("Little Women," "Beauty and the Beast"). The popular and playful Impro Theatre makes a return engagement to The Broad with "Dickens Unscripted" (Nov. 20Dec. 19), a seasonal celebration of high spirits and holiday tea running at The Edye; and for one night only, Saturday, December 4, celebrity guests will join the company on the mainstage for "Jane Austen Unscripted," an evening of "breathtaking wit" and unexpected surprises that sold-out last season. Guests are invited to come in festive or regency costume to kick off the holiday gala evening in seasonal style.

Theatrical provocateur Peter Brook brings two of his characteristically memorable and artistically ambitious productions to Los Angeles (April 6 - 11, 2011). In "Fragments," imported from Europe by The Broad Stage, the legendary director weaves a quintet of short pieces by Samuel Beckett into a complete and compelling evening of "revealing humor and humanity." "The Grand Inquisitor," Brook's other unexpected adaptation, forges a surprisingly dynamic and disturbing monologue from Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, turning the Spanish Inquisition into a pointedly relevant inquiry into today.  Another solo theaterwork pushing the boundaries and filling the mainstage is "Alan Cumming: Uncut" (July 9, 2010) from award-winning stage and film actor/writer/director, a comedic yet topical evening of provocative monologues and music.

Special community events spilling beyond the stage into The Broad Plaza include:

"VIVA Mexico!" (September 19, 2010) celebrates the 200th anniversary of Mexico's Independence and the 100th anniversary of its Revolution. The Broad Stage will commemorate these two momentous events with a free community concert featuring Mariachi Divas. With Los Angeles the home to the largest Mexican population outside of Mexico City, the celebration promises to honor the history and culture that help make our city great.  "In the Spirit of Woody Guthrie: Ribbon of Highway, Endless Skyway (May 22, 2011) is a star-studded concert tribute to one of America's most beloved and enduring singer-songwriters, bridging 20th century American history and the future of folk music. The day-long celebration focuses on Guthrie's life and musical legacy during the 1930s when he lived in Los Angeles. Great contemporary troubadours will share the bill with Johnny Ion and Sara Lee, Guthrie's granddaughter.

To experience The Broad Stage's 2010-2011 Season, showcasing the full spectrum of performing arts; the "Films 4 Change" screening series; special community parties and family events; and the new "21st Century Cabaret" series at The Edye, go to or call 310.434.3200. Tickets for the Summer Pre-Season are on sale now. Subscriptions for the fall season go on sale Monday, June 14th.  Fall Season Single Tickets go on sale Saturday, August 7th.


Vanessa Butler, 213-446-0774

SOURCE The Broad Stage