Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Announces 2016/17 Season

This will be the first season with the arts center’s new leadership team in place – Artistic Director Paul Crewes, Managing Director Rachel Fine, and Board Chairman David C. Bohnett – and The Wallis is planning to kick it off in a big way. On Sept 10 and 11, they invite everyone to the center for WelcomeFest, a weekend celebration of free theater, dance and music events. The festival will utilize all areas of The Wallis from the 500-seat Bram Goldsmith Theater and intimate 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater, to the outdoor Promenade Terrace and elegant Jamie Tisch Sculpture Garden. Event details will be announced at a later date.

Perhaps the most exciting news for L.A. theatre lovers is the announcement that Michael Arden (who just received Tony, Drama Desk and New York Outer Critics Circle Award nominations for Best Direction of Spring Awakening) will be The Wallis’s first ever Artist-in-Residence. He will develop new work, conduct a Master Class and direct two new productions: including Steven Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along (Nov 22 – Dec 18, 2016) and Alexi Kaye Campbell’s The Pride.

The Wallis and ASCAP will present An Evening with Stephen Schwartz: Music & Broadway Memories with Special Broadway Guest Stars on Feb 3, 2017. Spend an evening of music and Broadway memories from Stephen Schwartz, the Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award-winning composer/lyricist whose credits include the classic musicals Wicked, Godspell and Pippin, as well as the Walt Disney films Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Enchanted, and the DreamWorks film The Prince of Egypt. The Wallis also welcomes back the ASCAP Foundation Musical Theatre Workshop in Partnership with DreamWorks Animation and The Wallis on Feb 1 & 2, 2017.

For The Record returns to L.A. for Martin Scorsese: American Crime Requiem (Sept 21 – Oct 16, 2016). The show stars an eclectic mix of artists from the worlds of music, stage and screen performing an epic set list from GoodFellas, Casino, The Departed, The Wolf of Wall Street and more. Part rock concert, part drama, part nightclub, and always entertaining. Pictured: Justin Mortelliti and Ensemble.

Hershey Felder also returns to The Wallis with the premiere of his new production, Tchaikovsky: A Play with Music, written and performed by Felder and directed by Trevor Hay (July 19 – Aug 6, 2017). Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, one of Russia’s most famous composers, is known for his beautiful melodies from the ballets Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker. At the age of 53, Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of his enigmatic Symphony No. 6, “Pathétique,” of which he said, “Let them guess what it means…” Nine days later he was dead. To this day, how and why he died are still a mystery. Now Felder’s newest work unveils the life of one of the most beloved and tormented composers of all time.

Families will enjoy The Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences production of Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in A Play! (April 22 – 23, 2017). The entertaining musical experience is ripped from the pages of Mo Willems’s beloved, award-winning, best-selling children’s books and will leave audiences doing the “Flippy Floppy Floory” dance all night long. In this vaudevillian romp, Elephant and Piggie sing and dance their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense. Recommended for ages 4+.
Also for the whole family is a Family Concert on Jan 29, 2017 featuring
Dan Zanes & Friends. This is the third time the Grammy Award-winner will perform at The Wallis and this time he brings his friend Sonia de los Santos for a bilingual English and Spanish concert for kids and kids-at-heart.

For a complete schedule of all the theatre, dance, jazz and classical events coming to The Wallis, visit

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Comedy Faceposted by Ellen Dostal, MusicalsInLA @
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