News and Events
Center for the Arts Presents "Rock the Presidents" Musical Revue
In the genre of the musical history lessons of Schoolhouse Rock!, the hits keep coming as the Arizona-based children's theatre company, Childsplay, brings all 44 U.S. presidents to life in the Rock the Presidents musical revue at Smothers Theatre in Malibu on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 11 a.m. The show is recommended for ages 7 and up.
From the rockin' "The Sons of Washington" to the groovy/psychedelic "I'm Not All Bad" to the twangy, country-western style of "Ronald Reagan," Rock the Presidents highlights the history of our top executive office in a high-energy, multimedia extravaganza. Celebrated throughout are the legacies, the one-termers, the mistakes, the triumphs, the generals, the first ladies, even the presidential pets!
Set against a presidential backdrop framed by stars and stripes and crowned with a bald eagle, the innovative scenic design from Holly Windingstad features a large screen that showcases the multimedia aspects of the production. Phoenix-based Limitrophe Films created the video aspects to bring a high-voltage, interactive element to the show. Presidential portraits, paintings, and historical footage stream throughout the "concert."
During the performance the cast interacts with the video screen in such engaging segments as a video game battle, a game show called "The Presi-Tron," a '60s psychedelic lava lamp technique for "I'm Not All Bad," and the neon sign of "The Lonely Presidents Lounge."
At the conclusion of the show, the cast uses "The Future Presi-Cam" camera to scan the crowd and find our future aspiring presidents as they rock out to "Are You a President-to-Be?"
Rock the Presidents was created by Dwayne Hartford (book and lyrics) and composer Sarah Roberts (music) and is directed by Anthony Runfola. It was a smash hit at its February 2012 premiere in Tempe, Arizona, performing to capacity crowds. Public demand was so great for the show that Childsplay extended the performances for two additional weekends and pledged to audiences that it would bring the show back to kick off its next season.
Patrons of Rock the Presidents are invited to attend Family Art Day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, in the Gregg G. Juarez Palm Courtyard next to Smothers Theatre. It will include special art projects and Weisman Museum tours. Family Art Day is free of admission charge and open to the public.
Pepperdine will also present Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia's Treasured Stories by Eric Carle on February 9 and ArtsPower National Touring Theatre's The Little Engine That Could Earns Her Whistle on March 2.