News and Events
Center for the Arts Showcases Standout Performances in the New Year
Penguins playing musical chairs, sizzling timba music, and an innovative light show all come to the Pepperdine University Center for the Arts in January 2009.
Starting on Friday, Jan. 9, the seven members of Tiempo Libre, a Miami-based, Latin band, will heat up the stage in Smothers Theatre with their sizzling brand of music called timba. Timba has been described as "an irresistible mix of high-voltage Latin jazz and seductive Cuban rhythms flavored with funk, soul, and subtle elements of hip-hop."
Since their formation in 2001, the members of Tiempo Libre have forged a new style born from their Cuban roots and their new American experience. The band has twice been nominated for a Grammy, and was named "Best Latin Band 2008" by the Miami New Times. Tickets to see Tiempo Libre at Pepperdine are $40.
On Sunday, Jan. 11, Raitt Recital Hall will ring with the vocal stylings of soprano Emily Albrink. Hailed by The New York Times as being "delightful and vocally strong and versatile," this 25-year-old American soprano embarks on what promises to be a very successful career. This season, she joins the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at Washington National Opera and makes her Carnegie Hall debut. She is an alumna of the Manhattan School of Music as well as Songfest, the acclaimed summer program for singers held at Pepperdine.
"I started off at Songfest, and began to figure out who I was as an artist. It was a safe place for me to spread my wings and discover what I had to offer," says Albrink of her experience at Pepperdine. "To be asked to come back and perform is an honor, and I feel like I've really come full circle."
Albrink will be performing several pieces of new music that were commissioned for Songfest. "Songfest really reinforced my love for new music and the importance of supporting new American composers," she says. "I hope that people come away reaffirmed that the recital as an artform isn't dead; it can be fresh, exciting and energetic." Tickets for Albrink's performance are $25.
Children and adults alike will be mesmerized by the innovative light show called LUMA: Theater of Light, which will illuminate the stage of Smothers Theatre at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 11. The show's inventive creator and his team use a darkened theatre as a canvas and lights as brushes to paint dazzling, dancing images that tell stories and spin visual magic unlike anything you've ever seen before.
A writer from the Chicago Tribune described LUMA as "figuratively and literally illuminating. It never fails to amaze!" Tickets for this show are $35 for the general public; youth 17 and under admitted for $20. This show is not recommended for children under 5.
The following week, dazzling guitarist John Jorgenson, a founding member of the Desert Rose Band and a former member of Elton John's band, creates gypsy jazz at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 17, in Smothers Theatre. He will be joined by rhythm guitarist Kevin Nolan, violinist Jason Anick, bassist Charlie Chadwick, and drummer Rick Reed. Dubbed the John Jorgenson Quintet, they will perform Jorgenson's own compositions as well as classic standards. A special event will take place prior to the concert. From 6 to 8 p.m., the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art will hold an opening reception for the exhibit, "Robert Dowd: Pop Art Money."
Next up on the CFA lineup for January is American musical theater lyricist and composer Stephen Schwartz, who will take the stage in Smothers Theatre at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 18. In a career already spanning over four decades, Schwartz has written such hit musicals as Godspell (1971), Pippin (1972) and Wicked (2003). He has also contributed lyrics for a number of successful films, including Pocahontas (1995), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), The Prince of Egypt (1998; music and lyrics) and Enchanted (2007). Along the way, Schwartz has won three Grammy Awards, three Academy Awards, and six Tony Award nominations.
Alongside Schwartz, vocalists Scott Coulter and Debbie Gravitte will perform, in a celebration of his unforgettable music. This event was rescheduled from last season. Tickets are $45.
Some of Schwartz's work may be featured again on the Pepperdine stage in the comedy Forbidden Broadway: The All-New 25th Anniversary Edition. The show that has been a New York sensation for 25 years and winner of a special 2006 Tony Award will be performed at 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 23, in Smothers Theatre.
From Annie to Phantom of the Opera to Wicked, this fall-down-funny take-off of over 30 Broadway hits features outrageous costumes, hysterical song spoofs, and zany impressions by a talented quartet of comic chameleons. It's not recommended for children under 7 years old. Tickets are $45.
For it's next trick, the CFA will usher in the weird, wacky, wonderful show Frogz at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 25. This family-friendly show features fantastical costumes, mime, and amazing acrobatics. Characters include cavorting lizards, penguins playing musical chairs, and a cat rustling about in a giant paper bag. Tickets for Frogz are $35 for general admission; youth 17 and under will be admitted for $20.
Finally, the first month of the New Year will conclude with a production of The Roads to Home, presented by the Pepperdine Theatre department. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning Horton Foote, whose screenplays for To Kill a Mockingbird and Tender Mercies won Academy Awards, The Roads to Home is a wistful trilogy of interwoven stories set in 1920s Texas.
The New York Times had high praise for the play. "[Foote] finds a way to make his characters' inner turmoil so ferociously vivid it leaps beyond their specific time and place to become our own." Performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. from Tuesday, Jan. 27 to Friday, Jan. 30, and again at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 31 in the Helen E. Lindhurst Theatre. Tickets are $15 for the general public; $12 for Pepperdine faculty and staff; and $10 for Pepperdine students.
CFA Managing Director Rebecca Carson chose the events that compose next month's robust lineup. "January is a perfect representation of the breadth of programming and activities the Center for the Arts has to offer, including performances in contemporary music, Broadway, classical music, and family entertainment," she says.
Tickets for any CFA performance can be purchased by calling the box office at (310) 506-4522. For more information on any show, visit the CFA Web site.