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Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts Announces 2017-2018 Season

Critically-acclaimed country music artist Kellie Picker, legendary jazz musicians Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, Grammy Award winner Shawn Colvin, and two Legendary Ladies of Motown, Mary Wilson of The Supremes and Martha Wilson and 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.

“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 Center for the Arts managing director, Rebecca Carson. “I look forward to connecting these amazing artists with our enthusiastic audience.” 

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 Los Angeles-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 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 include 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 museum’s 25th anniversary season, as it was dedicated on September 12, 1992. The museum is open from 11 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free.

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 will present its popular Dance in Flight and Songfest.

Tickets for all performances are available beginning June 26 by calling 310-506-4522 from noon to 5 PM, Monday through Friday, and two hours prior to curtain time. Tickets to all events are also available through the Center for the Arts website.

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