Carpenter Center Celebrates 20th Anniversary With Exciting 2014-15 Season

share this:
The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center

The Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal State Long Beach announces its 2014-15 season featuring performances in comedy, dance, music, and special events for the whole family.  Marking its 20th anniversary, the theatre offers five subscription series, plus an assortment of unique presentations that include London’s world-famous Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, Pro Football Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw, Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore, and more.

“For twenty years the Carpenter Center has sought to engage and enrich the lives of audiences throughout Southern California with vibrant, eclectic performances that are as diverse as our greater community,” says Executive Director Michele Roberge.  “As we finish our most successful season in the history of the theatre, the overwhelmingly positive response from our patrons illustrates that audiences want a broad range of programmatic offerings—and we will build on that in our 20th Anniversary Season with international and renowned artists that celebrate the joy that can only come from a live performance. Patrons will discover new artists as well as some of our greatest hits artists from the past 20 years.”

Dance Series

Continuing its strong commitment as a leading presenter of dance in Southern California, Carpenter Center’s Dance Series features established companies comprised of sought-after choreographers and performers.  The series kicks off with Dave Roussève/REALITY on Sept. 27 as the award-winning director-choreographer presents his latest work, Stardust, a coming of age story for the Twitter generation that weaves storytelling, movement and social media.  Next in the series is Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature on Feb. 7, 2015.  Described by The New York Times as “America’s greatest contemporary ballerina,” the piece is a suite of four duets created and performed in collaboration with choreographers Alejandro Cerrudo, Joshua Beamish, Kyle Abraham, and Brian Brooks.  Lastly, Nā Lei Hulu I ka Wēkiu returns to the theatre on Mar. 14, 2015, with their theatrical and innovative approach to traditional Hawaiian dance.

Dave Roussève/REALITY: Stardust
Sat., Sept. 27, 2014 at 8pm

Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature
Sat., Feb. 7, 2015 at 8pm

Nā Lei Hulu I ka Wēkiu
Sat., Mar. 14, 2015 at 8pm

Wit & Wisdom Series

The theatre’s popular Wit and Wisdom Series features artists, comedians and actors with witty insights and poignant observations of the human condition.  Beginning with An Evening with Paula Poundstone on Oct. 4, the veteran comedienne performs her spontaneous brand of comedy to kick off the series.  Next, This American Life host Ira Glass along with dancers Monica Bill Barnes and Anna Bass present Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host on Dec. 6 when dance and radio—which Glass indicates, “have no business being together”—combine to thrilling and hilarious effect. The series ends on Mar. 28, 2015 with the award-winning Julian Sands in, A Celebration of Harold Pinter, as the British film star combines Pinter’s poems and prose to celebrate and reflect on the Nobel laureate’s life.

An Evening with Paula Poundstone
Sat., Oct. 4, 2014 at 8pm

Ira Glass: Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host
Sat., Dec. 6, 2014 at 8pm

Julian Sands: A Celebration of Harold Pinter
Sat., Mar. 28, 2015 at 8pm

Sunday Afternoon Concert Series

This season’s Sunday Afternoon Concert Series opens with Mojo & the Bayou Gypsies bringing the Cajun and New Orleans two-step, rock ‘n roll and blues sounds to Long Beach on Oct. 5.  Next, the Irish traditional music band Danú will perform A Christmas Gathering: Féile Na Nollag—a family holiday concert featuring traditional Celtic instruments and Irish songs that span the centuries on Dec. 14.  The series continues with The Jive Aces as the winners of BBC’s Opportunity Knocks pay tribute to one of their musical heroes—Louis Prima—on Jan. 18.  Lastly, ABBAMANIA will recreate the sounds, energy, and legacy of the iconic Swedish pop group with renditions of the classic hits such as “Mamma Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” plus more on May 3, 2015.

Mojo & the Bayou Gypsies
Sun., Oct. 5, 2014 at 2pm

Danú: A Christmas Gathering, Féile Na Nollag
Sun., Dec. 14, 2014 at 2pm

The Jive Aces: A Salute to Louis Prima
Sun., Jan 18, 2015 at 2pm

Sun., May 3, 2015 at 2pm

WOW! Series

The WOW! Series features performers displaying incredible physical feats and eye-popping wonders that will bring thrilling entertainment to the theatre.  Kicking off the series is Mummenschanz—the renowned company originally founded in Paris with its clever, comic and bizarre world filled with strange creatures, amusing situations, astounding colors and imaginative shapes—on Oct. 25 with their show, Musicians of Silence.  An evening of music from the heartland of Scotland blasts into the theatre on Jan. 31 with Scottish Music Parade, as an ensemble of bagpipers, drummers and other musicians—The Scottish International Military Tattoo—arrives direct from Edinburgh.  Lastly, hailed by Spectacle Magazine as “the greatest contribution to the American circus since Cirque du Soleil,” Cirque Mechanics present their new show Pedal Punk—an industrialist aesthetic and rowdy Steampunk circus filled with unicycles that fly, wheel acrobats that hover, cyclists that whirl, pole climbers that soar and a trapeze artists that float on Mar. 7.

Mummenschanz: Musicians of Silence
Sat., Oct. 25, 2014 at 8pm

Scottish Music Parade
Sat., Jan. 31, 2015 at 8pm

Cirque Mechanics: Pedal Punk
Sat., Mar. 7, 2015 at 8pm

Cabaret Series

Unlike performances in the main hall at Carpenter Center, the Cabaret Series transforms the stage into an intimate concert venue offering patrons table seating less than 40 feet from the artists with the option to enjoy dinner or bar service before the show.  The series begins Oct. 22-23 as the Jennifer Keith Quintet reignites the Golden Age of lounge entertainment with a voice reminiscent of American jazz and pop music singers Julie London and Keely Smith.  Next, Carole J. Bufford, described by Stephen Holden from The New York Times as “the real thing: you know it when you see!” will take the cabaret stage on Jan. 21-22. On Mar. 11-12, the duo Bettman and Halpin will perform their mixture of folk, roots, bluegrass and jazz with catchy melodies and lyrics.  The series culminates on May 13-14 with Stacy Sullivan, the 2013 Female Vocalist of the Year from the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, in It’s a Good Day, A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee.

Jennifer Keith Quintet
Wed./Thu., Oct. 22-23, 2014

Carole J. Bufford
Wed./Thu., Jan. 21-22, 2015

Bettman and Halpin
Wed./Thu., Mar. 11-12, 2015

Stacy Sullivan: It’s a Good Day, A Tribute to Miss Peggy Lee.
Wed./Thu., May 13-14, 2015

Note: All Cabaret performances start at 7pm. Optional dinner service, purchased separately and in advance, runs from 6-6:50pm.

Music & Stage Events

Carpenter Center presents an eclectic and entertaining mix of non-series performances from music to family events.  Officially kicking off the season is Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam, as the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer performs his hit songs such as “Dear Mr. Fantasy” and “Feelin’ Alright”—and gives a retrospective of his band, Traffic.  Next, the theatre will present The Very Hungry Caterpillar & Other Eric Carle Favorites as puppets bring the adventures of the classic stories to life, especially for young audiences, on Oct. 19.  The holidays swing into the theatre as the renowned jazz pianist David Benoit returns to Carpenter Center on Dec. 20 after a sold-out performance in 2013 with the David Benoit Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown. After five consecutive sold-out shows, Capitol Steps kicks off 2015 with their special brand of political song satire on Jan. 17.  The season continues with four-time Super Bowl champion Terry Bradshaw as the legendary #12 presents a night of comedy, storytelling and singing in America’s Favorite Dumb Blonde… A Life in Four Quarters on Jan. 24.

On Feb. 5, Carpenter Center will present The Nile Project—a landmark collaboration among musicians from Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and eight other nations that share the longest river in the world.  In addition to the concert, The Nile Project will conduct a three-day residency with education activities for the public through Carpenter Center’s Arts for Life education program.  Next, six-time Grammy-winner David Sanborn will dazzle and delight on the saxophone on Mar. 15, as the jazz musician performs songs from his illustrious four-decade career.  The fun continues as New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players bring a full production of the classic comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore on Mar. 22.  Next, the theatre presents an evening of stellar string music on May 9 by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble.  Enjoy music from Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, and other classic albums in Paramount’s Original LaserSpectacular Featuring the Music of Pink Floyd on May 16.  The 20th anniversary season ends with Heather Henson’s Sing Along with The Muppets Movie on May 17 that is perfect for all ages.

Dave Mason
Sat., Sept. 20, 2014 at 8pm

Mermaid Theatre: The Very Hungry Caterpillar& Other Eric Carle Favorites
Sun., Oct. 19, 2014 at 11am and 2pm

David Benoit Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown
Sat., Dec. 20, 2014 at 8pm

Capitol Steps
Sat., Jan. 17, 2015 at 8pm

Terry Bradshaw: America’s Favorite Dumb Blonde… A Life in Four Quarters
Sat., Jan. 24, 2015 at 8pm

The Nile Project
Thur., Feb. 5, 2015 at 8pm

David Sanborn
Sat., Mar. 15, 2015 at 2pm

New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players in Gilbert and Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore
Sun., Mar. 22, 2015 at 2pm

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Sat., May 9, 2015 at 8pm

Paramount’s Original LaserSpectacular Featuring the Music of Pink Floyd
Sat., May 16, 2015 at 8pm

Heather Henson’s Sing Along with The Muppet Movie
Sun., May 17, 2015 at 2pm

Patrons who subscribe to one of the five subscription series get the best seats in the house as well as significant discounts on single tickets.  A 2014-15 advance priority subscription order form is available on online at  The Dance Series and the WOW! Series three-event subscriptions as well as the Sunday Afternoon Concert Series four-event subscription are $99, the Wit and Wisdom Series three-event subscription is $120, and the Cabaret Series four-event subscription starts at $160. The Cabaret Series also offers dinner-inclusive subscription rates as well as discounts for seniors—call for details.  Advance single tickets will be available online starting May 16 at a discount of $5 off each ticket through July 21, Cabaret events not included.  All programs, performers, prices, dates, and times are subject to change.  Presentations are made possible in part by Season Media Partner KPCC 89.3FM and Season Hospitality Sponsor Gelson’s Market.

For additional information, contact the Carpenter Center Ticket Office at (562) 985-7000 or visit the Ticket Office at 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach, 90815 (on the campus of Cal State Long Beach).  Ticket Office hours are Monday-Friday from 11am-6pm.

Comments are closed.