The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts (The Wallis) 2017/18 season features 250 performances delivering groundbreaking produced and presented works in dance, music and theater from locally, nationally and internationally renowned artists and companies. The 2017/18 season, marks the second year of programming under the leadership of Artistic Director Paul Crewes and Managing Director Rachel Fine along with newly appointed Board Chairman Michael Nemeroff, and the fifth for the institution.
“The range and accessibility of our programming—that showcases local, national, and international artists bringing wonderful stories and remarkable performances to our stages—strive to attract and reflect the diversity that encompasses us in Los Angeles,” said The Wallis’ Artistic Director Paul Crewes. “The Wallis is a home for artists and audiences alike who want to explore, celebrate and embrace creativity, and I am extremely proud of the works that we are producing and presenting in the new 2017/2018 season.”
The Wallis deepens its relationship with L.A. Dance Project, which this season becomes the institution’s Company-In-Residence. L.A. Dance Project, under the leadership of Benjamin Millepied, has quickly established itself on the international stage, and will present two programs at The Wallis, one in the fall and one in spring, as well as participate in other education and outreach activities throughout the season.
Committed to developing lasting relationships with companies, local and abroad, The Wallis produces new works and presents world renowned performances alike. The 2017/2018 season features returning artists: Arturo Sandoval, who curates a series of inspired programs spotlighting up-and-coming jazz artists along with a headlining performance; Wiesenthal’s Tom Dugan and the world premiere of The Wallis’ production of Jackie Unveiled; Stephen Schwartz and the 2018 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop; the world-renowned Harlem Quartet; Kyle Riabko, presenting a night of groundbreaking arrangements of the songs of Richard Rodgers; Hershey Felder; Patricia Ward Kelly; and theatrical alchemists Kneehigh. The Sorting Room—the wildly successful series that transformed the Lovelace Studio Theater into an intimate nightclub—is returning in the winter of 2017 and summer of 2018, offering the best talent from a wide range of genres including the American songbook, spoken word, comedy, classic cabaret, storytelling, dance, contemporary music, and more. The Wallis is also forging an exciting new partnership with LA Opera, to co-produce Matthew Aucoin’s Crossing in concert, featuring Rod Gilfry; as well as welcomes local artists including: Lula Washington Dance Theatre; BODYTRAFFIC; wild Up; Ory Shihor; Sheldon Epps and The Wallis’ production of Blues in the Night; Debbie Allen and the return of the highly popular Dance Sundays series; and Story Pirates.
Globally renowned artists and companies showcased in the 2017/18 season include: South African dance company Dada Masilo; pianist Jonathan Biss; violinist Sarah Chang and pianist Julio Elizalde; Stephen Hough and the Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet; Nathan and Julie Gunn; Daniel Hope and the Zurich Chamber Orchestra; Broadway’s Seth Rudetsky with special guests; actor Joe Morton as famed comic-activist Dick Gregory in the highly-acclaimed show Turn Me Loose; Hamid Rahmanian and his breathtaking cinematic shadow play Feathers of Fire: A Persian Epic; David Mynne’s one-man take on Great Expectations; and Vesturport, who brings a bold new twist on the world’s most infamous outlaw in The Heart of Robin Hood. The season also features three MacArthur “Geniuses”— Michelle Dorrance, Stephen Hough and Jeremy Denk.
“It’s exhilarating for The Wallis to be a part of Los Angeles’ bustling arts scene, supporting both seasoned and new voices across all performing arts disciplines, and offering multifaceted programs that are curated with both creativity and social impact in mind,” said Managing Director Rachel Fine. “Our ambitious vision, supported by our Board of Directors, the City of Beverly Hills, and our loyal donors, positions The Wallis to be everyone’s performing arts center: a vibrant cultural hub offering a broad range of programming and vital education programs that reflect and are accessible to our increasingly diverse community.”