The Art of Irvine
Irvine Barclay Theatre
Renowned international dance companies will perform at Irvine Barclay Theatre during the 2018-19 Contemporary Dance Series.
“When we do a series, it’s not simply thrown together,” said Barclay President Jerry Mandel of the dance program. “Each company plays a significant role in elevating the art form of dance, and we’re exposing dance companies from different areas – and different countries – to new audiences.”
The Barclay season of dance opens Sept. 28 with Jessica Lang Dance from New York performing “That Thing Called Love.”
Israel’s Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company will bring “Horses in the Sky” to the Barclay stage on Oct. 24.
The iconic Martha Graham Dance Company will be in Irvine with “The Eve Project” on Feb. 27. On March 20, the Malpaso Dance Company from Cuba will be at the Barclay. The company “is steeped in driving Latin grooves and inspired sensual choreography that has taken the American dance world by storm,” according to the Barclay.
Orange County’s own Backhausdance will perform on May 22. The company just finished a milestone 15th anniversary season that included its first European tour.
The Barclay will also feature three productions by Festival Ballet Theatre, including “The Nutcracker” Dec. 8-24 and “Sleeping Beauty” March 23-24.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will kick of an exciting season of jazz music at the Barclay on Oct. 2. Pulitzer Prize-winner Wynton Marsalis will lead the orchestra in performing the music of Duke Ellington.
On Oct. 19, jazz prodigy Grace Kelly, the 26-year-old Korean American saxophonist, will perform.
Grammy and Tony award winner Dee Dee Bridgewater will sing with the Memphis Soulphony on March 14. Bridgewater has performed with notables such as Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Dexter Gordon and Dizzy Gillespie.
Six-time Grammy-winning bassist Christian McBride will bring his Big Band to Irvine on April 29.
The theater’s World Stages Series offers international acts that include Aida Cuevas, “The Queen of Mariachi,” paying tribute to singer and songwriter Juan Gabriel on Sept. 30; the Soweto Gospel Choir on Oct. 6; Diego el Cigala on March 1; and Mohsen Namjoo, known as “the Bob Dylan of Iran,” on March 28.
Fans of Broadway musicals, cabaret performances and the Great American Songbook can look forward to Christine Ebersole (Oct. 20), Jerry Herman Legacy Concert (Jan. 12), Krysta Rodriguez and Scott Barnhardt (Jan. 27), Bebe Neuwirth (March 16), and Sutton Foster (April 13).
The musical version of “Legally Blonde” will be at the Irvine Barclay Nov. 11-18. Presented by UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts, it’s one of several UCI performances at the theater, and one of many intriguing offerings from the Claire Trevor School of the Arts.
UCI Drama sets themes for each season. The upcoming one is “Against All Odds,” which will include a variety of plays and performances portraying “journeys of those who were faced with substantial adversity, but survived – and thrived – against all odds,” according to Gary Busby, UCI Drama Chair/Producing Artistic Director.
The season includes Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” (Dec. 1-9) and “The Survival Project” (Jan. 25-27). The latter was written and will be directed by Mihai Măniuțiu, who was inspired by The Green Book, a travel guide for African American motorists published between 1936 and 1966.
“Parliament Square,” which UCI Drama will stage March 9-17, is described as a “hard-hitting and poignant play that asks what are we willing to sacrifice for our beliefs?”
“The Refugee Hotel” (April 27-May 5) is a dark comedy about Chilean refugees in a Vancouver hotel, and the season finale is a production of the four-time Tony Award-winning musical “The Pajama Game” (June 1–8).
UCI’s world-renowned dance program will bring incredible performances to Irvine, including “Cultural Resonance in Contemporary Bodies” Oct. 15-16, with innovative dance performances by three leading Asian American female choreographers, and “East Meets West,” an international dance festival that will include UCI, the Southern California dance community, Shanghai Normal University and Nanjing University of the Arts.
Programs that will feature UCI students and faculty include “Dance Visions” (Feb. 21-23), “Dance Escape” (April 18-20), and Physical Graffiti (May 2-4).
For more about UCI performances, go to arts.uci.edu/events
The upcoming Pacific Symphony season is a 40th anniversary celebration. Orange County’s resident symphony is headquartered in Irvine, though local performances are most often held at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in nearby Costa Mesa.
“With the 40th anniversary season, we’re building on the momentum generated during the 2017-18 season, which includes Pacific Symphony’s Carnegie Hall debut at the invitation of Philip Glass and a five-city tour of China, the orchestra’s first international tour since 2006,” Pacific Symphony president John Forsyte said in a statement.
“All this provides a musical springboard that naturally unfolds into a season of celebrations as the orchestra enjoys growing national recognition while leading a cultural renaissance in the communities of Orange County.”
The orchestra’s diverse and extensive 40th season includes an opening spectacular Sept. 27-29 with pianist Olga Kern performing Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, as well as symphony performances of “Bolero,” an original composition “Shooting Stars” that celebrated the symphony’s 25th anniversary.
The season includes an anniversary theme of major events, such as the world premiere of a work by Michael Daugherty commissioned by the symphony set for April 11-13 that will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
The 100th anniversary of the World War I Armistice will be observed Nov. 15-17 with a performance of Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s Symphony No. 4, known as “The Inextinguishable,” inspired by the war and its horrors.
On April 16, Pacific Symphony will present the SoCal premiere of “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezín,” a multimedia performance of Verdi’s work commemorating the 75th anniversary of Jewish prisoners performing it in the concentration camp.
Opera lovers will appreciate a semi-staged production of Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” performed Feb. 21, 23 and 26. And the symphony will offer celebrations of the Chinese and Persian New Years, on Feb. 9 and March 24, respectively.
For more, go to pacificsymphony.org/tickets/concerts