top of page

Irvine Barclay Theatre Announces 2024-25 Season With Grammy Winners, Notable Speakers and Other Renowned Artists

The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Culture OC. The information provided has been written by the submitting organization and not by the writers at Culture OC. We include this on our site in the spirit of sharing information about the arts and culture community in Orange County.

Irvine Barclay Theatre, one of Orange County’s top performing arts venues, has announced its 2024-25 season. Known for its intimate setting that provides unique experiences and personal interactions with top performers, Irvine Barclay Theatre presents renowned artists in a wide range of genres, from jazz, classical, folk, pop, and global music, to comedy, dance, theater, captivating speakers, and more.


Performances on sale now include:


National Theatre Live Screening: Dear England, Wednesday, July 24 at 6:30pm

Winner of Britain's Olivier Award 2024 for Best New Play, Dear England was filmed live at London's National Theatre and will be screened in HD. Joseph Fiennes (The Handmaid’s Tale) portrays Gareth Southgate in James Graham’s (Sherwood) gripping examination of nation and game. The country that gave the world football has since delivered a painful pattern of loss. Why can’t England’s men win at their own game? With the worst track record for penalties in the world, Gareth Southgate knows he needs to open his mind and face up to the years of hurt, to take his team and country back to the promised land.


NCI Discovery 2024 – 20th Anniversary, Saturday, July 27 at 8pm

National Choreographers Initiative (NCI) is celebrating its 20th anniversary, marking two decades of innovation in dance creation. Be there for the birth of four new ballets created as part of the intensive three-week process of the National Choreographers Initiative. Artistic Director Molly Lynch annually invites four choreographers, as well as 16 professional dancers from ballet companies across the country to participate. The project culminates in a public performance that showcases the excitement of new creations. This year’s featured choreographers are Charles Askegard, Cherice Barton, DaYoung Jung, and Donna Salgado.


Pacific Jazz Orchestra with John Pizzarelli and Sy Smith, Saturday, Sept. 7 at 8pm (Jazz Series subscriptions now on sale. Single tickets for this event will go on sale on May 29.)

Acclaimed guitarist/vocalist John Pizzarelli and powerhouse singer Sy Smith join forces with the Pacific Jazz Orchestra, 40 of the world’s finest musicians led by Hollywood veteran Chris Walden.

John Pizzarelli, considered one of the prime contemporary interpreters of the Great American Songbook, has expanded that repertoire by including the music of Paul McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Tom Waits, and the Beatles. Los Angeles-based Sy Smith has helped cultivate the “nu-soul” scene for over a decade, which now boasts some of the most progressive artists of this genre. Smith’s catalog includes five studio albums that showcase her vocal range, reminiscent of the great Minnie Riperton. The Pacific Jazz Orchestra is L.A.’s new resident 40-piece ensemble, presenting an annual concert season of five projects, each with different guest artists. Spread out over a select few venues in Southern California, the program reaches far beyond the boundaries of jazz, as it features music of a diverse range of styles, genres, and backgrounds. Chris Walden, the artistic director and conductor of The Pacific Jazz Orchestra, is a seven-time Grammy-nominated composer/arranger who has worked for major artists such as Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, Paul McCartney, Diana Krall, Aretha Franklin, Rihanna, Barbra Streisand, John Legend, and many more.


Fran Leibowitz, Saturday, Sept. 21 at 8pm

In a cultural landscape filled with endless pundits and talking heads, Fran Lebowitz stands out as one of the most insightful social commentators. She is the purveyor of urban cool, a witty chronicler of the “me decade,” and the cultural satirist whom many call the heir to Dorothy Parker. Forthright, irascible, and unapologetically opinionated, Leibowitz offers her uniquely acerbic views on current events and the media, as well as her own pet peeves – including celebrity culture, tourists, and adults who roller-skate. She dispenses witty observations in the Netflix documentary series Pretend It’s a City, directed by her friend Martin Scorsese. This is the second documentary Scorsese has made that focuses on Lebowitz, after the 2010 film Public Speaking.


Dustbowl Revival Presents a Lauren Canyon Retrospective, Thursday, Sept. 26 at 8pm

What do Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa, Brian Wilson, The Byrds, Carol King, The Eagles, The Mamas and The Papas, Jimmie Hendrix, The Doors, CSNY, Jackson Browne, Neil Young, Linda Ronstadt, and Three Dog Night, have in common? They all lived in the famous Laurel Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles between 1965 and 1975, making up the unique musical forge that created some of American history’s greatest songs, bands, and cultural icons. With over a decade of roots music adventuring under their belts, L.A.’s Dustbowl Revival reimagines and recreates their favorite Laurel Canyon hits using their unique instrumentation to bring to life the unforgettable music and rock-fold ballads from that bohemian enclave.


Mishran: An Evening of Hindustani and Carnatic Fusion, Saturday, Sept. 28 at 8pm

Join us for a once-in-a-lifetime concert as two of India’s greatest musicians, Ustad Shahid Parvez and Shashank Subramanyam, join forces for an evening that blends Hindustani and Carnatic classical music. Shahid Parvez is widely recognized as one of the greatest sitar players in the world. His unique tone, astute artistic sense, and powerful sound have become his hallmark as a respected performer and composer. He represents the seventh generation of the sitar’s first family, the Etawah Gharana. Shashank Subramanyam is an accomplished flutist from India, renowned for his expertise in Carnatic classical music and training in Hindustani classical music. Audiences recognize Subramanyam for his captivating performances characterized by intricate improvisations, melodious compositions, and pulsating rhythmic variations. Having displayed exceptional musical talent from a young age, Shashank began performing at age six and has continued to showcase his artistry for over four decades. Pt. Abhijit Banerjee is a tabla master with a career spanning more than three decades. He is recognized for his exceptional skills and versatility with a broad range of Indian classical music. His innate sense of rhythm, creativity, and impeccable technique have established him as valued collaborator with some of the world’s most renowned musicians in both Indian and Western music.


Masters of Hawaiian Music: George Kahumoku Jr., Led Kaapana & Jeff Peterson, Friday, Oct. 4 at 8pm

Masters of Hawaiian Music showcases a remarkable synthesis of musicians who all pay tribute to Hawai‘i’s musical heritage. George Kahumoku Jr., is a master slack key guitarist, a four-time Grammy Award winner, accomplished songwriter, and a world-traveling performer. Led Kaapana is a musical legend who has been thrilling audiences for more than 40 years. His mastery of stringed instruments, exceptional skill on the slack key guitar and ukulele, and his extraordinary baritone to leo ki‘eki‘e (falsetto) vocal range, have earned him multiple Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Jeff Peterson has been honored with 15 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards and is a star of the current generation of slack key players. He uses the style’s open tunings to explore multiple genres with ease and flair and five of his songs are featured in the award-winning George Clooney film The Descendants.


Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, Saturday Oct. 5, 2024 at 1pm & 6pm

Popovich Comedy Pet Theater is a blend of the unique comedy of Gregory Popovich (award-winning star of the Moscow Circus and champion juggler) and the extraordinary talents of his performing pets. Popovich and his cast of over 30 gifted animals have been voted "Best Family Show in Las Vegas" and were finalists on America’s Got Talent. Comedy Pet Theater features an amazing cast of housecats, dogs, parrots and even geese and mice. Gregory Popovich has rescued the animals from shelters all over the country, transforming them into Las Vegas stars by using positive reinforcement and working with the animals' natural abilities to create a fun, one-of-a-kind show. Recommended for all ages.


Trio Barclay: Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio No. 1, Sunday, Oct. 6 at 5pm

In their first performance of the season, ensemble-in-residence Trio Barclay brings to life Mendelssohn’s iconic Piano Trio No.1. Composed in 1839, Mendelssohn's Piano Trio is a remarkable work that showcases the composer's lyrical brilliance and innovative approach to chamber music.  Mendelssohn's ability to blend classical forms with Romantic expression is evident in this early masterpiece, making it a quintessential representation of his distinctive musical style. Renowned for its dramatic intensity and emotional depth, the Trio's enduring popularity underscores Mendelssohn's legacy as a key figure in the Romantic era of classical music. Also on the program is a world premiere by Emmy Award-winning composer, John Wineglass. Trio Barclay includes Dennis Kim on violin, Jonah Kim on cello, and Sean Kennard on piano. 


SFJAZZ Collective, Saturday, Oct. 12 at 8pm (Jazz Series subscriptions now on sale. Single tickets for this event will go on sale on May 29.)

An all-star ensemble comprised of the finest performers/composers in jazz, the SFJAZZ Collective develops a new concert program annually that features newly created fresh arrangements of works by modern masters and newly commissioned pieces by each member of the band. Through this pioneering approach, simultaneously honoring music's greatest figures while championing jazz's up-to-the-minute directions, the SFJAZZ Collective showcases jazz as a dynamic, ever-evolving art form. Under the direction of Chris Potter, this year’s SFJAZZ Collective features David Sanchez, Mike Rodriguez, Warren Wolf, Edward Simon, Matt Brewer, and Kendrick Scott.


Yotam Ottolenghi, Sunday, Oct. 13 at 5pm

Spend a delicious evening with Yotam Ottolenghi as he talks about his new book, COMFORT, in this fun and interactive event. Ottolenghi will take the audience through COMFORT – from eggs, to noodles, to roast chicken, to a wide array of cultural and culinary themes – in conversation with his host. He will also invite the audience to participate in the second half as he prepares one of his dishes. Just as food brings people together, this event combines the culinary innovation of Ottolenghi with suggestions and questions from the audience to create a one-off live experience. Ottolenghi will undoubtedly share some childhood stories, his passion for layered dishes with bold flavors and colorful ingredients, and his influences from across the world. A celebrated chef and bestselling cookbook author, Ottolenghi is the restaurateur and chef-patron of six London-based Ottolenghi delis, as well as the NOPI and ROVI restaurants. He is the author of ten bestselling and multi-award-winning cookbooks and has been a weekly columnist for The Guardian (UK) for over 16 years and is a regular contributor to The New York Times. Ottolenghi’s commitment to the championing of vegetables, as well as ingredients once seen as “exotic,” has led to what some call “The Ottolenghi effect.” This is shorthand for the creation of a meal which is full of color, flavor, bounty, and surprise.


National Theatre Live Screening: Fleabag, Sunday, Oct. 27 at 3pm

Written and performed by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Killing Eve) and directed by Vicky Jones, Fleabag is a rip-roaring look at some sort of woman living her sort of life. Fleabag may seem oversexed, emotionally unfiltered, and self-obsessed, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. With family and friendships under strain and a guinea pig café struggling to keep afloat, Fleabag suddenly finds herself with nothing to lose. The hilarious, award-winning play that inspired the BBC’s hit TV series Fleabag, was filmed live on stage in London’s West End in 2019 and will be screened in HD.


Everything I Know: Mandy Gonzalez Sings Lin-Manuel Miranda, Saturday, Nov. 2 at 8pm

A celebration of friendship and heritage, Everything I Know: Mandy Gonzalez Sings Lin-Manuel Miranda is an exciting new musical presentation that celebrates the synergy between Mandy Gonzalez's incredible vocal talent and Lin-Manuel Miranda's iconic songwriting. Along with a four-piece band, Gonzalez weaves together stories, rhythms, and melodies from the extraordinary Lin-Manuel Miranda songbook including selections from In The Heights, Hamilton, New York, New York, Encanto, Vivo, and more. Gonzalez, the star of the Tony Award-winning hit musicals Hamilton, Wicked, and In the Heights, possesses one of the most powerful and versatile contemporary voices of our time. Her passion, grace, and unmatched emotional delivery have propelled her to the top stages of New York as well as prestigious venues across the U.S. and around the world.


Habib Koité, Sunday, Nov. 3 at 7pm

Malian guitarist Habib Koité is one of Africa’s most popular and recognized musicians. Named the biggest pop star of the region by Rolling Stone magazine, Koité’s music is deeply rooted in the sounds of Mali, drawing from its diverse musical traditions and instruments. With a singing style that’s heartfelt and personal, he seamlessly blends various musical genres, including Western rock and folk music, to craft something entirely unique. Koité’s artistry and magnetic personality have made him an international star, delighting audiences the world over, and placing him firmly among the leading figures in contemporary world music. He will be joined on stage by his good friends, Aly Keïta (master of the balafon, a West African xylophone-like instrument), Lamine Cissokho (a virtuoso of the kora, the West African harp-lute), and percussionist extraordinaire, Mama Kone.


Christmas with The 5 Browns, Sunday, Dec. 1, 2024 at 4pm

Celebrate the holidays with The 5 Browns as the acclaimed Juilliard-trained sibling piano quintet plays fresh, dynamic arrangements of both familiar and lesser known holiday pieces. The quintet enjoyed its first wave of critical attention in 2002, when People magazine dubbed them the “Fab Five” and they were featured on Oprah and 60 Minutes. They have since performed at the greatest concert halls from Carnegie Hall to Beijing’s National Center for the Performing Arts to Hamburg’s Laeiszhalle, and with major U.S. orchestras such as National Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Chicago Symphony. The 5 Browns’ eight albums have collectively spent over 30 weeks at No.1 on the Billboard classical music charts.


Big Band Holiday - Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Featuring Ekep Nkwelle & Robbie Lee, Thursday, Dec. 5 at 8pm (Jazz Series subscriptions now on sale. Single tickets for this event will go on sale on May 29.)

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra spreads holiday cheer on its annual Big Band Holidays tour. Jazz at Lincoln Center rising star vocalists Ekep Nkwelle and Robbie Lee join the JLCO to bring Yuletide greetings to dozens of cities across the country. Under the music direction of JLCO trombonist, Chris Crenshaw, the evening will feature soulful renditions of holiday classics, playful improvisation, and entertaining storytelling that is enjoyed by audiences of all ages. The world’s premier big band, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra consists of 15 permanent members performing live in New York City and around the world. The group’s compositions and arrangements include works by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Fletcher Henderson, Thelonious Monk, Mary Lou Williams, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman, and Charles Mingus, as well as new music from the group’s unrivaled collection of world-renowned composers and arrangers. (Please note: Wynton Marsalis will not appear with the JLCO in this performance.)


The Nutcracker Presented by Festival Ballet Theatre, Dec. 7– 24, various times

A cherished holiday classic perfect for all ages, “The Nutcracker” is a beloved tradition at Irvine Barclay Theatre. Festival Ballet Theatre’s breathtaking production features superb, colorful scenery and dazzling costumes, which make this age-old tradition sparkle like new. Be swept away by Tchaikovsky’s iconic score as the Sugar Plum Fairy, our heroine, Clara, and a cast of hundreds take you on a magical journey to mystical lands. This full-length traditional production is choreographed and directed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s Artistic Director, Salwa Rizkalla, and features world-renowned guest artists, FBT’s professional company dancers, and exceptional young talent from across the Southland. Patrons will also enjoy the beautifully decorated lobby and a unique Nutcracker boutique to complete this time-treasured holiday experience. 


The King’s Singers, Friday, Dec. 13 at 8pm

The King’s Singers, six Englishmen renowned as the world’s most sought-after a cappella ensemble,  perform festive music from their recent travels across the world while remembering their spiritual home at King’s College, Cambridge. Like a painter with brush and palette, the King’s Singers vocally create the broad spectrum of colors through music and text to express the entire range of human emotion. The program will include such favorites as “Silent Night,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, “When You Wish Upon a Star, a selection of seasonal songs celebrating the magic of 100 years of Disney, and brand-new surprises from their world-famous close-harmony library.


HYPROV: Improv Under Hypnosis, Friday, Jan. 10, 2025 at 8pm

Called “A celebration of the human imagination" by The Times of London, this 90-minute interactive show combines hypnosis and improv – two art forms that have mystified and entertained fans, skeptics, and everyone in between worldwide – for a unique comedy experience. Hypnotist extraordinaire, Asad Mecci will welcome 20 volunteers on stage to be hypnotized. The most receptive to hypnosis then join Colin Mochrie (Whose Line is it, Anyway?) to improvise the rest of the show, while hypnotized. In the hands of two experts, and solely crafted from the volunteers' uninhibited, unconscious minds and audience suggestions, each show is an entirely original and completely unforgettable theatrical experience.


Garrison Keillor Tonight – A Love Affair with Language, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2025 at 8pm

A 90-minute, one-man show improvised from memory, author, humorist, and singer Garrison Keillor’s idea is simple and clear: no matter what vocational track a person pursues, the love of language is at the heart of education and a crucial part of a good life. You don’t need to write a term paper on Chaucer’s The Miller’s Tale to find this; you can do math, graphic design, dance, marketing, etc., but your love of language, e.g. English, will make you happier and more effective. To this end, Keillor will, without lecturing, improvise his way through poetry, stories, song, jump into cowboy balladry, limericks, blues, a singalong of patriotic song and classic R&B, a sung medley of alternating love lyrics and jokes, Shakespeare, Dickinson, snatches of Mark Twain, Anne Frank, Frankie & Johnny, and Elvis.


Essential Jazz Albums - Live

Porgy and Bess & My Fair Lady Starring The West Coast Jazz Hour Big Band Featuring Benny Benack III, Gilbert Castellanos, Nicole Mccabe, and Lia Booth Saturday, Jan. 18, 2025 at 8pm (Jazz Series subscriptions now on sale. Single tickets for this event will go on sale on May 29.)

In this unique concert, the West Coast Jazz Hour Big Band – led by Josh Nelson and Kevin van den Elzen – gives audiences the rare opportunity to experience two of the most iconic jazz versions of Broadway musicals ever created. The first half of the performance takes listeners through the legendary Porgy and Bess album that featured arrangements by Gil Evans and showcased the incomparable talent of Miles Davis. Taking up the role of Miles is respected trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos. In the second half, the band brings to life Shelly Manne’s famous recording, My Fair Lady Swings with the Un-original Cast. Under the musical direction of the great film composer, John Williams, the original 1964 recording featured trumpeter Jack Sheldon and singer Irene Kral. Benny Benack III (trumpet), and Lia Booth (vocals), reprise these roles and are joined by rising alto sax star Nicole McCabe as featured soloists.


Trio Barclay: Ravel’s Piano Trio, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2025 at 5pm

In their second performance of the season, ensemble-in-residence Trio Barclay brings to life Ravel's Piano Trio, an unparalleled masterpiece of classical music. Written in 1914, this work is considered one of the greatest examples of Impressionist period music and showcases Ravel's extraordinary talent for blending different musical styles including Baroque, jazz, and Basque folk music from the region where the composer lived as a child. Also on the program is a world premiere by Taiwanese composer, Ya-Jhu Yang. Her new piano trio work features folk-like melodies and sustaining, melodic lines in the violin and cello. In her music, warm lyricism suggestive of Romantic and cinematic music is met with an embrace of a wide palette of subtle musical colors, influenced both by the music of her native culture and twentieth-century composers such as impressionist Claude Debussy. Trio Barclay includes Dennis Kim on violin, Jonah Kim on cello, and Sean Kennard on piano.


Jesse Cook, Friday Jan. 24, 2025 at 8pm

A virtuoso guitarist, Jesse Cook is renowned for his captivating fusion of world music, where contemporary melodies blend seamlessly with ancient tones. Cook's musical journey began with his discovery of the album Friday Night in San Francisco by Paco de Lucia, Al Di Meola, and John McLaughlin. Enthralled by the album's virtuosity and artistic freedom, he found himself drawn to the fluid intersection of jazz and flamenco. Exploring the roots of flamenco and its diverse branches, spanning from India to Spain, and on to Cuba and Latin America, Cook crafted his unique synthesis of world music. With ten groundbreaking albums to his credit, he has earned eleven Juno (Canada’s Grammy) nominations, winning in 2001 for Free Fall in the World Music and Instrumental categories.

Cook’s acclaimed television concert specials have been broadcast globally, including nationwide in the U.S. on PBS.


Sutton Foster, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2025 at 8pm

Tony Award-winning actress, singer, and dancer, Sutton Foster combines Broadway tear-jerkers with lighthearted musical gems. Foster was recently seen on the Broadway stage starring in an acclaimed turn as Marian Paroo in the Broadway revival of The Music Man, opposite Hugh Jackman at The Winter Garden Theatre. She has originated roles in the Broadway productions of The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women, Young Frankenstein, Shrek The Musical, and her Tony Award-winning performances in Anything Goes and Thoroughly Modern Millie. Her ever-emboldened spunk has delighted television audiences in Bunheads and Younger. Whether belting out a sultry Broadway heartbreaker or a sublimely tender personal favorite, Sutton Foster is a chameleon of song – remarkably versatile, always surprising, and full of heart.


National Theatre Live Screening: Vanya, Sunday, Jan. 26 at 3pm

Actor Andrew Scott (Fleabag, Sherlock, Ripley) brings multiple characters to life in Simon Stephens’ (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) radical new version of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Hopes, dreams, and regrets are thrust into sharp focus in this one-man adaptation which explores the complexities of human emotions. Directed by Sam Yates, Vanya was filmed live during its sold-out run in London’s West End and will be screened in HD.


Jim Henson's Fraggle Rock LIVE, Wednesday, January 29, 2025 at 6pm

Starring the characters of the beloved original Jim Henson series, and currently seen in the hit Emmy Award-winning Apple TV+ reboot, Fraggle Rock LIVE will feature the iconic Fraggles alongside all the favorite characters from the show, as well as new characters in this exciting new, interactive, live musical adventure perfect for all ages. When Gobo Fraggle discovers a legend about a long lost Fraggle treasure called the Great Song Stone, his pals Mokey, Boober, Wembley, and Red join him on an adventure to find it, and end up celebrating the greatest treasure of all — something much more special than they could have ever imagined. Featuring gorgeous new walk-around versions of the Fraggles, puppet-sized and mechanized Doozers, appearances from the giant Gorgs, and exclusive new magical puppet creatures all from the acclaimed Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, this all-new musical stage adventure will welcome audiences into the incredible world of the iconic and beloved Fraggle Rock. Written and directed by John Tartaglia (Avenue Q, Shrek the Musical, Stephen Schwartz’s The Secret Silk), the show will include favorite songs, fantastic in-theater immersive special effects, and exciting physical staging, as well as magical heartwarming moments, hilarious and endearing new characters, and much more to make this unforgettable theater experience perfect for families with young first-time theater goers, and for Fraggle Rock fans who are young at heart.


Paula Fuga, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2025 at 8pm

Exquisite vocals, powerful lyrics, and gorgeous melodies have earned Fuga widespread critical praise and made her one of the most sought-after live performers in Hawai‘i. She is a songwriter of depth and passion, praised for her intense emotion with a personal style that is widely appealing, and endearing to audiences around the world. With a beautiful disposition, sweet island vibes, R&B, and Jawaiian roots reggae in the mix, her music has been called modern Hawaiian soul. Her first release Lilikoi earned her a Na Hoku Hanohano Award (Hawai‘i’s “Grammy”) for Most Promising Artist of the Year; and her 2021 release Rain On Sunday, garnered two Na Hoku Hanohano Awards: Female Vocalist of the Year and Contemporary Album of the Year.


Luis Bravo’s Forever Tango, Friday, March 14, 2025 at 8pm

A Broadway hit, Forever Tango features Argentina’s best – 14 world-class dancers accompanied by a vocalist and the hypnotic rhythms of a live orchestra. Passionate and sophisticated, the dancers of Forever Tango inhabit a world where everything can be said with the flick of a leg, the tug of a hand, the tap of a foot, and the arch of an eyebrow. Relive the colorful history of one of the most sensuous of all dance forms through mesmerizing vignettes that display all the emotion and passion of tango, from turn-of-the-century Buenos Aires to the golden age of tango in the 30s, 40s, and 50s. So Argentine in origin, yet universal in appeal, Forever Tango inhabits a signature sensuality and mystique that is tango.




Shelly Berg, Music Director

With HERLIN RILEY and Special Guests Saturday, March 15, 2025 (Jazz Series subscriptions now on sale. Single tickets for this event will go on sale on May 29.)

New Orleans’ most famous call to action rings true when The Barclay Jazz & Beyond Orchestra returns with a Mardi-Gras-meets-jazz celebration featuring the 19-piece big band, drummer Herlin Riley, and special guest soloists. This program celebrates all that makes a party in the Crescent City remarkable with contemporary second-line music and new arrangements of classic jazz songs.


Danú: Traditional Music of Ireland, Thursday, March 20, 2025 at 8pm

Enjoy the traditional music of Ireland with the acclaimed Irish ensemble, Danú. For over two decades, Danú’s high-energy performances have thrilled Celtic music lovers around the globe with major concert engagements in the United Kingdom, India, Israel and across Europe. With its glorious mix of brilliant musicians and gorgeous voices, Danú takes you on a musical journey to its native Ireland, offering a spirit-raising concert experience for the entire family.


National Theatre Live Screening: Nye, Sunday, March 23, 2025 at 3pm

Michael Sheen (The Queen, Masters of Sex) plays Nye Bevan in a new play about the surreal and spectacular journey through the life and legacy of the man who transformed Britain’s welfare state. From campaigning at the coalfield to leading the battle to create the National Health Service, Aneurin “Nye” Bevan is often referred to as the politician with the greatest influence over the UK without ever being prime minister. Confronted with death, Aneurin “Nye” Bevan’s deepest memories lead him on a mind-bending journey back through his life; from childhood to mining underground, Parliament, and fights with Churchill. Written by Tim Price and directed by Rufus Norris (Small Island), this epic new Welsh fantasia was filmed live at the National Theatre in London and will be screened in HD.


Asleep at the Wheel: Happy Trails Tour, Thursday, March 27, 2025 at 8pm

For over 50 years, Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson has been traversing the globe as an ambassador of Western swing music and introducing its irresistible sound to generation after generation. More than 100 musicians have passed through the Wheel, but Benson remains the front man and the keeper of the vision, in the process racking up more than 30 albums, 10 Grammy Awards, and literally millions of miles on the road. And there is no sign of slowing down any time soon. Billboard Magazine has written, “Everything this act has ever released is simply spectacular.”


Kaumakaiwa and Kulaiwi: Native Lands Contemporary Music & Hula of Indigenous Hawai‘i, Saturday, March 29, 2025 at 8pm

Kaumakaiwa and Kulaiwi represent the heartbeat of Hawai’i today. With soaring vocals, island harmonies, and a delightful folk vibe, their original songs reflect their diverse musical styles and passionate commitment to their native Hawaiian roots. Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole, a charismatic dancer and singer, possesses an impressive vocal range spanning from tenor chant to Hawaiian falsetto singing. A five-time Na Hoku Hanohano (Hawaiian “Grammy”) Award-winner, she seamlessly blends Hawaiian cultural elements with modern sensibilities to create profoundly moving music. Kaumakaiwa's longtime guitarist, Shawn Pimental, an award-winning musician in his own right, collaborated with two of Hawai‘i’s leading music performers—Lehua Kalima (of Na Leo Pilimehana) and Kawika Kahiapo—alongside hula dancer Pono Fernandez to form Kulaiwi ("land of my ancestors"). Together, they produce music deeply rooted in their native Hawaiian heritage. Their inaugural CD release, Native Lands, garnered them 4 Na Hoku Hanohano wins, including the prestigious Group of the Year award.


A Room with a View by LA Theatre Works, Sunday, April 6, 2025 at 5pm

By turns funny and moving, romantic and satirical, this new adaptation of A Room With A View is a work of optimism about the enduring power of love. It's the perfect antidote to our times. With its satirical wit, observant eye, and huge affection for its characters, E. M. Forster's novel is a romantic comedy with emotional intelligence, a-turn-of-the-century When Harry Met Sally, set in sunlit Italy and rural England. Featuring animated classical art of breathtaking Italian landscapes and cameo video appearances by celebrity actors, this is immersive theatre like you’ve never experienced before.

Lucy Honeychurch, a naive girl filled with Edwardian repression, arrives at the Pension Bertolini in Italy with her even more prim cousin, Charlotte, to discover they have no view of the River Arno from their rooms. Among the guests at dinner are the Emersons, a father and his son, George, a handsome, brooding and mostly silent young man. When Emerson Senior suggests that he and George swap rooms with the ladies, it sets off a train of events that will see two young people transformed: Lucy to a spirited and independent young woman open to the possibility of her own desires; and George to a passionate young man whose love gives him meaning. Many obstacles will stand in the way of our star-crossed lovers, not least Lucy's fiancé back in England, the wealthy, well-connected, unbearably pompous Cecil.


Storm Large, Thursday, April 10, 2025 at 8pm

With a voice that can go from a velvety purr to a mighty Valkyrie cry in a single phrase, Storm Large, accompanied by her fearless band, Le Bonheur, sings the Great American Songbook, Broadway tear-jerkers, rock goddess anthems, and some of her gorgeous originals — all delivered with a fierce personal style. Storm’s interpretation of “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, prompted a standing ovation from the audience. This event contains adult language and content. Do not bring children or audience members with delicate sensibilities.


Festival Ballet Theatre Presents The Sleeping Beauty, April 12 & 13

A timeless love story for the whole family, Sleeping Beauty is the story of Princess Aurora who, at her christening, is bestowed with enchanting gifts from her father’s kingdom. An Evil Fairy places a curse on the princess to prick her finger and fall into a 100-year-long sleep until a handsome prince awakens her with a kiss. On Aurora’s 16th birthday, the curse is fulfilled. After 100 years of sleep, Prince Florimund finds the sleeping princess and awakens her with a kiss, and declares his love for her. A royal wedding follows and the prince and princess live happily ever after in this fabled story. Set to music of Peter Tchaikovsky with choreography by Artistic Director Salwa Rizkalla, after famed French dancer and choreographer Marius Petipa. The Sleeping Beauty was first performed by the Russian Imperial Ballet in January 1890. 


Parsons Dance Company, Thursday, April 17, 2025 at 8pm

Known for its energized, athletic, and joyous style, Parsons Dance is internationally renowned for creating and performing stunning contemporary American dance. Their bold ensemble work and movement has solidified them as one of the world’s leading dance companies. Works, like the iconic Caught, exemplify this company’s innovation and huge audience appeal. Founded in 1985 by Artistic Director David Parsons and Tony Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley, the company has toured to more than 30 countries, five continents, and has appeared at such notable venues as The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Sydney Opera House, and Maison de la Danse.


In Conversation with Amy Tan, Friday, April 18, 2025 at 8pm

Amy Tan has captivated readers worldwide with her novels The Joy Luck Club, The Kitchen God’s Wife, The Hundred Secret Senses, The Bonesetter’s Daughter, Saving Fish from Drowning, and The Valley of Amazement, all New York Times bestsellers. During this moderated conversation, Amy Tan will discuss the art of writing and ideas from her latest release, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, which records—with a novelist’s eye—the birds and other creatures in her own backyard, as well as personal reflections and original color illustrations. With her work translated into an astounding 35 languages, Amy Tan's stories transcend cultural boundaries. She has written a memoir, The Opposite of Fate, and a book about writing titled Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir. Recognized for her profound contributions to culture and the arts, she was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was bestowed with the esteemed 2021 National Humanities Medal by President Biden, in a ceremony held at the White House.

Hiromi’s Sonicwonder, Thursday, April 24, 2025 at 8pm (Jazz Series subscriptions now on sale. Single tickets for this event will go on sale on May 29.)

Jazz pianist Hiromi has electrified audiences with a creative energy that encompasses and eclipses the boundaries of jazz, classical, and pop, taking improvisation and composition to new heights of complexity and sophistication. Her new groove-heavy project called Sonicwonder features a young and electrified four-piece band including Adam O’Farrill on trumpet, Hadrien Feraud on bass, and Gene Coye on drums. Born in Hamamatsu, Japan, Hiromi began studying piano when she was six years old. When she was 17, Chick Corea invited her to play with him at a Tokyo concert. She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where she was mentored by jazz legend Ahmad Jamal. Hiromi is a perennial favorite on DownBeat’s Annual Critics and Readers Poll, and she performed at the Tokyo Olympics opening ceremony in 2021, as well as the world’s finest jazz festivals, including Montreux, Umbria, North Sea, Newport, and Monterey.


American Patchwork Quartet, Saturday, April 26, 2025 at 8pm

The American Patchwork Quartet, led by Clay Ross, a guitarist and vocalist with multiple Grammy awards, blends classic American folk tunes with jazz, country, West African rhythms, and East Asian melodies. Ross, originally from the South and deeply passionate about roots music, also founded the Grammy-winning Gullah group Ranky Tanky. In the American Patchwork Quartet, Ross collaborates with other Grammy-winning artists Falguni Shah, a renowned Hindustani classical vocalist; Yasushi Nakamura, an acclaimed jazz bassist; and Clarence Penn, a drummer influenced by Ellis Marsalis and African American church music. Through their carefully selected songs, the group delves into the heart of America's diverse musical heritage, expressing the joys, sorrows, and enduring hope of a nation shaped by shared dreams and varied histories. Reflecting the mosaic of American culture, the American Patchwork Quartet celebrates the interconnected stories that define our nation.


Jasmine Choi, Flute, Tuesday, April 29, 2025 at 7pm

Flutist Jasmine Choi is one of the most celebrated flutists of our time, known for her virtuosity and refined interpretation, as well as her adventurous projects. As a third-generation musician from Korea, she has performed across the globe in a variety of genres from classical solo, chamber, and orchestral to experimental, jazz, and pop. Jasmine has performed as a soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Berlin Symphony, and Seoul Philharmonic, as well as at recitals in Paris, Vienna, London, Geneve, New York, Seoul, and Hong Kong. A former principal flute of the Vienna Symphony and associate principal of the Cincinnati Symphony, Jasmine’s performance was featured during the 2018 Winter Olympics’ celebrations in Pyeongchang, Korea. Jasmine’s infinite curiosity has also led her to make her own arrangements of major works, including the Mendelssohn and Tchaikovsky violin concertos, as well as performing new works by living composers.


Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana, Thursday, May 1, 2025 at 8pm

Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana’s new work, choreographed by award-winning flamenco dancer-choreographer Patricia Guerrero, delves into the earth's fifth element: ether, unseen yet ever-present, the essence that makes up the space around us. Set to an original score by Grammy-nominated composer Jose Luis de la Paz, the 75-minute piece, accompanied by live music, aims to extract flamenco's essence through six dancers from Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana's dynamic company. By blending traditional flamenco with fresh ideas and pushing the limits of its structure, Quinto Elemento (Fifth Element) expands the boundaries of flamenco, creating something truly extraordinary.

One of America’s premier flamenco companies, Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2023. Called “The Keeper of Flamenco” by Dance Magazine, Founder Carlota Santana was honored by the King of Spain with “La Cruz de la Orden al Merito Civil” for excellence and dedication to maintaining flamenco art in the US.


Music of the Knights, Friday, May 2, 2025 at 8pm

Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Elton John, and Sir Paul McCartney, each knighted by the Queen of England, are three of the world’s most successful songwriters. From Broadway to the top of the pop charts, these musical geniuses each created an incredible individual musical legacy. Music of the Knights honors their lasting musical influence. Performed by a cast of New York's top Broadway/ cabaret vocalists the evening features beloved the songs "The Phantom of the Opera," "Memory," "I Don’t Know How to Love Him," "Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina," "Circle of Life," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," "Your Song," "Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "Yesterday," "Hey Jude," and many more.


John Cruz, Sunday, May 4, 2025 at 6pm

A captivating guitarist with heartfelt melodies and passionate, soulful vocals make John Cruz one of Hawai’i’s most beloved singer-songwriters. A multi Nā Hōkū Hanohano Award winner, Cruz’s song “Island Style” has become one of the most cherished themes of Hawai‘i while his album One of These Days was named one of the "Top 25 Greatest Hawai‘i Albums of the New Century" by Honolulu Magazine. Cruz engages audiences with his rich storytelling through songs ranging from Hawaiian to blues, folk, R&B, and country, incorporating contemporary folk-rock rhythms and virtuosic riffs.


BODYTRAFFIC, Thursday, May 15, 2025 at 8pm

In pursuit of the most challenging, original, and diverse choreography in the field, Los Angeles-based BODYTRAFFIC has made waves from coast to coast with its far-reaching appeal. Led by Artistic Director Tina Finkelman Berkett, BODYTRAFFIC has conquered the contemporary dance world with its stunning performers, technical mastery, and commitment to the most challenging repertoire. Bursting with cutting-edge, vivid theatricality, BODYTRAFFIC takes the stage with compelling works that embody the company’s energy, sophistication, and sheer joy in dancing.

Trio Barclay: Arensky & Seyfried Sunday, May 18, 2025 at 5pm

In its third, concluding performance of the season, ensemble-in-residence Trio Barclay performs Anton Arensky’s rarely-performed Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor. A masterful blend of emotions and melodies, the Trio is a musical journey through melancholy and passion. Also on the program is Piano Trio No. 3, a world premiere by fan favorite and Trio Barclay collaborator, Sheridan Seyfried. A contemporary composer and native of Philadelphia, Seyfried’s music is melodic, rhythmic, and soulful, resonating with listeners from around the world. Trio Barclay includes Dennis Kim on violin, Jonah Kim on cello, and Sean Kennard on piano.


Copy of Med. Rectangle_ Subscribe.png

Support for Culture OC comes from

Copy of 13.png
Copy of 15.png
Editor Picks


The Tony-winning star sits down with the iconic radio host for a fun night of show-stopping songs, candid stories and hilarity!

Support for Culture OC comes from

bottom of page