Page 1

tango Buenos aires Yamato

JerseY boYs

itzhak perlman

2017 | 2018 SEASON

auDra mcDonalD

Welcome to our greatest season Ever! We don’t typically make bold statements like this, so I hope we’ve got your attention. Our 2017-18 Season features many performances that we’ve been trying to present for years – legendary artists and shows that will surely pack the PAC and cause audiences to leap to their feet with cheers and applause.

Director’s Picks

The highlights include a momentous recital by the musician acknowledged as our greatest living violinist, Itzhak Perlman – his concert will certainly be one of the highlights in the history of the Performing Arts Center. In addition, we will feature iconic actor/ comedian Bill Murray in a fascinating theatre and music piece, New Worlds — a salute to classic American literature and music. We’ll have Broadway shows aplenty, with popular hits like Jersey Boys, Kinky Boots, The Sound of Music and Elf The Musical. Plus, two fantastic vocal performances will grace the stage when the Queen of Broadway, Audra McDonald, returns to San Luis Obispo and an encore engagement has Michael Feinstein singing signature Sinatra. These are just a few of the dizzying array of high-profile and diverse offerings in next season’s line-up.

October 16, 2017

I don’t have space here to rave on about them all – I’ll let you share the excitement of discovery. I will, however, give you a few of my personal picks for shows with which you may not be familiar, but are definite “must-sees.” I hope you’ll agree and add some of them to your subscription selections.

Cirque Éloize – Saloon

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments about our programs. I look forward to seeing you at our venues for the new season ahead! Best wishes,

George Saunders

(Page 6)

Celebrated short story author reads from and discusses his New York Times bestseller. September 30, 2017

Andrew Bird

(Page 7)

The contemporary musical innovator and composer will light up the PAC.

Home Free

(Page 7)

Smooth a cappella country stars who won NBC’s “The Sing Off.” October 20, 2017

Tango Buenos Aires

(Page 8)

Sultry tango dancers and musicians in a sweeping production from Argentina. November 14, 2017

Steep Canyon Rangers

(Page 10)

Grammy Award-winning Kings of Bluegrass. January 21, 2018 (Page 12)

Death-defying acrobatics set to lively country music and dance. Incredible! February 15, 2018

Black Violin

(Page 12)

Classical violin meets R&B, rock and hip hop. You won’t be able to resist. February 17, 2018

Improvised Shakespeare

(Page 14)

One of the funniest nights I’ve spent in the theatre. Couldn’t stop laughing. March 16, 2018

Steve Lerian, Director Yamato

La Santa Cecilia Get ready to party and dance the night away at the Fremont Theatre. April 27, 2018



(Page 16)

Discount Subscriptions Become a Cal Poly Arts season subscriber and get the best seats and savings today. With more than 30 performances in all, saving on our season shows could not be easier! Your subscription order will be processed before single event tickets go on sale on JULY 31, 2017, so the best seats in the house will be yours. And as a Cal Poly Arts subscriber, when we add shows to our season throughout the year, you’ll be among the first to be able to purchase tickets before they go on sale to the general public.

Don’t be afraid to commit – we’re flexible!

Worried that you’ll buy tickets for a show and then find you can’t make it? Exclusive subscriber benefits allow you to exchange tickets for another season performance.

Ticket Discounts

Order 4-7 shows and receive 10% off every seat Order 8 or more shows and receive 15% off every seat Excludes Center Stage events

Renewing Subscribers

Place your order before JUNE 30, 2017 to guarantee priority seating before new subscriber orders are filled.

Individual Show Tickets

Individual show tickets go on sale to the general public on JULY 31, 2017. Orders received prior to July 31 with fewer than four events will be processed as single ticket orders and filled in the order received after all subscription orders are completed.

Cal Poly Faculty/Staff Pricing

Faculty and staff are entitled to purchase tickets at student prices. (20% Discount)

Advance Notification

Be among the first to purchase tickets when specially added Center Stage events are announced throughout the season.

Free Ticket Exchanges

Can’t make it? Exchange your seats for another season event.

Buy One, Get One Free

Receive two certificates good for select season shows.

Seating Priority

Seating priority is determined by the number of years of continuous subscription renewal and the date the order is received. New subscribers will be seated after the renewing subscriber deadline of June 30, 2017; renewal status will be applied in subsequent seasons.

Explore our new season online and stay up to date with Cal Poly Arts!

      |

Pre-Performance Lectures

Cal Poly Arts hosts a series of free, informative mini-lectures prior to selected events. Offering attendeees insider information and context for the performance, pre-performance lectures are led by experts and held at locations in close proximity to the performance venue one hour prior to curtain times. Lectures are noted in individual event listings; details will be enclosed in the subscriber ticket packages and published on our website.

koresh dance Company

CALPOLYARTS.ORG | (805) 756-4849


2017 | 2018 Season by Genre Broadway & Theatre

Contemporary Concerts

Aquila Theatre – Sense & Sensibility. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Cirque Éloize – Saloon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 ELF The Musical. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Improvised Shakespeare . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Jersey Boys. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Kinky Boots. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Bill Murray, Jan Volger & Friends – New Worlds. . . . . . . . . . 6 The Sound of Music . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Classical Music

The Blind Boys of Alabama Christmas Show. . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Andrew Bird. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Black Violin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Michael Feinstein – Sings Sinatra! ������������������������������������10 Home Free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Audra McDonald. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Steep Canyon Rangers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 The TEN Tenors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

World Music

Brasil Guitar Duo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Calmus with Organist Paul Woodring. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Cameron Carpenter – Organ Recital . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Namhee Han – Organ Recital. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 La Guitarra California Festival. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Itzhak Perlman. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


Keola Beamer & Henry Kapono. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 La Santa Cecilia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Terrance Simien. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Yamato. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13


Koresh Dance Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Moscow Festival Ballet – Swan Lake. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Tango Buenos Aires . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Hugh Acheson . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Daniel Handler. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 George Saunders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Family Fun Underwater Bubble Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Keola Beamer & Henry Kapono



Cal Poly Arts performances are held at the Performing Arts Center, San Luis Obispo — ­ a stateof-the-art performance complex on the Cal Poly campus. Theatres include the grandeur of the 1,286-seat Sidney Harman Hall, located within the Christopher Cohan Center, and the intimacy of the adjacent 498-seat Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre and 200-seat PAC Pavilion. Additional Center Stage shows may be presented at alternate venues.

Rovshan Mamedkuliev

Jubilant Sykes

Christopher Parkening

la guitarra CALIFORNIA FESTIVAL 2017


Christopher Parkening, Rovshan Mamedkuliev, Jubilant Sykes, Jason Vieaux, Meng Su, Celil Refik Kaya, Johannes Möller, Laura Fraticelli, Marc Teicholtz, Jérémy Jouve, and Martha Masters

The popular three-day biennial Festival is dedicated to the glory of classical guitar, with 12 international artists performing in nine exciting concerts and five master classes. The Festival kicks off on Friday, September 22 with an evening honoring the master y and acclaim of American Maestro Christopher Parkening, who will receive the La Guitarra Lifetime Achievement Award during the festivities.

Meng Su (China), Celil Refik Kaya (Turkey), Johannes Möller (Sweden) and Laura Fraticelli (Argentina), Marc Teicholtz (USA), Jérémy Jouve (France) and Martha Masters (USA), along with an added free outdoor concert Saturday afternoon, September 23.

Opening night begins in Harman Hall with a concert by Russian virtuoso Rovshan Mamedkuliev, followed by a multimedia celebration of Mr. Parkening’s life and career hosted by Master of Ceremonies Nuvi Mehta. Audiences will then be treated to a recital featuring Mr. Parkening and celebrated baritone Jubilant Sykes.

La Guitarra California also features an exclusive guitar auction, original guitar-related artwork display and sale, and 40 guitar makers exhibiting their handmade instruments at the popular Vendor Fair.

The remaining two days of Spanos Theatre concerts and master classes showcase the artistry of Jason Vieaux (USA),

Festival sponsors: Barbara Boom & Joe Schwartz, M.D. in memory of Roland Deyens, Pearl & Mitchell Forman, Susan & Neal Poteet, KCBX 90.1 FM, La Cuesta Inn, Quality Suites/SLO, Savarez Strings

fri-sat-suN sep

22-24 classical music

FuLL FESTIVAL DETAILS | (805) 756-4849


sat sep


suN oct


Photo: Volkswagon Group


george saunDers


Bill murraY, Jan vogler & FrienDs

new Worlds

8:00 PM | HArMAN HAll

The celebrated cult author of four collections of short stories, a novella, and a book of essays is a past recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Genius grant and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Saunders’ work appears regularly in The New Yorker, GQ and Harper’s magazine and his pieces have appeared in numerous anthologies; his “Tenth of December” won both a Story and Folio Prize. In 2013, Saunders was named one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” by Time magazine. His recently released first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” from which he will read in this appearance, became an instant New York Times best seller.

“(A) master of joy bombs (and) deeply thoughtful, endlessly entertaining flights of imagination.”

7:00 PM | HArMAN HAll

Actor Bill Murray and cellist Jan Vogler became friends in New York and curious about each other’s artistic world and interests, they collaborated on a program showcasing the core of American values in literature and music. The project explores bridges artists have built between America and Europe. Twain, Hemingway, Whitman, Cooper, Bernstein, Gershwin and Foster are some of the strongest voices that influenced generations in America and offered a picture of the charm, energy and creative force of the New World. Murray’s love for classical music is young and his art of language is boundless – all the more reason to experience this fascinating encounter between great music and literature.

– Entertainment Weekly presented in partnership with the Foundation for the San Luis Obispo county public Libraries

Sponsored by Carol MacCurdy & Tom Nuckols, Central Coast Writers Conference, New Times 6

Cal poly artS | 2017 – 18 SeaSoN

ceNter StAGe eveNt: No subscription discounts available pre-SHOW Lecture ScHeDuLeD

“I am bathing in this experience, really. I can’t get enough of it.” – Bill Murray

Sponsored by The Peter & Mary Russo Family Foundation, Timothy Tryon, 920am KVEC

Photo: Marco Grob

sat oct

moN oct




fri oct


20 concerts

Brasil guitar Duo

anDreW BirD

home Free


7:30 PM | HArMAN HAll

8:00 PM | HArMAN HAll

Hailed by Classical Guitar magazine for their “maturity of musicianship and technical virtuosity,” João Luiz and Douglas Lora actively strive to expand the repertoire for two guitars with a seamless blend of both classical and Brazilian music, combining a broad, innovative repertoire of classical guitar duos (Bach, Sor, Scarlatti, Debussy) with such traditional Brazilian dance forms as choro, samba, maxixe, and baião.

An American musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, this top indie music star was first known for his seminal work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers before forming Bowl of Fire. Now, when not in the studios recording his latest release or composing music for film and television, Bird tours as a solo musician. This musical innovator’s primary instrument is the violin, but he is also proficient in many other eclectic musical aspects including whistling, guitar, and the glockenspiel!

When one thinks of a cappella ensembles, country music does not typically come to mind. That’s all changing with Home Free, the fi ve-man band that has become known for its show-stopping performances that mix signature no-instrument, all-vocal music with quick-witted humor. Since storming the music scene four years ago and holding the nation’s spotlight as the winners of NBC’s “The Sing Off,” Home Free has become a household name with its tight harmonies and strong vocals peppering Nashville country standards with country-dipped pop hits. (Haze/smoke effects)

“These gifted, unaffected and hard-working young men have transmuted their huge energy and synergies into a mature and masterly performing presence.” – Royal Gazette “There are two new kids on the classical guitar block — they’re from Brazil, and they’re armed and ready with the music of Sao Paulo’s streets.”

“(His latest release) sounds like a natural progression for Andrew Bird, yet in places it’s like nothing you’d expect from the singer. It is, for these reasons and many more, a triumph.” – Drowned in Sound ceNter StAGe eveNt: No subscription discounts available

“One of the most talented and unique acts in modern country music… Even before the last notes faded, they were drowned out by the final standing ovation of the night.” – Country Standard Time

– The Daytona Beach News- Journal

Sponsored by Gerald Finken & Kathleen Enz Finken, Mark Kay Harrington & Thom Brajkovich, Karen S. Kolba, M.D., Debra Valencia-Laver & Gary Laver, Holiday Inn Express

Sponsored by KCBX 90.1 FM, The Krush 92.5 FM

Sponsored by Jeff & Sharon Armstrong, Claudia Gilbert, Peter & Mary Oppenheimer, The Apple Farm Inn, RPM Mortgage, Saint Francis Capital | (805) 756-4849


sun oct

fri Nov



29 underwater bubble show 5:00 PM | Harman Hall

This visual, musical, lavish show transports audiences to an imaginary underwater world with a real feeling of being submerged in the ocean deep. In this heartfelt Latvian fairytale extravaganza, Mr. B finds himself delivered as if by magic to a special, colorful, happy place called Bubblelandia – a place to linger, listen, watch, marvel and to dream. The land’s “inhabitants” – seahorses, dragon fish, starfish, mermaids, clown fish and others – will carry Mr. B (and the audience!) along on an imaginary journey in this beautiful underwater world for the whole family where fantasy becomes reality. (Ages 3+; note special curtain time)

“The special effects, light works, and the brilliantly bright and dazzling costumes mixed perfectly with the hypnotic bubble tricks, acrobats, and stunning choreography.” – The Desert Sun Sponsored by Wayne & Linda Lewis, Hampton Inn & Suites, The Tribune, Wild 106.1 FM 8


tue nov


14 dance

hugh acheson

tango buenos aires

8:00 PM | Harman Hall

7:30 PM | Harman Hall

Hugh Acheson – Food & Wine’s Best Chef, winner of two James Beard Foundation Awards, and local food advocate – will discuss fresh perspectives on how we grow, cook and shop for food. He helps rebuild communities from the ground up, raising awareness about sustainable farming, shopping local, and creating healthier schools and homes. A frequent judge on TV’s “Top Chef,” Acheson has been profiled in The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appétit, The Wall Street Journal, GQ, Southern Living and Gourmet. The discussion will be moderated by Hunter Francis, Director of the Cal Poly Center for Sustainability.

Seduction. Passion. Romance. Tango. Sometimes playful, sometimes dramatic, and always sensuous, Tango Buenos Aires has become one of Argentina’s great cultural exports, known throughout the Americas, Europe and the Far East as the most authentic and uncompromising representative of the tango. The acclaimed company of 25 dancers and musicians will perform an experiential journey into the culture and spirit of Argentina as part of their successful international tour.

Keeping It Local: Sustaining Your Community

“Hugh Acheson is an eloquent, intellectual spirit who cares deeply for food and its impact on a community.”  – Chef Frank Stitt

Spirit of Argentina

“Fast and furious, the dancers’ feet and legs flashed and wove in and around each other, or paused to move slowly and seductively, stretching the tension within the dance.” – Lincoln Journal Star Pre-show lecture scheduled

Sponsored by SLO Provisions, Krush 92.5

Sponsored by Jay & Carol Devore, Jodi Mello & Barry Goyette

tue dec

wed Nov

Photos: Joan Marcus





elf the musiCal

the blind boYs of alabama Christmas show

7:00 PM | HArMAN HAll

ELF The Musical is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, discover his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day Christmas classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner ELF. (Note early curtain) pre-SHOW Lecture ScHeDuLeD

“ELF is happy enough for families, savvy enough for city kids and plenty smart for adults!” – Variety “Splashy, peppy, sugar-sprinkled holiday entertainment!” – The New York Times

Featuring preservation Hall Legacy Horns and special guest, ruthie Foster 7:30 PM | HArMAN HAll

Described as “James Brown does gospel,” the Blind Boys of Alabama have been recognized worldwide as true living legends of gospel music for 75 years. In their holiday show, the Blind Boys present seasonal favorites from their Grammy-winning Go Tell It On The Mountain and Talkin’ Christmas albums. The iconic Preservation Hall Legacy Horns will sit in for several numbers, and multi-Grammy nominee Ruthie Foster returns to the PAC to open the show.

“The secret to our longevity is (that) we love what we do. And when you love what you do, that keeps you motivated. That keeps you alive.” – Blind Boys leader, Jimmy Carter

Sponsored by KSBY TV, The Krush 92.5, Rabobank

Sponsored by Jim & Cheryl Conway, Ann Robinson | (805) 756-4849


tue jan

sun jan




Steep Canyon Rangers

7:30 PM | Harman Hall

7:00 PM | spanos theatre

Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Itzhak Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for making music. Perlman has performed with every major orchestra around the globe, playing the most venerable concert halls. His distinguished awards and recognitions are myriad and his audiences have included U.S. presidents and Her Majesty the Queen. Please join us for the maestro’s Harman Hall debut concert, accompanied by pianist Rohan de Silva.

Audiences will remember the smokin’ hot Steep Canyon Rangers when they appeared on the PAC stage with Steve Martin and his banjo back in 2010 – world-class musicians who are just as at home taking the stage at Carnegie Hall as they are knee-deep in a mountain brook, fly rod in hand. The Grammy Award-winning band returns with an evening that spotlights their dynamic songwriting, instrumental virtuosity and high-energy performance with a mix of serious chops and good-natured fun.

Sponsored by CF Buetow in memory of Charlotte Buetow, Bert & Candace Forbes, Ingrid & Carol Siegel, KCBX 90.1 FM 10




itzhak perlman

“Mr. Perlman played with vulnerability and love, sweeping concert-goers away to faraway places.”  – Los Angeles Times

fri jan

“If there’s any doubt that the Steep Canyon players are modern bluegrass music’s hard-charging innovators, then … gale-force fiddle breakdowns and … blistering mandolin solos settled the claim.” – Rolling Stone Magazine


michael Feinstein

Sings Sinatra!

8:00 PM | Harman Hall

As one of the world’s foremost vocal and piano stylists, Feinstein has dedicated his career to preserving and promoting the songs and songwriters of American music. This renowned interpreter of the Great American Songbook and multi platinum-selling crooner pays tribute to the rich Sinatra legacy in a dynamic, swingin’ concert.

“I tried to choose songs and material that are well known — and lesser known — to give a sense of the man and his personality. And the (familiar) songs that I perform … I try to do slightly different from the way Frank Sinatra sang them because nobody did them better than he did.” – Michael Feinstein

“…a great mixture of today’s bluegrass styles, excellent harmonies, and a few surprises …”  – Bluegrass Today Sponsored by Carol & Vic Ascrizzi, Bob & Tonya Omdahl, Peter & Mary Oppenheimer, Andi & Jeff Portney, Edna’s Bakery, The Levin/Nelson Family Trust

Sponsored by Libbie Agran & Guy Fitzwater, Simas & Associates


WINNER! 2 0 1 3 T O N Y AWA R D


tue jaN

suN jaN





keola Beamer & henrY kapono

KinKY boots


Kinky Boots is Broadway’s huge-hearted, high-heeled hit! With songs by Grammy- and Tony-winning pop icon Cyndi Lauper, this joyous musical celebration is about the friendships we discover and the belief that you can change the world when you change your mind. Inspired by true events, Kinky Boots takes you from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan as Charlie Price struggles to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business. Help arrives in the unlikely form of a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos. Take a step in the right direction and discover that sometimes the best way to fit in is to stand out. With direction and choreography by two-time Tony Award-winner Jerry Mitchell (Legally Blonde, Hairspray) and a book by Broadway legend and four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein (La Cage Aux Folles), Kinky Boots won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, Best Score and Best Choreography.

Leading Hawaiian music artists Keola Beamer and Henry Kapono became icons in the ‘70s, with both at the creative forefront as Hawaiian music reinvented itself during a sweeping movement that brought all aspects of its culture back to the center of Island life. Beamer, one of Hawaii’s premier singer-songwriters, arrangers, composers and slack-key guitar masters, will perform with Grammy-nominated, award-winning singer/songwriter Kapono. The duo will feature beloved contemporary Hawaiian classics in a brilliant Island showcase. Special guest: hula artist Moana Beamer

“Keola Beamer is the quintessential Hawaiian slackkey guitar master.” – The New York Times

7:30 PM | HArMAN HAll

"Cyndi Lauper

delivers the best Broadway score in years! "— ABC News

pre-SHOW Lecture ScHeDuLeD

Sponsored by Central Coast Printing, Frame Works, KCBX 90.1 FM

Sponsored by Lucia Cleveland & Paul Vanderheyden, John & Marcia Lindvall, KSBY TV, Radiology Associates | (805) 756-4849



sun feb

thu feb




moscow festival Ballet

Cirque éloize


7:00 PM | Harman Hall

7:30 PM | Harman Hall

Direct from Russia in a triumphant return to Harman Hall, the illustrious Moscow Festival Ballet brings together the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in a full-scale, full-length production of Tchaikovsky’s perennial masterpiece, Swan Lake. Filled with colorful costumes and backed by a sweeping score, the corps of more than 50 dancers performs the beloved ballet in all of its grandeur.

The Wild Wild West comes alive with Cirque Éloize’s newest contemporary circus arts creation, Saloon. Lasso up for some great family fun when you enter a mythical world where theatre and circus collide for 85 minutes of nonstop live folk and country music combined with strength, agility, heart-stopping acrobatics and original choreography. Never before has a cowboy kicked up so much dust. Under the spell of Saloon’s beautiful Belle, he sets off on a chase worthy of the greatest Westerns for an action-packed theatrical thrillride! (Ages 5+)

“An impressive performance of a classical ballet, energized with dramatic expression and sensational steps.” – The Chronicle

“Cirque du Soleil’s hipper, sexier cousin.” – The Stage, London “Hats off to Cirque Éloize! Literally!” – Hartford Courant

Pre-show lecture scheduled

Sponsored by Leonard & Natalie Wall





Swan Lake

“This was (a show) that deserved ‘bravos’ within minutes of the opening steps.” – Las Vegas Review-Journal

sat feb


black violin 8:00 PM | Harman Hall

Black Violin is the blend of classical, hip hop, rock, R&B, and bluegrass music. In the last decade, Wil Baptiste and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester have performed an average of 200 shows a year in 49 states and 36 countries. Their groundbreaking collaboration has been enjoyed in concerts for the troops in Iraq and at Barack Obama’s official President’s Inaugural Ball. Individually and together, Black Violin has collaborated with the likes of P. Diddy, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin and The Eagles. This is sure to be one of the hottest concerts of the season. Special guests: members of the SLO Youth Symphony

“Black Violin upends cultural and musical stereotypes…an unexpected blend of classically trained musicianship and hip-hop beats and inventiveness.” – The Miami Herald Pre-show lecture scheduled

Sponsored by La Cuesta Inn

Sponsored by Embassy Suites, Subplot Studio, The Sun, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)

mon feb

tue mar

wed mar




26 Cameron Carpenter




the ten tenors

7:30 PM | Harman Hall

7:30 PM | Harman Hall

7:30 PM | Harman Hall

In a triumphant, unprecedented fifth engagement at the PAC, the virtuoso organist – who continues to blend brilliant technical perfection with an energetic heart – will perform on both the Forbes Pipe Organ and his own groundbreaking International Touring Organ. Designed by Carpenter, this enormous all-American concert organ propels the 2600-year history of the pipe organ into the digital era. Come experience the instruments like you’ve never heard them before and plan on leaping to your feet for “Standing Ovation #5.”

Dozens of players start their performance by hitting a Japanese Taiko drum made from a large 400-year-old tree. They move their whole bodies to strike the drum with everything in their souls, creating a powerful surge of energy. Yamato’s live performances are so full of intensity that they make people’s bodies jump and their hearts race faster, uplifted and in sync with the powerful sounds. Taiko drumming at its driving best, performed by Japan’s legendary ensemble. This is Yamato. (High-volume performance)

Following their 2015 sold-out holiday show, The TEN Tenors return to the PAC with a celebration of musical legends lost before their time: David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, John Lennon, Prince, Freddie Mercury and more. In this heartfelt tribute, Australia’s “vocal wonder from down under” will take you on a feel-good journey through some of the world’s greatest hits of all time, including some of the group’s own fan favorites, current-day chart toppers of Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars, and even soaring arias of Verdi and other traditional favorites.

Forbes Pipe Organ Recital

“Carpenter is one of the rare musicians who changes the game of his instrument … He is a smasher of cultural and classical music taboos. He is technically the most accomplished organist I’ve ever witnessed … And, most important of all, the most musical.” – The Los Angeles Times Pre-show lecture scheduled

Sponsored by Mary T. Baiamonte, Bert & Candace Forbes, Roy & Linda Rawlings, Jane & George Roach, New Times

“Chousensha” – The Challengers

“Pure energy meets spiritual high.” – The Scotsman “Imagine two thousand years of samurais, shinto meditation and sake being built up and released through nine fiesty young drummers and their kits.”  – KPAS/UK Pre-show lecture scheduled

Wish You Were Here

“Their sound … is what’s truly sexy. The cluster of high voices generates pure electricity and undeniable drama.” – Los Angeles Times

Sponsored by Jim Sargen, Med+Stop Urgent Care Center

CALPOLYARTS.ORG | (805) 756-4849


tue mar

Photo: Jeremy Daniel and Matthew Murphy


suN mar





the sound of musiC

fri mar

improviseD shakespeare

7:00 PM | HArMAN HAll


The hills are alive! A brandnew production of The Sound of Music is coming to San Luis Obispo. The beloved musical story of Maria and the von Trapp Family will once again thrill audiences with its Tony, Grammy and Academy Award-winning Best Score, including “ M y Favor i te Things,” “Do-Re-Mi,” “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” “Edelweiss” and, of course, the title song. (Ages 5+; note early curtain)

It’s all in the title: improvised Shakespeare. Based on a random audience suggestion for a new play title, the Improvised Shakespeare Co. will create a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece right before your very eyes. If you’re wondering where the play is going, so are they! A seasoned rotating cast has brushed up on their “thees” and “thous” to bring you an evening of off-the-cuff, totally made-up comedy using the language and themes of the Bard himself. Madcap, indeed!

“Sparkling, fresh and lively.” – Los Angeles Times Sponsored by Dr. Edwin & Janet Chen Hayashi and Dr. Howard & Stephanie Hayashi, KSBY TV 14

Cal poly artS | 2017 – 18 SeaSoN

“The troupe not only commanded Shakespearean syntax and vocabulary but managed, time and again, to come up with Shakespearean rhymes that had the crowd in stitches, at one point rhyming ‘own’ with ‘testosterone.’ It was bawdy and very funny.” – Seattle Times

Sponsored by Anne M. Brown & Family, Bob & Tonya Omdahl, Richard & Eileen Rogers, Alpha Fire Sprinkler Corp., The Sun



Featuring organist paul Woodring 3:00 PM | HArMAN HAll

Founded in 1999, this remarkable German a cappella vocal quintet embodies the rich choral tradition of its hometown of Leipzig — the city so closely associated with Bach and Mendelssohn. Whether singing music by those German masters or other great composers, Calmus captivates both audiences and critics with its charming stage presence, flawless technique and entertaining presentation. Accompanied by Cal Poly organist Paul Woodring, Calmus will perform composer Arvo Pärt’s “Berliner Messe,” as well as select pieces from its diverse repertoire that includes various works by Brahms, Bach and Andriessen.

“The group held the audience … spellbound with its artistry.” – The Washington Post

Sponsored by Bert & Candace Forbes, Barb & Howard Ignatius

fri mar

sat apr




aquila theatre

suN apr



koresh Dance companY


Daniel hanDler

sense & sensibility

deconstructing Mozart & other Works

aka “Lemony snicket”



3:00 PM | HArMAN HAll

Jane Austen is one of the most popular and beloved authors of all time; she wrote about the lives of the English upper middle class with great insight and wit. Her characters seem to drift through the inescapable life of leisure that only privilege can afford, yet are forever negotiating the reality of birth right and custom – living in a world in which choices are limited, especially for the women. Sense & Sensibility poignantly and cleverly illustrates these effects in a tale filled with seduction, courtship, love, heartbreak and surprise. Count on Aquila’s stage production to be wonderfully innovative and true to Austen’s classic.

Koresh Dance Co. produces contemporary works that are highly technical and deeply resonant. The troupe is widely recognized for its superb technique and emotionallycompelling appeal, promoting high-speed attack and gestural diversity drawn from Graham technique, Luigi jazz, classical ballet, hip-hop and Israeli folk dance. The Spanos Theatre program takes a musical and emotional journey through choreographer Roni Koresh’s classic highlights and features his seminal work, “Deconstructing Mozart” – a collaborative masterpiece that dares to deconstruct the composer’s 23rd Piano Concerto.

Daniel Handler, an acclaimed and prolific writer, musician and journalist, is the best-selling author of the 13-volume “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” under the pen name “Lemony Snicket.” The beloved series has sold more than 60 million copies internationally and is now a popular Netflix original series starring Neil Patrick Harris. Handler’s first young adult novel to be published under his ow name “All the Dirty Parts,” is an unblinking take on teenage desire in today’s social media culture. For the Cal Poly Arts afternoon engagement, Handler will be interviewed by local librarian Margaret Kensinger-Klopfer and then read excerpts from his various writings, and conduct an audience Q&A.

“… one of the most inventive and daring theater companies in the country.” – Lincoln Journal Star

“Earthy, folk-dancey, emotionally direct, physically intense, and ostentatiously eccentric.” – The New Yorker pre-SHOW Lecture ScHeDuLeD

presented in partnership with the Foundation for the San Luis Obispo county public Libraries

Sponsored by

Sponsored by Gary & Muriel Harkins

pre-SHOW Lecture ScHeDuLeD

Sponsored by Sharon & John Dobson in memory of Duejean Garrett & Roy Gersten, K-JEWEL 106.5 FM/1400 AM, New Times | (805) 756-4849


fri Apr

fri apr




terrance simien

& The Zydeco Experience 8:00 PM | spanos Theatre

The Spanos will be rocking with a bayou beat! For 35 years, two-time Grammy Award-winning artist Terrance Simien has been shattering the myths of what his indigenous Zydeco roots music is…and is not. Leading his skilled Zydeco Experience band, Simien has shared studio and stage with the likes of Dave Matthews Band, Los Lobos, Robert Palmer and Paul Simon to name a few. With his music featured in multiple major studio film scores, Simien is especially proud of his collaboration with Disney on its historical film, The Princess and the Frog, which introduced Disney’s first black princess. (High-volume performance)

“A Zydeco master … his voice yearning like Jimmy Cliff and Sam Cooke, Simien shows cross-over class.” – Rolling Stone Sponsored by KCBX 90.1 FM, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF)



sun apr



la santa cecilia 8:00 PM | Fremont theatre

Named after the patron saint of music, La Santa Cecilia is a musical phenomenon that defies musical and cultural boundaries, taking inspiration from a long list of Pan American rhythms, as well as jazz, rock, rumba, bolero, tango, bossa nova and cumbia. With the captivating voice of lead vocalist Marisol Hernandez singing about love, loss and everyday struggles, this Grammy-winning band has become the voice of a new bicultural generation in the United States – fully immersed in modern music, but still close to its Latino influences and Mexican heritage. (High-volume performance; note special location)

“La Santa Cecilia exemplifies the modern-day creative hybrid of Latin culture, rock and world music.” –KCET


namhee han

Forbes Pipe Organ Recital 3:00 PM | Harman Hall

Naturally sensitive and fluid, with technically robust music-making directly from the heart, Namhee Han will perform beloved organ music from Bach and others in this sweeping afternoon concert. Having studied piano from age eight in her native South Korea, Han holds master’s and doctoral degrees in both organ performance and applied linguistics from UCLA. She gave the opening concert for the renowned Los Angeles Bach Festival in 2013 and her performances can be heard on the DVD The Story of the Walt Disney Concert Hall Organ and in American Public Media’s Pipedreams. Her expansive Harman Hall program will include masterworks by Bach, Mozart, Handel, Vivaldi, Wagner, Verdi, Rossini, Saint-Saëns, and Bovet.

“La Santa Cecilia is the next big genre-bending Latino band.” –OC Weekly

Sponsored by Marti Lindholm & Allan Smith, Ann Robinson, KCBX 90.1 FM, KPYG 94.9 FM, New Times

Sponsored by Bert & Candace Forbes

wed maY


tue-wed, juN

Photo: Jeremy Daniel



auDra mcDonalD

JerseY boYs

7:30 PM | HArMAN HAll

7:30 PM | HArMAN HAll

Audra McDonald is unparalleled in the breadth and versatility of her artistry as both a singer and an actress. The winner of a record-breaking six Tony Awards, two Grammy Awards, and an Emmy, she also received a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. In addition to her Tony-winning performances in Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, she’s had several television and film roles. McDonald also maintains a major career as a concert artist, regularly appearing on the great stages of the world and with leading international orchestras. Following her 2014 sold-out PAC concert, she will once again transform the hall into an intimate cabaret club.

“Too good to be true!” raves the New York Post for Jersey Boys – the 2006 Tony-, Grammy- and Olivier Award-winning Best Musical about Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. This is the true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds and sold 175 million records worldwide – all before they were 30! Jersey Boys features a compelling script and an absolute treasure-trove of their hit songs, including “Sherry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Rag Doll,” “Oh What a Night,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and so many, many more. (Adult language; ages 13+)

“It’s entirely possible that Audra McDonald is the greatest singer alive.” – New York Magazine


“The most exciting musical Broadway has seen in years.” – Chicago Tribune “The crowd goes wild!” – The New York Times

pre-SHOW Lecture ScHeDuLeD

Sponsored by Arthur & Joyce Duarte, Saint Francis Capital

Sponsored by Ron Bell, Dr. Elaine Yin & Michael J. Wilson | (805) 756-4849


Community Support

Ticket sales account for only 75% of our budget. Your tax-deductible contribution makes all the difference! For 32 years, Cal Poly Arts has been presenting world-class entertainment on the Central Coast: Broadway blockbusters, myriad concerts and celebrities, dynamic dance, world culture, theatre, comedy, speakers and affordable family entertainment. We truly bring the world to your doorstep. This coming season, with the high costs associated with presenting these major artists and shows, our production expenses will exceed $2 million. For ticket revenue alone to cover Cal Poly Arts’ production budget, we would have to raise ticket prices by more than 25% and consider cutting back on the high-quality standards that you’ve come to expect from the events that we present at the Performing Arts Center. That’s why we count on generous community support to continue presenting the hugely popular shows you get to see right here in San Luis Obispo – no expensive, time-consuming travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco – and gives us the opportunity to introduce international superstars and up-and-coming talent to Central Coast audiences. Please consider supporting our mission to present the finest arts and entertainment at the Performing Arts Center and other venues across the region by adding a charitable contribution to your subscription order form or by clicking the “Donate Now” button, located at the top of pages on our website: Your donations help make it all possible – we literally could not do it without you! cirque éloize - saloon



cal polY arts inner circLe


donor and sponsor exclusive benefits

Cal Poly Arts has several opportunities for you to support the work we do. A variety of donation levels entitle individuals and businesses to exclusive benefits throughout the season. Call our Donor Relations office at (805) 756-6383 for complete contribution information. $50 Friend

Advance email notification of added Center Stage events and donor acknowledgment in event programs.

$100 Associate

Previously listed benefits plus recognition on a contributors Honor Roll board in the Performing Arts Center and Spanos Theatre lobbies.

$250 Donor

We also offer opportunities for individuals and businesses to sponsor specific Cal Poly Arts Season and added center Stage shows. Benefits include all of the perks listed at right, plus premium show tickets; extensive sponsor recognition in all print advertising; on our website; signage in lobbies and live acknowledgment from the stage; hosted receptions; VIP donor event invitations; and reserved parking at your sponsored performance. Visit “Support us” at for more details.

Previously listed benefits plus ticket exchange privilege.

$500 patron

Previously listed benefits plus advance ticket purchase privilege for added Center Stage events.

$1,000 partner

Previously listed benefits plus a special permit for access to VIP parking on the top level of the Grand Avenue parking structure, valid at all Cal Poly Arts events.

Fund your passion!

Showbiz ShowBiz is our in-kind donor recognition program with specially tiered benefits for businesses, foundations and public agencies. ShowBiz sponsors also receive a clickthrough link on the Cal Poly Arts website that directs web visitors to the home page of the sponsor’s website. We would like to thank the following top-level ShowBiz members for their continued and valued support:


New this season, we have created specifically targeted “Genre Funds” so you can donate to support your favorite form of entertainment! Below are the funding categories you can specify on your order form or with our Donor Relations office: Dance

Broadway Musicals

Classical Music

La Guitarra California Festival

The Met: Live In HD Screenings

Poly Arts for Youth (PAFY) Educational Outreach

underwater bubble show | (805) 756-4849


The Met: Live in HIgh-DEfinition On Screen at the Performing Arts Center

This continuing season screening series is presented in partnership with Opera San Luis Obispo. The weekend series will feature 10 high-definition transmissions to Harman Hall’s large screen from the Metropolitan Opera’s stage in New York City. For tickets, please contact the Ticket Office directly at (805) 756-4849.

Tickets On sale $22 Public  |  $12 Student


22 NOV





27 feb


NORMA (Bellini) Encore Screening Sun, 2 pm

DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE (Mozart) Encore Screening Sun, 2 pm

THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (Adès) Encore Screening sun, 2 pm

TOSCA (Puccini) Sat, 9:55 am – Live

L’ELISIR D’AMORE (Donizetti) Encore Screening sun, 2 pm

Thu, Jul 13

Qualified Met Members

Mon, Jul 17  Cal Poly Arts Subscribers & Opera San Luis Obispo Members Wed, Jul 19


11 mar

25 mar

31 apr

14 apr


General Public

LA BOHÈME (Puccini) Encore Screening Sun, 2 pm

SEMIRAMIDE (Rossini) Encore Screening sun, 2 pm

COSÌ FAN TUTTE (Mozart) Sat, 9:55 am – Live

die zauberflöte

LUISA MILLER (Verdi) Sat, 9:30 am – Live

CENDRILLON (Massenet) Sat, 9:55 am – Live Cosî Fan Tutte

Sponsors include: Mary T. Baiamonte, CF Buetow in memory of Charlotte Buetow; John & Alison Denlinger and John & Elizabeth Rolph; Francesca Fairbrother and Barbara Murphy; Robert & Phyllis Frank; Jane Harker-Gersten and Sally Young; Dr. Bianca Rosenthal; Bill & Carol Rust; Jan Simek & Judy Lang; Denis & Leona Sullivan The Met: Live in HD series is made possible by a generous grant from its founding sponsor The Neubauer Family Foundation. Global Sponsorship of The Met: Live in HD is also provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies. The HD broadcasts are supported by Toll Brothers America’s Luxury Home Builder.





POly Artists




4,000 Miles

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble

Written by Amy Herzog Nov 2–4 & 9–11, 2017

‘80s Mix Tape Orchesis Dance Concert

Fall Concert | Nov 4, 2017 Winter Concert | feb 24, 2018 Spring Concert | May 26, 2018

Jan 19–20 & 25–27, 2018

Cal Poly Choirs

The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui

Fall Concert: Love & Loss | Oct 28, 2017

Written by Bertolt Brecht, translated by Jennifer Wise

Holiday Kaleidoscope | Dec 2, 2017

mar 1–3 & 8–10, 2018

Winter Concert: Lux Perpetua | Mar 17, 2018


Spring Concert with Cal Poly’s Symphony | JUN 3, 2018

Written by Lauren Yee

Cal Poly Symphony

May 10–12 & 17–19, 2018

Fall Concert: From the New World | Dec 3, 2017

Student Dance Concert

Winter Concert: Student Soloist Showcase | Mar 16, 2018

May 23–25, 2018

Spring Concert with Cal Poly’s Choirs | Jun 3, 2018

Annual One-Act Play Festival (Black Box Theatre) JUN 9–10, 2018


Graphic Design by Nina Stossinger sep 21 – oct 20, 2017

Digital Art by Casey Reas

University Jazz Bands Fall Jazz Concert | Dec 1, 2017 Just Jazz Concert | mar 2, 2018 Jazz Night | Jun 9, 2018

Cal Poly Wind Bands Bandfest | Nov 12, 2017 Winter Concert | Mar 3, 2018 Spring Concert | Jun 2, 2018

Nov 2 – Dec 1, 2017

Department/Faculty Recitals & Events

LA Artist’s Showcase

W. Terrence Spiller Piano Recital | Jan 12, 2018

Jan 11 – Feb 9, 2018

Photography by Amy Touchette Feb 22 – Mar 19, 2018

Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Inside Bach Week | Jan 16, 2018 Bach Week: Guest Artists Master Class | Jan 18, 2018

Poly Arts for Youth (PAFY) is Cal Poly Arts’ education enrichment program for students of all ages. Your PAFY donations enable our artists to engage directly with children in their classrooms and auditoriums, hold community workshops, and lead master classes. This season, local student musicians will have an opportunity to rehearse and perform with Black Violin; Terrance Simien will transport children from their classrooms to the bayou through the magic of Zydeco music; and Doktor Kaboom will conduct science experiments with some elementary school lab assistants. The Brasil Guitar Duo, Tango Buenos Aires and Koresh Dance Company will all conduct master classes on campus. Please consider contributing to PAFY to help keep the arts alive for our students. For more information, call (805) 756-5914. PAFY is supported in part by grants from the Cal Poly Arts Youth Arts Education Endowment, the Adrienne Fissel Youth Outreach Endowment, The Handler & Steiner Family Foundation, The Peter & Mary Russo Family Foundation, Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF). Individual PAFY donors include: Linda Angelo, Jim & Cheryl Conway, Carlos & Beth Cordova, Dr. Charles H. Dana, Jr., Donald & Marguerite Erickson, Rayne Fleming, Joan Gellert-Sargen, Michael & Susan Gleason, Barb & Howard Ignatius, Bob & Beth Mott, Bob & Tonya Omdahl, Richard & Eileen Rogers, Sally Young in memory of Bob Young

Thank you to our additional funding sponsors

Bach Week Akademie | Jan 18, 2018 Bach Week Chamber Concert | Jan 19, 2018 Bach Week: Bach in the Mission VIII | jan 20, 2018

Apr 12 – May 11, 2018

Chamber Concert: A Night at the Mission | feb 9, 2018

Bachelor of Fine Arts show

W. Terrence Spiller Piano Recital: Beethoven Sonata Cycle | May 11, 2018

Jun 1–16, 2018

RSVP XXIII: Ex Supra (From Above) | May 29 & 31, 2018

*The University Art Gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday from 11 AM – 4 PM and is located in Dexter Building 34. Admission is free for all events.

CALPOLYARTS.ORG | (805) 756-4849


california polytechnic State university Cal Poly Arts 1 Grand Avenue San Luis Obispo, CA 93407-0334




SEP 30

george saunders


JAN 16

itzhak perlman


OCT 08

Bill murray, Jan vogler & Friends


JAN 21

steep canyon rangers


OCT 14

Brasil guitar Duo


JAN 26

michael Feinstein – sings sinatra!


OCT 16

andrew Bird


JAN 28

keola Beamer & henry kapono


OCT 20

home Free


JAN 30

Kinky boots


OCT 29

underwater bubble show


FEB 11

moscow Festival Ballet – swan lake


NOV 03

hugh acheson


FEB 15

cirque éloize – saloon


NOV 14

tango Buenos aires


FEB 17

Black violin


NOV 29

elf the musical


FEB 26

cameron carpenter


DEC 19

the blind boys of alabama Christmas show


MAR 06



MAR 07

the ten tenors


MAR 13

the sound of music


MAR 16

improvised shakespeare


MAR 18

calmus wirh organist paul Woodring


MAR 23

aquila theatre – sense & sensibility


APR 14

koresh Dance company


APR 15

Daniel handler

suBscriBe & save


APR 20

terrance simien


APR 27

la santa cecilia

SAVE 10% when you choose 4+ shows SAVE 15% when you choose 8+ shows


APR 29

namhee han


MAY 16

audra mcDonald


JuN 19-20 Jersey boys

Bill murraY – new worlds

Excludes Center Stage events

JerseY boYs

the blind boYs of alabama Christmas show

michael Feinstein

moscoW Festival Ballet – swan laKe

Cal Poly Arts 2017-18 Season Brochure  

Cal Poly Arts 2017-18 Season Brochure

Cal Poly Arts 2017-18 Season Brochure  

Cal Poly Arts 2017-18 Season Brochure