Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Reveals Line-Up

Martha Graham Dance Company
Martha Graham Dance Company
 Courtesy of Davidson & Choy Publicity

After two years of construction, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts will open its doors in October, marking the first performing arts center in Beverly Hills, and today the center has announced its season's shows.

Performances by the Martha Graham Dance Company, chronicling Martha Graham's dance history in Los Angeles, will open the new 500-seat Goldsmith Theater on Nov. 8. This will be followed by the romantic play Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo and directed by Mark Brokaw, which will run from Nov. 26 to Dec. 22.

Heading into 2014, the Kneehigh Theatre production which drew acclaim in New York and London will run from Feb. 15 to March 23 followed by the west coast premiere of chamber opera A Coffin in Egypt, composed by Ricky Ian Gordon, on April 23.

Under construction since April 2011, the center will transform a Beverly Hills city block along Santa Monica Boulevard into a cultural destination. Adjacent to the 25,000-square-foot main theater, Goldsmith Theater, is the historic Beverly Hills Post Office. Architect Zoltan Pali (who is also working with Renzo Piano on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures) was hired to transform the 1933 Renaissance Revival Building into a state-of-the-art performance center, which will also hold a cafe and shop, while honoring the site's architectural beauty.

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The 150-seat Lovelace Studio Theater will focus on children programming and will host Jason and the Argonauts starting Jan. 16 and the award-winning Catherine Wheels Theatre Company production of White starting Feb. 28.

Other offerings this season include Noel Coward's Brief Encounter starting Feb. 15, combining music with the 1945 David Lean film upon which it's based, and includes the original Broadway cast. The major league concert Baseball Swing opens on April 4. Following that, the young Jessica Lang Dance troupe from New York on May 30 and The Trumpet of the Swan on May 2, with music by Tony-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, which received critical acclaim when performed at the Kennedy Center.

As a separate special program, Timeless Scents: 1370-2013, an exhibition on the history of iconic perfume fragrances, will be created especially for the center by former New York Times scent critic Chandler Burr.

The center will kick off its opening with an inaugural black-tie gala with Jamie Tisch as chair and Robert Redford and Brad Pitt as co-chairs on Thursday, Oct. 17.

The remainder of the 2013-2014 season will be announced next month while subscription tickets go on sale Oct. 1. Individual ticket prices will range from $25 to $199.

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