Broad Tastes at New Season at Broad Stage

By JOHN HARLOW | Editor-in-Chief

The Broad Stage, the pair of Santa Monica theaters established by Palisadian opera singer and impresario Dale Franzen, regard themselves as a statewide attraction.

They sell tickets for their dance, theatrical and jazz performances from Santa Barbara to San Diego.

But the Palisades is in the top five zip codes, and the new season recently unveiled at the Pico Boulevard space suggests why so many Palisadians risk stepping into the neighboring town after the sun has gone down.

Lucia Micarelli
Photo courtesy of Violinmusic

Simply put, because the Broad offers a colorful array of different entertainments and a good bar for a $10 Uber ride.

There is no easy way to summarize the 2018-19 season but to say if you appreciate world class culture with some spacey or spicy twists, then it’s worth at least checking out the website.

A highlight for dance fans will be Barak Ballet’s E/Space, which, technically, wraps up the 2017 season at the end of June, but is too psychedelic to miss. It’s a rush of digitally projected scenery, dazzling choreography and music by modern composer David Lawrence.

Also, in June will be a pair of scary-funny operas, “Usher House” based on Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Canterville Ghost”—where Americans decline to be upset by a 300-year-old very British spook.

Madeleine Peyroux
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Think “Beetlejuice” meets “Home Alone” with costumes by LA Opera.

Tickets have just gone on sale for the latest production by Pasadena-based Red Hen Press, which mixes poetry with theater.

It’s called “At the Table with Rinde and Ellen,” bringing together playwright and actress Ellen McLaughlin, part of the original “Angels in America” troupe, and Rinde Eckert, a Grammy-winning rock opera composer.

In September the Broad is visited by French-American jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux, followed by blues guitarist Corey Harris and Guy Davis and classical (and rock) violinist Lucia Micarelli.

Bulawayo’s Nobuntu
Photo courtesy of Newsday Zimbabwe

In November, visas allowing, Nobuntu, an all-woman acapella group from Zimbabwe are due in Santa Monica.

And if you are ready to push your own boundaries, next March will be dominated by Alash—a trio of throat singers from Tuva in central Asia.

This is just a fraction of the temptations on offer four miles out of The Village: For more, visit thebroadstage.org.