A scene from Elevator Repair Service’s Ulysses | Credit: Owen Hope

Twelve years ago, as the house lights went down at REDCAT, the small theater next to Walt Disney Concert Hall, an apparently bored man picked up a book and began to read it. The volume was The Great Gatsby, and since he was onstage, he read it out loud for a time before passing it on to another actor and then another.

Thus began Gatz, an eight-hour theatrical presentation by the New York-based troupe Elevator Repair Service that somehow made F. Scott Fitzgerald’s familiar novel bracingly theatrical.

The wait for a follow-up has been long, but the company just premiered its adaptation of another 20th-century classic, James Joyce’s Ulysses, at Bard College to a rave review in The New York Times. This one, thankfully, is abridged, clocking in at a bit over 2½ hours.

The timing is perfect for UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA), which has announced its 2024–2025 season. It includes, yes, Ulysses, with three performances April 4–5, 2025, at the McGowan Little Theater. So the answer to the question “Will Californians have a chance to see it?” is (to quote Joyce) “yes I said yes I will Yes.”

Edgar Miramontes
Edgar Miramontes | Credit: David Esquivel/UCLA

The show is one of more than 30 events that CAP UCLA is presenting over the course of the season, its first planned under Executive and Artistic Director Edgar Miramontes. It begins in Royce Hall on Sept. 21 with another recent recipient of a rave in the Times, Gregory Maqoma’s Cion: Requiem of Ravel’s Boléro. The music and dance work is described as an exploration of greed, power, and communal grief in post-apartheid South Africa.

Another intense movement-based performance takes place on Jan. 18, 2025, when Congolese dancer and choreographer Faustin Linyekula brings his latest work, My Body, My Archive, to the Freud Playhouse. In the piece, he explores the relationship between his body and his family history, with an emphasis on his female ancestors.

Two of the productions touring to CAP UCLA this season focus on Iranian culture. The Javaad Alipoor Company brings Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World to The Nimoy on Sept. 27 and 28. The work tells the story of the still-unsolved murder of Iranian pop star Fereydoun Farrokhzad. Also at The Nimoy, the avant-garde troupe Piehole presents Tara Ahmadinejad’s Disclaimer on Oct. 25 and 26. The piece begins as a lecture about Persian cooking and evolves into a broader discussion of culture and identity.

The musical offerings are typically eclectic. Lovers of hardcore spiky 20th-century music should enjoy “Celebrating Pierre Boulez 1925–2025” at The Nimoy on May 30, 2025. The duo recital by pianists Gloria Cheng and Ralph van Raat features music by the uncompromising composer-conductor, along with pieces by other composers he championed.

Those who buy products on Amazon (anyone?) may get a kick out of H Sinno’s Poems of Consumption on Jan. 25, 2025, at The Nimoy. It’s a song cycle that takes excerpts of Amazon customer reviews and sets them to music that juxtaposes harsh electronic sounds with a string quartet.

Other musical offerings include an appearance by contemporary ensemble Alarm Will Sound in a program of new works set to short films (Nov. 23 at The Nimoy) and an evening with jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant (May 8, 2025, at Royce Hall).

Tickets to all events go on sale July 10. For more information, visit the CAP UCLA website or call 310-825-4401.