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Broad Stage Plans a Creative Opening for Fall 2020

June 2, 2020

The Broad Stage in Santa Monica has found the good news in its upcoming season. Announced May 27, the venue’s 2020–2021 schedule makes the most of an uncertain performance future. An outdoor opera production features this fall; in-theater events will pick up in January 2021.

Birds From the Moon is the opera, a world premiere from composer Mark Grey and librettist Júlia Canosa i Serra. The production, directed by Elkhanah Pulitzer, will tour around in a shipping container, making outdoor stops for free and physically-distanced performances, dates and locations to be announced. It’s a creative move while the fate of the fall concert season remains bleak.

The winter and spring lineup more than makes up for the unhurried start. The Broad Stage welcomes a dozen-plus new artists to the theater in 2021, along with a host of Los Angeles premieres. The venue, in partnership with Santa Monica College, is committing to a safe and cautious reopening, one that lends confidence to the calendar ahead. Artistic and Executive Director Rob Bailis oversees the season, his first with The Broad Stage.

The Takács Quartet plays the first concert, Jan. 15; the ensemble’s new violist, Richard Yongjae O’Neill, is a former Broad Stage resident artist. Opera continues in February with a literalist’s production of Fidelio, from New York’s Heartbeat Opera, with real prisoners singing some of Beethoven’s music. And three jazz superstars — Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés, and Joe Lovano — come together for two nights of performances, Feb. 4–5.

Yo-Yo Ma and photographer Austin Mann bring their multimedia project Truth, Trust, and Service: How Culture Connects Us to L.A. on April 29. Mark Morris Dance Group visits in June, one of several dance companies stopping at The Broad Stage in 2021. Closing out the season, actor Alan Cumming and NPR host Ari Shapiro team up for a cabaret show, Och and Oy!, July 30–31.

Signature events, like “Beethoven, Bagels, and Banter” and Red Hen Press’s poetry readings, return in 2021 as well. Tickets for The Broad Stage’s season go on sale June 3, but members can subscribe online now.

Peter Feher is an editor at SFCV. He can be reached at [email protected].