(Beverly Hills, CA October 6) The Sorting Room—an exciting new intimate space for live performance—is launching in December at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts through January 14, 2017. Transforming the Lovelace Studio Theater into a 150-seat custom-built space, The Sorting Room will offer Los Angeles audiences the opportunity to see some of the best and upcoming talent in cabaret, comedy, live contemporary music, dance performance and more, delivering a unique, personal experience.
Acclaimed Grammy Award-winner singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III opens The Sorting Room on December 3 with his one-man show Surviving Twin, a posthumous collaboration combining and connecting some of his best songs with the writing of his late father Loudon Wainwright Jr., the esteemed LIFE Magazine columnist. Established comic Sandra Bernhard hilariously mixes political satire, pop culture commentary and cabaret in the world premiere of her highly-anticipated new show Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast on December 8 – 10. Broadway star and recent Tony Award nominee for Noises Off, Megan Hilty performs songs from her new holiday album entertaining audiences with her powerful vocals in an intimate two-night concert on December 20 – 21.
Other featured artists include: comic Cameron Esposito; cabaret singers Rita Wilson, Rumer Willis and Rebecca Spencer; celebrated vocalist Ty Taylor; acclaimed musical duo Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk; tap dancer Melinda Sullivan; actress and master storyteller Christine Lahti and Los Angeles-based music group Ethio Cali. Special performances include Get Lit’s Dante; Salastina Music Society’s Chamber Messiah; a joyous multimedia concert of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods to Jazz” by Dr. Ron McCurdy; a night dedicated to the songbook of Jerry Herman, featuring Broadway star Jason Graae with special guest Karen Morrow; and an improv show by the master comics of Immediate Theater, led by Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson). More artists to be announced.
“The Sorting Room creates a new cool late night experience, bringing audiences together with an extraordinary mix of artists—most hailing from right here in Los Angeles—in an extremely intimate setting,” said Paul Crewes, The Wallis’ Artistic Director. “The success of our previous cabaret series gave us an opportunity to develop and expand. Audiences can grab a drink at The Bar @ The Wallis and settle into an inviting environment that delivers the best talent from a wide range of genres including comedy, cabaret, dance, live music, and more.”
Drawing its name from the original function within the Beverly Hills Post Office, The Sorting Room gives emerging artists the opportunity to establish relationships with new audiences, while giving veteran entertainers an intimate setting to perform, as well as develop new work.
Single tickets for The Sorting Room are now on available for $15 – $70. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit TheWallis.org, call 310.746.4000, or stop by in person at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210. Ticket prices subject to change.
About The Sorting Room Artist/Shows:
Loudon Wainwright III’s Surviving Twin
Saturday, December 3 & Sunday, December 4 at 8pm
Acclaimed Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright III presents his solo show Surviving Twin, a posthumous collaboration combining and connecting some of his best songs with the writing of his late father Loudon Wainwright Jr., the esteemed LIFE Magazine columnist (his column The View From Here appearing in the magazine throughout the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s). The evening focuses on fatherhood—being a father and having one—and explores issues of birth, self-identity, loss, mortality, fashion and pet ownership. Single ticket price: $40.
Sandra Bernhard’s Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast
Thursday, December 8 – Saturday, December 10 at 8pm & 10pm
Traversing the country, Sandra Bernhard takes audiences on a journey to find the soul of America…the back roads and the byways on a gas station map, while weaving in the soundtrack one might hear on an AM radio station picked up from Oklahoma. In a live world premiere performance that is a thrilling hybrid of stand-up comedy and rock ‘n roll, a raucous mix of political satire, pop culture commentary and cabaret, Sandra Monica Blvd: Coast to Coast explores all the places forgotten but longed to be remembered in the muted colors of dreamy landscapes. Single ticket price: $70.
Rumer Willis: Over The Love Tour
Saturday, December 11 at 5pm & 7pm
Singer/actress Rumer Willis (ABC’s “Dancing With The Stars” Season 20 winner, Chicago on Broadway) made her solo cabaret debut earlier this year at the famed Café Carlyle to sold-out crowds and earned rave reviews including from The New York Times. Willis will now debut her Postmodern Cabaret in Beverly Hills, performing classics like Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child” to Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good.” Single ticket price: $40.
Tuesday, December 13 at 8pm
Broadway veteran and Backstage Bistro Award-winning recording artist Rebecca Spencer is recognized nationally and internationally in the cabaret and concert worlds for her signature contemporary lyric-driven arrangements that seamlessly fuse classical and contemporary composers. Together with virtuoso concert pianist Philip Fortenberry (HBO’s Behind the Candelabra), the longtime musical partners share intimate, inspirational theatricality and romantic impressionism, along with a sprinkling of new arrangements inspired by the holiday season. Single ticket price: $25.
Melinda Sullivan’s Portrait of Rhythm
Wednesday, December 14 at 8pm
Best known for her appearance on FOX’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” tap phenom Melinda Sullivan—accompanied by pianist composer Nikos Syropoulos and his jazz chamber ensemble Rozalia—performs Portrait of Rhythm, an interdisciplinary collaboration that centers on layering composed and improvised music and Rhythm-based dance. Single ticket price: $25.
Thursday, December 15 at 8pm
Standup comic and actor Cameron Esposito has exploded onto the comedy scene, recently being named one of Variety’s “10 Comics to Watch of 2016” and “the Future of Comedy” by Jay Leno. The creator and star of the breakaway television hit of last summer, Seeso’s Original Series Take My Wife, now brings her exceptional talent to The Sorting Room in a hilarious evening featuring new standup material. Single ticket price: $25.
Friday, December 16 at 8pm
Since her first debut album in 2012, well known actress (It’s Complicated, Sleepless in Seattle) and film producer (Mamma Mia!, My Big Fat Greek Wedding), Rita Wilson has quickly impressed audiences as a singer/songwriter—drawing from her first love, music. Following a successful two-week residency at NYC’s Café Carlyle, Wilson brings her unique ability for creating insightful, eloquent singer-songwriter pop music that is etched with stunning honesty to The Sorting Room in an intimate concert featuring original songs. Single ticket price: $40.
Kerrigan – Lowdermilk & Friends
Saturday, December 17 at 8pm
One of the most celebrated writing teams of their generation, award-winning musical theater duo Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk gather friends from television, film and theater for an evening of songs hailed as the new American standards of today. Known for their unique ability to blur the line between musical theater and pop music, Kerrigan and Lowdermilk made their Off Broadway debut in 2006 and have release two critically acclaimed albums. Their musicals have been developed and produced at theaters across the country. Join Kerrigan, Lowdermilk and a lineup of talented friends for an exciting evening celebrating the future of musical theatre. Single ticket price: $35.
Salastina Music Society’s Chamber Messiah
Sunday, December 18 at 7pm
Salastina Music Society presents an intimate journey through the profound spirituality and timeless splendor of Handel’s beloved Messiah, giving audiences a deeper understanding of why it is so enduring. The festive holiday edition of Sound Genius with Salastina’ resident host Brian Lauritzen includes a sing-along of the “Hallelujah Chorus” (with Christmas cookies/libations). Single ticket price: $48.
Tuesday, December 20 at 8pm & 10pm and Wednesday, December 21 at 8pm
Ring in this year’s holiday season with Megan Hilty as she performs songs from her new Christmas album. The evening with feature both traditional and brand new arrangements of all the holiday tunes audiences know and love. Backed by her four piece band, the show is sure to put everyone in the holiday spirit. Single ticket price: $45.
Get Lit’s Dante
Tuesday, January 3 at 8pm
Dante—a contemporary hip-hop musical inspired by Dante’s Inferno and the modern dualities of good and evil in religion and society—mixes classic poetry spoken word, music and choreography to engage with the past and delve into timeless themes of greed, love and longing. Dante is co-written by Get Lit’s Literati Fellows—a troupe of young poets who serve as ambassadors for education and arts empowerment across Los Angeles and beyond—with inspiration from Hamilton and Get Lit’s former mentor Daveed Diggs. Single ticket price: $20.
The Langston Hughes Project
Wednesday, January 4 at 8pm
The Langston Hughes Project is a joyous multimedia concert performance in music, spoken word and visuals of Langston Hughes’ kaleidoscopic jazz poem “Ask Your Mama: 12 Moods for Jazz,” Hughes’ homage to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. The impressively versatile Dr. Ron McCurdy (as narrator and on trumpet) and his talented group of musicians (on piano, bass and drums) perform the twelve-part epic poem that Hughes’ scored with musical cues drawn from blues and Dixieland, gospel, boogie woogie, bebop and progressive jazz, Latin “cha-cha” and Afro-Cuban mambo music, German lieder, Jewish liturgy, West Indian calypso and African drumming—a creative masterwork left unperformed at his death. Single ticket price: $30.
Ty Taylor’s The Nouveau Mid-Century Romance Songbook
Thursday, January 5 at 8pm
Internationally celebrated vocalist Ty Taylor invites audiences to a sophisticated swinging evening of freshly pinned American Jazz standards that will sweep the body and soul away into a time when lush was life and romance was king. Taylor—whose vocals have been compared to such legendary vocal greats as Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson and James Brown, though whose vocal stylings are truly his own—has toured with the likes of Tina Turner, Eric Clapton and Celine Dion, and has opened (as the frontman of Vintage Trouble) for The Rolling Stones, The Who, Lenny Kravitz, Mavis Staples, KISS, The Dixie Chicks and Bon Jovi. Single ticket price: $25.
Friday, January 6 at 8pm
Oscar-winner Christine Lahti, known for her stunning acting work in films like Running On Empty and Housekeeping, returns to The Wallis to share stories that draw deeply from her personal and professional experiences. A gifted writer and storyteller, Ms. Lahti recounts five personal instances over the course of the evening, including a time where she was told that to obtain acting work she would have to engage in sexual relations with a director, or a heart-rendering story about navigating the downward spiral of her mentally ill younger sister. Like the tales of Anne Lamott and Spalding Gray, Ms. Lahti’s stories are funny, bittersweet and very human. Single ticket price: $30.
Jerry Herman: Broadway’s Legendary Composer/Lyricist starring Jason Graae and special guest Karen Morrow
Wednesday, January 11 at 8pm
Broadway star Jason Graae (A Grand Night For Singing, Falsettos, Stardust) celebrates the songbook of three-time Tony Award-winner composer/lyricist Jerry Herman, performing a selection of hits from such classics as Hello Dolly!, Mame, Mack and Mabel and La Cage Aux Folles, with special guest stage and television star Karen Morrow (I Had A Ball, The Mystery of Edwin Drood). Single ticket price: $30.
Thursday, January 12 at 8pm
Led by trumpeter, arranger, and composer Todd Simon, the Los Angeles-based Ethio-jazz ensemble’s sublime sound is inspired by the golden age of Ethiopian music of the 1960s and ‘70s, filtered through a lens that is uniquely Los Angeles while simultaneously drawing inspiration from the rhythmic and melodic textures across Africa, Central/Latin America and the Caribbean. Ethio Cali continues their exploration of African Jazz in a special performance in The Sorting Room, while making connections with music across the globe, such as Colombia, Brazil and Java. Single ticket price: $30.
Improv Co-op presents Immediate Theater
Friday, January 13 at 8pm
You’ve seem improv before, but not like this. Dan Castellaneta (the voice of Homer Simpson) and Deb Lacusta bring together an amazing company of seasoned improvisers from Immediate Theater. With decades of experience, the cast features Bernadette Birkett, Michael Bernard, Dan Castellaneta, Rick Hall, Lance Kinsey, Deb Lacusta, Sean Masterson, Jeff Michalski, Jane Morris, Paul Sand and Jonathan Stark deliver. Single ticket price: $15.
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