By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski
Mesa Arts Center announced its 2019-20 Performing Live season. Season highlights include the National Geographic Live! speaker series which delivers stories of life-changing explorations from behind the camera, the Classical Music Inside Out series curated by Grammy award-winning cellist Zuill Bailey, a Valentine’s Day engagement with renowned opera singer Renée Fleming, solo performance by Mandy Patinkin, and family engagements like “Double Dare Live.”
Additional shows will be announced throughout the season.
Tickets can be purchased at the Mesa Arts Center Box Office, 1 E. Main Street, or via telephone at 480-644-6500 or website mesaartscenter.com.
The shows are as follows:
Billy Cobham and Crosswinds
with Randy Brecker
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 20,
Piper Theater, $40 general admission
Jazz fusion virtuoso Billy Cobham has contributed seminally as a master drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, educator, clinician and tireless musical explorer. Cobham will perform with Randy Brecker, guitarist Fareed Haque, bassist Tim Landers, keyboardist Scott Tibbs and saxophonist Paul Hanson.
Hot Spanish Nights:
Guitars Celino & Lito Romero
and Special Guest Eric Symons
7:30 p.m. Saturday, August 24,
Piper Theater, $38
The evening features the third generation of the Royal Family of Guitars —Celino and Lito Romero, who take center stage with guitarist Eric Symons for an evening of Spanish sounds and tastes.
Kansas: Point of Know Return
7:30 p.m. Thursday, September 19, Ikeda Theater, $43-$128
Progressive rockers Kansas will perform their Point of Know Return album in its entirety in a special two-hour concert celebrating the collection’s 40th anniversary.
Roy Orbison & Buddy Holly:
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Dreams Tour
8 p.m. Friday, October 4,
Ikeda Theater, $43-$68
The show features remastered audio from Roy Orbison and Buddy Holly with a live band and back-up singers. This cutting-edge production features hologram performances by the two rock icons.
8 p.m. Saturday, October 5,
Ikeda Theater, $40 and $100
Samin Nosrat learned to cook at Chez Panisse, in Italy with Benedetta Vitali and Dario Cecchini, and at Eccolo in Berkeley. Her first book is the New York Times bestselling “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking.” A documentary series based on the book is on Netflix. She is also a food columnist for the New York Times Magazine.
Chick Corea Trilogy with
Christian McBride And Brian Blade
7:30 p.m. Sunday, October 6,
Ikeda Theater, $35-$63
Chick Corea brings together bass powerhouse Christian McBride and drum master Brian Blade in a trio that earned two Grammy Awards for their 2014 landmark three-CD set “Trilogy.”
The Spouse Whisperer
7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 10, to Saturday, October 12, and 3 p.m. Sunday, October 13, Nesbitt-Elliot Playhouse Theater, $40
Comedian Mark Cordes delivers his critically acclaimed one-man show, “The Spouse Whisperer.”
Dennis DeYoung: The Grand Illusion
8 p.m. Friday, October 11,
Ikeda Theater, $43-$60
Dennis DeYoung is a founding member of Styx and has one of the most recognizable voices.
Tower of Power
7 p.m. Saturday, October 12,
Ikeda Theater, $29.50-$59.50
Music legends Tower of Power brings its soul, rock and pop music to the Mesa Arts Center.
7 p.m. Sunday, October 12,
Ikeda Theater, $45-$91,
The multiartist celebration Experience Hendrix is set to return to Mesa Arts Center to celebrate its 10th anniversary. See the list of performers at mesaartscenter.com.
Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain &
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 15, Ikeda Theater, $40
The leading virtuosos on their respective instruments move with ease among the worlds of classical, bluegrass, and North Indian music, creating a fusion that is their own. Béla Fleck has transformed the image and the sound of the banjo. Zakir Hussain’s performances on the Indian tabla have established him as a national treasure in his own country. Edgar Meyer’s mastery of the double bass is rivaled only by his activity as a composer.
“Double Dare Live”
with Marc Summers
2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, October 19, Ikeda Theater, $43-$80
“Double Dare Live” brings the popular Nickelodeon show to the stage.
Calavera featuring Lila Downs
With appearances by Grandeza Mexicana Folk Ballet Company and Mariachi Feminil Flores Mexicanas
7:30 p.m Tuesday, October 22, Ikeda Theater, $30-$55
Known as one of Mexico’s greatest singers, the Grammy award-winning Mexican-American singer Lila Downs presents Calavera, a community-oriented event where audience members are encouraged to come dressed in imaginative Día de los Muertos costumes and make-up, to bring remembrances of their loved ones to share in the celebration.
National Geographic Live!:
Akashinga: The Brave Ones
with Damien Mander
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, Ikeda Theater, $30-$44
Former special operations sniper and Royal Australian Navy clearance diver Damien Mander traveled to Africa intent to create solutions in the fight against poachers. He formed the first all-female ranger unit in Zimbabwe—Akashinga “the brave ones”—altering stereotypes, saving elephants, and establishing a new model for conservation efforts along the way.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, November 12, Piper Theater, $40
Farruquito, heir to the most renowned Gypsy flamenco dynasty, is the greatest flamenco dancer of this new century.
The Magic of Bill Blagg
7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 14, Piper Theater, $23
Critics and audiences alike rave about The Magic of Bill Blagg. His interactive magic will have guests rubbing their eyes in disbelief.
Music of Cream:
40th Anniversary World Tour
8 p.m. Friday, November 15,
Ikeda Theater, $35
Kofi Baker (son of Ginger) and Malcolm Bruce (son of Jack) unite with Will Johns (Eric’s nephew by marriage and son of Zeppelin/Stones/Hendrix engineer Andy) to perform the hits.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 16, Piper Theater, $40
The daughter of June Carter Cash and country star Carl Smith, and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, she is the physical embodiment of the Carter Family in the 21st century. Her most recent album release was “Carter Girl,” a Don Was-produced collection of Carter Family songs and originals, inspired by her family.
An Evening with C.S. Lewis
7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 19, to Friday, November 22; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 23, and 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, November 24, Nesbitt-Elliot Playhouse Theater, $55
The year is 1963 and C.S. Lewis, the famous British author, is hosting a group of American writers at his home near Oxford. They are about to experience a captivating evening with his engaging conversation and spontaneous humor. The show continues from there.
Cellist Lynn Harrell
7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 19, Piper Theater, $38-$46
Lynn Harrell is a consummate soloist, chamber musician, recitalist, conductor and teacher whose work throughout the world has placed him in the highest echelon of performers.
National Geographic Live!
Building the Photo Ark with
7:30 p.m. Friday, November 20,
Ikeda Theater, $30-$44
National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to capture portraits of the world’s species before they disappear. With ingenuity, wit, and a serious midwestern work ethic, Sartore has created the Photo Ark project, the largest archive of its kind with nearly 8,000 images and counting. Hear about his comical mishaps, endearing encounters, and personal stories while documenting a world worth saving.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 21, Piper Theater, $43-$50
Rising star Sheléa returns to Mesa Arts Center on her first headlining tour this fall. Sheléa has collaborated and toured with musical greats including Dave Koz and Stevie Wonder. On sale June 17.
Choir! Choir! Choir!
7:30 p.m. Saturday, November 30, Piper Theater, $40 general admission
Choir! Choir! Choir! is a Toronto-based singing group led by creative directors Nobu Adilman and Daveed Goldman. The duo takes a non traditional approach; there are no auditions, and the audience is the choir. Audience members will learn an original arrangement to a well-loved song.
Dave Koz & Friends
Christmas Tour 2019
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, December 17,
Ikeda Theater, $63-$93
Dave Koz & Friends continue their annual holiday tradition at Mesa Arts Center.
Na Leo Holiday Concert
7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 19, Ikeda Theater, $35
Share the aloha spirit during the holidays with Hawaii’s No. 1 female music group Na Leo, which means “The Voices.”
Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Chip Davis
3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Thursday, December 26, Ikeda Theater, $36-$81
A Mesa Arts Center holiday favorite returns.
Mandy Patinkin in Concert:
Diaries with Adam Ben-David
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 16, Ikeda Theater, $45-$85
From Randy Newman to Stephen Sondheim, from Harry Chapin to Rufus Wainwright, Mandy Patinkin takes guests on a musical journey.
Stanley Clarke Power Trio
7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 17,
Piper Theater, $50
Grammy Award winner Stanley Clarke has attained “living legend” status during his over 40-year career as a bass virtuoso. He is the first bassist to double on acoustic and electric bass with equal ferocity and the first jazz-fusion bassist to headline tours, selling out shows worldwide.
Ballet Folclórico Nacional De México De Silvia Lozano
3 p.m. Saturday, January 19,
Ikeda Theater, $25-$45
Ballet Folclórico Nacional de México de Silvia Lozano is tasked with the dissemination, preservation and promotion of the Culture of Mexico.
National Geographic Live!
Pursuit of The Black Panther
with Shannon Wild
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 22, Ikeda Theater, $30-$44.
In 15 years as a wildlife photographer and cinematographer, Shannon Wild has learned to expect the unexpected. She’s been bitten in the face by a dog, charged by an elephant, and mauled by a cheetah. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the challenges and dangers of her most difficult assignment to date: documenting a rare and elusive black panther in the dense forest in southern India.
7:30 p.m. Thursday, January 23,
Piper Theater, $38-$46
Catalyst Quartet is comprised of top Laureates and alumni of the Sphinx Competition.
Lisa Lampanelli’s Losin’ It!
7:30 p.m. Friday, January 24; 3 p.m and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, January 26, Piper Theater, $50
The show is full of professional actors, storytellers and special guests who have all dealt with the problem of weight and body-image issues.
“Mystery Science Theater 3000 – Live”
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 29, Ikeda Theater, $37.50-$78
Mystery Science Theater 3000 announces the MST3K Live 30th Anniversary Tour featuring the original host and MST3K creator Joel Hodgson back in the red jumpsuit as Joel Robinson. Alongside new MST3K host Jonah Heston (Jonah Ray), Joel, and the Bots will bring new movies and all new riffs and sketches to Mesa Arts Center.
“The Moth Mainstage”
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 5, Ikeda Theater, $33-$48
The Moth returns for its annual presentation at Mesa Arts Center. Dedicated to the art of storytelling, The Moth has presented more than 3,000 stories, told live and without notes, by people from all walks of life to standing room only crowds worldwide.
“The Bachelor Live on Stage”
7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 13,
Ikeda Theater, $40-$150
“The Bachelor Live on Stage” guarantees all the drama, the gossip and the romance of your the TV show in one evening for the ultimate fan party.
8 p.m. Friday, February 14,
Ikeda Theater, $55-$110
The Valley may best remember Renée Fleming for her touching performance of “Danny Boy” during the Celebration of Life for Sen. John McCain. Renée Fleming is one of the most acclaimed singers of our time.
National Geographic Live!
Designed by Nature with
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, February 19, Ikeda Theater, $30-$44
Bioengineer and research diver Kakani Katija takes you deep into the midwaters of the ocean—one of the least explored ecosystems on our planet—and shares how its inhabitants could lead to breakthroughs in bio-inspired design. Katija’s work led to energy efficient jellyfish-inspired
8 p.m. Friday, February 21,
Ikeda Theater, $30-$38
Simply Three continues to receive praise for their ability to impress listeners with a range of genres that span Adele, Gershwin and Ed Sheeran. The trio seeks the essence of classical crossover with original works as well as innovative arrangements that showcase their technical virtuosity and heartfelt musicality.
An Evening with Itzhak Perlman: 75th Birthday Celebration
8 p.m. Saturday, February 29,
Ikeda Theater, $55-$110
Join the Mesa Arts Center for a special 75th birthday celebration of Perlman. The evening will be a multimedia experience with Perlman sharing stories of his life, family and career.
The Finest Hour:
Davina and The Vagabonds,
and Hot Club of Cowtown
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 5,
Ikeda Theater, $37
The Finest Hour is a celebration of the platinum age in American popular music, when European jazz, western swing, blues and pop shared the airwaves. The show features Davina and The Vagabonds and Hot Club of Cowtown performing a range of music from Billie Holiday to Gene Autry, Lester Young to Doris Day and Bing Crosby.
Live from Laurel Canyon
7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 15,
Piper Theater, $42
“Live from Laurel Canyon – Songs and Stories of American Folk Rock” is a retrospective of music and stories of some of the most influential artists who lived in Laurel Canyon between 1965 and 1975.
National Geographic Live! From Summit to Sea with Andy Mann
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, Ikeda Theater, $30-$4
Award-winning filmmaker and photographer Andy Mann uses his work to bridge the gap between science and policy. From his early days as a rock climber to his current passion documenting the critically endangered oceanic whitetip shark, his stunning images tell the story of the rapidly changing planet, from top to bottom.
Blackbird, Fly: Marc Bamuthi Joseph & Daniel Bernard Roumain
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 20,
Piper Theater, $32
Blackbird, Fly weaves together a tapestry of movement, narrative, music and Haitian folklore to engage audiences in dialogue about critical questions of our time. Steeped in hip-hop aesthetic, this intimate duet between two preeminent sons of Haitian immigrants —composer/violinist Roumain, and arts activist and spoken-word artist Bamuthi —unveils their life stories in search of their identity and role models and explores universal themes of tolerance and inclusion.
Robert Dubac’s The Book of Moron
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, to Friday, June 20; 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 21; 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, March 22, Nesbitt-Elliot Playhouse Theater, $55
Robert Dubac’s Off-Broadway hit has been described as one of the most “Hilarious” “Intelligent” and “Scorching” satirical attacks on ideocracy since Mark Twain.
Mark & Maggie O’Connor:
7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26,
Piper Theater, $38-$46
American Classics identifies the cornerstones of repertoire, style and wonderful diversity of New American School of String Playing. The program offers a broad and interconnecting collection of American music through violin/fiddle solos and duos, with additional music by Mark O’Connor on guitar.
Fly Higher: Charlie Parker @ 100 w/Rudresh Mahanthappa, Terri Lyne Carrington, Charenée Wade, Adam O’ Farrill, Kris Davis, Larry Grenadier and Kassa Overall
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 31, Piper Theater, $45
Charlie Parker’s centennial year will be honored by showcasing “Bird’s” musical joy, humor, and beauty mining his deep repertoire and showcasing new, modern compositions.
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 1,
Ikeda Theater, $30-$60
Dorrance Dance is an award-winning tap dance company based out of New York City. The company’s work aims to honor tap dance’s history by pushing it—rhythmically, technically, and conceptually.
Drum Tao 2020
8 p.m. Wednesday, April 4,
Ikeda Theater, $19-$3
More than 800 million spectators across the world have been touched by Drum Tao. Drum Tao’s impact is created through the “Wadaiko drums” and the melody of Japanese flutes and harps.
Wordplay Café Story Slam
7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 4,
Piper Theater, $15
Judged by professional storytellers and members of the audience, the Story Slam is a platform for celebrating one of the oldest art forms, while also using competition as a way to challenge storytellers to take new risks.
Natasha Paremski, Piano
7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 9,
Piper Theater, $38-$46
Pianist Natasha Paremski wins over audiences with her musical sensibility and powerful, flawless technique.
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 21,
Piper Theater, $36
Vocalist Jazzmeia Horn’s debut album, “A Social Call,” earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album. Her performance features storytelling, an inspired message, fluid vocals, scat-singing, and spirited group performances.