A.I.M. dancers, Tamisha Guy and Kayla Farrish, will perform with the dance company at the Carpenter Center Feb. 5. Photo courtesy Carpenter Center.

Cal State Long Beach’s resident theater, the Richard & Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center, will welcome audiences back for its 26th annual season this year, the organization announced this week.

We’re thrilled to once again share the magic and energy of live performance with our arts community,” Executive Director Megan Kline Crockett said in a press release. “We’ve invited back some of our favorite performers along with exceptional artists new to our stage who embody our commitment to celebrate the joy, wonder, and diversity of the performing arts.”

The 12-show season begins Nov. 6, with a performance by jazz saxophonist Branford Marsalis and concludes May 15 with the classical music and comedy duo Igudesman & Joo.

Most of the acts this season are returning guests, though some new faces will perform, such as writer and comedian Annie Lamott, cabaret entertainer Storm Large and jazz musicians Allan Harris and Branford Marsalis.

Like other prominent arts groups, The Carpenter Center will require its patrons provide proof that they’re fully vaccinated to attend and must have received their vaccinations (two for Pfizer and Moderna; one for J&J) at least two weeks before the show.

The center, however, will permit unvaccinated individuals 12 and under, people with “reasonable” medical issues or those who abstain due to a religious belief, to attend so long as they provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before the show. In line with county regulations, masks will be required indoors.

Here’s what you can expect from the Carpenter Center this 2021-22 season:

  • Nov. 6 – “An Evening with Branford Marsalis”
    • A concert performance by the world-renowned jazz saxophonist and his Grammy-award-winning quartet.
  • Nov. 10 & 11 – “Storm Large”
    • Expect sultry renditions of jazz standards, Broadway showstoppers and classic anthems by cabaret entertainer and singer Storm Large.
  • Dec. 11 – “An Evening with Paula Poundstone”
    • Comedian Paula Poundstone, a podcast creator and regular panel host on NPR radio show, “Wait…Wait…Don’t Tell Me!” will entertain audiences with her hallmark observational humor delivered with her legendary wit.
  • Dec. 12 – “Damien Sneed: Joy to the World: A Christmas Musical Journey”
    • Musician and composer Damien Sneed is joined by a cast of vocalists and musicians who will perform original arrangements of “Joy to the World,” Handel’s “Messiah,” “This Christmas” and other gospel, jazz and classic holiday favorites.
  • Dec. 18 – “David Benoit Christmas Tribute to Charlie Brown featuring Courtney Fortune”
    • The holiday season favorite of Grammy-nominated jazz pianist David Benoit performing the soundtrack to “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” returns.
  • Jan. 19 & 20 -“Celebrating Tom Jones starring David Burnham”
    • Broadway star David Burnham will recreate the stories and music of the legendary singer Tom Jones, including anthems like “It’s Not Usual,” “What’s New Pussycat” and more.
  • Jan. 29 & 30 – “Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo”
    • This all-male dance company offers a unique combination of ballet satire and stellar choreography that’s delighted audiences for over 40 years.
  • Feb. 5 – “A.I.M. by Kyle Abram, An Untitled Love”
    • The lauded dance company A.I.M by Kyle Abram will pay homage to Grammy-winning R&B legend D’Angelo through dance.
  • Mar 2 & 3 – “Allan Harris: Kate’s Soulfood”
    • Jazz musician Allan Harris and his quartet will perform his latest album, “Kate’s Soulfood,” an album that honors his home neighborhood of Harlem.
  • April 23 – “An Evening with Anne Lamott”
    • Hear from the writer and speaker Anne Lamott, who uses her self-deprecating humor to delve into alcoholism, single-motherhood, depression and Christianity.
  • April 30 – “MOMIX Alice”
    • MOMIX dance company brings to life through dancer-illusionists, the world of the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit and Queen of Hearts in Lewis Carroll’s storybook series, “Alice.”
  • May 15 – “Igudesman & Joon, Play it Again”
    • Violinist Aleksey Igudesman and pianist Hyung-Ki Joo love a bit of absurdity with their classical music. Their “choose-your-own-adventure” show features humor, classical music and pop tunes all rolled into one bizarre and delightful adventure.

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets. Note: 2022 shows will not be available for purchase until Nov. 1.