The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts announced live on Zoom its proposed programming lineup for a 2021 season. The hour long event was led by Executive Director & CEO Rachel Fine and Artistic Director Paul Crewes, and began with the statement “Adapting to Our New Normal”. Keeping in mind all the performances that were cancelled over the past five months, both reiterated that the entire upcoming season will depend on the outcome of the COVID-19 pandemic and that this announcement was designed to keep The Wallis patrons up-to-date on its progress. Also, patrons should be aware that currently there are no tickets on sale but that Subscription and Season Ticket holders will be the first to be notified when they are available.

Quoting Nelson Mandela words, “Our human compassion binds us – the one to the other – not in pity or patronizingly, but as human beings who have learnt how to turn our common suffering into hope for the future,” the 2021 season is called Season of Hope @ The Wallis. The performance lineup includes artists whose concerts were cancelled this spring, first time productions and performers at The Wallis, as well as tried and true programs from past years.

Heidi Duckler Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

Heidi Duckler Dance. Photo courtesy of the artists.

The Wallis’ 2019/2020 Dance season was scheduled to feature all Los Angeles based dance companies. Because the pandemic abruptly cut that season short, the 2021 proposed season includes three dance companies who were affected.  If everything goes as hoped, Heidi Duckler Dance (dates TBD) will take the audience on “an epic journey from the Promenade Terrace throughout the ground of The Wallis with Duckler’s The Chandelier, based on a novel of the same title by Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Versa-Style Dance Company (dates TBD) will present Origins of Hip Hop on the Promenade Terrace. DIAVOLO/Architecture in Motion (March 2021) will present Voyage & Trajectorire combining contemporary dance with martial arts, acrobatics, gymnastics, and Hip Hop. And rounding out the dance season is Ballet Hispánico’s CARMEN.maguia (April 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater) choreographed by Gustavo Ramirez Sansano, a Picasso-inspired, contemporary take on Bizet’s classic opera Carmen.

Versa-Style Dance Company in "Box of Hope" - Photo by George Simian

Versa-Style Dance Company in “Box of Hope” – Photo by George Simian

In Theater, the proposed season offers Tevye In New York (February – March 2021 – Lovelace Studio Theater) written and Performed by Tom Dugan. The brochure notes asks “Ever wonder what happened to Tevye, wife Golde and his daughters after the curtain came down in Fiddler on the Roof? Tevye in New York answers that question. Ledisi: The Legend of Little Girl Blue (March – Bram Goldsmith Theater), a musical journey into the lives of Nina Simone and Ledisi. The Wallis presents the world premiere of the 24th Street Theatre production of  Rapunzel Alone (March 2021 – Lovelace Studio Theater), a play for adults and children alike. King Lear (May 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater) written by William Shakespeare and starring Joe Morton, directed by John Gould Rubin. Accidentally Brave (May 2021 – Lovelace Studio Theater) is written and performed by Maddie Corman, directed by Kristin Hanggi. And The Samantha F. Voxakis and Karen Racanelli production of Hershey Felder: Anna & Sergei, a new play featuring the music of Sergei Rachmaninoff.

(l-r) The Vijay Iyer Trio, featuring Tyshawn Sorey, drums, Vijay Iyer, piano, and Linda May Han Oh, double bass - Photo by Craig Marsden Conductor composer Matthew Aucoin, performing in “Veils for Desire” - Photo Courtesy of Matthew Aucoin Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, appearing in “Veils for Desire” - Photo by Pix Talarico Poet and scholar Wayne Koestenbaum, the narrator of “Veils for Desire” - Photo by Ebru Yildiz Tenor Paul ApplebyPhoto: Jonathan Tichler Wunder-Geiger Daniel Hope in der Bar Razzia (ZH) 9.12.16 Foto: Nicolas Zonvi Jane Lynch - Photo courtesy of Jane Lynch Joe Morton - Photo courtesy of Joe Morton Portrait of Johnny Gandelsman Sheléa - Photo courtesy of Recording Academy, Christopher Polk, Getty Images 2019
L-R The Vijay Iyer Trio featuring Tyshawn Sorey on Drums, Vijay Iyer on Piano, and Linda May Han Oh on double bass - Photo by Creaig Marsden

The lineup of music performances will hopefully include Shai Wosner on piano (January 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater), Vijay Iyer Trio (January 2021) – Bram Goldsmith Theater), Junction Trio (January 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater), Violins of Hope, free screening of Violins of Hope: Strings Of the Holocaust – followed by a concert featuring Delirium Musicum (January 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater), artist-in-residence Daniel Hope’s New Century Hope (January – Bram Goldsmith Theater), Solo artist Sheléa in Pretty World: A Tribute To Alan & Marilyn Bergman (February 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater), Jane Lynch & Kate Flannery: Two Lost Souls, featuring the Tony Guerrero Quartet (February 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater); Kelli O’Hara with Seth Rudetsky (April 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater), The Long Beach Opera in Association with The Wallis Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg, Directed and Choreography by Danielle Agami in collaboration with Ate9 and Voices from the Killing Jar (April 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater), Daniel  Hope & New Century Chamber Orchestra: Call of Destiny (April 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater), and Los Angeles-based chamber ensemble’s Bridge to Everywhere (May 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater).

Cinema @ The Wallis, in partnership with Film Independent presents 3 Special Events For Film Lovers (January, February & June 2021 – Bram Goldsmith Theater) to include Paul Dooley, Dennis Christopher and Taika Waititi in a live read of the coming of age film Breaking Away, Michael Keaton and Paula Pell in a stage reading of My Dinner with Andre, Ian McShane and Timothy Olyphant examining their characters in HBO’s “Deadwood”, a staged reading of the iconic rom-com When Harry Met Sally, and a surprise musical performance from GRAMMY Award-winning artist Childish Gambino.

Ballet Hispánico - Photo by Paula Lobo.

Ballet Hispánico – Photo by Paula Lobo.

The Sorting Room returns for the Summer Session in digital form (June – July 2021 – Lovelace Studio Theater) as well as Dance Sundays with Debbie Allen, and The Wallis will continue its educational programs such as GROW @ The Wallis under the direction of Mark Slavkin.

If all goes as hoped, this promises to be a wonderful season at The Wallis.  Again, NO TICKETS ARE CURRENTLY ON SALE but subscription and Season Ticket holders will be the first to be notified when they do.

The Wallis suggests that those interested in attending any of the performances follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and to check out their current virtual offerings on

To view a digital copy of the 2021 season at The Wallis, click HERE.

To visit The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts website and sign up for their email list, click HERE.

Written by Jeff Slayton for LA Dance Chronicle.

Featured image: “Trajectoire” – DIAVOLO Architecture in Motion – Musco Center for the Arts – Photo by Doug Gifford