Upcoming Live Events

Ticket outlets include:
Gualala: Four-Eyed Frog Books and The Sea Trader
Point Arena: Arena Market and The Pier Chowder House and Tap Room
Mendocino: Twist

Mid-summer Fundraiser Dinner
In Celebration of The Theater's
New Solar Power System

Chef Rob Hunter of Uneda Eat along with a group of local winemakers have offered to present a Mid-Summer Fundraiser dinner at Arena Theater. The sit-down event is in celebration of the new solar power system installed on the theater roof.

Uneada Eat Salad Doors will open at 6 p.m. for an hour of informal wine tasting and discussion prior to food service commencing at 7 p.m.

Six local winemakers will be on hand to present their wines for tasting and attendees will have an opportunity to discuss the vintners' techniques and experiences. Both commercial and home winemakers will be represented with grapes sourced from Paso Robles to Medford Oregon. Rob Hunter has been cooking on the coast for many years and has established a reputation for quality, innovative food, first at the Pangea Restaurant and lately at Uneda Eat in Point Arena.

Uneada Eat Steak The evening's fare includes wood oven clams with house bacon and aioli, seasonal salad, braised local rabbit, and dessert to be determined. The menu is gluten-free and vegetarian entrees are possible if mentioned when making a reservation.

Reservations for the fundraiser are $125 per person and may be had simply by calling the Theater office at 882-3272. Space is limited and reservations are requested by Monday August 22 for planning purposes.

Our fundraising dinner last fall at the Mar Vista GlassHouse was a huge success and the theater board anticipates another evening of great food and fellowship.

Fundraisers of this type are crucial to keep the doors of the theater open. This year's budget requires $20,000 to be raised in addition to ticket sales and membership dues. Membership in Arena Theater has slipped slightly making this fundraiser all the more important. This is your chance to support this vital community asset while enjoying a fine meal and the company of other Theater supporters.

You are Invited

Tuesday, August 23
Show starts: 7:00 p.m.
Doors open: 6:00 p.m.

$125 per person

Chris Smither in Concert

Honing a synthesis of folk and blues for 50 years, Chris Smither is truly an American original

Great news: Chris has recovered from heart surgery and is back on the road. We're thrilled to report that his tour schedule will take him to Arena Theater in October, we can't wait!

Chris Smither

Reviewers and fans from around the world agree that Smither is a profound songwriter, a blistering guitarist and, as he puts it, a 'one-man band to the bone!' Drawing deeply from the blues, American folk music, modern poets and humanist philosophers, Smithers melds the guitar styles of his two major influences, Lightnin' Hopkins and Mississippi John Hurt, into his own signature sound: a beat-driven finger-picking, layered over the ever-present backbeat of his rhythmic, tapping feet which is always mic'd in performance.

"Acoustic Guitar" magazine writes, "Smither sings about "the big things" - life, love, loss - in a penetrating and poetic yet unpretentious way," and Associated Press writes,"Smither is an American original - a product of the musical melting pot and one of the absolute best singer-songwriters in the world."

His latest CD, "Still On the Levee," is a career-spanning retrospective double CD highlighting the vast catalog of an American music master. Recorded in New Orleans with studio-mates, The Motivators, "Still On the Levee" plays host to special guests including Allen Toussaint and Loudon Wainwright III.

Read more about Smither and his illustrious career

A profound songwriter, Chris Smither is deeply influenced by the blues, American folk music, modern poets, and philosophers. Reviewers continue to praise his dazzling guitar work, gravelly voice and songwriting. Born in Miami, during World War II, Chris Smither grew up in New Orleans where he first started playing music as a child. The son of a Tulane University professor, he was taught the rudiments of instrumentation by his uncle on his mother's ukulele.

In his early twenties, Smither turned his back on his anthropology studies and headed to Boston at the urging of legendary folk singer Eric von Schmidt. It was the mid-'60s and acoustic music thrived in the streets and coffeehouses and Smither forged lifelong friendships with many musicians, including Bonnie Raitt who went on to record his songs, "Love You Like A Man" and "I Feel the Same." Their friendship has endured with Bonnie guest-appearing on Smither's record "Train Home." Over the years she has invited Chris to join her as support on concert dates, and most recently, lent her take on Smither's "Love You Like A Man" for LINK OF CHAIN, a Chris Smither tribute CD. What quickly evolved from his New Orleans and Cambridge musical experiences is his enduring, singular guitar sound - a beat-driven finger-picking, strongly influenced by the playing of Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin' Hopkins, layered over the ever-present backbeat of his rhythmic, tapping feet (always mic'd in performance).

By the early '90s, Smither's steady nationwide touring and regular release of consistently acclaimed albums cemented his reputation as one of the finest acoustic musicians in the country. In early 1997, Smither released "Small Revelations." It climbed the Americana and Triple A radio charts and led to concert dates with B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, Nanci Griffith, and the hugely successful, original Monsters of Folk tour with Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Dave Alvin and Tom Russell. "Small Revelations" also generated several film projects for Smither. Emmylou Harris recorded his song, "Slow Surprise," for the "The Horse Whisperer" soundtrack on MCA. And his recording of "Hold On" was used in the indie feature film "Love From Ground Zero." Smither also shared insight into his guitar style and technique on two instructional DVDs, available from Homespun Video.

In 2005, jazz great Diana Krall covered "Love Me Like A Man," introducing what is now a blues standard to a whole world of jazz fans. Shortly after, Smither's song "Slow Surprise" was included in the independent film, "Brother's Shadow."

With the release of his 12th recording "Leave The Light On" (2006) on his own imprint, Mighty Albert, Smither began a new label relationship with the renowned acoustic and modern folk label, Signature Sounds. For the recording, Smither reunited with producer David Goodrich and session musicians Mike Piehl, Lou Ulrich and Anita Suhanin. As an added treat, Smither invited good friend and Grammy Award-winning multi-instrumentalist, Tim O'Brien, along with rising American roots stars, Ollabelle, to add their distinctive talents on several tracks. The song "Seems So Real" from the CD earned a Folk Alliance Award as Song of the Year. Smither followed this with "Time Stands Still" (2009), his most stripped down recording in some time, working with just two accompanists after the same trio had played a rare band performance - a non-solo setup required in order to play a Netherlands festival.

And always wanting to treat his fans well, in 2011 Smither put out two fan projects: a collection of live tracks from newly discovered concert recordings from the 1980s-1990s titled "Lost and Found" and the rollicking EP, "What I Learned in School," on which Smither covered six classic rock and roll songs.

Smither followed these fan-projects with "Hundred Dollar Valentine" (2012), a (MOJO) studio record of all Smither-penned songs. With longtime producer David "Goody" Goodrich at the helm, this collection sported the unmistakable sound Smither has made his trademark: finger-picked acoustic guitar and evocative sonic textures meshed with spare, brilliant songs, delivered in a bone-wise, hard-won voice.

The most recent recording project is "Still On the Levee" (2014), a double-CD retrospective. Recorded in New Orleans at the Music Shed. The career-spanning project features fresh new takes on 24 iconic songs from his vast career - including "Devil Got Your Man," the first song he penned, on up to several of his most recent originals.

Coming out at the same time as "Still On the Levee," the book "Chris Smither Lyrics 1966-2012" features his complete set of lyrics complemented by select images of Smither and performance memorabilia from his decades-long career. To commemorate his career to-date, Signature Sounds is releasing an all-star tribute record including a stellar list of artists offering their takes on some Smither favorites including Josh Ritter, Bonnie Raitt, Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Peter Case, Tim O'Brien, Patty Larkin, and many others.

Chris Smither

Chris Smither

Tuesday, October 11
Start time: 7:30 p.m.
Doors open: 7:00 p.m.

$25 General Admission

Click here to...

Housing for Chris Smither and underwriting for the show is provided by Coast Guard House Historic Inn and Cottages, Point Arena.