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

Foxtails Brigade

Foxtails Brigade with special appearance by Flynn Creek Circus after the fireworks on Saturday, July 2, 10:30 p.m.

Foxtails Brigade

For our annual post-fireworks show at the theater we decided to break with tradition this year and instead of a DJ or hip-hop show, we will bring you Foxtails Brigade and a special appearance by members of the Flynn Creek Circus.

Hailing from the Bay Area, the band happened to be on the coast rehearsing their new album last year and dropped in on a Third Monday Music night. They were simply mesmerizing and blew everyone in the house away.

Back from a recent tour of the South and Mid-West, as well as a quick tour of Southern California, Foxtails Brigade is next heading off to the Pacific North West and we are lucky enough to be on their schedule.

Foxtails Brigade is made up of an A-list ensemble featuring members of Bright Eyes, Van Dyke Parks, Electro Sonic Chamber and John Kale. The current sound is somewhat akin to Kate Bush meets King Krimson with the warped pop sensibilities of St. Vincent, Joanna Newsom, The Smiths, and Spoon. Foxtails front girl Laura Weinbach has been enchanting audiences with her trademark voice and classical guitar intricacies. And backed by bassist Joe Lewis, percussionist/filmmaker Dominic Mercurio, arranger/violinist Anton Patzner, and multi-instrumentalist Josh Pollock, this group of talented players will amaze and delight with the freshest new music to come out in a very long time. Defiant yet wounded, sweet yet fierce, it's the sound of underdogs who won't go away quietly. "If we're sinking," Foxtails Brigade tells us, "then let's explode into fireworks." For videos and more info go to foxtailsbrigade.com.

Also on the bill, the amazing Flynn Creek Circus will be here with Shem on aerial rope and Italian sensation Selyna Bogino with hula hoops. If you were here for the circus last year you'll know the level of excitement and professionalism they bring. If you missed them, now is your chance to get a glimpse of what to expect when they come back this year. Having just returned from a couple months of performing in Europe, they have been internationally recognized as one of the most exciting circus troupes in existence today. Go to flynncreekcircus.com for more info.

So whatever sparkle you have after the Firework Show at the pier, bring it to the Theater and join us for a great night.

Doors open at 10:00, show time is 10:30. Ages 21 and over are $15.00, ages 20 and under are $10.00. The bar will be open upstairs as will be the snack bar in the lobby. See you there!

Foxtails Brigade

Saturday, July 2
Show starts: 10:30 p.m.
Doors open: 10:00 p.m.

$15 Ages 21 and over
$10 Ages 20 and under

San Francisco Mime Troupe



San Francisco's legendary theater company, the Tony Award-winning SF Mime Troupe, now in its 57th season will bring their new play, "Schooled" to Arena Theater on Wednesday, July 13. The evening will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a 30-minute music set with William Durkee, Daniel Savio and Dominic Moisant and the show will start at 8 p.m. The Arena Theater Bar and the snack stand will be open.

Support the show and buy a sponsor ticket!

Written by:Michael Gene Sullivan and Eugenie Chan
Music and Lyrics by: Ira Marlowe
Costumes by: Blake More (this is Blake's second time as costume designer for the troupe, in 2012 she designed the costumes for "The Last Election!")
Directed by: Michael Gene Sullivan

San Francisco Mime Troupe

Presented in the troupe's characteristic Commedia dell'Arte style, "Schooled" takes on the education system: Are schools the last chance for democracy, or is education the next frontier for profit?

Education. It's like the weather: everyone has an opinion but nobody does anything about it. That's how Lavinia Jones feels about her son Thomas' new school, Eleanor Roosevelt High. Old textbooks, crumbling classrooms, Roosevelt is exactly the sort of public school that has failed her family time and time again. Isn't it time for something new?

And new is what Ms. Babbit, from Learning Academy for Virtual Achievement, or LAVA Corp., wants to bring to the district. But with privatization on the line, a Wall Street heavy hitter on one side and feisty octogenarian teacher Ethel Orocuru on the other, suddenly the next School Board election is more about a hidden agenda than the open curriculum. Are schools the last chance for democracy, or is education the next frontier for profit? Can we trust a politician's public/private plan to replace an out-of-date system? Or is there something even more sinister than privatization going on behind the doors of LAVA? And wait - when did the hall monitors start wearing brown shirts and arm bands? When it comes to the real plan for education - or the lack of it - are we all about to get...schooled?

About the Troupe
The San Francisco Mime Troupe does not do silent pantomime. We mean 'mime' in the ancient sense: to mimic. We talk, we sing, we make a lot of noise. We are satirists, seeking to make you laugh at the absurdities of contemporary life and at the same time, see their causes. We've done shows about most of the burning issues of our time, generally shows that debunked the official story. We perform everywhere from public parks to palaces of culture, aiming to reach the broadest possible audience.

We do plays that make sense out of the headlines by identifying the forces that shape our lives and dramatizing the operation of these giant forces in small, close-up stories that make our audiences feel the impact of political events on personal life.

The new play, "Schooled" continues the Mime Troupe tradition of writing and staging original shows that make audiences feel the impact of political events on their personal lives. Past productions by the Tony Award-winning company have focused on themes such as election fraud, the banking crisis and genetically modified foods.

San Francisco Mime Troupe

Wednesday, July 13
Show starts: 8:00 p.m.
Music starts: 7:30 p.m.

$20 General
$2 off for members at outlets
$30 sponsor tickets with reserved seating

Click here to...

San Francisco Mime Troupe

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...