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

The Queer Queens of Qomedy

Queer Queens of Qomedy back at Arena Theater

Comedian Poppy Champlin and her troupe, "The Queer Queens of Qomedy," will once again return to Point Arena for an evening of hilarious stand-up comedy! Champlin's critically acclaimed show has been touring the country for eleven years and this time she will be accompanied by comedians Sandra Valls and Mimi Gonzalez.

Champlin is a veteran comic with television credits including Logo, Showtime, HBO, VH-1, Joan Rivers, Oprah, Comedy Central, and regular appearances on Olivia cruises. Valls is a native Texan hailing from Laredo. She has two Showtime specials, "The Latin Divas of Comedy" and "Pride: The Gay and Lesbian Comedy Slam." Curve magazine named Valls "one of the top badass comics to watch out for." Gonzalez has appeared on Ellen, The Today Show, Que Loco and has risked her life by working for the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. With a Logo special and Olivia cruises under her belt, "Mimi is one hot tamale," says Champlin.

"This show is guaranteed to be a full night of rip roarin', foot stompin', pain- from-laughin', fun," Chomplin says. "Don't miss a minute of it."

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and tickets are $25, and $40 for VIP admission, which includes a meet and greet with the comedians at 6:45 p.m. and preferred seating. Call 707-882-3272 to reserve a seat.

Ticket outlets include Four-Eyed Frog Books, The Sea Trader in Gualala, Arena Market and Twist in Mendocino.

Ticket outlets include Four-Eyed Frog Books, The Sea Trader in Gualala, Arena Market and Twist in Mendocino.

The Queer Queens of Qomedy

Friday, September 23
Start time: 7:30 p.m.
Doors open: 6:30 p.m.

$25 General Admission
$40 VIP Tickets: Meet and Greet with The Queens at 6:45 p.m. and preferred seating for the show, please call 707 882-3272 to purchase and reserve a seat.

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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

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The show is sponsored and underwritten by Coast Guard House Historic Inn and Cottages, Point Arena.

Halloween Show featuring

Zulu Spear Logo

The Best of African and World Beat Music

Celebrate Halloween with award-winning band Zulu Spear!

The iconic world music dance band performs Afro-Pop and South African roots music, playing traditional mbaqanga rhythms and harmonies with modern electric instruments, percussion, and horns.

Zulu Spear has a long, vibrant and storied history. A pioneer and leader in the Bay Area's World Beat scene of the '80s, a movement that quickly spread across the country, the band consisting of African and American musicians combined South African rhythms and songs with American rock and blues, using electric guitars and drums, resulting in South African pop music before Paul Simon's 1986 "Graceland" album popularized the style. Additionally, members presented traditional South African dancing along with the music. The group was created by the late South African expatriate singer-composer-dancer Sechaba Mokeoena and Soweto-born singer Gideon Bendile.

In the U.S., Mokeoena started U-Zulu Dance Theater and, after moving to the Bay Area, he and Bendile formed Zulu Spear to play traditional South African mbaqanga rhythms and harmonies using modern and electric instruments. The band quickly became a Bay Area audience favorite and issued a debut album on conglomerate Capitol Records. Bendile went on to work with such stars as Hugh Masekela, Paul Simon, and Peter Gabriel. Zulu Spear has shared the stage with the likes of Ladysmith Black Mombazo, The Neville Brothers, Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis and that garage band popularly known as the Grateful Dead.

After a lengthy break from regular performances Zulu Spear have reformed with many original members and some exciting new additions in 2012 when Bendile, who was featured in the Walt Disney animated film "The Lion King," issued a new CD, "Come Over to Our House" that included tracks from the original band's unreleased Capitol sessions as well as new music.

Featuring most of the original band lineup along with a couple of "new" recruits, the current Zulu Spear includes singer-dancers Bendile and Morgan Nhlapo, guitarists Ron van Leeuwaarde and Matthew Lacques, drummer Jerome Leonard, bassist Patrick Owens, keyboardist Jennifer Jolly, percussionist Pope Flyne, and the horns: trumpeter Scott "Sven" Vento and saxophonist/keyboardist Zack Pitt-Smith.

The band's latest CD releases, "Dancing in The Jungle" and "Pray Now" have received critical acclaim, "trailblazing new rhythms!"

Come and enjoy Zulu Spear's inspired, uplifting African and World Beat dance music that blends African rhythms with soulful harmonies and mesmerizing dance steps in an energetic performance.

The Arena Theater bar and snack stand will be open.

Zulu Spear Poster

Saturday, October 29
Start time: 8:30 p.m.
Doors open: 8:00 p.m.

$20 General Admission

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The show is sponsored by OZ Farm.