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

Bay Area Comedy Invasion

An all new Bay Area Comedy Invasion will return to Arena Theater and host Ash Fisher reports that she booked three incredible acts: Headliner Stroy Moyd, who is an nationally touring headliner, Eric Cash. who is hilarious and weird and amazing, and actually has a following in Point Arena! And Iris Benson, who is hilarious and a joy to work with.

Stroy Moyd Headliner Stroy Moyd is a 28-year-old comedian from Oakland, CA. He's opened for the likes of Dave Chappelle, Tracy Morgan, the Wayans Brothers, Hannibal Burress and more. He is a three time winner of the Fresh Faces Comedy Competition at the LaughFactory in Hollywood, CA and has performed at the SF SketchFest (three years in a row) as well as numerous comedy festivals around the country. He's also appeared on Viceland, CNN, and Comedy Central's 'Up Next' showcase. Stroy runs an independent comedy production company called #HellaFunny where he and fellow comedy comrades produce live comedy shows around the Bay Area.

Eric Cash Consistently given the compliment "You're amazing, and that means a lot coming from me, because I usually HATE comedy," Eric Cash's act will make your 13 beaks quiver, and your thousands of eyeballs bulge as you shriek with laughter and the agony of struggling to hold yourself in the 3rd dimension, he sings the body electric so mother?!$#@ing loud the neighbors bleed from their eyes, dogs bark in 6/8 time while pods of dolphins arrange themselves in profane geometry, and atoms hum the bassline while the Higgs-Boson snaps its improbable fingers in a shuffle. He weaves stories, conspiracy theories, and sideways insights from his life, traveling the world as a nobody, and suffers from an overactive imagination that refuses to leave him alone. Silly. We know. Eric is an underground legend on three continents who led a punk rock circus over five U.S. tours. An international street performer, for over a decade, he was lauded as not only an innovator, but also exceedingly brave, and was once referred to as "the Bill Hicks of street performance." Eric spent the last eight years as stand up powerhouse. Known as a master of rapport, live and off the cuff, his act drunkenly reels from hard-edged truth, to literate surrealism, with a sense of humor that manages to be childlike and painfully self-aware at the same time. Called the rock and roll comedian for the nerd set, equal parts Johnny Rotten and H.P. Lovecraft, he may well be the most creative, self-defeating purveyor of verbal imagery you've never heard of.

Iris Benson Iris Benson is a comedian because no other profession will have her and that includes drug dealing and prostitution. Since her comedy debut in 2011 she's garnered such praise as "bleak and honest," "pleasantly dark," "wonderfully weird" and "pretty good for a woman" by no one worth mentioning. Glenn Sumi of Toronto Now described her as "least likeable," "angry" and "misanthropic" to which her best friend's husband, Clint, retorted via Facebook, "He doesn't like angry and misanthropic comics? ŽSo he's missing out on George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Dennis Leary, Lewis Black, Roseanne Barr......pretty much all my favorite comics." Fellow comic Mean Dave says of her, "She is a very sweet person and a funny comedian who I relate to very much. And she once drove a table of Mormons away with one fell swoop of an anal sex joke simply cuz {sic} she didn't know that's how young Mormon girls preserve their virginity." Comic and author Steve Mix says, "Warn your children about Iris Benson...before it is too late." Iris has performed all over the United States, making appearances at Comedy Festivals such as The Laughing Devil Comedy Festival (NY, NY), Trial by Laughter Competition (Indianapolis, IN), The She-Devil Festival (NY, NY), The SheŽDot Festival (Toronto, ON) and the Cape Fear Comedy Festival (Wilmington, NC).

Ash Fisher Host Ash Fisher is a comedian, actor and writer. She is not a comedienne, an actress or a writeress. She co-produces and hosts the popular monthly comedy show "Man Haters" at the White Horse in Oakland and writes for Wear Your Voice Mag. She was the 2012 Newcomer Runner-Up in the Ladies of Laughter Contest at Gotham Comedy Club in NYC, co-produced the 2014 Hella Gay Comedy Festival and performed at the San Francisco Sketchfest 2016. She does voiceovers and illustration whenever someone lets her. Ash holds a B.F.A. in Theatre from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and Sallie Mae will never let her forget it.

Bay Area Comedy Invasion

Saturday, August 13
Show starts: 8:00 p.m.
Doors open: 7:30 p.m.

$20 General

Click here to...

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...