After going dark due to the pandemic in 2020 and hosting a limited number of shows last year, the Richard and Karen Carpenter Performing Arts Center is back in full swing with a new season that will bring Al Franken, Marc Maron, several musical acts and even some talented pooches to Long Beach.
Tickets are expected to go on sale later this month for the nearly two dozen events that will make up the Center’s 2022-23 season.
“We’re just so excited to be back and excited to be able to support the artists and excited for our patrons too,” said Megan Kline Crockett, executive director of the Long Beach venue.
The new season launches on Sept. 24 appearance by former United States senator and “Saturday Night Live” alum Al Franken, who resigned his seat in 2018 after multiple women accused him of groping and inappropriate touching. Currently on tour, Franken is also host of a podcast.
Like other live show venues, the 1,000-seat Carpenter Center had to close its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. Shows did return in late 2021 but instead of the usual two dozen or so events that make up the Center’s typical season, only about 10 took place.
Now that the full season is back, the performances, which are scheduled through May 2023, are once again being presented in a handful of distinct series.
The Wit and Wisdom Series includes Franken as well as comedian, actor and podcaster Maron, who comes to Long Beach on Nov. 12 with his “This May Be The Last Time,” tour.
“I’m really excited about this series. What I do is book speakers that make you think and also make you laugh,” Crockett said.
For an up-close experience, the Carpenter Center offers the Cabaret Series, which will include music by Ann Hampton Callaway as she sings songs from the 1970s on Nov 2-3. For this series, tables and seats are set up on the stage and are just feet away from the performers.
“It’s a very intimate cabaret experience so the performers have to be able to connect with the audience,” she said.
The Dance Series will feature Latin music by Ballet Folklórico de Los Ángeles Nov. 5 and Flamenco Vivo Carlota Santana March 18.
Fontana News Roomday Afternoon Concert Series, which is all about feel-good music, will include The Doo Wop Project Oct. 2 while the WOW! Series will feature acrobatic shows that include acts like the the high-flying circus-like performances of Flip Fabrique Muse on Feb. 4.
And with the full season back, the Carpenter Center is going to the dogs on Nov. 13 as it brings back “Chris Perondi’s Stunt Dog Experience,” a dog agility and comedy show that has become one of the most popular family-friendly events at the venue.
If you go
When: Various shows September-May
Where: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach
Information: 562-985-7000, www.carpenterarts.org