Off Center Festival 2017

Segerstrom Center’s Off CenterSM Festival returns January 12 – January 28, 2017 with an all-new line-up of creative, contemporary and sometimes controversial artists and shows.


The festival will present Keith A. Wallace's The Bitter Game, Mariachi Flor de Tolache, Marga Gomez' Latin Standards, Belarus Free Theatre's Time of Women, Justin Vivian Bond and Choir! Choir! Choir!


Keith A. Wallace: The Bitter Game

January 12 and 13 at 8:00 p.m.
Samueli Theater

A potent and immersive solo work, The Bitter Game examines the relationship between a young man and his mother as each struggle to protect the other from that which seems inevitable. Based on playwright-actor Keith A. Wallace’s youth in Philadelphia, this multi-character performance explores the question of police agency and excessive force, the ripple effects of vicarious trauma in the communities of color, and the value of Black lives in this country. The Bitter Game is a topical piece of theater that addresses many social issues pervasive in the lives of all Americans.

Audience Advisory: Mature Content

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Mariachi Flor de Toloache

January 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Samueli Theater

Latin Grammy® nominated Flor de Toloache has graced international stages from Asia to Europe and the U.S. and continues to win the hearts of both mainstream and traditional mariachi fans alike through their distinct vision and enlightened interpretation of traditional mariachi instruments. The band’s diverse ethnicities and musical backgrounds transcend culture and gender by forging new paths for mariachi music. Based in New York City this first all-female Mariachi is led by co-directors Mireya I. Ramos, (founder) on violin and Shae Fiol (original member) on vihuela, the band also features Julie Acosta on trumpet and Eunice Aparicio on guitarron.

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Marga Gomez: Latin Standards

January 19, 20 and 21 at 8:00 p.m.
Judy Morr Theater

In Latin Standards, Marga Gomez, the driven adult child of a Cuban entertainer, defies reason by producing a hipster comedy night at a struggling Latino drag queen club during San Francisco’s gentrification crisis. Between vivid portrayals of characters from her upbringing in 1960’s Manhattan to present day San Francisco, Gomez sardonically ponders the ballads (or Latin Standards) penned by her late father Willy Chevalier: a comedian/producer/entrepreneur and composer of dance tunes that reveled in jealousy and obsession. Peppered with unforgettable characters, physicality and humor, Latin Standards delivers nostalgia and relevance with a comic edge in a loving and funny true story of perseverance and creative addiction passed down from immigrant father to lesbian daughter. Latin Standards will mark Gomez’s return visit to Segerstrom Center’s Off Center Festival after her success with her play Lovebirds in 2015.

Audience Advisory: Mature Content

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Belarus Free Theatre: Time of Women

January 19, 20 and 21 at 7:30 p.m.
Studio Performance Space
Performed in Russian with English subtitles

A story of three women at the forefront of the movement for a democratic Belarus with an unflinching dedication to the truth. Iryna Khalip, the PEN Pinter Prize-winning journalist, Natalya Radina, editor of the pro-human rights news site Charter 97 and political activist Nasta Palazhanka were all imprisoned at the time of the fraudulent presidential elections of 2010. Time of Women celebrates their refusal to be silenced, reminding us that when freedoms are curtailed, survival comes at a price.

Audience Advisory: Mature Content

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Choir! Choir! Choir!

Wednesday January 25, 2017 at 8:00 p.m.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Originating as a twice-weekly, drop-in singing event, Choir! Choir! Choir! is now an international singing phenomenon with a revolving membership of over 12,000, inviting non-professional singers to belt out pop hits with no audition required. Based in Toronto, this unique collective blurs the lines between performer and audience and exemplifies the best of creativity, collaboration, and community building. Off Center festival participants will have the opportunity to be part of a large community choir whose repertoire will include a variety of pop songs. Choir! Choir! Choir! is free but a ticket is required to reserve your space.
Reservations accepted beginning January 8

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Justin Vivian Bond: Justin Vivian Bond Shows Up

January 27 and 28 at 8:00 p.m.
Samueli Theater

Justin Vivian Bond is a trans-genre artist living in New York City, but in showbiz terms, Bond is a quintuple threat—a celebrated singer/songwriter, author, painter, performance artist and occasional actor. Described as “the best cabaret artist of his generation,” As a performer both on and Off-Broadway, Mx Bond has received numerous accolades winning an Obie (2001), a Bessie (2004), a Tony nomination (2007), the Ethyl Eichelberger Award (2007), The Peter Reed Foundation Grant and a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant for Artists. V authored the Lambda Literary Award winning memoir TANGO: My Childhood, Backwards and in High Heels (The Feminist Press, 2011).

Audience Advisory: Mature Content

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Buy more, save more!

Single tickets are $25. If you buy two Off Center productions, tickets are $20. If you buy three or more Off Center productions, tickets are just $15. (Choir! Choir! Choir! is free but a ticket is required to reserve a spot. Reservations accepted beginning January 8.) Discount will automatically be applied when you add two or more Off Center productions to your cart. Eligible productions are: Keith A Wallace, Marga Gomez, Mariachi Flor de Toloache, Belarus Free Theater and Justin Vivian Bond.
Off Center Lounge
Leatherby’s Café Rouge (Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall)
Opens at 9 p.m.

The Off Center Lounge in Leatherby’s Café Rouge returns for Off Center Festival 2017. Audiences can mix and mingle with fellow audience members and Off Center artists. It’s rare opportunity to talk one-on-one with the creators and performers of these thought provoking works and pose those questions that oftentimes go unanswered. A special low-cost menu will be available.