Music, Arts & Culture » Arts

Putting on a youthful face

Gay puppets, Steinbeck's Lenny, and Martha Graham are all part of the PAC's new season

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BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS :  Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $35-45. bellydancesuperstars.com. - PHOTO COURTESY OF BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS
  • BELLYDANCE SUPERSTARS : Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $35-45. bellydancesuperstars.com.

IMANI WINDS :  Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $30-38. imaniwinds.com/main. - PHOTO COURTESY OF IMANI WINDS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF IMANI WINDS
  • IMANI WINDS : Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $30-38. imaniwinds.com/main.
The 2009-2010 season marks Steve Lerian’s first full season as director of Cal Poly Arts. With many people clinging all the more protectively to their pocketbooks, the challenges and demands of putting together the PAC’s most recent season grew.

“I think we went into this [season] with the idea that we wanted to expand our audience, broaden the piece of the pie we were appealing to,” he explained. “We delved a little more into popular culture.”

There may be fewer showy Broadway musicals on the season agenda, but the schedule is more than full with the puppet production Avenue Q, the PAC’s first New Year’s Eve comedy show, even a Cirque du Soleil-like dance company called MOMIX. In particular, Lerian’s intent was to draw younger audiences to the PAC, always a challenge in SLO where the average audience member, across the performance-arts board, seems to hover somewhere around 60. Few phenomena suggest youth as resoundingly as a puppet show, particularly one with such song titles as “It Sucks to Be Me” and “The Internet is for Porn.”

THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME :  Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $15-25. us.imdb.com/title/tt0014142. - PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF CAL POLY ARTS
  • THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME : Oct. 17 at 8 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $15-25. us.imdb.com/title/tt0014142.
COMPLEXIONS :  Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $35-44. complexionsdance.org. - PHOTO COURTESY OF COMPLEXIONS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF COMPLEXIONS
  • COMPLEXIONS : Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $35-44. complexionsdance.org.
Arts Editor Ashley Schwellenbach is in Morocco. Send messages she won’t receive until July to aschwellenbach@newtimesslo.com.

OF MICE AND MEN :  Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $20-36. bartertheatre.com. - PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRGNIA’S BARTER THEATRE
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF VIRGNIA’S BARTER THEATRE
  • OF MICE AND MEN : Oct. 25 at 3 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $20-36. bartertheatre.com.

THE NAMMYS ON TOUR! :  Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $16-32. herschelfreemanagency.com/nammys/nammys.html. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC ASSOCIATION
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE NATIVE AMERICAN MUSIC ASSOCIATION
  • THE NAMMYS ON TOUR! : Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $16-32. herschelfreemanagency.com/nammys/nammys.html.

THE TEMPTATIONS :  Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $36-58. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TEMPTATIONS
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE TEMPTATIONS
  • THE TEMPTATIONS : Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $36-58.

THE BEST OF MOMIX :  Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $20-44. momix.com. - PHOTO COURTESY OF MOMIX
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF MOMIX
  • THE BEST OF MOMIX : Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $20-44. momix.com.

DIE FLEDERMAUS :  Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $36-58. - PHOTO COURTESY OF TEATRO LIRICO D’EUROPA
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF TEATRO LIRICO D’EUROPA
  • DIE FLEDERMAUS : Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $36-58.

AVENUE Q :  March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $44-68. avenueq.com. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AVENUE Q
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF AVENUE Q
  • AVENUE Q : March 4 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center. $44-68. avenueq.com.

REDUCED SHAKESPEARE CO. :  March 17 at 8 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $30-38. reducedshakespeare.com. - PHOTO COURTESY OF REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF REDUCED SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
  • REDUCED SHAKESPEARE CO. : March 17 at 8 p.m. at the Spanos Theatre. $30-38. reducedshakespeare.com.

ESSENTIAL GRAHAM :  April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center.$20-48. marthagraham.org/center/. - PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
  • PHOTO COURTESY OF THE MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY
  • ESSENTIAL GRAHAM : April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Cohan Center.$20-48. marthagraham.org/center/.

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