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Upcoming Events

Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show
Runs Jul 18 - Aug 25, 2024
Book, music and lyrics by:Richard O'Brien
Directed by:Amber Smith
Choreographed by:Stephanie Staszak
Music direction by:Brian Allan Hobbs
Vocal direction by:Tina Paulson
Supported by:Producers Jonathan Karpf and Kathleen Zaretsky
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
In this cult classic, sweethearts Brad and Janet, stuck with a flat tire during a storm, discover the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter and its houseful of wild characters. Complete with sass from the audience, this kitschy rock 'n' roll sci-fi gothic musical is more fun than ever. City Lights had hit productions in 2003 and 2013, and we can’t wait to do the Time Warp with you again!
The Rocky Horror Zoom Show
Aug 12, 2024
Join director Amber Smith and other artists from "The Rocky Horror Show" in this online talkback. These events are free, up-close, and lots of fun!
An Inspector Calls
Runs Sep 26 - Oct 20, 2024
Written by:J.B. Priestley
Directed by:Mark Anderson Phillips
Supported by:Producers Connie & Paul Boulay
[image: The skyline of Newscastle, England, in 1920, with tall towers and turrets, all with a gradient blue wash]
As the well-to-do Birlings celebrate an engagement in the family, the festive evening is suddenly punctured by an uninvited visitor: an inspector looking into the death of a young woman.
Truce: A Christmas Wish from the Great War
Runs Nov 21 - Dec 22, 2024
Written by:Kit Wilder & Jeffrey Bracco
Directed by:Angie Higgins
Supported by:Producer Toggle Hagan
[image: A World War I-esque scene in the trenches, with a pale star floating above the grim scene]
In 2014, City Lights marked the 100-year anniversary of the World War I “Christmas Truce” with a world premiere that drew crowds and raves. Now "Truce: A Christmas Wish from the Great War" is back with a mix of returning and new artists. Set in the trenches of France, this story follows soldiers on both sides who embraced a spontaneous ceasefire to celebrate Christmas in 1914.
In Love and Warcraft
Runs Jan 16 - Feb 9, 2025
Written by:Madhuri Shekar
Directed by:Kimberly Ridgeway
Supported by:Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch and Producers Anita Kapadia & Feroze Taraporevala
[image: A stylized and oversaturated view of a Southern California college campus, with buildings and palm trees and people holding hands, with a pixelated, videogame heart image floating above]
Meet Evie, a college senior who’s a master at both online role-playing and real-life ghostwriting -- her side hustle is writing love letters for other people. But she’s navigating the complexities of love and sex without firsthand experience. As she's drawn to one of her clients, Evie must learn to unleash her powerful persona in the real world.
The Mousetrap
Runs Mar 13 - Apr 6, 2025
Written by:Agatha Christie
Directed by:Doll Piccotto
Supported by:Producer Clint Moore and Producer Charlie McCollum
[image: An eerie house that looks like an English country home, half-buried in snow, with a light in the window]
Trapped in Monkswell Manor by a snowstorm, a sundry group are also ensnared in a web of fear after a local woman is murdered. A police detective arrives to interrogate the suspects, but can the murderer be found in time?
The Cake
Runs May 15 - Jun 8, 2025
Written by:Bekah Brunstetter
Directed by:Lisa Mallette
Supported by:Producers Jonathan Karpf & Kathleen Zaretsky and Producer Sandra Moll
[image: Tall white wedding cakes with pink roses]
Della and her North Carolina bakery are renowned for their cakes. So it’s no surprise that when the girl Della helped raise returns to the South, she asks Della to make her wedding cake. The surprise? There are two brides. Now, even as Della’s life is complicated by the chance to be on a reality baking show, she questions her beliefs – and the true meaning of family, faith and frosting.
Head Over Heels
Runs Jul 17 - Aug 24, 2025
Songs by:The Go-Go's
Based on:"The Arcadia" by Sir Philip Sidney
Conceived and original book by:Jeff Whitty
Adapted by:James Magruder
Directed by:Jeffrey Bracco
Supported by:Producers Richard & Peggy James
[image: A stylized, fictional image of silhouettes of people dancing around tall trees in a colorful forest]
This laugh-out-loud love story is set to the infectious music of the all-female rock band The Go-Go's. Led by the free-spirited Princess Pamela, the royal family journeys to save their beloved kingdom of Arcadia from extinction. The results: a wild adventure filled with mistaken identities, forbidden romances and unexpected twists,

Past Events

Cory Cullinan & Riley Max
Jun 16, 2024
[image: At left, a smiling man in a DR NOIZE T-shirt. At right, his smiling daughter in a dark T-shirt with long blond hair]
This special Father's Day concert features father and daughter musicians Cory Cullinan and Riley Max: songs and storytelling from each of their albums about life, family and friends. Cory has songs in major movies, documentaries, and on multiple albums, and is also the family recording artist Doctor Noize. Riley hit the scene last year with her stunning debut album of original songs, "ROY G BIV."
Not A Genuine Black Man
Jun 15, 2024
[image: Man smiling in an orange sweater against a bright blue background]
In an evening of laughter, tears and sociology, Brian Copeland's acclaimed solo show “Not a Genuine Black Man” is a hilarious and insightful look at Bay Area history, and at the ways in which our upbringings make us who we are.
Order Up! Backstage at "Clyde's"
Jun 3, 2024
Join director Aldo Billingslea and other artists from "Clyde's" in this online talkback. These events are free, up-close, and lots of fun!
Clyde's
Runs May 16 - Jun 9, 2024
Written by:Lynn Nottage
Directed by:Aldo Billingslea
Supported by:Producers Sandra Moll & Rick Holden
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
Clyde’s sandwich shop is more than just a greasy spoon. It serves up a chance at redemption for its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff. Clyde may be a devil of a boss, but the workers discover purpose in their lives as they find themselves banding together -- and sharing a quest to create the perfect sandwich.
Black & White Time Warp Ball
Apr 27, 2024
Dynamic live performances, a sit-down dinner catered by Il Fornaio, and your favorite City Lights actors telling their favorite theater stories? Yes please! Come do the Time Warp with us at our fundraising gala on Saturday, April 27.
Nineteen Jazz Orchestra: TV & Movie Themes
Apr 14, 2024
[image: A lineup of five jazz musicians playing saxophones and other instruments]
Some of your favorite TV and movie themes were scored for a Big Band! Join Nineteen Jazz Orchestra, San Jose's professional Big Band, for an unforgettable evening of live music emceed by Mercury News columnist Sal Pizarro. (This event was rescheduled from Feb. 4 after the theater lost power during a storm.)
Nothing but Net: Backstage at "King Liz"
Apr 2, 2024
Join director Kinan Valdez and other artists from "King Liz" in this online talkback. These events are free, up-close, and lots of fun!
King Liz
Runs Mar 21 - Apr 21, 2024
Written by:Fernanda Coppel
Directed by:Kinan Valdez
Supported by:Producers Anita Kapadia and Feroze Taraporevala
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Neon light blue and lavender lights delineating a basketball court]
Sports agents have to fight to stay on top. If you’re a woman, it’s doubly hard. With an elite client roster, Liz Rico is poised to take over the agency she’s helped build. Then she takes on high school basketball superstar Freddie Luna. With a temper as hot as his talent, he could make his career and hers if she can keep things under control. But at what price?
Nora: A Doll's Zoom
Feb 6, 2024
Join director Angie Higgins and other artists from "Nora: A Doll's House" in this online talkback. These events are free, up-close, and lots of fun!
Nora: A Doll's House
Runs Jan 18 - Feb 18, 2024
Written by:Stef Smith, after Henrik Ibsen
Directed by:Angie Higgins
Northern California premiere!
Supported by:Producers Christy Martin & Cindy Melter, and by Producers who wish to remain anonymous
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
This bold new retelling of a classic sets the story in 1918, 1968 and 2018. In each era, Nora is the flawless wife and mother. But she has a secret that threatens to upend her perfect existence. Ibsen outraged audiences when "A Doll’s House" premiered in 1879. Today, we look back at the roles that women have been allowed to play over the decades, and wonder how far we’ve really come.
The Zoom's Afoot
Dec 6, 2023
[image: A tall man in a dapper fedora and velour suit helps a stylish woman in a black dress out of a long green 1930s Packard automobile]
If you thought "The Game's Afoot" was a ton of fun onstage, wait until you hear the artists' backstage stories! Join director Mark Anderson Phillips and members of the cast for a lighthearted Zoom talkback.
Ren's Ninth Annual Winter Wonderland
Runs Dec 3 - Dec 10, 2023
[image: White woman with a long red winter coat and a big smile, turning her palms up to the images of snowflake graphics falling from above]
Jazz-blues-country singer Ren Geisick is back for her ninth annual Winter Wonderland holiday concerts at City Lights! Enjoy seasonal favorites and new tunes with Ren and her band.
Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot; Or Holmes for the Holidays
Runs Nov 16 - Dec 17, 2023
Written by:Ken Ludwig
Directed by:Mark Anderson Phillips
Supported by:Producer Charlie McCollum and Producer Clint Moore
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Art Deco chandelier lit up and hanging from the ceiling]
This hilarious whodunit is "Blithe Spirit" meets "The Hollow"! Set during Christmas 1936, the comedy takes us into the Connecticut castle of Broadway star William Gillette, renowned for his stage turns as Sherlock Holmes. The weekend party is all fun and games until one of the guests gets murdered, and Gillette has to play Sherlock for real.
Toxic: The story of a world premiere
Oct 4, 2023
[image: White hand holding Black hand against a soft, blurry, pale background]
Sometimes we need theater to help us talk about -- and make sense of -- serious issues. Join us at a free Zoom discussion about how we created the powerful new drama "Toxic," featuring our playwright, director and cast members.
Nineteen: The music of Oliver Nelson
Oct 1, 2023
[image: Hands of a person playing a trumpet in a black-and-white image]
San Jose's professional big band treats you to the sounds of Oliver Nelson, an American jazz musician, composer, and bandleader. Part of our Lights & Music Concert Series.
Toxic
Runs Sep 14 - Oct 15, 2023
Written by:Kit Wilder
Directed by:Jeffrey Bracco
World Premiere!
Supported by:Producers Connie & Paul Boulay
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Yellow backpack and school supplies, including a gun, under dramatic lighting]
Five years after a student opened fire at an exclusive private high school, the survivors gather for the first time. Sitting in the classroom where the attack reached its horrifying climax, the students share their scars, and engage in a debate that takes them from solitary anger to communal grief, and finally to healing.
Backstage at "Kinky Boots"
Aug 14, 2023
Join us for backstage stories and behind-the-scenes secrets at this Zoom talkback with the team from "Kinky Boots."
Rock Cabaret for B.A.D. Musical Theatre
Aug 13, 2023
A fundraising cabaret for B.A.D. Musical Theatre, chock full of songs from rock musicals like "American Idiot," "Rent," and "The Rocky Horror Show." Local Bay Area actors will belt their faces off, backed by a live band in a hybrid rock'n'roll musical theatre performance!
Kinky Boots
Runs Jul 13 - Aug 27, 2023
Book by:Harvey Fierstein
Music & lyrics by:Cyndi Lauper
Original production directed & choreographed by:Jerry Mitchell
Based on the Miramax motion picture by:Geoff Deane & Tim Firth
Directed by:Lisa Mallette and Mark Anderson Phillips
Vocal direction by:Samuel Cisneros
Choreography by:Lysander Abadia
Supported by:Producer Charlie McCollum, Producers Richard & Peggy James, and Producers Christy Martin & Cindy Melter
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: high-heeled boot against a flashy red background]
Charlie Price has reluctantly inherited his father's shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father's legacy and save his family business, Charlie finds inspiration in the form of Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy stilettos. As they work to turn the factory around, this unlikely pair find that they have more in common than they realized...and discover that when you change your mind, you can change your whole world.
Zoom event
Dive into "The River Bride"
Jun 6, 2023
[image: Four actors lined up closely behind each other]
Dive into backstage stories and behind-the-scenes secrets at this Zoom talkback with the team from "The River Bride."
Nineteen: A tribute to Al Jarreau
May 21, 2023
[image: Hands of a person playing a trumpet in a black-and-white image]
San Jose's professional big band treats you to the sounds of the late great Al Jarreau, an iconic American R&B, soul and pop singer and musician. Part of our Lights & Music Concert Series.
The River Bride
Runs May 18 - Jun 11, 2023
Written by:Marisela Treviño Orta
Directed by:John R. Lewis
Supported by:Producers who wish to remain anonymous
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Four actors lined up closely behind each other]
Once upon a time, in a fishing village along the Amazon, there lived two sisters struggling to find their "happily ever after." Helena is dreading her sister Belmira's wedding. The groom should have been hers, and she knows her sister wants only to escape to an exciting new life in the city. But three days before the wedding, fishermen pull a mysterious stranger out of the river – a man with no past who offers both sisters an alluring, possibly dangerous future. Brazilian folklore and lyric storytelling blend into a heartrending tale of true love, regret and transformation.
Zoom event
Backstage at "Blithe Spirit"
Apr 4, 2023
Books are catapulted off the shelves. Pictures fall off the wall. And that was all on purpose. Join director Mark Anderson Phillips and the "Blithe Spirit" team for a lively discussion about the making of the show.
Blithe Spirit
Runs Mar 23 - Apr 23, 2023
Written by:Noël Coward
Directed by:Mark Anderson Phillips
Supported by:Executive Producer Toggle Hagan, as well as Producer Clint Moore and Producer Geri Weimers
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Two hands holding a crystal ball against a purple-and-black background]
Just like the mischievous ghost Elvira, Noël Coward’s 1941 comedy keeps coming back for a reason. The oft-revived "Blithe Spirit," delightful as ever, takes up residence on the City Lights stage this spring. When novelist Charles invites the eccentric medium Madame Arcati over for a séance to help shake his writer’s block, she conjures up his late wife. And Elvira is happy to stir up a little trouble – especially when it comes to Charles’ current marriage.
Miss You Like Hell
Runs Jan 26 - Feb 26, 2023
Book & lyrics by:Quiara Alegría Hudes
Music & lyrics by:Erin McKeown
Directed and choreographed by:Rodrigo García
Music direction by:Samuel Cisneros
Co-produced with:Teatro Visión
Supported by:Executive Producer Charlie McCollum and Producers Jonathan Karpf & Kathie Zaretsky, as well as by Applied Materials Community Fund and SVCreates, in partnership with the County of Santa Clara.
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Postcard for Miss You Like Hell with a red truck driving on a remote road with mountains in the background]
When Beatriz shows up at her 16-year-old daughter Olivia's house at 4 a.m. and invites her on an epic road trip, they haven't seen each other in four years. But Beatriz is an undocumented immigrant about to be deported to Mexico, and time is running out. From Philadelphia to California, from estranged to reunited, Beatriz and Olivia take a transformative journey, meeting a diverse array of Americans with their own stories to tell. An important and intimate new musical rich with family, humor and heart.
The Thanksgiving Play
Runs Nov 25 - Dec 18, 2022
Written by:Larissa FastHorse
Directed by:Roneet Aliza Rahamim
Supported by:Producers Jonathan Karpf and Kathleen Zaretsky
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: smashed pie against a wooden background]
They're totally woke and perpetually P.C. So how can this motley group of teaching artists create a Thanksgiving pageant that won't offend anyone? A director who's already in trouble with the school parents tries to get her troupe to honor both Turkey Day and Native American Heritage Month, while being culturally sensitive (and also mindful of vegan allies). The result: a delicious satire.
Every Brilliant Thing
Runs Sep 15 - Oct 16, 2022
Written by:Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe
Supported by:Producers Connie & Paul Boulay and Rick Holden & Sandra Moll
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone against a magenta background with book pattern]
Our 2022-23 season begins with this poignant one-person comedy that we're turning into a bilingual two-actor play! City Lights favorites Tasi Alabastro (English) and Dane K. Lentz (American Sign Language) pair up in a play about sadness that celebrates life's joys.
Fun Home
Runs Jul 14 - Aug 21, 2022
Music by:Jeanine Tesori
Book and lyrics by:Lisa Kron
Based on the graphic novel by:Alison Bechdel
Directed by:Lisa Mallette
Music direction by:Samuel Cisneros
Choreography by:Noëlle GM Gibbs
Supported by:Visionary Producer Jim Lewis and Executive Producer Charlie McCollum
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
[image: Fun Home graphic]
We close our 2021-22 season with this gorgeous musical! When her father dies unexpectedly, graphic novelist Alison dives into her past to tell the story of the volatile, brilliant man whose temperament and secrets defined her family and life. Moving between past and present, Alison relives her childhood playing at the family’s funeral home, her growing understanding of her own sexuality, and the looming, unanswerable questions about her father’s hidden desires.
Waiting For Next: Video On Demand
Runs Jun 9 - Jul 4, 2022
Written by:Jeffrey Lo
Directed by:Leslie Martinson
Supported by:Executive Producer Lauren Doyle & Executive Producer Toggle Hagan (Man's Best Friend)
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
Frank is in a school parking lot waiting for his parents (like he always is) when he meets Marcus, who is also waiting (like he always is). What comes next is a friendship that defines both of their lives. This world-premiere play follows the boys from ages 12 to 40 as they grow up and apart and together again. Now you can enjoy it on your home screen.
The Solo Projects: Lola Cooked Our Food
Runs Jun 2 - Jun 30, 2022
Written by:Jeffrey Lo
Directed by:Michelle Talgarow
In this series of one-act solo plays by writers in the BIPOC community, we feature works commissioned by City Lights and released on video so that all will be able to experience them. The first play is the beautiful "Lola Cooked Our Food" by Jeffrey Lo.
The Solo Projects: 61 Unused Pages
Runs Jun 2 - Jun 30, 2022
Written by:Vincent Terrell Durham
Directed by:Aldo Billingslea
[Image: featured image for 61 unused pages]
We’re excited to continue our series of one-act solo plays by writers in the BIPOC community, commissioned by City Lights and released on video so that all will be able to experience them. The second play is "61 Unused Pages" by Vincent Terrell Durham, available to watch on demand in June.
Waiting For Next
Runs May 19 - Jun 19, 2022
Written by:Jeffrey Lo
Directed by:Leslie Martinson
Supported by:Executive Producer Lauren Doyle & Executive Producer Toggle Hagan (Man's Best Friend)
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
Frank is in a school parking lot waiting for his parents (like he always is) when he meets Marcus, who is also waiting (like he always is). What comes next is a friendship that defines both of their lives. This world-premiere play follows the boys from ages 12 to 40 as they grow up and apart and together again, supporting each other through school, relationships, and some of the darkest and brightest places life can take us.
Vietgone
Runs Mar 24 - Apr 24, 2022
Written by:Qui Nguyen
Original music by:Shane Rettig
Directed by:Jeffrey Lo
Supported by:Executive Producers Sandra Moll & Rick Holden and Rich & Sally Braugh
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
It’s 1975, Saigon has fallen, and Quang and Tong should be grateful they’ve made it to the United States. But he lost his wife and she lost her brother. And Arkansas is way too weird. In this irreverent comedy told in Qui Nguyen’s audacious style, these two Vietnamese refugees try to find their way home, wherever that is. In the process, they just might find each other. Modern hip-hop meets 1970s America in an exciting mashup of history and cultures.
The Hollow
Runs Jan 20 - Feb 20, 2022
Written by:Agatha Christie
Directed by:Doll Piccotto
Supported by:Producers Connie & Paul Boulay
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
There’s a wife and a husband, a mistress and a movie star, and plenty of other people tangled up in romantic situations, but only one does the deed. And by “deed,” we mean “murder.” After all, this is an Agatha Christie play. With classic mystery and surprising humor, "The Hollow" takes audiences into a lovely English country house on a very eventful weekend. Bring your alibis.
Native Gardens
Runs Nov 18 - Dec 19, 2021
Written by:Karen Zacarías
Directed by:Melinda Marks
Supported by:Producers Christy Martin and Cindy Melter and Producers who wish to remain anonymous
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
Pablo, a high-powered lawyer, and doctoral candidate Tania, his very pregnant wife, are realizing the American dream when they purchase a house next door to community stalwarts Virginia and Frank. But a disagreement over a long-standing fence line soon spirals into an all-out war of taste, class, privilege, and entitlement. The hilarious results guarantee no one comes out smelling like a rose.
Coded
Runs Sep 16 - Oct 17, 2021
Written and directed by:Kirsten Brandt
Supported by:Visionary Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch and Producers Marv and Bonnie Bamburg
Season supported by:Season Producers Nancy B. Coleman & Paul M. Resch
Jerrie was on her way to being a leader in the gaming industry, until a competitor armed with a legion of internet trolls launched an assault on her, and she was forced into hiding. Now, she’s back with a plan to revolutionize virtual-reality gaming. If she can keep the trolls at bay and control over her team, she might be able to dismantle the industry’s boys’ club. But when the virtual world begins to invade the real one, things get really surreal.
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