Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cats Makeover - see it on KOCE-TV tonight

"Real Orange's" Maria Hall-Brown had reason to meow and purr on her visit to the Center today. She was transformed into one of the felines from the smash-hit muscial Cats, which plays here through Dec. 21. The make-up magic was done by castmember Eva Kosmowski who has been with the touring show for two years. Eva along with the rest of the cast put on their own make-up every night in addition to dancing, singing and acting - now that's talent! Be sure to check out the makeover and interview on KOCE-TV tonight at 6:30 p.m. (it replays at 8 a.m. on Thursday morming). To see Cats while it's in Orange County, click here .

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion honored in Russia

Prima ballerina Diana Vishneva has been nominated for Russia’s prestigious Golden Mask Award as Best Ballerina for her performance in Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion, which was also nominated as Best Ballet Event of the Season. Beauty in Motion is a co-production of Orange County Performing Arts Center and Ardani Artists in association with the Mariinsky Theatre of St. Petersburg. Beauty in Motion received its world premiere at the Center in February before going to New York's City Center and the Stanislavsky Musical Theatre in Moscow. Beauty in Motion will be presented in March, 2009 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.

The Golden Mask was founded in 1994 as the Russian National Theater Award to honor acclaimed productions in all genres of theatre art: drama, opera, ballet, operetta and musical. The Golden Mask celebration also includes an Festival featuring the most significant performances from all over Russia. (Diana Vishneva: Beauty in Motion will be featured in the 2009 Festival and Award Ceremony.) The culmination of the Golden Mask Festival is the Award Ceremony, which takes place on one of Moscow’s most famous stages and is broadcast by the national television channel.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

Flamenco 101

Ernesto Calvo, assistant director of CompaƱia Flamenco Jose Porcel, will present free preview talks before each performance of the acclaimed company this week in Segerstrom Hall. Preview talks begin one hour prior to each performance.

Friday, December 5, 2008

From You Tube to Carnegie Hall

Here's a new way to get to Carnegie Hall... Musicians of all ages, locations and instruments are welcome to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra which will perform at the legendary concert hall under the direction of maestro Michael Tilson Thomas in April 2009.

Interested musicians can watch videos by Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) along with tools to help you learn the music, rehearse with the conductor, and upload your part for the collaborative video.

Learn more at the You Tube Symphony Orchestra Page here

Alvin Ailey celebrates 50 years in style

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater opened its 50th annivesary season December 4th with a performance New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay calls "the dest dance gala program I have attended in decades." Read the full review here

Twyla Tharp and others receive Kennedy Center Honors

Award winning choreographer Twyla Tharp will be one of six recipients of the 31st Annual Kennedy Center Honors. Others include stage and screen star Morgan Freeman; singer George Jones; Academy Award-winning actress, director and singer Barbra Streisand; and "The Who" musicians Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey.

The Honorees will receive the Honors at the State Department Dec. 6. The six artists will be celebrated at an all-star gala Dec. 7. CBS will broadcast the annual "Kennedy Center Honors" Dec. 30 at 9 PM; check local listings.

Tharp's work has been seen often often on the Center's stage, including the recent West Coast premiere of ABT's Rabbit and Rogue (pictured), which was co-commissioned by the Center and ABT.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Bolle on the beach

Ballet star Roberto Bolle is scheduled to be part of the Center's upcoming Tour de Force dance event on May 21. You can learn more about the star of ABT and La Scala Ballet in December issue of Vanity Fair

Grammy Nods for Center Collaborators

Trout Fishing in America was nominated for its fourth Grammy Award yesterday, this time for the album Big Round World, which features a song created by third graders at Costa Mesa's Sonora Elementary School. The song, "Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks" was produced in partnership between the Center's Education Department and the school district, and received its debut at a special record release party at Sonora in September. Congrats to Ezra, Keith and the kids at Sonora!

More in Grammy news ... John Pizzarelli, who will perform at the Center with his wife Jessica Molaskey January 15 - 18, can be heard crooning on the Grammy nominated track "Johnny One Note" from the album With A Song In My Heart.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Starlet O'Hara

Kelli O'Hara, currently starring on Broadway in the Tony winning best musical revival of South Pacific, can be seen on the cover of December's Town and Country which proclaims her "Broadway's biggest star". Center audiences can look forward to seeing O'Hara in a coming season as part of our cabaret series in Samueli Theater.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at 50

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a favorite of Center audiences, celebrates its 50th anniversary December 3 with an opening night gala performance at the New York City Center Theater. In honor of the occasion, the Empire State Building will be bathed in gold lights.
Oprah Winfrey is the honorary chair and honored guest for the gala night which features several Ailey masterpieces, including Revelations and Cry, and a world premiere.

Read about the Ailey legacy in the New York Times

Watch video of Dance Magazine's cover photo shoot featuring Ailey dancers (pictured above).

Grease kicks off national tour tonight

Grease, currently playing on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, kicks off its national tour tonight at the Providence Performing Arts Center. The tour, which stars American Idol winner Taylor Hicks as the Teen Angel, makes its way to the Center April 28 - May 10 as part of the Bank of America Broadway Series.

Read more about the national tour of Grease on Playbill online

Monday, December 1, 2008

Diana Ross goes from Center to Nobel Peace Prize Concert

After headlining the 2008 Candlelight Concert and a public concert on December 7, Diana Ross will head to Oslo where she'll join artists from all over the world to help spread the message of peace and celebrate this year's Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

Learn more here

Pizzarelli and Molaskey on the radio and at the Center

The talented husband-and-wife jazz duo of John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey received an excellent writeup in Thursday's Washington Post for their radio show Radio DeLuxe, which features classics from the Great American Songbook performed by new artists. Pizzarelli and Molaskey performed together at the Center for last year's private Candlelight Encore concert, and will return to Samueli Theater January 15 - 18 for four performances only. If you can't wait a month to hear more from this delightful pair, tune into their program every Sunday at noon on KSPA 1510.

Check out the article here.

Broadway goes green

No, we're not talking about the opening of Shrek the Musical or the smash Wicked.

Broadway producers and theater owners are uniting in this initiative to identify and adopt better practices for sustainable theater. Learn more about the important initiative here.