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Entertainment Tips of the Week 1-2-12

By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor

AN EVENING WITH JOAN

The Reprise Theatre Company is presenting “An Evening with Joan Rivers” for one night only on Monday, January 30 at 8:00 pm at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. Rivers is an entertainment legend of unparalleled accomplishment and talent as an internationally renowned comedienne, Emmy-winning television talk show host, Tonynominated actress, bestselling author, playwright, screenwriter, motion picture director, columnist, lecturer, jewelry designer, cosmetic entrepreneur, red carpet fashion laureate, businesswoman and, most importantly to her, a proud mother and grandmother. Ticket sales will benefit the Reprise Theatre Company and support Reprises’ mission to produce musical theatre of the highest artistic quality and make this art form accessible to new audiences through education and outreach programs. Reprise Theatre Company is headed by Artistic Director Jason Alexander, with Christine Bernardi Weil as Managing Director and Gilles Chiasson as Producing Director. For ticket sales call the UCLA Central Ticket Office at (310) 825-2101 or go to www.reprise.org.

SPRING 2012 AT THE VALLEY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

The Valley Performing Arts Center is pleased to announce their Spring program. Located on the campus of the California State University Northridge, this new venue is offering great entertainment to local residents — no longer does one have to fight the traffic on the 101 or 405 Freeways to reach a destination where they can be treated to worldclass entertainment. In the field of dance, the Valley Performing Arts Center is offering the following: – Thursday, February 2 the Diavolo Company, which includes dancers, gymnasts, actors, and athletes, will present a sense of daring and risk-taking through dramatic movement that juxtaposes human fragility and survival. – Saturday, March 24 Savion Glover accompanied by his newest dance band Bare Soundz.

Hal Holbrook

Hal Holbrook

Glover and company will pay tribute to the percussive medley of flamenco through the relationship between flamenco music and tap dancing as song. – Friday, May 24 the Stars of the Russian Ballet will perform highlights from the world’s great ballets including “Pas De Quatre,” “Paquita” and “Don Quixote.” For Jazz in the World of Music the Valley Performing Arts Center has scheduled: – Sunday, February 11, Pianist and composer Ramsey Lewis with Nnenna Freelon will be performing on the Center’s stage. Long a major figure in contemporary jazz, he has also crossed over to pop and rhythm and blues. – Tuesday, March 27 will see the SF Jazz Collective, an eight-member all-star jazz ensemble who have become one of the most exciting and acclaimed groups on the American and international jazz scenes. – Saturday, May 12 brings John Pizzarelli Quartet and Jane Monheit with their interpretation of the Great American Songbook and beyond. He brings to the audience the cool jazz flavor of his guitar playing and his singing. About the Spoken Word, the Valley Performing Arts Center will present: – On Saturday, February 4 you’ll be able to thrill to Hal Holbrook in “Mark Twain Tonight!” Holbrook has toured in “Mark Twain Tonight!” since 1954 and gave his 2,200th performance last March. His performance in 2012 will make it the 58th consecutive year for this remarkable one-man show. If you’re one of the many lucky ones who have seen it before, you’ll find that Holbrook has added to his material, changing it to fit the times. – On Thursday, May 1 and Wednesday May 2 the Acting Company, founded by the legendary director John Houseman and current producing artistic director Margot Harley, will be performing in “Julius Caesar.”

Then, on Saturday May 5 and Sunday May 6 the Acting Company will be performing “Comedy of Errors.” The Center has also scheduled the following: – On Saturday, February 18 Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet will present “Moulin Rouge – The Ballet.” It’s a story of love, ambition, and heartbreak with a French soundtrack and a ballet that features high-kicking choreography. – On Saturday, March 3 enjoy an evening with Bernadette Peters. Ms. Peters has been awarded Tonys for her performance in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s hit musical “Song and Dance,” and a second Tony for her portrayal of Annie Oakley in “Annie Get Your Gun.” She’s also been nominated for her performances in the musical “The Goodbye Girl,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Mack and Mabel” and “On the Town.” She has also received the Drama Desk Awards, the Outer Critics Circle Award and many other honors. She is truly one of Broadway’s shining stars. – On Wednesday, April 25, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell, music director and violinist will be on stage. And, on Sunday, May 19 Ms. Barbara Cook, the original Marian the Librarian in the stage production of “Music Man.” Tickets range for signature events range from $25 to $70; for premier events $40 from $85. To order tickets go to www.ValleyPerforming ArtsCenter.org, phone (818) 677-3000 Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, mail by writing to VPAC Ticket Office, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge CA 91330-8448 or in person at the ticket office, which is located to the north of the Valley Performing Arts Center courtyard on Orange Grove Walk. Parking is available in the G3 Parking Structure which is accessed by entering Prairie Avenue from Zelzah Avenue. Have you eaten at the Orange Grove Bistro? If not, you’re missing one of the Valley’s more pleasant dining venues. I’ve had the pleasure of lunching there with members of several groups to which I belong. I’ve never been disappointed. For your pre-theatre dining the Bistro provides a prix fixe dinner which includes salad, choice of entree and dessert for $28. This price also includes the gratuity and parking for the performance at the theatre, which is just a short walk away. Reservations with prepayment are required at least one week in advance. For reservations call (818) 677-2076.

Jean Strauber

Entertainment Writer

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