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Entertainment Tips of the Week 3-5-12

By Jean Strauber, Entertainment Editor

A Must See!

It’s a delightful romp! It’s an evening full of laughs and good humor. And, some of us who were good little boys and girls with overbearing and smothering parents will definitely relate to the main character and opera namesake, “Albert Herring.” It seems that in the little village of Loxford there’s a problem with finding a girl to become Queen of the May, a girl who will meet the requirement of making “virtue attractive; desirable even.” A small committee is appointed and a prize of 25 guineas will go to the victor. As none of the local girls have displayed those character traits (one went into the woods with a young man) to win the prize, the Superintendent of Police suggests a King of the May Festival — Albert, who meets the qualifications. What happens to him as a result is what makes up the gist of the this opera by Benjamin Britten that was introduced to the world in 1947.

Kudos must go to director Paul Carran who makes quite a noteworthy LA Opera debut. The outstanding cast proved that today opera divas can act as well as sing. Particularly outstanding is Ronnita Nicole Miller as Florence Pike, Lady Billows’ maid, who provides sarcastic commentary on her boss, Lady Billows and steals almost every scene that she is in. Janis Kelly displays the right touch of pomposity in her characterization of aristocrat Lady Billows. It was good to see Richard Bernstein (Police Superintendent Budd) back on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion’s stage and, as usual, there was another fine performance from this virtuoso bass. The “Greek Chorus” lament for Albert, when the committee thought he had been killed, was hilarious and the opening night audience displayed their approval with sustained applause. Tickets range from $20 to $270 and can be purchased at the Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, or by phone at (213) 972- 8001 or online at www. laopera.com. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is located at 135 No. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90012.

La Bohème At La Opera

LA Opera’s 2011-2012 season will conclude with Giacomo Puccini’s “La Bohème,” which will run from May 12 to June 2, 2012. Everyone knows the story of several young bohemians who experience the exhilarating joy and irretrievable loss of young lovers in 19th-century Paris in a span of only six months of their lives. Conductor Patrick Summers (Artistic and Music Director of Houston Grand Opera) makes his LA Opera debut leading a cast that includes the husband-and-wife team of Stephen Costello and Allyn Perez in the leading rolls of Rudolfo and Mimi. This production of “La Bohème” was created by the legendary filmmaker Herbert Ross (“Steel Magnolias,” “The Turning Point” and others) and will be staged by director Gregory A. Fortner making his Company debut. Tickets range from $20- $270 and can be purchased in person at the LA Opera Box Office at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, by phone at (213) 972-8001 or online at www.laopera. com. “La Bohème” will be sung in Italian with projected English titles.

Center Stage Opera Presents

The Center Stage Opera will be presenting a concert-staged production of “La Bohème” on Saturday March 10 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 11 at 3:00 pm in the New Madrid Theater based in Sherman Oaks. Maestro Brian Onderdonk and the Center Stage Orchestra will accompany a stellar cast to bring this exceptional program to San Fernando Valley residents. In “La Bohème” you’ll find moments of heartwrenching tension, humor and soaring lyricism from the pen of one of the greatest operatic geniuses who every lived. Maestro Brian Onderdonk and the Center Stage Opera Orchestra will accompany a stellar cast in presenting this concert spectacular! To order tickets call (818) 517-4102, go online to Center Stage Opera or visit the New Madrid Theater Box Office at 21622 Sherman Way, Canoga Park 91303. Tickets range from $50-$77. Performance Schedule is Saturday, March 10 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, March 11 at 3:00 pm.

At The Grammy Museum

The GRAMMY Museum will again host the live comedy show “Celebrity Autobiography: The Music Edition” in the museum’s 200-seat Clive Davis Theater. The show’s performance last September sold out and now it’s returning for another evening of hilarity. As in September, self-penned writings from artists ranging from Eminem to Justin Bieber, Ricky Martin to Britney Spears will be acted out by first-rate performers such as Illeana Douglas, Will Forte, Florence Henderson, Eugene Pack, Dayle Reyfel, Fred Willard, Rita Wilson and more to be announced. The show’s signature “Celebrity Mash-Ups” features dueling ‘He Said, She Said’ memoirs performed on stage by the cast. The national and international tours of the show have garnered rave reviews across the boardfrom the New York Times to Rolling Stone to Time Magazine. Doors open at 7:30 pm, show starts at 8:00 pm. Admission is $45 and can be purchased at the Museum box Office or online at Ticketmaster. com. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the GRAMMY Museum. For more information, please call (213) 765-6800. The GRAMMY Museum is located at 800 West Olympic Boulevard, Suite A245, Los Angeles CA 90015.

At The Pantage

From March 20-25 at the historic Pantages Theatre you’ll be rockin’ along with 28 classic rock tunes featured in “Rock of Ages,” including “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “We Built This City,” “The Final Countdown,” and “I Want To Know What Love Is.” See the story of a smalltown girl who met a bigcity dreamer in L.A.’s most legendary rock club, and watch them fell in love to the greatest songs of the ‘80’s. You’ll only have from March 20-25 to enjoy this hilarious feel-good love story told through the hits songs of iconic rockers Journey, Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake and many more as told in the five-time Tony® nominated musical. ROCK OF AGES is recommended for ages 14- plus. Then, from March 27 through April 8, you’ll have the opportunity to see the return of “Mamma Mia.” For ticket information go to www.Pantages Theater Box Office or call (888) 546-8561.

Jean Strauber

Entertainment Writer

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