Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Out of the Background

Lisa Fischer. Photo by Chiaki Sato.
It's been a good year for Lisa Fischer. 

With the Oscar®-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom thrusting her into the national spotlight, Fischer now finds herself sharing that spotlight with Becca Stevens and Moira Smiley on tour with Billy Childs' Map to the Treasure, a jazz interpretation of the songs of Laura Nyro. 

They perform four shows in the Samueli October 17 and 18. (Check ticket availability.)

Billy Childs. Photo by Javiera Estrada.
A Grammy®-winner as a solo artist in 1992 (for "How Will I Ease the Pain"), Fischer worked with the late Luther Vandross for 22 years and more recently with Sting, Tina Turner, Chris Botti, Nine Inch Nails and others. She has toured with The Rolling Stones since 1989, adding backing vocals before moving up front for the solo on the famous chorus of "Gimme Shelter." 

Now, Fischer, Childs, Stevens and Smiley are putting Nyro, who passed away in 1997, back in the spotlight with fresh versions of "And When I Die," "Save the Country," "Stoned Soul Picnic" and others. 

Read more about Billy Childs, the tour and the star-studded Map to the Treasure CD in this month's Revue

– Cristofer Gross

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Only the Best for Orange County's Own

Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley
Much of Opera News magazine August edition is dedicated to Broadway. On the cover is a stunning Marin Mazzie, called “Broadway’s Brightest Light” by Opera News Features Editor and author Brian Kellow. In the story titled “What Mazzie Knows” by Kellow, he writes, “On September 26, 2005, in a one-night staged concert performance to benefit the Actors Fund of America, Marin Mazzie gave the greatest single performance I have experienced in the musical theater.“ For those who remember and are in the musical theater know, Mazzie and her also-star-quality husband Jason Danieley were sensations in the Center’s 2012 – 2013 Cabaret Series. They performed a special Valentine’s Day program. In addition to their performances in Samueli Theater, the celebrated couple conducted a master class for promising young Orange County artists who have their eyes on the Great White Way. 

Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley teach a master class in Samueli Theater.
Photo by Xuong Do.
The Center's Cabaret Series is a veritable constellation of vocal luminaries, Broadway and musical theater stars, including this year’s line-up of Tony Award® winners Brian Stokes Mitchell and Laura Benanti, Tony nominee and 14-time award winner from The Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs, singer-songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway, and Grammy Award® winners and recording legends Johnny Mathis and Judy Collins. 

Only the best for the Center’s audiences and stars-to-be!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

Misty Copeland Recalls Center Triumph in New Autobiography

Misty Copeland and Roman Zhurbin in The Firebird.
Photo by 
Gene Schiavone.

Misty Copeland, soloist with American Ballet Theatre and one of the brightest young stars in the dance world, recently released her autobiography. Copeland was raised and studied dance in San Pedro. On page 242, she writes, “Before kicking off our season at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, we debuted The Firebird on the road. Our first performances were at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County, California. It was a homecoming....” The chapter goes on to quote Jean Lenihan’s LA Times blogged review: ”Ratmansky’s revised storyline and forward-backward movement idiom finally emerged clearly with second cast leads Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo, a hypnotizing pair.... With them, the audience’s standing ovation was absolutely spontaneous.” 

Misty Copeland and Herman Cornejo in The Firebird.
Photo by 
Gene Schiavone.
The book is titled Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina, and was written with Charisse Jones. 

The Center will present another ABT world premiere March 3 – 8, 2015. This will be the company’s new production of The Sleeping Beauty. And for the 2015 holidays, the Center will present ABT’s The Nutcracker for the first time outside of New York. 

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Once is Never Enough at Leatherby's Café Rouge!

Another of Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan’s blockbuster Broadway-themed menus will be available at Leatherby’s Café Rouge in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall during the run of ONCE, the eight-time Tony Award®-winning show, including Best Musical, with its Grammy®, Tony, Olivier and Academy Award®-winning music. The hit production comes to the Center August 19 – 31. 

AUGUST 19 - 31

Patina's tuna tower, soya onions, tomato confit,
yuzu granité, grilled scallions

If You Want Me
Modern beef and Guinness stew, New York steak, short rib,
fingerling potatoes, peas, carrots, celery

The Moon
Moon-shaped New York cheesecake, local fresh strawberries

45 per person 3 course menu
64 with wine pairing


Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan
Menu subject to change

Enjoy a critically acclaimed dinner before attending ONCE right across the Arts Plaza in Segerstrom Hall. Click here for more information about ONCE, to purchase tickets and to make your dinner reservations at Leatherby’s Café Rouge.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Solo for Two Takes Flight

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev will introduce three new works to the world this evening at Segerstrom Center: MERCY by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, PASSO by Ohad Naharin and FACADA by Arthur Pita. The program is called Solo for Two – the title paying tribute to the unique talents of these two extraordinary dancers whose spirit, passion and commitment unite into riveting works of art. Following are glimpses into the creative process, photos from the recent rehearsals at the Center. 

Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui rehearsing with Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev. Photo by Steve Dawson.
Final dress rehearsal of MERCY. Photo by Gene Schiavone.
Solo for Two will be performed Friday, July 25 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, July 26 at 2 and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday July 27 at 2 p.m. It will then receive its London and Moscow premieres, culminating with its New York premiere next year. 

Final dress rehearsal of PASSO. Photo by Doug Gifford.

Final dress rehearsal of FACADA. Photo by Gene Schiavone.
For more photos from Solo for Two rehearsals, visit the Center’s Facebook page here

Natalia Osipova and Ivan Vasiliev. Photo by Doug Gifford.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Center's Psychic Says: "I See Great Dinners in Your Future!"

Leatherby’s Café Rouge Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan will present the first of several new menus themed to the Center’s upcoming Broadway shows when GHOST – THE MUSICAL comes to Segerstrom Hall July 29 – August 10. These special prix fix menus are a perfect way to begin a wonderful evening of culinary and musical magic. 


Three Little Words 
Three little appetizers – avocado & crab toast, 
beets goat cheese, beef carpaccio & truffle vinaigrette

Sam Wheat
Farro wheat "risotto," poached organic chicken breast, 
shaved market vegetables, Banyul's vinegar, chicken jus

The Love Inside
Raspberry chocolate macaron, manjari ganache,
raspberry sorbet, chocolate soil, yuzu cloud

45 per person 3 course menu
64 with wine pairing


Executive Chef Ross Pangilinan
Menu subject to change

Special menus are planned for ONCE (August 19 – 31), PIPPIN (November 11 – 23), DR. SEUSS' HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! THE MUSICAL (December 10 – 14) and KINKY BOOTS (December 30, 2014 – January 11, 2015). Don’t miss a bite or a note of any of these great menus and shows. Visit each show’s web page on www.scfta.org to review the specific menus and book your tickets.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Soccer Fans Storm the Arts Plaza

Fans for The Netherlands and Argentina gather on the Center’s Arts Plaza
Soccer fans at the Center
There’s been ballet, dance classes, opera, an electric guitar concert, parties, rock bands, The Car Plays, Movie Mondays, community festivals, Walks for various causes – and now – World Cup soccer! The Center welcomed soccer fans to watch The Netherlands vs. Brazil on Saturday, July 12th and Argentina vs. Germany on Sunday, July 13th (lucky 13 as it turned out for Germany). The games were shown on LED jumbotrons. Food trucks fed the hungry, and the Center’s children’s Imagination Playground provided diversions for little ones not yet in the soccer groove. 

The great Russian dancers Ivan Vasiliev and Natalia Osipova, with Russian 
impresario, dance producer and artist manager Sergei Danilian, center. Vasiliev 
and Osipova took time off from their rehearsals for Solo for Two, in which they will 
perform a world premiere and two American premieres July 25 – 27.

And the tension builds.

A little advertising for Segerstrom Center worn by 
Director of Education Jason Holland at the Imagination Playground.

And the win goes to Germany!

For more fun on the Arts Plaza, don’t miss the Center’s Movie Mondays: Gigi on July 21, Cabaret on July 28 and ending with Sweet Charity on August 4. For more information about Movie Mondays, click here

All photos by Doug Gifford.

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