Monday, February 7, 2011

Opening acts

Grand Finale of Valley Performing Arts Center Inaugural Gala Performance
Monica Mancini, the talented daughter of Henry and Ginny Mancini, was raised in the San Fernando Valley in California. "Moon River was my father’s song that changed our lives, composed up the street at 17947 Osborne in Northridge,” she told the audience at the opening of the Valley Performing Arts Center on January 29th.

As Monica sang Moon River, accompanied by jazz musicians Dave Koz and Arturo Sandoval, there was not a dry eye in the house. Including Ginny Mancini, her mother the co-chair of the Gala, and lovely widow of famed composer, who said “Attending the Valley Arts Center opening is a once-in-a lifetime experience. I am so proud of my daughter Monica for her stunning performance singing Hank’s Moon River."

Monica Mancini singing Moon River.
This was only one of the world class acts on the program titled “O! for a Muse of Fire” to open the new  Valley Performing Arts Center in Northridge, California. The large glass fronted hall rocked with music, song, comedy, opera and Shakespeare’s prophetic words on this Saturday night.

Under the moon and stars, on a clear night amongst the orange groves, 1700 people celebrated the opening of the $125 million dollar center, lead architect Kara Hill, for HGA Architects & Engineers, on the campus of Cal State Northridge University. Co-chairs of the star-studded gala were Linda and Mike Curb, Ginny Mancini, Jean and David Fleming, Sally Magaram, and Carole Curb Nemoy and Dr. Norman Nemoy.

The opening act of the evening Gala performance program, produced and directed by Robert Egan, was a loud Brass Fanfare and Taiko Drums with CSUN Musicians, and Johnny Mori and Danny Yamamoto.

Followed by a Shakespeare Invocation spoken by alumnae and famous actors with roots in the San Fernando Valley. On stage were Benjamin Bratt, Tyne Daly, Keith David, Jane Kaczmarek, Steven Weber and Noah Wyle. ABT principal dancers, Gillian Murphy and Jose Manuel Carreno, came out from New York to perform and were dazzling in the pas de deux from Don Quixote. Opera star Carol Vaness paid tribute to her CSUN professor before performing.
The lobby of the Valley Performing Arts Center
Under the tent before the gala dinner
The Jazz and popular music act brought the house down with Andy Garcia on the bongo drums and Arturo Sandoval on trumpet. Monica Mancini was accompanied by Arturo Sandoval and Dave Koz. The Broadway tributes were classic Tyne Daly singing from Gypsy and Davis Gaines performing The Phantom of the Opera, his classic role. Calista Flockhart, who came with Harrison Ford and son Liam, Doris Roberts and Eric Stoltz made guest presentations.

After the opening program the 700 gala and dinner guests dined on braised boneless short ribs from Along Came Mary and danced to the rocking music of the Cowling Band. The spacious dance floor was packed as the politicians and supporters swung to the tune of Stayin’ Alive and danced alongside the ABT ballet stars. The Hon. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa attended the theatrical performance only, so it was up to CA Assemblyman Robert Hertzberg to show off his pirouettes to Gillian Murphy.
Talisa Soto, Benjamin Bratt, CSUN President Joelen Koester, Cheech Marin, and Natasha Marin
Gala guests celebrating under the tent
Chairman of the Music Center, John Emerson and wife Kimberly, danced the night away with Andy Garcia, Jane Kaczmarek, Benjamin Bratt and Talisa Soto, Ames Cushing, Nick Goldsborough, Lew and Genevieve Geyser, Jennifer Deener, and co-chairs Mike and Linda Curb, Carole Curb Nemoy, and Sally and Phil Magaram also on the dance floor. Jane Jelenko, president of Music Center Dance Arts, who had a dance with Jose Carreno, raved about the evening “The Best party we’ve been to, bar none! What a night!”

“The Valley is the place,” chuckled Valley boy Andy Garcia as he got in his car to drive back to Hollywood. "They deserve this Performing Arts Center." Benjamin Bratt and the other Valley actors agree, “We will come back from Hollywood and perform here” they said.
Jean Moor and Doris Roberts
Anne Jeffreys and Raymunda Baltazar
American Ballet Theatre stars Gillian Murphy and Jose Carreno with gala guests
Keith David
Pat Morrison and Tyne Daly
Andy Garcia with Talisa Soto and Benjamin Bratt
Lisa Sweetingham and Bruce Wallin
Mary Regas and Wayne Kent Bradshaw
Nancy Cartwright and President of CSUN Jolene Koester
Monica Mancini and friend
Andrew Lunsford and Carol Vaness
Sheila and Stan Kurland (Opening Gala Committee and Northridge alumni)
Doris Roberts and friend
Wendy and Beau Bridges
Steven Weber, Jane Kaczmarek, and Keith David
Calista Flockhart
Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine and Jayne Englander
Noah Wyle and Jolene Koester
Pianist Natasha Marin and her husband Cheech Marin
V.P. of University Advancement Vance Peterson, with Tyne Daly
State Sen. Alex Padilla and wife with Jolene Koester
Andy Garcia and Sally Magaram
Dennis Zine and Robert Davi
Jean and David Fleming with Major Antonio Villaraigosa
Last Wednesday night in the Veterans Room of the Park Avenue Armory, artist and filmmaker Sue de Beer exhibited her newest film, a two channeled video, and installation entitled The Ghosts before a group of followers and board members.
Sue de Beer, Lauren Ross, Elise ÿverland, Yvonne Force Villareal
Sue de Beer, Lauren Ross, Elise ÿverland, and Yvonne Force Villareal
The piece in four monologues mimics a giallo – an Italian genre that mixes horror and mystery. The piece was borne out of the artist’s spending hours in a sensory deprivation tank and seeking out hypnotists in New York and Berlin.

Devilled eggs and miso were served. Andy Comer performed nine songs. You had to be there.
Stephanie LaCava
Stephanie LaCava
Brett Kropp
Brett Kropp
Nancy Barton
Nancy Barton
Adam Putnam, Rachel Greene, Andy Comer
Adam Putnam, Rachel Greene, and Andy Comer
Christian Rattemeyer, Laurie Berg, Elizabeth Rossa
Christian Rattemeyer, Laurie Berg, and Elizabeth Rossa
Sandy Ehrenkrenz, Lisa Ehrenkrenz
Sandy and Lisa Ehrenkrenz
Cristiano De Rossi, Maye Musk, Costanza Campagna
Cristiano De Rossi, Maye Musk, and Costanza Campagna
Annie Rana, Sarah Pauley
Annie Rana and Sarah Pauley
Olivia Flatto, Barclay Palmer, Dana Cowin, Adam Flatto
Olivia Flatto, Barclay Palmer, Dana Cowin, and Adam Flatto
Christene McGarvey, Amelia Langer, Rachel Kim
Christene McGarvey, Amelia Langer, and Rachel Kim
Asia Baker, Claiborne Swanson Frank
Asia Baker and Claiborne Swanson Frank
Elise ÿverland, Marco Brambilla
Elise ÿverland and Marco Brambilla
Eric Lifton, Betsy Schmidt
Eric Lifton and Betsy Schmidt
Dave Hardy, Siebren Versteeg, Robert Tagliapietra, Jeffrey Costello
Dave Hardy, Siebren Versteeg, Robert Tagliapietra, and Jeffrey Costello
Rachel Meakins, Theodora Schamber, Allison Ullo
Rachel Meakins, Theodora Schamber, and Allison Ullo
Lisa Anastos, Zev Eisenberg
Lisa Anastos and Zev Eisenberg
Sue de Beer, Ross Bleckner
Sue de Beer and Ross Bleckner
Roselee Goldberg, Katya Kazakina
Roselee Goldberg and Katya Kazakina
Cay Sophie Rabinowitz, Katya Kazakina
Cay Sophie Rabinowitz and Katya Kazakina
Gina Nanni, Gary Indiana, Glenn O'Brien
Gina Nanni, Gary Indiana, and Glenn O'Brien
Karsten Krejcarek, Allison Rutberg
Karsten Krejcarek and Allison Rutberg
Doreen Remen, Marco Brambilla
Doreen Remen and Marco Brambilla
Bettina Prentice, Courtney Booth
Bettina Prentice and Courtney Booth
Jesse Bransford, Lorenzo De Los Angeles
Jesse Bransford, and Lorenzo De Los Angeles
Marcello Marvelli, Sonel Breslav
Marcello Marvelli and Sonel Breslav
Kirsten Reoch, David Burnhauser
Kirsten Reoch and David Burnhauser
Miltos Manetas, Yvonne Force Villareal
Miltos Manetas and Yvonne Force Villareal
Sasha Kalter-Wasserman, Brad Waywell
Sasha Kalter-Wasserman and Brad Waywell
Karen Wong, Anna Bauer
Karen Wong and Anna Bauer
Dan Tanzilli, Casey Fremont
Dan Tanzilli and Casey Fremont
HBO and the Cinema Society hosted a screening of Cormac McCarthy’s Sunset Limited last Tuesday night at the Screening Room at 1 Time Warner Center. Afterwards there was a dinner at the Porter House at the Time Warner Center. Guests raved about everything, from the film, to the restaurant menu, to the guests and especially the are public appearance of the film’s creator, Mr. McCarthy.
Cutis "50 Cent" Jackson
Cutis "50 Cent" Jackson
LaTanya Richardson, Samuel L. Jackson
LaTanya Richardson and Samuel L. Jackson
Will Estes
Will Estes
Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel
Irena Shayk
Irena Shayk
Paul Haggis
Paul Haggis
James Badge Dale
James Badge Dale
Richard Meier
Richard Meier
Jason Reitman
Jason Reitman
S. Epatha Merkerson
S. Epatha Merkerson
Andrew Saffir (Founder of Cinema Socitey),Daniel Benedict
Andrew Saffir and Daniel Benedict
Samuel L. Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, Tommy Lee Jones
Samuel L. Jackson, Cormac McCarthy, and Tommy Lee Jones
Tim Morehouse
Tim Morehouse
Judd Hirsch
Judd Hirsch
Josh Lucas
Josh Lucas
Lee Daniels
Lee Daniels
Tamara Tunie
Tamara Tunie
Kit Harington
Kit Harington
Patricia Clarkson
Patricia Clarkson
Alia Baldwin, Stephen Baldwin
Alia and Stephen Baldwin
Kathy Lee Gifford
Kathy Lee Gifford
Last Tuesday night at the Volstead Restaurant and Lounge, the Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons held a cocktail reception to celebrate their 10th anniversary and a decade of wildlife rehabilitation efforts. Executive Director Ginnie Frati praised the work of her team: “When we first opened our doors ten years ago, I had no idea what an impact we would make on the wildlife of the East End…it’s been people like you, supporting us…that will enable us to continue on for many years to come and to never turn away an injured animal.”

Screens were placed throughout the space for guests to watch footage of past rescue efforts and triumphs.

As they departed, guests were treated to goodie bags filled with such treats from Alley ‘O Cookies, Angelo David Salon, Philippe by Philippe Chow, Madame Paulette and Pureology, as well as new book Thank You: 101 Ways to Practice Effortless Gratitude by Hatherleigh Press.
Board Members Jim Hunter, Suzanne Ruggles, Marshall Dornfeld, Laurie Masteropaolo, Gary Pagura, and Ginnie Frati
The Wildlife Rescue Center of the Hamptons, Inc is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of wild animals impacted by encroachment of humans on their habitat. A grass-roots organization, the Center has grown from a few concerned friends to a group today of over 1,000 members and supporters. The Center is a full-time professional wildlife hospital staffed by licensed rehabilitators, biologists, animal behaviorists and volunteers. Located in an area that is a unique and irreplaceable ecosystem, consisting of salt and fresh water wetlands, pine barrens, deciduous forest and meadowland. The hospital at the Wildlife Rescue Center is designed exclusively for wild animals—unlike veterinary hospitals, the space is free of any ambient noises or smells to stress the wildlife that are recovering within.
Avis Richards
Adriel Reboh and Cristina Toscano
Beth Ostrosky Stern
Executive Director Ginnie Frati and Avis Richards
Marshall Dornfeld and Kevin Conway
Jane Notar and Beth Ostrosky Stern
Tia Walker
Pat Meehan and Rod O'Connell
Michael Desousa and Alicia Morcat
Pam Crowley and Karen Mastrandrea
Jean Shafiroff
Spencer Wadama and Emel Dilek
Rachel Heller

Photographs by (Cinema Society, Boesky); Rob Rich (Animal Rescue).
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