March 2019

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Dee Dee at Barclay

Dee Dee Bridgewater plays Barclay Theatre March 14th

Dee Dee at Barclay

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo By Mark-Higashino/Barclay

One of Southern California’s best kept secrets, Irvine Barclay Theatre is one of California’s most imaginative performing arts venues. A unique collaborative venture among the City of Irvine, University of California Irvine, and the private sector, the theatre has a reputation for wide-ranging programming in the fields of contemporary dance, music, and theatre. Performances take place in the 756-seat theatre which is renowned for its intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics. I’ve only been there once but I had a wonderful time and have often thought of returning. Now celebrating its 25thanniversary, the Barclay attracts audiences not just from Irvine but from throughout SoCal region.

This month’s attractions include a truly eclectic menu of entertainment for all tastes. They include evenings of classical music with the UCI Symphony Orchestra and the Mozart Classical Orchestra, jazz and blues with triple Grammy Award-winner Dee Dee Bridgewater, and 4 Girls 4 (four of Broadway’s leading ladies — Maureen McGovern, Donna McKechnie, Faith Prince, and Lillias White, under the musical direction of Billy Stritch).  In a rare Southern California appearance Cuba’s Malpaso Dance Company, followed by Festival Ballet Theatre’s The Sleeping Beauty. Enchantment Theatre Company offers entertainment for the entire family with The Phantom Tollbooth, jazz singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli celebrating the legacies of Frank Sinatra and composer Antonio Carlos Jobim, and an evening with country singing star Kathy Mattea. To quote a very famous song lyric, “Who could ask for anything more?”

For all things at The Barclay, click here.

Sarah Brightman

Sarah Brightman plays Dolby Theater March 10th

Sarah Brightman

  • By Arlene Winnick

Sarah Brightman is an international singing superstar and quick simply a force of nature.  HYMN: Sarah Brightman in Concert, her current tour, features 125 shows on five continents and celebrates her newest (and fifteenth) full-length album. Circle March 10 on your calendar – she will be at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and you won’t want to miss this experience.

Brightman, the world’s biggest selling Soprano with a vocal range of over three octaves, is credited with initiating and popularizing the classical crossover music movement. A worldwide phenomenon, she has more than 180 gold and platinum awards in over 40 countries and received the UNESCO Artist for Peace Award in 2012.

Her skyrocketing career was launched in 1988 when Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera as Christine Daaé, a role he created for her.  The show’s soundtrack sold more than 40 million copies.  She has performed at many notable events including the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the 2007 Concert for Diane, and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. And who can forget her iconic 1996 duet with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, “Time to Say Goodbye.” I tear up everything time I hear it.

Brightman recorded the spiritually-themed HYMN over two years.  Her LA concert will feature many of the inspirational choir-based songs on the album though Brightman says fans should “expect the unexpected!” Joining Brightman onstage will be international singing sensations: Yoshiki Hayashi, Vincent Nicio and Narcis lustin Ianău.

For more details and purchase tickets, click here.

Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton plays Microsoft Theater March 3rd

Toni Braxton

  • By Arlene Winnick

March comes roaring in like a lion when music megastar Toni Braxton brings her “As Long As I Live” tour to the Microsoft Theatre at LA Live on March 3.  Joining the seven-time Grammy winner will be SWV, one of the best-selling girl groups of all time plus special guest, singer, songwriter and producer Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds (who can forget their incredible duet “Give U My Heart”).   The concert will feature many hits from her Sex & Cigarettes album, her first solo release in eight years, plus other Braxton classics. The album entered the charts in the Top 5 and her “As Long As I Live” single was #1 on the charts for nine weeks.  Reflecting on the album, Braxton said, “I feel like I’m older, I wanna say what I feel.  I don’t wanna be censored.”

Braxton started her professional career singing with her sisters until she emerged as a solo artist in the early 1990’s with her hits “You Mean the World to Me” and “Breathe Again.”  She later scored a megahit with “Un-Break My Heart.”

In September 1998 Braxton made history as the first black actress to play Belle on Broadway in Beauty and the Beast.  Her popular reality series, Braxton Family Values debuted in 2011 giving viewers an insider view of Braxton and her sisters as they pursued their careers in show business.

For more details and purchase tickets, click here.

Rudy in Concert

Rudy In Concert March 30th at Microsoft Theater

Rudy in Concert

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of Microsoft Theater

Twenty-five years ago a film was released that gave hope to millions of viewers… and now a quarter of a century later that film is to be celebrated in a live concert event. That film was Rudy and it told the true story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger who dreamed of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite many obstacles in his path. Many would have given up, but not Rudy. He rose above all the adversity and challenges to beat the odds and achieve his dream with the support of his family and teammates.

On March 30th, Rudy in Concert at the Microsoft Theater will feature the 80-piece Hollywood Chamber Orchestra conducted by Justin Freer performing Oscar and Emmy-winning composer Jerry Goldsmith’s complete score live while the film is projected on a 40-foot HD screen. The benefit event will help raise funds for The University of Notre Dame and for regional Southern California high schools with support from the CineConcerts Foundation.

Special guests include actor Sean Astin (star of the film), the real-life hero Rudy Reuttiger, director David Anspaugh, writer Angelo Pizzo and producer Cary Woods will take part in a pre-show panel to discuss the film, music, and the enduring magic of the story.

Ranked as one of the most inspiring films of all time in the AFI 100 Years series, Rudy is so much more than a sport’s movie – it is a remarkable story of sheer determination and the human condition.

For tickets and more details, click here.

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