Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sir Ken Robinson Will Deliver ArtsOC's 2011 Creative Edge Lecture

The dynamic, brilliant and funny Sir Ken Robinson, one of the world's noted authorities on creativity, has been announced to deliver ArtsOC's 2011 Creative Edge Lecture on Wednesday, March 30, 10 am-11:30 am in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. It is presented in partnership with Orange County Department of Education, Fourth District PTA and Segerstrom Center for the Arts. The Boeing Company is the title sponsor of the event. The title of Sir Ken's lecture is "Launch A Creative Revolution," and is sure to be provocative, inspiring and entertaining. Tickets are on sale now here.
Last year's Creative Edge lecture drew more than 1,000 people, so don't delay getting your tickets!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Segerstrom Legacy

It's my belief that you can't say thank you enough to the generous philanthropists who support charitable organizations, and yesterday, Orange County's largest cultural organization delivered a huge thank you to its largest donors, the Segerstrom family, by re-naming the Orange County Performing Arts Center the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

Some of the details appear in articles today in the Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times.

Amidst all the hoopla of renaming OCPAC after a family that has given well over $100 million in cash and land, I hope it's not lost on the community that the word "Performing" has been removed from the title, leaving it as "Arts."

That is a strong signal that a renewed effort is under way to fulfill the dream of moving the Orange County Museum of Art onto the vacant piece of land just south of the concert hall.

One of the strongest symbols that the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is committed to the visual--as well as performing arts--took place prior to the opening of the concert hall, when a gift of Henry Segerstrom was installed: the dramatic sculpture by Richard Serra.

And that's not all: the Center announced that it will be making 10,000 tickets available for $10 each to a broad spectrum of its events this year, supplementing the increasing number of free events it has been hosting on its plaza.

The Center may still be a palace for the finest artistic experiences and a central gathering point for affluent business leaders and socialites, but it has worked extremely hard in recent years to ensure that everyone in the community has access to these experiences and feels welcome in the facilities.

The Segerstrom Center for the Arts truly belongs to all the people of Orange County, and we have the Segerstrom family and thousands of other generous donors to thank for that!
Pictured above: the Segerstrom family on stage with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Center officials at the renaming event yesterday.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Reports of FCLO's death premature?

On a weekend when first reports of Congresswoman Giffords' shooting stated she was dead (thankfully, she survived and the doctors are cautiously optimistic about her condition), the FCLO story was further illuminated in an article by Paul Hodgins in the Orange County Register.

It suggests that FCLO will continue to produce dinner theatre in its "Skyroom" facility, that Larry King will make a fund-raising appearance to help them resolve their remaining debt for renting Plummer Auditorium, and that they and 3D Theatricals will "cross-market" to each other's audiences.

It appears that 3D will still become the successor professional producer at Plummer, which is what 3D stated in their press release.

Friday, January 7, 2011

One Theatre's Loss is Another's Gain in Fullerton

The plucky new professional company 3D Theatricals, which found itself left out in the cold after impressing many with its debut season at the OC Pavilion in Santa Ana--only to be booted out when Pavilion owner Mike Harrah sold the theatre to OC High School of the Arts--has announced that it has now found a new home at Fullerton's Plummer Auditorium and will succeed the now-defunct FCLO Music Theatre (formerly Fullerton Civic Light Opera) as the resident producer.

3D announced a season that includes two performances by Sally Struthers--in The Drowsy Chaperone (an OC premier) and in Always, Patsy Cline, which I produced at Laguna Playhouse for a sold-out summer run in 2002. They also plan to revive All Shook Up, which they produced this past year.

In a magnamious gesture (3D's second in the past month: they offered to save Crystal Cathedral's The Glory of Christmas but were turned down by the church leadership), 3D Theatricals is offering to honor all tickets sold & seating currently held by FCLO subscribers and single ticket buyers.

FCLO's demise came as a shock to the theatre community. Some believed that the FCLO leaders Griff and Jan Duncan had not changed enough with the times to keep it a vital producing organization, but it was at least as much the fault of an audience that turned up its nose at any of the occasional newer musicals and premieres offered by FCLO. The quality of their productions was generally very high, and not only could the best SoCal talent be seen regularly on their stage, but they attracted Broadway stars as well. The lack of support from the City of Fullerton and the expensive rental of Plummer from the high school certainly contributed, in this time of recession, to shaky ground for FCLO.

It remains to be seen whether 3D will succeed. Members of the media have liked what they've produced but they were not attracting big audiences at the Pavilion (downtown Santa Ana has enjoyed a revival thanks to the arts, but still faces a stigma among traditional musical theatre audiences). 3D made clear that this family endeavor possessed a big bankroll to launch right into productions of high quality (their debut show Peter Pan was outstanding), but skeptics have wondered how long the money will last until they attract a sufficient audience.

Their eviction from the Pavilion appears to have been a blessing in disguise. Certainly, Plummer Auditorium's location and history as a successful theatre venue gives 3D a fighting chance to gain solid footing.