Dec 282016
 
2016 Kennedy Center Honorees

2016 Kennedy Center Honorees
Photo credit: John Filo / CBS

The 39th Kennedy Center Honors were a star-studded gala as always but this year perhaps a little more solemn than usual in spite of plenty world-class and lighthearted entertainment.

“The Kennedy Center Honors celebrates the spectacular talents of artists whose brilliance has left a lasting impact on our society,” stated Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein. This year’s Honorees have.

2016 Honorees Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Eagles and Martha Argerich were seated with President Obama and the First Lady. The master of ceremony was the brilliant Steven Colbert. But the spotlight of the evening was on the memorable achievements of each of the honorees which were celebrated in words and tribute performances by their artist and celebrity peers.

It was impossible not to feel that Al Pacino, Mavis Staples, James Taylor, Eagles and Martha Argerich not only shaped culture of their times – in the case of Mavis Staples perhaps even impacted history – but left indelible mark on our lives.

The legendary Al Pacino created a genre all his own. His rare blend of vulnerability, masculinity and passion rendered with dramatic effect like no other’s became a symbol of the many productions he starred in.
A special tribute to Al Pacino was paid by Chris O’Donnell, Bobby Cannavale, Lily Rabe, Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Spacey, Gabrielle Anwar and Sean Penn.

Describing Mavis Staples as a soulful and powerful singer doesn’t do her justice. She is the embodiment of passion: a passion on stage and a passion for social justice.
A special tribute to Mavis Staples was paid by Bonnie Raitt, Elle King, Don Cheadle, Andra Day and others.

James Taylor and Eagles are not only brilliant songwriters, musicians and singers. They are the music of our lives. We associate their hits with events in our lives.

A special tribute to James Taylor was paid by President Bill Clinton, Darius Rucker, Sheryl Crow, Yo-Yo Ma, Garth Brooks, James Taylor Tribute Cast and others.

A special tribute to Eagles was paid by Ringo Starr, Kings of Leon, Vince Gill, Bob Seger, Juanes, Steve Vai, Steuart Smith, Eagles Tribute Cast and others.

Martha Argerich (Argentinian piano virtuoso) galvanized classical music and revitalized the public’s interest in classical concerts. Her immense talent and unparalleled virtuosity have garnered awards worldwide and impressed her peers and as well as competitors.
A special tribute to Martha Argerich was paid by Jeff Goldblum, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, Placido Domingo, Yuja Wang and others.

Other highlights of the 39th Kennedy Center Honors?

  • The John F. Kennedy Tribute given by Jack Schlossberg accompanied by his sisters Rose Schlossberg and Tatiana Schlossberg, President John F. Kennedy’s grandchildren.
  • Cynthia Erivo’s rendition of “The Impossible Dream” was inspired and stirring. Intertwined with recordings of President John F. Kennedy’s speaking on the importance and value of the arts, her interpretation of “The Impossible Dream” could be an anthem of the Kennedy Center, not to mention a mantra for aspiring artists everywhere.

Unlike previous Kennedy Center Honors ceremonies, this year’s was particularly moving. These were the last Kennedy Center Honors of President Obama’s administration. The evening had glitz and glamour and featured great artists of our time. The standing ovation of the night was given to… President Obama.

 

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Oct 172012
 

“SEMINAR” OPENS WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17 AT THE CENTER THEATRE GROUP/AHMANSON THEATRE Jeff Goldblum Stars in Theresa Rebeck’s New Comedy

Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominee Jeff Goldblum opens October 17 At CTG

(L to R) Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Jeff Goldblum, Jennifer Ikeda and Aya Cash in “Seminar,” which opens at the Center Theatre Group.Written by Theresa Rebeck, “Seminar” is directed by Sam Gold.
Photo by: Craig Schwartz

“Seminar,” the sexy, smart new comedy starring Academy Award and Emmy Award-nominee Jeff Goldblum opens October 17 at 8 p.m. at the Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre.

Directed by Obie Award-winner Sam Gold, “Seminar” is by Pulitzer Prize finalist and “Smash” creator Theresa Rebeck. Performances continue through November 18, 2012.

(“Seminar” began previews October 10.) In “Seminar,” four aspiring young writers played by Aya Cash, Jennifer Ikeda, Greg Keller and Lucas Near-Verbrugghe sign up for private writing classes taught by an international literary figure played by Goldblum.  Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored.

The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this provocative new comedy.  The production of “Seminar” at the Ahmanson features the complete Broadway design team:  set and costume design by Tony Award-nominee and two-time Obie Award-winner David Zinn, lighting design by Drama Desk Award-nominee Ben Stanton and original music and sound design by two-time Drama Desk Award-winner John Gromada. “Seminar” is produced by Jeffrey Finn, Jill Furman, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Roy Furman, David Ian, David Mirvish, Amy Nauiokas and James Spry.

For tickets and information, please go to CenterTheatreGroup.org, the Center Theatre Group box office located at the Ahmanson Theatre or call (213) 972-4400.

 

Aug 012012
 

October-November 2012

EVENT:  Jeff Goldblum in “Seminar” by Theresa Rebeck; Directed by Sam Gold Produced by Jeffrey Finn, Jill Furman, John N. Hart Jr., Patrick Milling Smith, Roy Furman, David Ian, David Mirvish, Amy Nauiokas and James Spry West Coast Premiere.

DESCRIPTION: In “Seminar,” four aspiring young writers sign up for private writing classes with Leonard (played by Jeff Goldblum), an international literary figure.  Under his recklessly brilliant and unorthodox instruction, some thrive and others flounder, alliances are made and broken, sex is used as a weapon and hearts are unmoored.  The wordplay is not the only thing that turns vicious as innocence collides with experience in this provocative new comedy.

Jeff Goldblum in “Seminar” at AHMANSON THEATRE

Jeff Goldblum in “Seminar” at AHMANSON THEATRE
Photo by Jeremy Daniel

 DATES/TIMES: Previews Begin October 10, 2012. Opens October 17. Through November 18. Previews (October 10-16): Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 6:30 p.m.; No Monday performances. Opens Wednesday, October 17 at 8 p.m. Regular Performances (October 18-November 18): Tuesday through Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday at 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; No Monday performances. Exceptions: Added 2 p.m. performances on Thursday, November 8 and 15; No 6:30 p.m. performances on Sunday, November 11 and 18.

TICKET INFO: Ticket Prices: $20 – $110 (Ticket prices are subject to change.) Tickets are available beginning August 22 by calling Center Theatre Group Audience Services at (213) 972-4400, in person at the Center Theatre Group box office or on-line at www.CenterTheatreGroup.org.  Hot Tix: $20 each may be purchased in advance or, subject to availability, on the day of performance at the box office (no checks). Groups: (213) 972-7231. Deaf community: Information & charge, TDD (213) 680-4017.

LOCATION:  Center Theatre Group / Ahmanson Theatre At the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012.