CIRQUE DU SOLEIL COMING TO TINSELTOWN’S KODAK FOR 10 YEAR RUN: CIRQUE DU SOLEIL FOUNDER GUY LALIBERTÉ HONORED WITH STAR ON HOLLYWOOD’S WALK OF FAME, PRESENTED BY JAMES CAMERON

By Margie Anne ClarkHollywood, Calif. – “This has been a long love story,” Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, said Monday as he accepted his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Kodak Theatre where the international entertainment company’s newest show “Isis” will open in the summer of 2011. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. Photo by Margie Anne Clark”We believe this marriage between Hollywood and Circus has the promise for a long life in Los Angeles,” said the man behind the internally acclaimed success of Cirque du Soleil. Image and video hosting by TinyPicGuy Laliberté amd James Cameron. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Laliberté is bringing his new show “Iris, a Journey Through the World of Cinema to the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center debuting on July 21, 2011..
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Legendary film directorrJames Cameron and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Presenting the honor to Laliberte was Canadian-born filmmaker James Cameron who lauded the vision and creativity of Laliberté amidst a backdrop of derby clad clowns, mime faced ballerinas – beneath sunny skies as blue as the humanoid species from his 2009 Academy Award winning film, “Avatar.”  Colorful Cirque du Soleil troupe members. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

“If you’re fans of cirque de solie, and I absolutely love them, those artists are empowered by this man here,” Cameron said. “To have the boldness and the courage to let that dream-like creativity be the most important thing is something that Hollywood could be inspired by.”

Laliberté who was born in Québec City in 1950, began his career as an accordionist, stilt-walker and fire-eater. He founded Quebec’s first internationally-renowned circus with the support of a small group of accomplices. A bold visionary, Guy Laliberté recognized and cultivated the talents of the street performers from the Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul and created Cirque du Soleil in 1984.

“When I went to see Avatar, I envisioned a journey which was very similar to what I was living when I started my own show,” said Laliberte, who said he sees many similarities between his career and Cameron’s. “I started my own career on the streets of Quebec and now, Lalibert said with a smile, “I have a permanent home on the streets of Hollywood.”Image and video hosting by TinyPicCirque du Soleil troupe members take in the festivities. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

*Cirque du Soleil recently announced that tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, November 22 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are available at cirquedusoleil.com or by calling 1-877-943-IRIS. Performances begin July 21, 2011.http://www.kodaktheatre.com/

CALLING ALL VAMPIRE FANS: MARK YOUR CALENDARS FOR DEC. 11!! – TRUE BLOOD’S STEPHEN MOYER WIILL PERFORM LIVE READING OF DR. SUESS’S CLASSIC, ‘HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS AT UNIIVERSAL STUDIOS, HOLLYWOOD

City News

Hollywood, Calif. -
Stephen Moyer will read the classic children’s story, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Universal Studios in Hollywood at a special December 11th live performance.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicStephen Moyer

The event will kick off the theme park’s 18-day Grinchmas celebration. The reading will also feature the Grinch’s faithful dog Max, a heap of (through Hollywood magic) fresh snow and a “Whoville Whobilation” on the original sets where the 2000 live-action Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, starring Jim Carrey, was filmed.

SANTA CLARITA TO HOST TRIFECTA LIFESTYLE SUMMER SPORTING FESITVAL

City News

Santa Clarita Calif. – Tri-California, Inc. today announced the TRIFECTA, a new lifestyle-sports festival that is the first of its kind to bring together three running, three cycling, and three triathlon courses during a single weekend event.On June 2 – 5, 2011, Tri-California and the City of Santa Clarita will host these events with the support of Cycling Olympic Silver Medalist Mari Holden, Triathlon Olympic Bronze Medalist Susan Williams and United States National Cycling Champion Tony Cruz as patrons of the event.”We launched the TRIFECTA with the goal of bringing a new and diverse category of sporting events to athletes,” commented Terry Davis, owner of Tri-California, Inc.

“A trifecta occurs when someone chooses the top three finishers in a race in the correct order. We are expanding the definition of TRIFECTA to include bringing together the three worlds of active lifestyle sports in one spectacular event. TRIFECTA offers people of all ages and activity levels an opportunity to come together and celebrate leading a healthy and active lifestyle through running, cycling, and the sport of triathlon.”

HARRY’S FRIENDSHIPS TESTAMENT TO HIS APPEAL – HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 OPENS NOV. 18 IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE

By Margie Anne Clark

The first installment of the two-part conclusion to the Harry Potter series finds the bespectacled wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) walking away from his last year at Hogwarts to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes to end Voldemort’s bid for immortality.
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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011. Photo/Warner Bros.
But with Harry’s beloved Dumbledore dead and Voldemort’s unscrupulous Death Eaters on the loose, the world is more dangerous than ever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011.
But what makes this spectacular franchise so unique and enduring? In the mind of this reporter, Harry Potter is the ultimate hero to an entire generation of young muggles who literally grew up with the precocious orphaned wizard.
His amazing powers and struggles against the dark powers of Lord Voldemort have become an adventure the whole world has become engaged in.
What makes Harry Potter so special and such a worldwide phenomena is the way in which J.K. Rowling has brilliantly mixed magic and fantasy with the everyday struggles and angst that youth of today must face.
The story of Harry Potter is modern, yet timeless by means of transforming ordinary circumstances into extraordinary adventures.
In his struggle against good and evil, Harry Potter must face the world – mortal or otherwise – in all of its gritty glory, juxtaposed against the wonders of magic.
All the while facing his destiny, and mortal dangers that come with it – with a little help from his friends. And therein lies the real magic and the heart of Harry’s enduring appeal. The friendships that he forges, no matter what the odds, will always win out. And of course, Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal the title character is the key to the young wizard’s popularity in the movie version of the Harry Potter series.

The modest British actor is endearing, possessing a young Paul McCartney-esque appeal with the charm and British wit to match. And like the timeless appeal of the Beatles, the character Radcliffe has created in film will no doubt stand the test of time and go on to enthrall generations of young muggles to come.

The Harry Potter films represent movie-making at its finest. The stories are gripping and engaging, and the superb special effects are brilliantly orchestrated to render a story that captivates its audience, even as it leaves us wanting more. Harry Potter is truly a Renaissance man, whose story will live on forever.

Margie Anne Clark is a Los Angeles based writer. She can be reached at margie@losangeleslifeandstyle.com

 

‘IRIS’ TICKETS SET TO GO ON SALE BEGINNING NOV. 22 FOR CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S EXCLUSIVE DEBUT AT THE KODAK THEATRE SET TO KICK OFF IN THE SUMMER OF 2011 – IRIS IS A LYRICAL AND KENTIC DEPICTION OF ART AS A WAY OF TRANSCENDING REALITY

City Life News

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Hollywood, California – Cirque du Soleil has announced the upcoming presentation of the summer debut of the brand new production, IRIS, which will open exclusively at Kodak Theatre, home of the Academy Awards® on July 21, 2011. Tickets go on sale Nov. 22, 2010 at 10 a.m. via Cirque’s website or (877) 943-IRIS. Prices for single tickets range from $43 to $253.

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The show will feature a cast of more than 72 performing artists from around the world. We can’t wait to see the clowns take on silent films. Is that a kind of perfect pairing? Keystone Cop-like antics and Cirque du Soleil pantomimery? Or wait. Harlequins reenacting famous scenes? Norma Desmond dancing on stilts? The mind reels over the reel-based clowning to come.

“The inspiration for the show comes from a performance Cirque gave at the Oscar ceremony [in 2002]

The word “iris” refers to the adjustable opening—or diaphragm—that controls the amount of light that passes through a camera lens. The word also refers to the colored part of the eye. IRIS will take a unique look at the world of cinema.

Directed by French director-choreographer Philippe Decouflé, IRIS is a lyrical, fanciful, kinetic foray into the seventh art. Bringing together dance, acrobatics, live video, filmed sequences and animation, the show takes spectators on a fantastic voyage through the history of cinema and its genres, taking them into the heart of the movie-making process. From illustration to animation, black and white to colour, silent films to talkies, fixed shots to swooping camera movements, spectators witness the poetic construction/deconstruction of this art as an object and as a way of transcending reality.

Along with Philippe Decouflé, the creative team consists of 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Cirque du Soleil Founder Guy Laliberté:

Philippe Decouflé – Writer and Director
Trained in multiple disciplines including miming and circus arts, French dancer and choreographer Philippe Decouflé founded his own company – DCA – in 1983. His career path also led him to create videos and a series of outstanding advertisements during the 1980s. Teaming up with costume designer Philippe Guillotel, he staged the opening and closing ceremonies of the Winter Olympic Games in Albertville in 1992, which attracted considerable attention. Philippe Decouflé also created the show Désirs that has been running at the Crazy Horse Saloon in Paris since 2009. IRIS is his first show with Cirque du Soleil.

Jean-François Bouchard – Director of Creation
The signature of Jean-François Bouchard is associated with many interior design concepts (bars, restaurants, boutiques, etc.) brought to life in Montreal between 1985 and 1995. He joined Cirque du Soleil as a designer in 1988 to create the interior design of the boutique connected to the La Nouba theatre in Orlando. He later became one of the key players in Cirque du Soleil’s special events team. IRIS is Jean-François Bouchard’s first show as Director of Creation.

Jean Rabasse – Set Designer
Jean Rabasse has earned an enviable reputation in the world of film, theatre and dance as a set designer and decorator. He has been the resident designer for Philippe Decouflé’s dance company DCA for more than ten years. His film credits include award-winning movies such as Vatel, directed by Roland Joffé, as well as Delicatessen and La Cité des enfants perdus, both directed by Caro and Jeunet. After Corteo and The Beatles LOVE, IRIS marks Jean Rabasse’s third participation in a Cirque du Soleil show as Set Designer.

Philippe Guillotel – Costume Designer
After a decade in the world of fashion, designer Philippe Guillotel discovered dance, and through it, his true calling—costume allied to movement. His signature is associated with the works of some of the most prominent stage and film directors in France. Since 1985, he has worked extensively with renowned French choreographer Philippe Découflé for whom he designed the costumes seen in the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. In cinema, Philippe Guillotel designed the costumes for the feature Astérix et Obélix : Mission Cléopâtre, directed by Alain Chabat. He has also made his mark in the worlds of show business and music. IRIS is Philippe Guillotel’s second Cirque du Soleil show following The Beatles LOVE.

Danny Elfman – Composer
Danny Elfman is a musician best known for composing music for television and cinema and leading the rock band Oingo Boingo as singer/songwriter for almost 20 years. He is a frequent collaborator of long-time friend Tim Burton and has scored most of his films. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards and won a Grammy Award for Tim Burton’s Batman and an Emmy Award for his Desperate Housewives theme. He is also known for creating the main title theme for The Simpsons. IRIS is his first Cirque du Soleil show as Composer and Musical Director.

Daphné Mauger – Choreographer
Daphné Mauger has been active on the French artistic scene for a number of years. Former graduate of the Conservatoire de danse de Paris, she pursues her career as a dancer and choreographer on a number of productions. In 2008, she worked with Philippe Decouflé on the production Triton 2 ter. IRIS is her first collaboration with the Cirque du Soleil.

Patrice Besombes – Lighting Designer
Patrice Besombes began his training in theatre before he discovered dance. After joining Maison de la danse de Lyon as a technical director in the early 1980s, he worked with the emerging generation of French choreographers of the time. He became one of the official lighting directors of creators such as Carolyn Carlson and Philippe Decouflé. Patrice Besombes’ credits as a lighting designer include the works On the Other Side for the New York City Ballet and Triade et Amoveo for the Paris Opera, both by choreographer Benjamin Millepieds. His work can also be seen in theatre and opera. This is Patrice Besombes’ first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil.

Anne-Séguin Poirier – Props Designer
For the past 10 years, Anne-Séguin Poirier has worked as a set and costume designer for theatre, circus, opera and exhibits. Since 2005, she has created sets for multimedia creators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, including DELIRIUM (Cirque du Soleil) and the Starmania opera they both directed. She has also designed costumes for choreographers and directors Peter James, Gypsy Rider, Shanna Carroll and Guy Alloucherie, at Montreal’s National Circus School. Anne-Séguin Poirier’s credits as a costume designer include the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games. IRIS is her first Cirque du Soleil show as Props Designer.

Olivier Simola et Christophe Waksmann – Projection Designers
Olivier Simola and Christophe Waksmann are both members of the dance company DCA founded by French director Philippe Decouflé, with whom they have worked closely for many years. Olivier Simola has worked on many productions either as film director (video and cinema), stage director or dancer. Christophe Waksmann works as a dancer, camera operator, director, film editor and image designer for numerous dance companies in France. IRIS is their first Cirque du Soleil show.

François Bergeron – Sound Designer
François Bergeron is a long-time collaborator with Cirque du Soleil. Since 1990, he has worked in Europe, Asia and North America for numerous museums and producers of variety shows, plays and musicals, including Peter Pan, starring Cathy Rigby, which toured or ran on Broadway from 1997 to 1999. He created his own company in Los Angeles that produces shows worldwide, including in Asia and the Middle East. François Bergeron took part in the creation of the Tokyo DisneySea theme park in Japan for Walt Disney Entertainment.

Boris Verkhovsky et Shana Carroll – Acrobatic Performance Designers
A former athlete in the Russian Men’s National Team in Sport Acrobatics, Boris Verkhovsky immigrated to Canada from Byelorussia in 1978 following studies in physical education and sports (specializing in coaching). Later, he became head coach of the Canadian National Trampoline and Tumbling Team and, in 1993, was approached by Cirque du Soleil to consult on a proposed act for the show Mystère. Boris Verkhovsky was named head coach of acrobatic training and is currently director of acrobatic performance and training at Cirque du Soleil. He also contributes his expertise to the design of acrobatic acts for new shows. This is his first Cirque du Soleil show as an Acrobatic Performance Designer.

Pierre Masse – Acrobatic Rigging and Equipment Designer
Pierre Masse’s career spans just about every genre of the performing arts. He was involved in major productions with the Opéra de Montréal, the Grands Ballets Canadiens and Céline Dion as well as a production of Les Misérables. He has collaborated with Cirque du Soleil since 1996 and took part in the creation of Quidam, Varekai, Zumanity, KÀ and CRISS ANGEL Believe. This is Pierre Masse’s second Cirque du Soleil show as Acrobatic Rigging and Equipment Designer following TOTEM.

“We are thrilled to have found such a spectacular home in LA,” said President and CEO of Cirque du Soleil Daniel Lamarre. “The city is at the forefront not only of film, but music, architecture and art as well. It is our hope that IRIS will be a welcome addition to Hollywood as a destination for visitors. “

IRIS features a cast of over 72 performing artists from all over the world and will be presented exclusively at Kodak Theatre next summer.

Tickets information
Tickets are currently on sale for parties of 12 or more through Cirque du Soleil group sales by calling 877-504-7164.

For advance ticket information, join Cirque Club at www.cirquedusoleil.com.

For Preferred Seating and other American Express® Cardmember benefits, please visitwww.cirquedusoleil.com/amex.

Sponsors
Infiniti and American Express are the official sponsors of this new production.

HOLIDAY ENCHANTMENT SPARKLES AT DISNEYLAND RESORT WITH FIREWORKS, PARADE, SNOWFALL KICK-OFF TO THE HOLIDAYS

City Life News

Holiday Enchantment Sparkles at Disneyland Resort With Fireworks, Parade, Snowfall Marks Weekend Kick-Off CelebrationHeartwarming Favorites Make Spirits Bright
At Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks
ANAHEIM, Calif. When it comes to enjoying the magic of the holiday season with family and friends, there’s no place like Disneyland Resort. The holidays will shine brightly throughout the resort which kicked off on Sunday and will run through Jan. 2, 2011, as guests create memories for a lifetime.

Guests will enjoy the return of Disneyland Resort’s most popular offerings, including special holiday versions of “it’s a small world” and Haunted Mansion, along with “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, colorful holiday décor and a nightly snowfall on Main Street, U.S.A.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Other holiday highlights at Disneyland will include the traditional snowdrifts and icicles adorning Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle. After dark a sensational holiday lighting and special effects show will carry the magic of the holidays from the castle all the way to the Christmas tree in Town Square.
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The 60-foot-tall Disneyland Christmas tree is specially designed to present a nightly holiday light show like no other with more than 62,000 energy-efficient LED lights.
The Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle presentation unfolds throughout the evening in three acts, each of them featuring a touch of winter snow on Main Street, U.S.A. The finale of the show includes the legendary “Believe … in Holiday Magic” fireworks show, which takes guests on a journey of sights and sounds of the season and ends with a touching rendition of “White Christmas,” along with a climactic snowfall swirling down on Main Street, U.S.A., “it’s a small world” Mall and New Orleans Square.
A holiday tradition in Disneyland is “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, in which Disney characters join together to celebrate the magic of the season. Guests can watch as the characters wrap gifts, bake holiday treats and prepare for the arrival of Santa Claus, who shouts a jolly greeting to spectators along the parade route. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse even take to the ice for some skating fun.
Themed entertainment, sparkling decorations and tasty treats add festive warmth to holiday fun at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Guests also will be able to book guided holiday tours that provide entry into “it’s a small world” Holiday and Haunted Mansion Holiday, reserved seating for the Disneyland “A Christmas Fantasy” parade, a keepsake remembrance, and entertaining information about the history behind Disneyland holiday traditions. For information and reservations guests can visit Disneyland City Hall or call 714/781-4400.
Returning holiday favorites at Disneyland park include:
· “it’s a small world” Holiday transforms “it’s a small world” into a worldwide celebration of the season, boasting more than 300,000 glittering lights on its facade.
· Haunted Mansion Holiday presents a madcap celebration as the traditions of Halloween and Christmas collide. The ghoulish but well-meaning Jack Skellington from the film “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas” has come to Haunted Mansion to transform it with his skewed vision of the holidays.
· Santa Claus and his reindeer will return to greet Disneyland guests at Santa’s Reindeer Round-up in Big Thunder Ranch, Frontierland. Kids and their families will chat with St. Nick and see real reindeer grazing in a corral.Disney California Adventure park celebrates the season with fanciful park-wide decorations and lively entertainment.
· Guests approaching the park will immediately get in the holiday mood as they encounter the iconic “CALIFORNIA” letters transformed to appear as swirling red and white peppermint sticks.
· “a bug’s land” transforms as Flik and his bug buddies spread giant Christmas lights and oversized ornaments throughout their realm.
· The holiday scene along the Paradise Bay boardwalk includes a beautifully decorated Christmas tree and lampposts decorated with seasonal wreaths.
· Santa Claus will greet guests on the boardwalk near Ariel’s Grotto on Paradise Pier.Guests in Disney California Adventure won’t want to miss the other park entertainment, highlighted by the all-new “World of Color” nighttime water spectacular, which brings its own brand of after-dark magic to the Paradise Bay lagoon. Meanwhile, in the entry plaza of Disney California Adventure and the adjoining Hollywood Pictures Backlot district, the immersive “ElecTRONica” nighttime street party will put guests of all ages “on the grid” and into the environment of the new Walt Disney Pictures feature, “TRON: Legacy.” “ElecTRONica” parties take place Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and nightly from Dec. 17 through Jan. 2. “ElecTRONica” will continue into spring 2011.
Also part of the regular Disney California Adventure attractions and entertainment lineup:
· “Pixar Play Parade” is complemented by two new shows: the energetic “dance-off” competition of “Disney Dance Crew” on the Backlot Stage in Hollywood Pictures Backlot, and the rock concert-style “Disney Channel Rocks,” featuring music from Disney Channel movies and series, performed on the Palisades Stage in Paradise Park, alongside Paradise Bay lagoon.
· In Blue Sky Cellar at Golden Vine Winery, the Imagineers’ workshop offers guests a preview of what’s coming to Disney California Adventure, including The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure in 2011.
· Guests along Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure also will enjoy the newly enhanced Toy Story Mania! and Silly Symphony Swings attractions, along with such popular favorites as California Screamin’ and Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

The Downtown Disney district and the Disneyland Resort hotels will join in the merriment with twinkling lights and ornaments, special entertainment and holiday dining. Expanded hours at both Disneyland Resort theme parks will extend the holiday fun. For more information about holidays at Disneyland Resort, visit www.disneyland.com/holidays.
Disneyland Resort features two fantastic theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The resort’s three hotels are the luxurious 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, the magical 970-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its day-at-the-beach fun. For information on new attractions and vacations at Disneyland Resort visit www.disneyland.com, call 866/60-DISNEY or contact local travel agents.

PANTAGES KICKS OFF WEST SIDE STORY NOV. 30TH WITH EXTENDED ENGAGMENTS THROUGH JAN. 2: CLASSIC LOVE STORY SET TO SOAR, BRINGING TO LIFE THE MUSICAL TALENTS OF LEGENDARIES BERNSTEIN AND SONDHEIM

City Life News

Hollywood, Calif. – Broadway/L.A. and the Producers of the national tour of the current smash hit Broadway production of WEST SIDE STORY are proud to announce that, due to popular demand, the show has extended its Los Angeles engagement by two weeks.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Ali Ewoldt stars as Maria opposite Kyle Harris as Tony. Photos by Joan Marcus

Added performances December 21st through January 2nd, 2011 will go on sale to the public on Sunday October 17th at 10am.
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WEST SIDE STORY will begin performances at the Pantages Theatre on November 30, 2010, and will now play a strictly-limited five-week holiday season engagement through January 2, 2011.

Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents’ Broadway direction will be recreated for the tour by David Saint, the Associate Director on Broadway. The original Jerome Robbins choreography is reproduced by Tony Award-nominee Joey McKneely (The Boy From Oz, The Life).

Tickets for previously announced dates are now on sale and may be purchased online atwww.BroadwayLA.org or by phone at 1-800-982-ARTS(2787). Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Pantages Box Office and all Ticketmaster ticket outlets. The Pantages Theatre is located at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard, just east of Vine Street, and the box office opens daily at 10am.
The new Broadway cast recording of WEST SIDE STORY won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album on January 31, 2010. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.”
The new Broadway production began previews at the Palace Theatre on February 23, 2009, opened to critical acclaim on Thursday, March 19, 2009, breaking box office records and going on to recoup its $14 million investment after running only 30 weeks.

Based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, WEST SIDE STORY is set in 1950’s New York City. It follows the doomed love story of two star-crossed lovers from rival gangs – the Jets (a working-class white gang) and the Sharks (first-generation Puerto Ricans). Tony, a member of the Jets, falls in love with Maria, sister of Bernardo, the leader of the Sharks.

WEST SIDE STORY has often been credited with changing the course of American musical theatre. Originally directed and choreographed by Jerome Robbins, WEST SIDE STORY opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on September 26, 1957 and garnered passionate reactions from critics and audiences alike.

Applauding the creators’ innovation in dance and musical style, TIME Magazine exclaimed “Robbins’ energetic choreography and Bernstein’s grand score accentuate the satiric, hard-edged lyrics of Sondheim and Laurents’ capture of the angry voice of urban youth.” New York Times critic Brooks Atkinson described the show as “profoundly moving; an incandescent piece of work where theatre people, engrossed in an original project, are all in top form.” The original Broadway production won six 1958 Tony Awards including Best Musical and Best Choreography. The show ran 732 performances, closing on June 27, 1959.

The motion picture version, directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise, was released in 1961 and starred Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as Maria and Tony, and featured Rita Moreno, recreating the role of Anita, which she had originated in the Broadway production. The film was widely praised by critics, and it won a staggering 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, out of its eleven nominated categories, as well as a special award for Robbins. The film’s soundtrack grossed more than any other album before it.

The cast of the current tour of WEST SIDE STORY features Kyle Harris as Tony, Ali Ewoldt as Maria, Michelle Aravena as Anita, Joseph J. Simeone as Riff and German Santiago as Bernardo. Also featured are Mike Boland as Krupke, Ryan Christopher Chotto as A-rab, Stephen DeRosa as Glad Hand, Drew Foster as Action, Alexandra Frohlinger as Anybodys, Jay Garcia as Chino, Grant Gustin as Baby John, Nathan Keen as Big Deal, Christopher Patrick Mullen as Schrank, John O’Creagh as Doc, Kyle Robinson as Diesel, Cary Tedder as Snowboy.
Rounding out the cast of WEST SIDE STORY are Lauren Boyd, Alicia Charles, Beth Crandall, Dean Andre de Luna, Ted Ely, Lori Ann Ferreri, Ryan Ghysels, Tim Hausmann, Dea Julien, Daniel Kermidas, Kristen Paulicelli, Christie Portera, Erika Santillana, Kevin Santos, Michael Scirrotto, Jeffrey C. Sousa, Jessica Swesey, Kathryn Lin Terza and Kirstin Tucker.

WEST SIDE STORY is written by three theatrical luminaries: two-time Tony Award winner Arthur Laurents (book) and multiple Tony and Grammy Award winners Leonard Bernstein (music) and Stephen Sondheim (lyrics) in his Broadway debut. WEST SIDE STORY features scenic designs by James Youmans (Gypsy), costumes by Tony Award nominee David C. Woolard (The Farnsworth Invention, The Who’s Tommy), lighting by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Gypsy, Jersey Boys), sound design by Tony Award nominee Dan Moses Schreier (Gypsy, A Catered Affair) and hair by Mark Adam Rampmeyer (The Farnsworth Invention).

For more information on WEST SIDE STORY, please visitwww.BroadwayWestSideStory.com.

The Pantages Theatre is located in Hollywood at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard at Vine Street.

The Pantages Theatre engagement of WEST SIDE STORY will feature two performance schedules. From November 30 – December 19, performances will be Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm. The performance schedule for holiday weeks, December 21-January 2, will be Tuesday & Wednesday at 8pm, Thursday at 2pm & 8pm, Friday at 2pm, Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm.

Regular tickets for WEST SIDE STORY range in price from $25 – $90, with tickets for the November 30th preview ranging from $20-$85. Prices are subject to change without notice.

WEST SIDE STORY is produced by Kevin McCollum, James L. Nederlander, Jeffrey Seller with Terry Allen Kramer, Sander Jacobs, Roy Furman / Jill Furman Willis, Freddy DeMann, Robyn Goodman / Walt Grossman, Hal Luftig, Roy Miller, The Weinstein Company and Broadway Across America.
WEST SIDE STORY is presented locally by Broadway/L.A. as the first show of its 2010-2011 Season.
For more information, please visit the Pantages Theatre’s official website:www.BroadwayLA.org.

HOLLYWOOD’S WALK OF FAME CELEBRATES 50TH ANNIVERSARY AMID A ‘CONSTELLATION OF STARS’: GALA, TIME CAPSULE WRAPS YEAR LONG CELEBRATION

By Margie Anne Clark

Hollywood, Calif. – Hollywood luminaries lit up Tinseltown Wednesday during an evening that celebrated the Hollywood Walk of Fame’s 50th anniversary – culminating a year long celebration of Hollywood’s legacy as the Entertainment Capitol of the world.

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Mickey Rooney and his wife Jan address a crowd of fans during the Hollywood Chamber’s 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood and Highland. Photo by Margie Anne Clark/Los Angeles Life and Style

Memories of the storied Hollywood Boulevard were brought vividly to life by stars whose careers spanned the Golden Era of Hollywood. Mickey Rooney and his wife Jan address a crowd of fans during the Hollywood Chamber’s 50th Anniversary celebrations of the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Hollywood and Highland. Photo by Margie Anne Clark Among the celebrity guest speakers was Mickey Rooney, an iconic actor with more than 350 film credits to his name, and four stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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Mickey Rooney and his wife Jan salute guests after being introduced to the crowd during the festivities inside the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom. Photo by Margie Anne Clark/Los Angeles Life and Style

Rooney, a World War II veteran, flanked by his wife Jan at the podium, lauded the Hollywood community for its outstanding achievements in film and television, while giving a nod to U.S. veterans and soldiers. Rooney and his wife salute guests after being introduced to the crowd during the festivities inside the Hollywood and Highland Grand Ballroom. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

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Mark Steines introduces Hollywood’s iconic celebrities. Photo by Margie Anne Clark/Los Angeles Life and Style
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Barbara Eden and David Hasselhoff were among the luminaries who attended the gala. Photos by Margie Anne Clark /Los Angeles Life and Style

Entertainment Tonight’s Mary Hart touched on her 30 year career during the cocktail portion of the evening after being introduced by her ET co-host Mark Steines. Mary Hart, host of Entertainment Tonight addresses guests. Photo by Margie Anne Clark Mark Steines introduces Hollywood’s iconic celebrities. Photo by Margie Anne Clark Barbara Eden and David Hasselhoff were among the luminaries who attended the gala. Photos by Margie Anne Clark Image and video hosting by TinyPic Throughout the evening, celebrities and dignitaries alike, bestowed praise upon Hollywood’s honorary Mayor, the late great and one and only, Johnny Grant, whose work and enthusiasm for all that is Hollwyood was instrumental in the creation of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. The evening of dining, entertainment and celebration recognized all Walk of Fame Star honorees and raised funds for the ongoing restoration and maintenance of the Walk of Fame. The Chamber honored all those who have received stars on the Walk of Fame and invited all who had received their stars to participate this historic event which included the unveiling of a plaque beneath which lies a time capsule which is slated to be opened in the year 2060. A sumptuous fare of dinner was provided by Wolf Gang Puck. Presenting Sponsor for the event was Loreal Paris and the media sponsor of the evening was Entertainment Tonight. http://www.loreal.com/dispatch.aspx? http://www.etonline.com/ http://www.hollywoodchamber.net/ http://www.wolfgangpuck.com/