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Victory celebrates 30 years, Pasadena Playhouse raises money for Haiti, Audra McDonald in concert

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This weekend a local theatre celebrates three decades of quality entertainment, a community raises their voices in song in order to raise money for Haiti, and a celebrated Tony-winning Broadway star is showcased in concert. The Victory Theatre presents 30 Rocks! Live at The Victory – A Variety Special on Jan. 31, Pasadena Playhouse presents Pasadena Playhouse Benefit Concert for Haiti on Feb. 1, and Reprise Theatre Company presents Audra McDonald in Concert on Feb. 1.

30 Rocks! Live at The Victory – A Variety Special, The Victory Theatre Center, Jan. 31
The Victory Theatre Center kicks off its 30th anniversary season with a showcase evening of performance arts ranging from comedy to ventriloquism to song to dance: 30 Rocks! Live at The Victory – A Variety Special, directed by Cate Caplin and hosted by Eric Boardman. Composer/musician Jake Anthony both performs and serves as Music Director for the show.

The show features performances from Tony Award-winning ventriloquist Jay Johnson (Jay Johnson: The Two and Only, Soap), award-winning actress Linda Purl (The Office, Matlock, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer), and singer/actress/songwriter Jan Daley (The Tonight Show, Merv Griffin, Clear Channel's Music of Your Life Spotlight Artist). Other musical performers include Steve Altman, Lou Briggs, Derrel Maury, Pat Hodges, and Betsy Randle. Dance performances are by Bill and Debbie Bartlett, Cynthia Beckert, and Jenn Logan and Scott Tupper.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: 30 Rocks! Live at the Victory – a Variety Special, produced by Maria Gobetti, Kathy Dailey and Mark Rice, and presented at The Victory Theatre Center in The Big Vic Theatre, 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. Jan. 31; reception at 6pm, performance at 7pm. Tickets: $30 general admission, $60 preferred seating. Reservations: 818/841-4404 or at www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org. Running time: unknown.

Pasadena Playhouse Benefit Concert for Haiti, Pasadena Playhouse, Feb, 1
The horror that has descended upon Haiti has not only shocked the world, but has unleashed an outpouring of support from individuals, businesses and communities around the globe. Included in that response is  Pasadena Playhouse, which is hosting a one-night-only benefit concert on Monday, Feb. 1, to raise money in support of Save the Children, UNICEF, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Relief Fund.

Iona Morris directs Pasadena Playhouse Benefit Concert for Haiti, with Gerald Sternbach serving as musical director. There will also be a pre-show raffle, with items donated by theatres and businesses from across Southern California.

Performers for this special event include (in alphabetical order): Erica Ash, James Barbour, Shoshana Bean, Billy Blanks, Jr., Sharon Catherine Blanks, Doug Carpenter, Yvette Cason, Loretta Devine, Michelle Duffy, Geno Henderson, Adam Irizarry, Paulette Ivory, Crystal Starr Knighton, Sharon Lawrence, Ethan LePhong, Dawnn Lewis, Allan Louis, Shannon Stoeke, Angela Teek, Shannon Warne, and Harrison White. All appearances are subject to availability.

“The tremendous artists who live and work in the Los Angeles area have always been incredibly generous with their time and talents, and so willing to offer their gifts in support of those in need,” said Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps. "That is exactly the case with this benefit. I am grateful to them, and so pleased that the Playhouse is able to participate by hosting this event in our theatre. I know that this very gifted group of performers will create an exciting evening of song and dance in support of a vitally important and urgent cause.”

For More Information: A Pasadena Playhouse Benefit Concert for Haiti, produced by Patty Onegan and Ronn Goswick, presented by, and at, Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino, Pasadena. Feb. 1 at 7:30pm. Tickets: $25, $50 and $100. Reservations: 626/356-7529 or www.pasadenaplayhouse.org. Running time: unknown.


Audra McDonald photo by Michael Wilson

Audra McDonald in Concert at Freud Playhouse, Feb. 1
 Television audiences know her as the strong-willed Dr. Naomi Bennett on the ABC Grey’s Anatomy spin-off, Private Practice. But theatre audiences know Audra McDonald as the extraordinary actress and singer who has collected a jaw-dropping four Tony Awards – three of them before the age of 30 (Carousel, 1994; Master Class, 1995; Ragtime, 1998) and a fourth in 2004 (A Raisin in the Sun).

In keeping with its tradition of presenting Broadway stars in a one-night-only concert, Reprise Theatre Company presents Audra McDonald in Concert on Monday, Feb. 1 at 8:30pm, at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse. Previous performers have included Patti LuPone, Carol Burnett, Ben Vereen, Kristin Chenoweth, and Brian Stokes Mitchell.

McDonald was born in Berlin to a musical family, but was raised in Fresno, CA. She received her classical vocal training at The Juilliard School. She upholds prominent, active careers in the theatre, on television, in concert performances and as a recording artist. Audra McDonald in Concert comes in the midst of Reprise Theatre Company’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel, playing Jan. 26 – Feb. 7, also at the Freud Playhouse.

For More Information: Audra McDonald in Concert, presented by Reprise Theatre Company at UCLA’s Freud Playhouse in Macgowan Hall. Feb. 1 at 8:30pm. Tickets: $95, premium seats available. Reservations: 310/954-1595 or www.reprise.org. Running time: unknown.

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