Hello Dear Readers, Happy New Year! Let’s dive right in — here’s what we’ll be discussing today:
Ronald Searle • Welcoming Dragons • Kings • Prima Donna
• Toonful • January at the Walt Disney Family Museum
Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra always seems to have the most interesting exhibitions and they’ve got a new one opening this week I definitely want to go see:
Gallery Nucleus is excited to present the world-renowned cartoonist and illustrator, Ronald Searle, for a special solo exhibition. Now 91, Searle, has been an influential figure in the cartooning world since the beginning of the post-war era, his drawings identifiable by their scratchy textures, controlled gestural line quality, and often exaggerated human forms.
Searle also did the artwork for "Scrooge" with Albert Finney
This exhibit features a collection of Searle's published and preliminary works including caricatures, illustrated typography, completed cartoons, and signed lithographs.
The Ronald Searle Exhibit at Gallery Nucleus opens on January 7th, 2012 and runs through January 29, 2012. The opening night reception is scheduled for January 7th from 7:00PM to 10:00PM. The Gallery is located at 210 East Main Street in Alhambra, CA and is open Sunday through Thursday from 12:00PM to 8:00PM, and Friday through Saturday from 11:00AM to 10:00PM. For more information, visit this link.
While you’re in the Alhambra area, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump to head over to the Huntington Library where you can see dragons on the 15th of January:
On January 15th, from 10:30AM to 4:30PM, explore the music, theater, and folk crafts of China in a day-long event celebrating the beginning of the lunar new year season, ushering in the Year of the Dragon. The event is a prelude to The Huntington’s Chinese New Year Festival on February 4th & 5th.
Artists and performers from Jiangsu Province, China, present traditional puppet opera and demonstrate crafts such as inner-painted glass, paper cutting, and sugar sculpture. Dragon dancers and musicians add to the spirit of celebration.
The Huntington Library is located at 1151 Oxford Road in San Marino, CA, For more information, including a schedule of the day’s performances, visit this link.
While we’re on the subject of celebrations of the new year, I’m sure you’ve probably heard of this one already but since it’s new to Disneyland it’s worth mentioning — Three King’s Day. I very much enjoyed last year’s Family Fun Weekends so I am real interested to see if Three Kings Day is in the same vein. There will be special food & Jose Carioca and Panchito are scheduled to show up:
For the first time, Disneyland will observe Three Kings Day as part of the celebration of holidays. Activities will be held at Zocalo Park in Frontierland.
• Disneyland will celebrate Three Kings Day, also known as Día de los Reyes Magos, from 10:00AM to 6:00PM January 6-8, 2012, with special décor, food and entertainment that showcases this Latin American holiday tradition.
• Three Kings Day is celebrated in many Latin American countries as part of the Christmas story. It commemorates the day the three kings (the magi or “wise men”) followed the star to Bethlehem and presented their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
• The Three Kings Day celebration at Disneyland will be centered around Zocalo Park (Spanish for “Town Square”) in Frontierland. Walt Disney envisioned Frontierland as a showcase of America’s Western and Mexican heritage and this celebration will continue that vision.
• Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will appear in Fiesta costumes and other characters will join them: The Three Caballeros: Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Panchito.
• Entertainment highlights include folklorico dance along with musical performances by the Grammy-winning Mariachi Divas.
• Bilingual activity hosts will join children in face-painting, coloring, crown decorating and other activities.
• Special food carts will appear in Zocalo Park for the occasion, serving Three Kings Day treats. The seasonal menu at Rancho del Zocalo restaurant includes tamales and Mexican hot chocolate.
Now if only Disneyland would do a Topsy Turvy Day celebration (kind of the same thing as Three Kings but French) in the Festival Arena with all those old Festival of Fools costumes they have … I’d be one happy camper!
Our next Pressing Matter is for readers in the New York vicinity (or those planning a visit). You have an opportunity to see a performance of Rufus Wainwright’s opera, Prima Donna — and maybe help an opera company stay in business. I so wish I was going to be in New York — I’d be buying my tickets right this very moment. On his website, Rufus writes of the event:
On Sunday, February 19 at 1:30 pm at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), my very first and highly acclaimed opera about the interior life of a singer in the twilight of her career, Prima Donna, will hopefully be having its New York City premiere and subsequent three performances in one of the finest halls in America. But in all seriousness, none of these questions concerning the run are due to the piece or the amazing cast and conductor we have set up, thanks to the New York City Opera, but to some very challenging times that the hallowed opera company itself has been facing very publicly in recent days.
Here it is in a nutshell: there are currently very intense negotiations with the musician's union in terms of the future of the NYCO and if talks break down and there's a strike, the company will likely be decimated, thus leaving the city of New York with only one large opera house where as all the great cultural cities of the world have at least two. Is New York not a great cultural city? Yes, that is a rhetorical question.
Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna, is look at the fine line between fame and failure. The Times London called it, “A love song to opera, soaked in the perennial operatic themes of loss, betrayal, delusion and nostalgia, and saturated in the musical styles of opera’s golden age.” The new production of the opera, directed by Tim Albery makes its U.S. premiere and stars Melody Moore, who received accolades for her performance in last season’s Séance on a Wet Afternoon, singing the role of the once-acclaimed soprano, haunted by her past success and her present reality as she seeks to return to the spotlight.
Performances are scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 19, 2012 at 1:30PM, Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 7:30PM, Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:30PM, and Saturday, February 25, 2012 at 7:30PM at the BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Avenue, Brooklyn. Tickets can be purchased by phone by calling NYCO Ticket Services:(212) 870-5600 (Monday-Friday, 10:00am-6:00pm), or online at this link. To read Rufus’ entire letter regarding the performance, visit this link.
For a nice musical evening a little closer to Disneyland, you need look no further than Kritzerland’s Toonful, an evening devoted to great songs from your favorite animated films:
We’re very excited to announce that in January we are moving to Sterling’s at Vitello’s in Studio City – at Sterling’s we’re on Sunday at 7pm, which enables us to do family-friendly shows like Toonful, which is chockfull of great songs from animated classics such as Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Pinocchio, Toy Story, and others, including some fun obscure stuff (it wouldn’t be a Kritzerland show otherwise). As always, the cast includes some of the best voices in town, and in this all-female cast are some of the loveliest voices that have appeared in animated features as well as musical theatre.
Toonful takes place this Sunday, January 8th at 7:00PM, at Sterling’s at Vitello’s, located at 4349 Tujunga Avenue in Studio City, CA. The show stars Susanne Blakeslee (Forbidden Broadway; 101 Dalmations II, Cruella de Vill) Juliana Hansen (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Beauty and the Beast), Melody Hollis (Broadway: Irving Berlin’s White Christmas), Jane Noseworthy, (Carrie, Reprise’s Carousel; Disney: The Princess and the Frog), Anneliese van der Pol (Broadway: Belle in Beauty and The Beast). For ticket prices and more information, visit this link.
Our last Pressing Matter this week is a list of what’s happening in January up at the Walt Disney Family Museum:
• Saturday January 21 — Mineral King: Walt’s Lost Last Project will be presented at 3:00PM in the Theater: You know him for his SamLand column here on MiceAge/MiceChat. Urban Planner and Community Engagement Specialist Sam Gennawey hosts past Disney CEO and Museum Founder Ron Miller and architect David Price to discuss the innovative (and now-forgotten) year-round mountain resort that was one of Walt’s last major projects. This fascinating program gives context and detail to a remarkable and imaginative destination resort project that Walt assumed was a fait accompli upon his passing, and explains the forces and opposition that led to its ultimate abandonment. Illustrated with rare images, art, photos, archival documents, and film clips; this program offers insight into Walt’s vision at the height of his final career phase.
• The Film of the Month, Third Man on the Mountain, runs January 2 – January 31 at 1:00PM & 4:00PM, daily except Tuesdays, and January 21, 28, and 29. (This film was the inspiration for Disneyland's Matterhorn attraction.)
• On Sunday, January 29th — Perilous Assignment: The Making of Third Man on the Mountain will be presented at 3:00PM in the Theater: Join author, historian, and friend of the Museum Jeff Kurtti as he hosts a screening of the rarely-seen 1959 Walt Disney Presents TV episode “Perilous Assignment.” Promoted as an in-depth study of the art of mountain climbing, this episode of Walt Disney Presents is actually an extended promotion for the then-upcoming theatrical feature, Third Man on the Mountain. Although the stars of that film (including James MacArthur and Michael Rennie) appear, the real hero of the proceedings is French mountain climber Gaston Rebufatt, who functioned as the guide and second-unit director for the film while the company was on location in and around Zermatt, Switzerland.
• On Saturday, January 21st — Portrait Drawing Demonstration — Takes place from 1:00PM to 2:30PM in the Main Lobby: Bay area artist, Felicia Forte, will demonstrate the art of portraiture. As she draws from a live model, Ms. Forte will discuss the challenges and rewards of capturing the beauty of the human face. The inspirations for this amazing demonstration are the portrait drawings of Diane and Sharon Disney that were created by Norman Rockwell circa 1942.
The Walt Disney Family Museum is located at 104 Montgomery Street, in The Presidio of San Francisco, in San Francisco, CA. For more information about the museum, program prices, and to purchase tickets, visit this link.
And that, as they say in the movie biz, is a wrap.
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