VPAC spring lineup announced

The Valley Performing Arts Center, which opens Feb. 5, boasts acoustics that are ideal for a wide range of performances from folk artist Shawn Colvin to Metales M5, a Mexican brass quintet. The lineup for the VPAC’s inaugural season was announced Wednesday during a press conference with Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communications and CSUN president, Jolene Koester. Photo Credit: Paul Kingsley / Photo Editor

The lineup for the Valley Performing Arts Center’s debut season will feature a broad range of performances.

The assemble, which was announced Wednesday during a press conference at the VPAC, will start off with folk music artists Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright on Feb. 5.

“This season will be remarkable to experience,” said Robert Bucker, dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media and Communications. “New work will be created, new artists will be discovered, and established artists will be celebrated.”

Bucker said the performances will be a reflection of the emerging artistic role of the center in the community.

A variety of musical performances will grace the performance hall, which boasts complex tuning components and acoustics that conform to multiple types of programming.

The center will feature musical stylings from Joel Grey and Marvin Hamlisch, opera vocalist Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Rosanne Cash, conductor Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Mexican brass quintet Metales M5.

The visual arts will also be represented in the spring season with acts like Azure Barton and Artists, Parsons Dance featuring East Village Opera Company and the Russian National Ballet, whose VPAC performance of Swan Lake will be the first stop of their four-month tour.

The performing arts center will also offer a series of lectures that will include columnist and author Arianna Huffington, actress Shirley Maclaine, and comedienne Joan Rivers

“The safest thing I can say about Joan Rivers is that she’s an icon of American Culture,” Bucker said.

Jolene Koester, CSUN president and VPAC executive director, said the season will commence the reality of a dream that the leaders of the university have been anticipating for a decade.

“The courtyard of this facility will serve as a spot where students can spend time and people can gather and contemplate the impact of the arts on their lives,” Koester said.

The VPAC will serve as a public performance building as well as an academic facility with its inclusion of lecture halls, experimental black box theatre, and space for the campus radio station.

Bucker said students will have the opportunity to perform, learn, and work at the innovative center.

Koester added that the center will assist in educating and socializing the young people in the community and give them a better understanding of what the arts can do for society as a whole.

In celebration of the debut season, the VPAC will hold an opening gala, which will be produced by Robert Egan, former producing artistic director of the Mark

Taper Forum. Artists like Brian Cox, Sandra Oh, Tyne Daly, and Monica Mancini will be among the various performers scheduled to participate in the 90-minute show.

Zev Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles County supervisor, said the VPAC is the first performing arts center of its kind to be built in the San Fernando Valley and that the 166,000 square- foot center is a product of the relationship between the public and private parties involved.

“This center will be the crown jewel of the cultural arts community in the valley,” Yaroslavsky said.

The VPAC 2011 spring season will run from Feb. 5 to May 21 with a performance by Broadway artists, Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin. Tickets will be available at the VPAC’s ticket office on the south side of the building.