A final quintet of celebrity entertainers has been announced for the San Diego Symphony’s gala Symphony Hall inaugural concert and celebration.
Actor Hal Linden, best-known as TV’s “Barney Miller”; singer-actor Joel Grey; actress Diahann Carroll; dancer Ben Vereen, and mellow rocker Toni Tennille will join the orchestra and previously announced jazz pianist Oscar Peterson and flutist James Galway on stage for the Nov. 2 event.
Symphony President Det Merryman leaked the names last week at a party given for those who have already purchased tickets for the festive fund-raiser. A symphony spokeswoman cautioned that the ducats, at $1,000 a pop, are strictly to buy a plaque on a chair in the new Symphony Hall. The accompanying shindig, in which patrons will be bused from the Hotel Inter-Continental to Symphony Hall and back, is just a fancy thank-you. To date 500 tickets have been sold, and the major marketing of the affair is yet to come, according to gala chairwoman Dorene Whitney.
The inaugural concert’s strong emphasis on popular entertainers makes it a likely bet that long-haired music-making will receive only a passing nod. The evening’s orchestral program has not yet been announced, but music lovers seeking more serious symphonic sounds probably will have to wait for the following week’s opening subscription concert. Then the symphony will play a program of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and the world premiere of “Ceremonial for Orchestra,” a piece commissioned from Bernard Rands, the symphony’s Pulitzer Prize-winning composer-in-residence.
EXTRA: Due to a clerical error, the following nominees for the 1985 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards were omitted from Saturday’s announcement (listed in Sunday’s edition of The Times):
Director: Steve Pearson, “Hedda Gabler,” San Diego Public Theatre. Leading actress: Ann Richardson, “Last Summer at Bluefish Cove,” Marquis Public Theatre. Leading actor: David Ogden Stiers, “London Assurance,” Old Globe Theatre. Supporting actor: Tom Lacy, “Season’s Greetings,” Old Globe. Scenic design: Rob Murphy, “Heat,” UC San Diego Theatre. Costume design: Mary Gibson, “The Time of Your Life,” San Diego Repertory Theatre. Lighting design: Rob Murphy, “Heat,” UCSD Theatre.
In the La Jolla Playhouse’s production of “A Man’s a Man,” Doug Wieselman and not Victor Zupanc was the nominee for new musical score. Actor John Vickery was incorrectly listed Sunday as the nominee for supporting actor in “The Seagull.” Vickery was nominated for his performance in “A Man’s a Man.”
GALLERY GLOSS: For six months, Natalie Bush has been toiling and sweating, building a wall, stripping the hardwood floor, painting and generally overhauling a tiny third-floor room in a one-time Baptist Sunday school building. The building now provides living and studio space for a group of artists. Bush’s “sweat equity” will pay off this weekend when the 16- by 18-foot space opens as the Natalie Bush Gallery, 908 E St. It will be one of three commercial galleries opening Friday night, imbuing 9th Avenue with a festive atmosphere as each gallery holds a reception from 7 to 9 p.m.
The Quint Gallery at 664 9th Ave. and the Patty Aande Gallery at 660 9th Ave. will also open at 7 p.m.
Bush, who is 33, “discovered” her skills as a gallery director a year ago in Santa Barbara when she opened a gallery in her home because she “wanted an artist friend’s paintings in my house, and I wanted him to see where he was with his work.” She found that she loved running a gallery and was exceedingly good at it.
A “detail person” with experience in hotel management, she likes to use her organizational skills to help artists--who generally are less organized, she says. “I love their energy,” she said. “It’s different from a normal person’s: subtle and real powerful. It empowers me.”
Bush will show works by Santa Cruz neon artist Brian Coleman through Oct. 19. Paintings by Los Angeles artist Don Suggs will be exhibited through Oct. 26 at the Quint Gallery, and Los Angeles artist Paul Knotter’s paintings and drawings will be on view at the Patty Aande Gallery through Oct. 19.
OPERA: The Pacific Chamber Opera, which opens Gioacchino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” Friday at Sherwood Auditorium in La Jolla, has taken a cue from theaters in its recent reorganization. “We looked around the country and decided that the only successful theater model in the U.S. is the resident theater model,” said PCO artistic director Gar Hildenbrand.
Regional theaters like the Old Globe and the La Jolla Playhouse, which have multiplied in the last 25 years from less than a dozen to more than 200, have become PCO’s new model--as opposed to its former cooperative organization. “We’d like to emulate their methods as opposed to the way opera works in the U.S., which is often as an offshoot of a symphony,” Hildenbrand said. “We’re looking at doing opera theater rather than a purely musical event. We have five to eight weeks of rehearsals and can offer our performers a chance for building an ensemble performance.”
He hopes that PCO, formed a dozen years ago as the Pacific Lyric Theatre, will develop its own orchestra and company of singing actors. PCO’s long-range goal is a 40-week season with a repertoire that would not duplicate the San Diego Opera’s. In the meantime, more practical considerations dictate programming. This year’s four-opera season has been designed strictly around box-office appeal, to build subscription sales. “The Barber of Seville” will be performed in Sherwood Auditorium at the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art. Other plays include Giancarlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Johann Strauss’ “The Bat,” and Otto Nicolai’s “Merry Wives of Windsor.” Performances of “Barber” are at 8 p.m. Friday and Sept. 20, and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sept. 22.