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Burbank Chorale gives judge something to sing about


For Rudy Diaz, singing with the Burbank Chorale is a change of pace

from his job as a Superior Court judge for the Eastlake Juvenile

Courts near USC.


“We handle the inner city up to Eagle Rock,” he said. “A lot of

things you read about come before us.”

So, singing bass with the 83-year-old chorale has been a great

outlet for the Burbank resident. The group practices once a week


during the year, but this week, it had four rehearsals in preparation

for two concerts this weekend.

Its annual free concert is at 7:30 tonight at the Burbank First

United Methodist Church, 700 N. Glenoaks Blvd. Then, it will perform

with the New Valley Symphony during its annual free holiday concert

at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Hall of Liberty, in Forest Lawn Hollywood

Hills, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive.

As a youngster, Diaz played the saxophone, so he reads music. Now


he is learning to use his voice, he said.

A couple of years ago, his daughter joined chorale and he went to

see her.

“I was impressed,” he said. “The people were having a great time.

I thought, if I would fit in, I’d give it a shot.”

He’s been singing with the group for two years.

What most impresses him is the member’s dedication. Some have been

singing with the group for more than 10 years.


“Many are professionals and sing with other groups,” he said.

“They come every week and work hard, especially before a concert.

It’s kind of inspiring to be with these people who can really sing




Ricky Sun, 23, earns his livelihood teaching ballroom dancing, but

he said he continues to dance the ballet more for pleasure.

Some of the honors he has won for ballroom dancing are first place

in the B Group Chinese Cup Latin Ballroom Dance in 2002 at Star Dance

in Los Angeles and first place in the A Group Latin Dance in the 1999

China Hoipai State Dancing Society Competition.

The Glendale Community College student makes the transition to

ballet Sunday when he debuts with the Media City Ballet’s production

of “The Nutcracker” at The Alex Theatre in Glendale. He’ll play the

Nutcracker Prince.

Born in Beijing, Sun began studying ballet at 4 with the Beijing

Dancing Academy. He gravitated to ballroom dancing and has been

concentrating on that. Until now, he has never danced with a

professional ballet company.

“I love classical ballet so much. This is why I never gave up

ballet. I take ballet classes everywhere,” he said.

He is grateful to Natasha Middleton, artistic director, for giving

him the opportunity to dance the lead role.

She has been patient, he said, helping Sun make the transition. It

hasn’t been easy. Dancing ballroom-style, he said, one must twist the

body at the hip and push the body weight downward.

“But in ballet, you have to concentrate on keeping your feet and

legs turned out and the body has to be perfectly straight,” he said.

Sun doesn’t see himself becoming a professional ballet dancer,

but, he said, ballet is a good base for all dances -- ballroom,

hip-hop, jazz and modern dance.

“I’m going to keep doing it until I die,” he said.

Show times are 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from $18 to $32

and can be reserved by calling 243-2539. The Alex is at 216 N. Brand

Blvd., Glendale.


“Thumbelina,” a musical for the family, opens at 1 p.m. today at

the Falcon Theatre in Burbank.

The book and lyrics of this world-premiere musical are written by

Lori Marshall and Joseph Leo Bwarie, with music composed by Rachael

Lawrence. It is directed by Bwarie.

In search of a husband and her own gardening business, little

Thumbelina journeys through an enchanted tropical island. Singing and

dancing alongside friendly island animals, “Thumb” discovers that to

be happy, you must be true to yourself and follow your dreams, no

matter what your size.

Performances are 1 and 3 p.m. today and 1 p.m. Sunday through Feb.

15. Tickets are $12, $10 for children 12 and younger. The theater is

at 4252 Riverside Drive, in Burbank. For reservations, call 955-8101.


“The Messiah” by G.F. Handel will be presented by the combined

choirs of Holy Family Catholic Church accompanied by a string

ensemble at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The annual Christmas concert is directed by Christian Marcoe, a

member of the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

The Holy Family Children’s Choirs will also perform “Around the

World It’s Christmas,” singing Christmas music in four languages and

presenting a taste of the Spanish, French, English, Polish and

Filipino traditions. Tickets are $10, $5 for students and free for

children younger than 6.

The church is at 220 E. Elk Ave., Glendale. For more information,

call 421-8858.


Benjamin Britten’s “Ceremony of Carols,” celebrating the birth of

Christ, will be presented in a Christmas concert at 7 p.m. Sunday at

Salem Lutheran Church.

Performing are Salem’s adult Sanctuary Choir, Schola Cantorum

children’s choirs and Tintinnabulum hand bell choir. The concert also

will include traditional carols as well as other seasonal music.

The choirs will be accompanied by Marcia Dickstein, harpist; the

Debussy Trio; and Jay Brunot on the organ.

A free-will offering will be received to benefit Glendale’s Food

for Body and Soul ministry to the needy. A reception follows the

concert. Child care is provided for those 3 and younger.

The church is at 1211 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale. For more

information, call 243-3193.


A sampling of music from the 1500s to contemporary pieces will be

performed by the Chancel Choir/Kingdom Singers and an instrumental

ensemble during the Advent concert at 4 p.m. Sunday in the sanctuary

of La Canada Presbyterian Church.

The program includes the eight-part piece by Gabrieli called

“Jubilate Deo.” Monteverde’s Laetatus Sum, a setting of Psalm 21,

will feature soloists Bart Seebach, John St. Marie, Albert Eddy,

Claire Fedoruk, Ellen Kirstein and Tom Malcolm.

Along with Kemp Smeal playing organ and piano, the organist from

the Crystal Cathedral, Chris Pardini, will perform on the


A free-will offering will be taken, and child care will be

provided. The church is at 626 Foothill Blvd., La Canada Flintridge.

For more information, call 790-6708.


A free Christmas musical and narrative titled “The Christmas

Presence” will be presented at 7 tonight at the Glendale Stake of

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1101 N. Central Ave.

The Christ-centered program will feature vocal and instru- mental

soloists, a 50-voice choir and a World War I Christmas story.

Narrating the story, titled “Silent Night, Holy Night: The Story

of the Christmas Truce,” will be actor-director-vocalist Mario Di

Gregorio. Di Gregorio, whose career spans 45 years, was recently

honored by the Glendale Center Theatre for appearing in his 100th

show there.

Among the guest performers will be jazz pianist Karen Cervantes,

who appears regularly at such venues as Jax, the Smokehouse and The

Money Tree. She will be accompanied on the bass by Eugene Wright.

Others performing include Sheryl Carlin, Joe Leavitt, Andrea

Steele-Leavitt, Valerie Nichols, Joe Paur, Mary Ellen Reese-Loose,

Erin Rush, Charlotte Smurthwaite and Michele Weis.

The Glendale Stake Choir is directed by Jan Bills of Glendale, who

is also associate director of the Southern California Mormon Choir.

For more information, call 243-9993.


Glendale Community College Concert Singers will perform a concert

at 4 p.m. Sunday, at the San Marino Community Church, 1750 Virginia

Road, San Marino.

The program theme is “Where There Is Love.” The two main vocal

pieces supporting that theme are “Ubi Caritas” and “Esto Les Digo.”

The program will then move on to holiday music including audience

singalong of Christmas carols.

The musical director is Glenn DeLange. Tickets are $10, $5 for

seniors and students.


The Glendale College Community Orchestra will give a concert at 4

p.m. Sunday in the auditorium.

Theodore Stern is the conductor. The program will include

Mendelssohn’s Scottish Symphony, Sinfonia in B Flat Major by J.C.

Bach, and Violin Concerto (second movement) by Khachaturian.

GCC student Ashot Yeritsyan is the soloist for the Khachaturian

piece, and this year is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian

composer’s birth. Yeritsyan is a full-time adult student at the

college. He had a medical career in Armenia.

Admission is $7 and $5 for students and seniors. The box office

opens one half hour before the concert. For more information, call

240-1000, ext. 5621.


“Um Feliz Natal” (Merry Christmas), a musical in Portuguese, will

be presented by the church choir of Los Angeles Portuguese Adventist

Church at 6 tonight at the church, 1479 Broadway, Glendale.

Admission is free. For more information, call 621-8057.


Recent works on paper by artist Srboohie Abajian of La Crescenta

are featured in her solo exhibition at the La Canada Flintridge

Library. Titled “Impressions in Line,” the exhibit includes

portraits, figures and cityscapes.

Abajian earned her master’s in fine arts in painting at the Art

and Theatre Institute in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1987. She moved to Los

Angeles in 1993. She has continued her studies at the Art Center

College of Design in Pasadena.

She is a member of the Artists’ Union of Armenia and a member of

the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles. She has had her work

exhibited in Los Angeles, Yerevan, Helsinki and at the Leningrad

Academy of Art. Most recently, her work was featured in the Montrose

Verdugo Juried Art Show.

The exhibit runs through December in the Clarke Community Room of

the library, 4545 Oakwood Ave., La Canada Flintridge. For more

information, call 790-3330.


The Associates of the Brand Library and Art Center in Glendale

will have its sixth annual Holiday Arts Festival from 10 a.m. to 8

p.m. today in the indoor gallery section of the library.

More than 25 local artisans will display and sell their original

works, including ceramics, jewelry, art glass, dolls and many other


A number of local musical acts will be featured, including harpist

Brenda Grice-Laue, the Glendale High School Hand Bell Choir and the

Hoover High jazz band.

A raffle of original works donated by participating artists will

be conducted during the festival.

Refreshments and raffle tickets will be available for purchase

during the show. Admission is free. Brand Library is in Brand Park,

1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale. For more information call 548-2051.


The Susan Krebs Quintet is the featured group at the monthly Jazz

Celebrations at 5 p.m. Sunday at the First Lutheran Church, 1300 E.

Colorado St., Glendale.

Krebs has extensive experience in the musical and cabaret

theaters, including her own solo musical revue, “Lunar,” and most

recently, in a contemporary opera, “A String of Pearls,” both in Los

Angeles and at Carnegie Hall.

She is a featured actor in the film, “28 Days.” Her many film and

TV guest star roles include “The West Wing,” “Providence,” “ER” and



Jeffrey Kahane conducts the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in a

concert themed “Holiday Hijinks!” at 8 tonight at The Alex Theatre in


Composer Michael Daugherty will attend the event featuring his

tongue-in-cheek Dead Elvis and Sunset Strip, Kahane will perform

Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, and the concert also features

ragtime music by Scott Joplin and James Reese Europe. Also on the

program is music by Osvaldo Golijov and Igor Stravinsky.

The first 20 Elvis impersonators will receive a free goodie bag.

Tickets range from $16 to $68, with discounts for students,

seniors 65 and older, and groups of 12 or more. Tickets will also be

available at the box office the night of the concerts. The Alex is at

216 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale.


Deana Beasom, 13, of La Canada Flintridge, is playing Clara in

the Pasadena Dance Theatre’s 24th anniversary performances of “The

Nutcracker” continuing at the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium.

More than 70 dancers and guest artists are cast for the

performances. Guest artists are Jodie Gates and Demond Hart

(Frankfurt Ballet) today and Sunday and Julia Ortega (formerly with

the Ballet Nacional de Cuba) and Hesen Weiren (formerly with the Hong

Kong Ballet) Dec. 20 and 21.

Other local company members are Gregory Arakelian of Glendale and

Andrea Beasom and Jessica Luttkus of La Canada Flintridge.

A nonprofit organization founded 45 years ago, this highly

acclaimed company offers a full season of dance throughout the year

under the artistic direction of Cynthia Young and Laurence Blake.

Tickets range from $12 to $35. Performances are at 2 and 7:30

p.m. today; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 20 and Dec. 21. The auditorium is

at 320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel. For reservations, call the box

office at (626) 308-2868.


A Candlelight Tour through the Victorian Doctors’ House Museum,

decorated for the holidays, is planned from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. today

and Dec. 20.

Docent actors from the Glendale Historical Society will be

stationed in all rooms portraying a personality from the past. There

will be live yuletide music and refreshments.

Admission is $1 per person. Tours run continuously.

There will be a bake sale and ornament sale, and only cash and

checks are accepted. The museum is in Brand Park, 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale.

The museum will be closed Sunday and Dec. 21 and 28. For more

information, call 242-4290.



A Noise Within has brought back from last holiday season its

successful “A Wilde Holiday,” featuring fairy tales by Oscar Wilde,

opening this weekend in Glendale.

Tickets range from $26 to $40 and can be reserved by calling

240-0910. The theater is at 234 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale.

A special Victorian Tea to raise funds for the theater’s outreach

and educational programs will be from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21.

Tickets are from $35 to $45 or from $55 to $65 including the show.


The world premiere of Jon Klein’s comedy “Wishing Well” ends

Sunday at The Victory Theatre in Burbank.

It is directed by Maria Gobetti and co-produced by Tom Ormeny,

Robert E. Alschuler, Susan Alschuler and Gobetti.

It’s about a family of strong women and their men. Secrets define

their lives and shocks of discovery force them to change.

Show times are 8 tonight and 4 p.m. Sunday. Tickets range from

$22 to 24. The Victory is at 3326 W. Victory Blvd., Burbank. For

reservations, call 841-5421.


The run of Aaron Sorkin’s military courtroom drama, “A Few Good

Men,” has been extended until Dec. 20 at the Third Stage.

The play is directed by David Blanchard, who also is playing the

role of Lt. Jonathan Kendrick. Co-producing the play are Birdman and

Old Country Productions.

Before the film, the play was on Broadway and even though it went

on national tour, it was never produced in Los Angeles.

Show times are 8 tonight, Thursday and Friday. Tickets are $20,

$15 for students and seniors. The theater is at 2811 W. Magnolia

Blvd., Burbank. For reservations, call 842-4755.


“Late Night Catechism” is continuing in an open-ended run at 7:30

p.m. Sundays at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank.

It was written by Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan. Directed by

Marc Silvia, the interactive comedy features an irrepressible

“Sister” teaching a class of “students” (the audience).

The Falcon is at 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank. Tickets are $25.

For reservations, call 955-8101.


Glendale Centre Theatre is presenting its 38th annual production

of the family musical “A Christmas Carol.”

Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and a host of spirits set the stage for

Scrooge to mend his miserly ways and discover the true meaning of

Christmas. This uplifting production features music, dancing and

colorful costumes that combine to warm your heart during the


Tickets range from $15 to $22. There is a $1 processing fee per

ticket. The play runs through Dec. 23. For reservations, call

244-8481. Glendale Centre Theatre is at 324 N. Orange St., Glendale.

Reservations are also being taken for the New Year’s Eve

production of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple.” Ticket prices for the

shows are $32.50 for the 6:30 p.m. show and $37.50 for the 9:30 p.m.

show. There is reserved seating for the 9:30 p.m. show only. Guests

can choose from the decadent dessert bar and take home a souvenir



The run has been extended to Dec. 21 for Joe Orton’s play “What

the Butler Saw,” produced by Theatre Banshee at the Gene Bua Theatre

in Burbank. Sean Branney of Glendale directs the production.

In a quaint British mental hospital, a string of ill-timed

seductions, ill-conceived exchanges of clothing and ill-minded

psychiatrists unleash a bizarre and hysterical chain of events. Sane

and insane, doctor and patient, and even law and order become

hopelessly confused in one of the great farces of the modern theater.

Show times are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

The theater is at 3435 W. Magnolia Blvd., Burbank. Tickets are

$15, $12 for student, senior and group tickets. For reservations,

call 628-0688.


Arthur Miller’s “The Price,” produced by A Noise Within, will

return for four encore perfor- mances at 8 p.m. Feb. 13 and Feb. 14

and 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 15.

In the attic of a New York brownstone, over-stuffed with furniture

and memories, two brothers, one a retiring cop, the other a

successful surgeon, struggle to come to terms with the past.

Tickets range from $20 to $40 and can be reserved by calling

240-0910. A Noise Within makes its home at 234 S. Brand Blvd.,


* If you have news releases for the 48 Hours column, please call

JOYCE RUDOLPH at 637-3241 or e-mail or fax

them to 241-1975.