On the Town: Education gala raises $30,000 for students, Glendale Center Theatre debuts ‘Crazy for You’

‘Crazy for You’ showgirls
‘Crazy for You’ showgirls, from left, Daron O’Donnell and Anna LaMonica pose with Burbank resident Lillian Giese at the Glendale Center Theatre.
(Photo by Ruth Sowby)

Beginning its 66th year, the Glendale Center Theatre premiered its latest musical: “Crazy for You.” It’s full of familiar tunes with music by George Gershwin and lyrics by Ira Gershwin. Sunday’s matinee (Feb. 9) was the show’s debut. Third-generation owner-producer Tim Dietlein greeted his audience. He introduced his children perched on the very top row, Travis and Jaymes Dietlein. Wife Brenda Dietlein sat this one out.

In a nutshell, the story is about a musical within a musical that saves the day as money raised allows the continuation of the theater. Romance abounds — just in time for Valentine’s Day.

A standout is Jason W. Webb playing the lead, Bobby Child. Webb is a triple threat — an outstanding actor, singer and dancer.

Theater lovers applauding the loudest included Jane McVay and Cheryl Hanna from Glendale and Nancy Lark and Lillian Giese of Burbank. Giese is McVay’s mother.


This multigeneration favorite will run through March 30. Don’t miss it.


During their annual Dancing with Diamonds Ball, members of the Glendale Educational Foundation received more than they gave away.

At the Hilton Glendale on Friday (Feb. 8) the donations were generous. On the top of the donor list were members of the Glendale School Board. President Christine Walters presented a check for $150,000 to Laurel Patric, President of the Foundation. Besides Walters, holding a giant replica of the check were Board Vice President Nayiri Nahabedian, Clerk Mary Boger, members Greg Krikorian and Joylene Wagner along with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Richard Sheehan.


Another generous donor was Arturo Sandoval of the Arturo Sandoval Institute. Through the Institute, Sandoval is dedicated to preserving instrumental music in public schools. Sandoval, a jazz trumpeter, pianist and composer, gave a check for $10,000 for the Foundation’s Save the Music campaign. Money from the campaign will fund instrumental music programs in Glendale elementary schools. The fundraising goal is $500,000 this academic year. A good portion of Sandoval’s donation came from the recent Arturo Sandoval & His Big Band performance at the Alex Theatre.

On the giving-away front — each year the Foundation offers two chances to win a half-carat diamond. Hopefuls paid $50 for an empty champagne flute for two chances at the diamonds. The first winner was Dr. Teresa LeVelle Prothero. She teaches music composition at Whittier College and is the PTA President of La Crescenta Elementary School. The good professor better be counting the ring as her official Valentine gift from hubby-honoree Dr. Donald Prothero.

Prothero is one of three Foundation Diamond Awardees of the evening. All honorees are local boys who made good. Prothero, a 1972 graduate of Glendale High School, was recognized for Distinguished Achievement in Science & Technology. He is currently a Research Associate in Vertebrate Paleontology at the Natural History Museum of L.A. County.

Diamond Awardee Patrick McClenahan, 1976 graduate of Hoover High School, received Distinguished Achievement in Visual and Performing Arts. He is President and CEO of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games. McClenahan is also a six-time Emmy winner for sports television. Locally, he was a sports broadcaster at CBS 2/KCAL 9.

Distinguished Achievement in Health & Fitness was awarded to Paul Fejtek. A 1988 graduate of Hoover High School, Fejtek has climbed the Seven Summits, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents. His climbing partner conquering each summit was wife Denise Fejtek. The couple met in geometry class at Hoover High. The Fejteks live in Newport Beach and were recently named by OC Metro Magazine in their annual list of the 25 Hottest People in Orange County.

Considered a hot person in Glendale is Nick Lam. Lam’s Pacific BMW was the presenting sponsor of the gala. He kindly consented to pose for the camera with community activists Paula and Art Devine.

The ball’s expected proceeds of $30,000 will go entirely to Glendale students.



RUTH SOWBY may be reached at