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Segerstrom Center for the Arts thinks big for 25th anniversary season

March 7, 2011 |  5:30 pm

Segerstrom

In September 1986, the institution now known as the Segerstrom Center for the Arts held its first performance in Costa Mesa. Nearly 25 years later, the largest performing arts organization in Orange County is planning a robust lineup for its silver anniversary season that will feature world-premiere productions and nine touring shows, including Broadway's "American Idiot" and "Shrek the Musical."

The season announcement comes amid some encouraging financial news for the center. The Segerstrom Center recently eliminated a deficit of about $1 million accumulated during the recent recession, said spokesman Tim Dunn. The center said it paid off the debt during the current fiscal year.

In the 2008-09 season, the center laid off staff and cut salaries in response to the tough economy.  Most of those overhead reductions have remained in place, Terry Dwyer, the center's president, said in an interview. The center is expecting a number of seven-figure gifts in the months ahead, he said, adding that the center anticipates it will be able to raise "a little more money on an annual basis."

The Segerstrom Center said its net earned income was $25 million in fiscal 2009 and $36 million in fiscal 2010.

The center officially changed its name from the Orange County Performing Arts Center this year, honoring developer Henry Segerstrom and his family, who donated 14 acres of land and $75 million for the center.

In announcing its 25th anniversary season Monday, the Segerstrom Center -- long committed to presenting major dance performances -- will be presenting several new works, including a world-premiere production titled "The Firebird" (March 29 to April 1, 2012), by Alexei Ratmansky and performed by New York's American Ballet Theatre. Other dance highlights include appearances by the San Francisco Ballet (Sept. 27 to Oct. 2), Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo (Feb. 9 to 12, 2012) and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 6 to 11, 2012).

Dancer Diana Vishneva will return to the center in a world-premiere program titled "Madame X" (Nov. 3 to 6).

The center's theatrical offerings will include touring productions of "Shrek the Musical" (Oct. 4 to 16), Blue Man Group (Nov. 8 to 20), "Come Fly Away" (Jan. 31 to Feb. 5, 2012), "Traces" (Feb. 28 to March 4, 2012), "American Idiot ("May 29 to June 3, 2012), "Million Dollar Quartet" (April 24 to May 6, 2012), "Les Miserables" (June 12 to 24, 2012) and "La Cage aux Folles" (July 24 to Aug. 5, 2012).

Songwriter Stephen Sondheim will appear in a conversation (Oct. 29) that will also feature songs performed by special guests. Others making cabaret appearances include Audra McDonald (Oct. 15), Chita Rivera (Nov. 10 to 13), Paulo Szot (Dec. 15 to 18), Steve Tyrell (Jan. 5 to 8) and Andrea Martin (Feb. 16 to 19). 

The center will also host a free concert as part of Pacific Standard Time, the region-wide arts festival organized by the Getty Trust, which will take place Oct. 2.

Keep reading for the full 2011-12 season lineup at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.

International Dance Series

American Ballet Theatre, "The Firebird" (March 29, 2012 to April 1, 2012); San Francisco Ballet (Sept. 27 to Oct. 2), Diana Vishneva (Nov. 3 to 6), Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo (Feb. 9 to 12, 2012) and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 6 to 11, 2012)

Broadway Series and Curtain Up Series

"Shrek the Musical" (Oct. 4 to 16), Blue Man Group (Nov. 8 to 20), "Irving Berlin's White Christmas" (Dec. 13 to Jan. 1), "Come Fly Away" (Jan. 31 to Feb. 5), "Traces" (Feb. 28 to March 4), "American Idiot ("May 29 to June 3, 2012), "Million Dollar Quartet" (April 24 to May 6, 2012), "Les Miserables" (June 12 to 24, 2012) and "La Cage aux Folles" (July 24, 2012 to Aug. 5, 2012)

Cabaret Series

Audra McDonald (Oct. 15), Stephen Sondheim (Oct. 29), Chita Rivera (Nov. 10 to 13), Paulo Szot (Dec. 15 to 18), Steve Tyrell (Jan. 5 to 8) and Andrea Martin (Feb. 16 to 19)

Jazz Series

Sonny Rollins (Sept. 25), The Miles Davis Experience (Oct. 21 and 22), The Spirit of Django (Nov. 18 and 19), Charlie Haden Quartet West (Feb. 18), SFJazz Collective: The Music of Stevie Wonder (March 23 and 24, 2012), Nnenna Freelon and Earl Klugh (April 27 and 28, 2012)

Concert Series

Emerson String Quartet (Sept. 21), Jerusalem String Quartet (Oct. 4), Ebene Quartet (March 3), Mendelssohn Piano Trios (March 25, 2012) and the Pavel Haas Quartet (April 21, 2012)

Off Center Festival

"Chautauqua!" (Jan. 13 to 15), "Ten Tiny Dances" (Jan. 20 and 21)

Free for All Series

Movie Mondays (July 11, 18, 25, 2012 and Aug. 1 and 8, 2012), Pacific Standard Time Concert (Oct. 2), Cameron Carpenter organ recital (Oct. 2)

Family Series

"Muckheap" (Oct. 8 and 9), "The Magic School Bus" (Nov. 4 and 5), John Tartaglia's "Imaginocean" (Feb. 4 and 5), "Dream Carver" (April 14 and 15, 2012), "Farfalle" (April 28 and 29, 2012), "Shopping for Shoes" (Feb. 26 and 27), "Zorro" (March 17 and 18, 2012), "The Man Who Planted Trees" (May 6 and 12, 2012)

Season Bonus Events

National Acrobats of China (Oct. 1), Riverdance (Oct. 28 to 30), Ballet Flamenco Jose Porcel (Nov. 25 to 27), "Cats" (Jan. 17 to 22)

RELATED:

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Dance review: Bolshoi 'Reflections' at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts

'OCPAC' packs it in, changing name to Segerstrom Center for the Arts

 

-- David Ng

Photos: the Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa. Credit: Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times

 


 
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