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At the Encore Circle’s opening night dinner performance for the 36th season of Palos Verdes Performing Arts, Norris marketing director Chris Gilbert takes a turn at the piano with, from left, board president Abby Douglass; honorary producer Sandra Sanders; the evening\'s sponsor Becky Cool and PVPA executive director Julie Moe Reynolds. (Photo by Meredith Grenier)

As with any good Broadway show, there were laughs, tears, music and poignant moments at the Encore Circle’s Opening Night Celebration dinner for the Palos Verdes Performing Arts’ 36th season. The evening’s star was multi-platinum recording artist Michael Feinstein, who captivated the Norris Theatre audience with his music from the Great American Songbook.

But the evening’s heart rested firmly across the street at the Harlyne J. Norris Pavilion with a pre-dinner, heartfelt welcome by PVPA board president Abby Douglass.

“We are so grateful for your support, and we are dedicating this season to our beloved Dick Moe,” she said, before pretty much losing it. No matter, though, because everyone else in the room had lost it also, including Moe’s daughter, Julie Moe Reynolds, PVPA executive director.

Moe was 90 when he died on July 5 at his home, surrounded by his family. A retired engineer, Moe devoted the last 40 years of his life to the Norris Theatre, now known as PVPA.  As founder and major fundraiser of the Pavilion (a building, used for performances and available for community parties and weddings) he also envisioned the establishment of the Performing Arts Conservatory with drama, dance and vocal classes for area youth.

But of all people, Dick Moe would be the first to insist the show must go on. And so it did. During dinner Jody Kimura and Zach Ford sang hits from the Norris Theatre’s upcoming Oct. 5-7 production of “South Pacific in Concert.” Kimura and Ford will play Bloody Mary and Emile De Becque respectively.

“South Pacific in Concert” is part of the Produced Series, which depends heavily on donations to underwrite the 40 percent of production costs that ticket prices don’t cover.

The 2018-19 season’s major donors, known as Honorary Producers, include Allen Alpay, Myla Azer, Elaine and Ronald Florance, Charlotte and Dr. Allen Ginsburg, Marylyn and Chuck Klaus, Linda and Mel Rowan, Dee and George Schuler and Martha and Don Tuffli. Associate Producers Circle donors are Dr. Ralph Black, Ginny Bleier and Sue and Steve Soldoff.

For 35 years the Encore Circle has provided loyal support to the PVPA. Members are invited to special events and receptions. If you would like to “get into the act,” membership is available for a minimum annual donation of $2,500. For information contact Julie Moe Reynolds at 310-544-0403, ext. 267.

For a list of upcoming productions at PVPA or to purchase tickets, visit palosverdesperformingarts.com.

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