Reach for Stars PVPA gala

Members of the gala committee included Charlotte Ginsburg, Julie Moe Reynolds, Becky Cool and Abby Douglass. Members not shown include Greg Forbess, Ashley Barraco, Chris Gilbert and Melissa Mollo. (Photo by Ed Krieger)

True to the theme, “Reach for the Stars,” the annual gala for Palos Verdes Performing Arts, was a star-studded, glittery, show biz affair.

The “stars” were PVPA’S major donors, many of whom have supported the theater for all of its 36 years.

Today the PVPA has grown to include:

  • The 450-seat theater – known as the “jewel of the South Bay;”
  • The adjacent Pavilion, where hundreds of private parties and weddings and performances have taken place;
  • And the Conservatory – an acting, singing and dancing school.

“Reach for the Stars is an apt metaphor for what we seek every day here,” noted Julie Moe Reynolds, executive director. “As we look ahead to season 37, we remember those who have tirelessly helped PVPA become a shining standard for the Peninsula’s cultural development.”

Today many loyal donors continue to support the theater with significant contributions.

“Tonight we make a wish on you—our stars of the night, that we might continue to burn brightly for many years to come,” Reynolds said

As she spoke a dramatic spotlight traversed the star-studded Pavilion’s banquet room, which had been turned into a starry night by board president Abby Douglass and Reynolds, complete with glittery crystals and centerpieces of pink roses and gerbera daisies.

Among the Theater’s Nova sponsors were:

  • Becky Cool and Steve and Lisa Hanson;
  • Galaxy table sponsors Dr. Allen and Charlotte Ginsburg;
  • Alfredo and Beatrice Sheng;
  • and Sandra Sanders.

Cosmos table sponsors included Sandy Behrens and Ray and Diana Martin, along with Myla Azer.

Maude Landon was on hand with her husband, Aaron. She has been on the board for at least 30 years. “Special thanks to Harlyne and Ken Norris and Joan Moe that we have a wonderful venue to enjoy theater in our own backyard,” she said.

The event replaced the annual Norris Valentine Ball, explained Chris Gilbert, sporting a polka dot tie and velvet jacket. “We are entirely nonprofit and our ticket sales are a relatively small percent, so we really count on our generous donors.”

Following a filet mignon and grilled shrimp dinner, guests were treated to a fantastic performance by four principals from the Broadway cast of the musical “Jersey Boys” – J. Robert Spencer, Daniel Reichard, Christian Hoff and Michael Longoria, backed up by a five- piece band.

Former classical music critic Chuck Klaus, on hand with his wife Marylyn, had a smile on his face the entire performance, while Ray and Diane Martin were rockin’ in their chairs to “So Happy Together.”

Other Norris regulars including Steve and Sue Soldoff, Ginny Bleier, Dave Diestel, Pam and Jim Hill, Jackie Crawlie and others grooved to “Walk Like a Man.”

Steve and Maryann Moe and their friends couldn’t help leaping to their feet to dance to “All You Need is Love.”

Marian Ruth said it was one of the best Norris benefits ever, as Charlotte Ginsburg led a conga line at the concert’s end.

In this atmosphere, it’s no wonder that they raised $41,500 in a “Raise the Paddle” auction in lieu of a silent auction following the show. More checks came in later, adding to the evening’s Paddle auction.

In addition, the Norris Pavilion is adding personalized tiles to the commemoration terrazzo tile floor in the Pavilion’s entryway or lobby. For a $5,000 donation a family or company can have a permanent tile on the entryway, and for a $10,000 gift, personalized tiles are available inside the doors.

The 37th season is jammed with fantastic shows, opening with the Texas Tenors and a 30-piece orchestra on Sept. 14.

Other season highlights include:

  • “Evita in Concert,”  Sept. 27-29;
  • “The Who’s Tommy in Concer,t” Jan. 24-26;
  • “DBS – America’s Favorite Tribute to Journey,” Feb. 29;
  • “Tribute to Benny Goodman,” March 15, 2020;
  • “West Side Story” – April 24-May 3, 2020;
  • Aerial feats and acrobatics in the spectacle of “Aureum,” May 29, 2020;
  • And “Jack Wright’s Tribute to Neil Diamond,” June 7, 2020.

For information call 310-544-0403.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.