December 27, 2006
Media City Ballet Company celebrated the close of its fifth season following the performance of "The Nutcracker" on Dec. 10 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Cutting a birthday cake baked to mark the occasion were company principals, including artistic director Natasha Middleton- Kettebekov ; her husband and "The Nutcracker" choreographer and director Askar Kettebekov ; her father Andrei Tremaine , formerly a principal dancer with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo; Ruben Tonoyan , associate director, ballet master and dance coach; Cindy Pease , president of the board of directors; and her husband, Tom Pease , who directed his choir, the Taft High School Vocal Ensemble, during the performance.
December 11, 2004
JOYCE RUDOLPH For this year's "The Nutcracker," Artistic Director Natasha Middleton has added magic to Tchaikovsky's holiday ballet, in two shows on Sunday at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Two illusions from the repertoire of the late Harry Blackstone Jr. have been loaned to Middleton for this weekend's performances. A second-generation magician, Blackstone Jr. traveled around the world performing his 2 1/2 -hour show of illusions during the 1970s and '80s, said Dale Hindman, president of the board of the directors of the Academy of Magical Arts, which makes its headquarters at The Magic Castle in Hollywood.
December 17, 2003
JOYCE RUDOLPH Media City Ballet's "The Nutcracker" showcased the marvelous talents of the Burbank company's principals as well as punched up the humor during Sunday's matinee performance at The Alex Theatre in Glendale. Ellen Rosa was an exuberant Sugar Plum Fairy while Askar Alimbetov made a gallant showing as her Prince Koklash in the Grand Pas de Deux, which was rewarded with a standing ovation. Both executed numerous lifts and consecutive pirouettes with finesse.
October 3, 2002
Janine Marnien Several area arts organizations are a little richer, thanks to awards from the California Arts Council. The council dispersed a total of $4 million in funds to 664 nonprofit organizations statewide, including The Alex Theatre and Pacific Serenades of Glendale and Robey Theatre Company and The Victory Theatre in Burbank. The news came as a surprise to several of the local recipients. "We're particularly grateful because of the huge cut," said Mark Carlson, artistic director at Pacific Serenade, a $4,000 recipient.
July 17, 2002
Joyce Rudolph Ask any entrepreneur what it takes to make a business venture successful and high atop the list will be good communication between all parties involved. With this theory in mind, Thorin Alexander hopes to increase the popularity of local theater by bringing together playhouse owners and audiences to exchange ideas at the free Valley Theatre Symposium on Aug. 3 at Barnes & Noble Booksellers in Burbank. "I would love to get a dialogue going between theater goers and the people who make the decisions at the theaters," he said.
July 4, 2001
Katherine Tolford, Enjoy! GLENDALE -- Jon Bailey will get a fitting sendoff as he retires from his 14-year reign as artistic director of the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles. In his farewell concert at The Alex Theatre July 13 to 15, he'll direct a cast of 161 men in a production of the works of Stephen Sondheim. It's an inside joke because Bailey didn't know who Sondheim was when he joined the chorus, said Brian Wyatt, executive director. "We thought it would be fitting to do a Sondheim concert and come full circle -- the perfect finale for him," he said.