CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center to Offer 11 Major Performances in October

John Batiste

John Batiste

Stars of Broadway, New Orleans, Shanghai and several global stops in between will provide a variety of entertaining evenings this month at the Valley Performing Arts Center (VPAC) at California State University, Northridge.

The packed October schedule begins with the Tony Award-winning The Acting Company’s production of “Hamlet” at 8 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, and Saturday, Oct. 5. Founded in 1972 by legendary producer/director/actor John Houseman, The Acting Company has performed for more than 3 million people. Both performances will be in the Plaza Del Sol concert hall.

CSUN will go from the Bard to the banjo on Saturday, Oct. 5, when the Masters of Bluegrass Band, one of the premier groups now performing this American art form, takes the stage. Acclaimed masters J.D. Crowe, Bobby Hicks, Jerry McCoury, Bob Osborne and Del McCoury will bring their passion and creative fire to the VPAC stage.

The next performance “travels” half-way across the globe as Yamato: The Drummers of Japan take the stage on Saturday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. to showcase the ancient art of Wadaiko drumming, and celebrate their 20th anniversary tour, “ROJYOH–the Beat on the Road.” Yamato presents a spectacle of athleticism, precision and astounding musical expertise that fills audiences with what they call “a new vitality and passion for life.”

Grammy-nominated cellist Mischa Maisky and his daughter, pianist Lily Maisky, will add their unique sound to the VPAC repertoire as they perform selections from Beethoven, Mozart, Britten and various Russian romances at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13. During the course of his 25-year career, Maisky has performed with the Vienna, Israeli and Berlin philharmonics and the London Symphony.

VPAC’s second dramatic performance in October will be Plan-B Entertainments’ production of “The Joy Luck Club” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 17. Variety called this production of Amy Tan’s masterpiece “beautiful and full of moving moments.” It tells the story of how familial love survives generational and cultural challenges. This production will also be held in the Plaza Del Sol concert hall.

John Batiste and Stay Human, a modern jazz ensemble noted for its world-class music, high energy and uplifting spirit, makes its Los Angeles debut on the VPAC stage on Friday, Oct. 18, at 8 p.m. Batiste, a talented and well-traveled ambassador for jazz, and his band have already made their mark on New York City’s music scene and are poised to do the same in the West Coast.

One of October’s highlight’s will shine the spotlight on Broadway legend Bernadette Peters, who returns to the VPAC on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. Her appearance in the VPAC last season sold out and drew a standing ovation. Her new performance includes a collection of standards from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and others and will be presented with a full orchestra.

The Silk Road Ensemble will stop at the VPAC during its 15th anniversary tour on Tuesday, Oct. 22, at 7:30 p.m. Founded by Yo-Yo Ma, this iconic collective of internationally renowned performers and composers from more than 20 countries will collaborate on a diverse range of musical and multimedia projects. The Washington Post said about the ensemble, ”Classical music making rarely achieves this combination of spontaneity and superb craftsmanship.”

Country superstar Josh Turner, who has earned numerous Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music and Grammy nominations, will show why he is one of what the Associated Press calls, “the most effective … hard-core country … performers of this generation,” on the VPAC stage on Thursday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Turner has hit the top of the charts with both albums and singles, including “Why Don’t We Just Dance” and “Time is Love.”

October’s VPAC lineup finishes with a weekend of performances by the Shanghai Ballet. The dance company will perform “La Sylphide” on Saturday, Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. and “The Butterfly Lovers” on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 3 p.m. “La Sylphide” is a romantic tale of elusive love, while “The Butterfly Lovers” follows a young couple’s ill-fated romance. The Shanghai Ballet has become one of the pre-eminent international ballet companies in the world since bursting onto the international scene in 1979.

For more information, contact the Valley Performing Arts Center at www.valleyperforming artscenter.org or call the ticket office at (818) 677-3000.

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