A star-studded concert celebrating the best of Broadway honored The Soraya’s 10th anniversary on Saturday, April 30, and wrapped up a triumphant 2021-22 season. Stage and screen stars Eden Espinosa, Joshua Henry and Megan Hilty performed standards from classic musicals and hits from their roles in “Wicked” and “Hamilton,” in “Broadway Celebrates The Soraya.”
CSUN President Erika D. Beck and former CSUN President Jolene Koester, interim chancellor of the California State University system, also attended the show and festivities, along with elected officials and major donors to The Soraya.
Koester was the driving force behind the creation of The Soraya, which was originally named the Valley Performing Arts Center. Koester spoke to the supporters who gathered after the show, and spoke of how CSUN and The Soraya play a part in transforming lives. “When I come to The Soraya, for me, I see a building that stands for a university that commits itself to its region, a university that commits itself to its students,” Koester said.
Celebrations began in January 2021 to mark the 10-year milestone with a concert featuring virtual performances by Broadway stars Lea Salonga and Mandy Gonzalez, as well as jazz legend Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The live, star-studded anniversary concert was originally scheduled for January 2022, but the resurgence of COVID-19 prompted a brief shut-down of live performances and required the concert’s reschedule.
In recent months, the San Fernando Valley’s preeminent music venue has hosted such acts as the Martha Graham Dance Company, Ballet BC and The Silk Road Ensemble. The Soraya celebrated a return to in-person performances with five free concerts last winter.
Tickets for the 2022-23 season go on sale to the public on July 12 and shows begin in September. Performing artists and events include “An Acoustic Evening with Lyle Lovett and John Hiatt,” the Soweto Gospel Choir and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. A special production by The Soraya will honor American labor leader Dolores Huerta with a celebratory evening of music. “Concierto para Dolores: A Musical Tribute to Dolores Huerta” is set for November. “Treelogy: A Musical Portrait of California’s Redwood, Sequoia and Joshua Trees” was commissioned by The Soraya, with a performance scheduled in February 2023.
More information on the upcoming season can be found online.