Category Archives: Special Events

SINGER RACHEL LORIN TO DEBUT NEW MUSIC IN BI-COASTAL SHOWS AND LIVE-STREAM EVENT

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS)  — MARCH 25TH, 2019 — NY based Singer Rachel Lorin, known for her charting song “I Hate You”, today announced bi-coastal shows and a live stream event in support of her new full-length album “Worship The Unbroken” due to be released later in 2019. The first single, “Under My Skin” will soon debut with an accompanying video.

LIVE STREAM THROUGH RYouLive (www.ryoulive.com) LA Show AT THE WHISKEY A GO GO, April 3, 8PM NY Show AT BERLIN UNDER A, April 11, 7PM

The LA show takes place Tuesday, April 3 at 8pm, PST at LA’s iconic club The Whisky A Go Go.  The show will be Live-Streamed Worldwide via RYouLive (www.ryoulive.com).  Rachel’s NYC show will be the following week on April 11, 7pm ET at Berlin Under A.

The live shows and streaming event will be offered free.RYouLive is also available via free download at iTunes or Google Play.

The upcoming album, produced by award-winning Producer Kane Churko of the Hideout Las Vegas (Ozzy Osbourne, Papa Roach, Modern Science, In This Moment, 5 Finger Death Punch) represents a musical departure, moving Lorin away from her Hard Rock past into a unique Rock/Alternative/Pop feel.  All songs were written by Rachel Lorin, Rob Endling, Curtis Martin, and Kane Churko.

Drawing on influences as diverse as Muse and Panic! at the Disco. the 10-song album combines Rachel ’s multi-octave vocal power with complex musical layering for a sonic experience.

Rachel has toured extensively over the last few years and will be announcing new dates soon with the yearly Wisconsin Rock Fest already booked for Summer 2019. Rachel will share the festival stage with bands such as Evanescence, SKILLET, Marilyn Manson and others.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Rally To Condemn anti-Semitism & Racism

The Saban Theater photo by Dustin Brown

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — LOS ANGELES — The Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre will hold a Rally To Condemn anti-Semitism & Racism. It will be led by Rabbi David Baron. Holocaust Survivor Bill Harvey, and Leon Bass Jr., son of WWII liberator of Buchenwald Concentration Camp, the late Leon Bass will join the Rabbi on this special night. The Shared Heritage of Freedom Shabbat Service will be held just before the Rabbi’s sermon, “Jew Hatred: It’s Back – But It Never Really Left – It Only Morphed Into Anti-Zionism.”

Rabbi David Baron said, “In light of the recent resurgence of deplorable acts of anti-Semitism, the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre will be holding a Rally To Condemn anti-Semitism & Racism. Newcomer Representative Ilham Omar of Minnesota, a Somali-American, sent a tweet last week implying Congressional support for Israel has been bought by money from the lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Meanwhile, teen students from Newport Harbor High School in Newport Beach, CA, with a Nazi salute, hailed Swastika shaped beer cups during a drinking game at a private home party; the video went viral. And in Belgium at the recent Aalst Carnaval, a float depicted two huge puppet caricatures of Orthodox Jews standing on bags of money, with a synagogue façade in the background; Pascal Soleme, who wrote the float’s theme song about ‘bulging coffers’ and who works for the Aalst Police Department, thought the float was funny. These outright anti-Semitic acts of racism have no rightful place in a world where tolerance and understanding of all humankind should prevail.”

Rabbi David Baron from the Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts

The Rally To Condemn anti-Semitism and Shared Heritage of Freedom Shabbat Service, which begins at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2019 is FREE, and open to all members of the public to attend. Free Parking is available after 5:00 p.m. at La Cienega Tennis Center, 325 South La Cienga Boulevard, at Gregory Way, one block south of Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

Check out the website for Beverly Hills Temple of the Arts here.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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The CAA Pre-Oscars Party with Absolut Elyx

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — FEBRUARY 22ND, 2019 — It was Pre Oscar party time Friday night with Absolut Elyx at the San Vicente Bungalow. Hollywood’s biggest stars and film elite turned out to celebrate the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Katy Perry and friend attend the CAA Pre-Oscar Party with Absolut Elyx on Friday, February 22, 2019 in at the San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood, California.
(Photo: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages)
Willem Dafoe and Giada Colagrande attend the CAA Pre-Oscar Party with Absolut Elyx on Friday, February 22, 2019 in at the San Vicente Bungalows in West Hollywood, California.
(Photo: Benjamin Shmikler/ABImages)

Guests spotted at the event included Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Gerard Butler, Glenn Close, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mick Jagger, Mark Ronson, A$AP Rocky, Chris Evans, Eva Longoria, Oliver Stone, Roland Emmerich, Ted Sarandos, Ron Howard, Willem Dafoe, and more.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Mark Ronson’s ‘Club Heartbreak’ Grammy Party with Absolut Elyx

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — FEBRUARY 10TH, 2019 — Sunday night at Oil Can Harry’s was the location of the hottest Grammy party in town. Pop superstars and music heavyweights gathering for industry icon Mark Ronson’s ‘Club Heartbreak’ Grammy Party with Absolut Elyx.

Lady Gaga attends Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )
Mark Ronson and Lady Gaga attend Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )

British producer, performer and songwriter, Ronson, has been one of the most talked-about artists this award season, having written and produced the soundtrack for critically-acclaimed motion picture A Star Is Born alongside Lady Gaga. Ronson was nominated for three Grammy awards – including Song Of The Year for ‘Shallow’ with Lady Gaga – and took home the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media. Ronson’s current single with multi-platinum-selling recording artist Miley Cyrus, ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’, represents his third entry on the Billboard Hot 100 and was the inspiration behind the evening’s festivities.

Miranda Dickson (L) and Mark Ronson attend Mark’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )
Krista Reischl (L) and Dawn Miller attend Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )

A VIP guestlist of industry elite sipped on specialty cocktails by Absolut Elyx, with names like Electricity, Silk City and Heartbreak Era, the latter being a bespoke recipe masterfully created with Absolut Elyx vodka, coconut, pineapple, ginger, lime and champagne by the expert team of Absolut Elyx mixologists. The first guests to arrive were pop sensations Katy Perry, who wore a gorgeous off-the-shoulder gown and swept back blonde do, and Charli XCX, wearing a leather dress complete with studded detailing. Troye Sivan pulled up to the entrance shortly after, wearing an oversized unbuttoned shirt.

Lady Gaga and Baz Luhrmann at Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )
Questlove on the red carpet at Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )

Around 11pm Lady Gaga made a typically grand entrance wearing a black bralette and hot pants with a striking bedazzled jacket draped over her shoulders. Longtime Ronson collaborator and fellow Brit Adele arrived moments before and was seen chatting with Gaga and Perry until the early hours of the morning.

Katy Perry attends Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )
Charli XCX at Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )
Troye Sivan attends Mark Ronson’s Club Heartbreak Grammy Party, sponsored by Absolut Elyx on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx )

The evening came to a dizzying pinnacle of excitement around 11pm when the man of the hour, Ronson himself, jumped on the DJ decks to spin a mix of his famous tracks – both old and new – to a dancefloor alive with elated party guests. The set started with a remixed rendition of the hit track he helped write ‘Shallow’ – with Gaga dancing on stage beside him.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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BASIC Magazine & H.E.R. Pre-Grammy Party

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — FEBRUARY 9TH, 2019 — On Friday evening, BASIC Magazine threw an intimate pre-Grammy party at the private residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx, to celebrate 5-time Grammy nominee H.E.R.

H.E.R. attends Basic Magazine and H.E.R. Pre-Grammy Party at the Private Residence of the CEO of Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx)

R&B artist H.E.R., nominated in 2019 for 5 Grammy Awards including Album of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best R&B Album of the Year, arrived wearing a black printed jumpsuit high patent black heels. Issues of the latest BASIC magazine were scattered throughout the exquisitely designed private home, which feature H.E.R. in an 8-page spread. See amazing behind-the-scenes footage of the shoot here. Guests sipped on specialty cocktails by Absolut Elyx, all appropriately named after H.E.R. hit songs and albums including, “Breakthrough,” “Lights On,” and her favorite, the “Anti-Star”, which is made with Absolut Elyx, coconut liqueur, pineapple syrup, lime juice, ginger juice, and champagne.

H.E.R. (L) and Ty Dolla $ign attend Basic Magazine and H.E.R. Pre-Grammy Party at the Private Residence of the CEO of Absolut Elyx (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx)
(L-R) Lisa Wayne, BASIC Magazine founder and Editor-in-Chief Viktorija Pashuta, Jesse J and BASIC Magazine CFO, Producer and Partner Jackson Chong attend Basic Magazine and Pre-Grammy Party

Jake Miller arrived early in the evening with a group of friends and was seen at the bar laughing and enjoying drinks. Snow Tha Product arrived and was seen in all black with a white off-the-shoulder jacket. The ever-stylish Lady Victoria Hervey looked head-to-toe flawless in a slim fit black leather dress. Shamier Anderson and Stephan James chatted with H.E.R. inside at the Mermaid Bar. BASIC magazine Publisher & Editor-in-Chief,Viktorija Pashuta, and BASIC CFO & Partner, Jackson Chong,were spotted mingling with their latest BASIC magazine subject. H.E.R.


Just after 11pm, H.E.R. and her band took to a makeshift dance floor in the decadent Martini Room as guests sang along to their jams and swooned to the tunes of her hit track “Focus”. Stanajgrabbed the mic to sing along with H.E.R. in the middle of the crowd, watched by Ty Dolla $ign, Jermaine Dupri, and others.

(L-R) Snow Tha Product, Polo Molina, guest, Stanaj and Ty Dolla $ign attend Basic Magazine and H.E.R. Pre-Grammy Party at the Private Residence of the CEO of Absolut Elyx on February 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images)

Leave it to BASIC magazine to throw yet another amazing party that guests will talk about until the next one…

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Westfield Santa Anita Unveils Piggy Bank Sculpture in Honor of Lunar New Year

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — JANUARY 29, 2019 — Westfield Santa Anita brought in the Year of the Pig with its seventh annual Lunar New Year celebration. On Tuesday, Jan. 29, Westfield kicked off celebrations with a preview of activities surrounding Westfield Santa Anita’s Lunar New Year festival.

Ian Carter, General Manager of Westfield Santa Anita General Manager (second from left), Chun-Yen Chen (fourth from left), Mayor Sho Tay (center),Executive Director of Asian Pacific Community Fund Hoi Luk (right), COO of First General Bank Retailers

Westfield Santa Anita unveiled a larger than life Lunar New Year “flying piggy bank” statue in honor of the Year of the Pig. There was a blessing ceremony for the installation. Artist, David Flores was on to speak to the press.

Ms. Chun Yen Chen of APCF giving the first donation to the piggy bank sculpture
Mayor Sho Tay (Center), Ms. Chun Yen Chen (left) of APCF, and Ms. Nicholle Brang (right)of Nordstrom’s giving the first donation to the piggy bank statue

This year, Westfield Santa Anita’s Lunar New Year celebrations hope to bring a modern fusion to the Center’s annual traditional event. On Feb. 2, the shopping center will host a live concert series of Asian contemporary musical and dance performances, Lion Dances, “red envelope” decorating, Lunar New Year themed artwork, as well as promotions and treats from Santa Anita’s shops and restaurants.

City of Arcadia Mayor ~ Mr. Sho Tay making the first donation  to  the flying piggy bank sculpture at Westfield Santa Anita
Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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6th Annual Love Your Body Fashion Show

Los Angeles based designer and boutique owner Karen Michelle in association with LYB Events, Destiny Candle, Madam Norma Jean, Mickey Fine Pharmacy and Grill, Softweb America, Cali Distillery, Jackels Collection Beverly Hills, Aleksandra Kulmaticki JP Morgan, Coco Taps, Annipuf, and LRM Publicity present the “6th Annual Love Your Body Fashion Show and Shopping Event.” This much anticipated event is the event of the season and has over a thousand RSVPs!

Love Your Body red carpet

Press check-in is 3:00pm, the Red Carpet starts right on the dot 3:05pm and the Fashion Show starts at 4:00 pm. Confirmed celebrity runway models include: Chloe Noelle (True Blood, & New Girl), Jordyn Curet (Bizaardvark, Child Support ABC), Calah Lane (Kidding), Somali Rose (Raven’s Home), Emmy Perry (Mermaids are Real), Kiana Lyz River (Miss SD Plus America), Kennedy Madison (Seize the Moment), Zaria Kelley (Mirrors), Stacia Gates (Artquench), Samantha Gangal (OMG!), Brooklyn Robinson (Pineapple), Isabella Leon (The Good Church), Ainsley Ross (Should I do it?), Kacey Fifield (Game Shakers), Mahkenna Tyson (A Father’s Journey), ELS (Second Chance at Faith), Natasha Blasick (Jean Claude Van Johnson), Terri McDonald (KTLA 5 Morning News), Tara Cardinal (Spreading Darkness), Nataliyajoy Prieto (Spreading Darkness) among others. Confirmed celebrity guests for the red carpet include: Marcus LaVoi (Den of Thieves), Laura & Sarah Bellini (Trust), Jax Malcolm (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Connor Dean (9-1-1), Alyssa De Boisblanc (Modern Family),Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project), Neil D’Monte (Batman v Superman), Laura Sharpe (Founder and President of Artists For Trauma), Stephanie Rachel (Director of Social Media, Artists for Trauma), actress/models Vanessa Osman, Janelle Hinshaw, Cassandra Tang, Lilian Raven (Founder of Lilian Raven clothing), Kiaundra Jackson, Monica Zaragoza (Ms. California Elite World), Dr. Dawn Mooney (Miss California Alta Dena 2019), Kendal Brenneman (Model/Actress), Matt & Mark Harris (Storage Wars), and many more.

Karen Michelle
Young models at the event. Photo courtesy of SHX photo
Laura Sharpe, Photo courtesy of Michael Bezjian/Gettyimages
Model Vanessa Osman. Photo courtesy of Kevin Boot Photography
Model Janelle Hinshaw. Photo courtesy of Kevin Boot photography

About Love Your Body:

#LYBevents is a beauty festival designed to empower all women and girls of all shapes, sizes, ages, and ethnicities. This one-day event will host celebrities, social media influencers, fans, and brands to celebrate, “All Things Beauty Inside and Out!” The full event runs from 10:30am- 6:00pm includes shopping, celebrity fashion show, and dessert party. The celebrity host(s) for #LYBevents are Vida Ghaffari (The Mindy Project), Kiana Lyz Rivera 2019 Miss San Diego Plus America, Melody Trice (The Melody Trice Show). Featured Designers include: Karen Michelle, Jinza Bridal, Klara Designs, Orange Creek, Melanie Henderson, Stella & Dot, Papillon, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Graffiti Gloss, Sophii Michii, Pinky Rose, Madam Norma Jean, More Rockin, and Bubblegum Shoes. Honorary charities include: Artists for Trauma, Safe Passage, Jewish Queer International and Sharsheret. #LYBevents

More info here:

https://loveyourbodyevents.com/

About Karen Michelle:

Karen Michelle is a noted fashion designer and retailer on fashionable Robertson Boulevard in Los Angeles that caters to women and girls of all sizes and shapes. She felt the desire to enable women and girls of all sizes and shapes to feel beautiful inside and out and decided what better way than to let them all walk a runway. She came up with the concept of her “Love Your Body” event 6 years ago and went out on a mission to make her dream event and fashion show into a reality.Over the years, Karen has grown her “LYB” event from 100 attendees to well over 600 with countless celebrities in attendance walking her red carpet and even making appearances in her runway shows. Karen chooses a very special charity to involve for each and every event. Karen takes great pride in being able to give back to the community and continues to do so in her own whimsical and eclectic fashion creations catering to modern, modest women and girls around the world. She also has a popular line called Destiny Candle by Karen Michelle that she created that has been featured on the Ellen Show, The Hallmark Channel and many other media outlets. 

More info here:

https://www.karenmichelle.com/

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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LOS ANGELES COMIC CON ~ 2018

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — The Hollywood Press Corps got a chance to cover the 2018 Los Angeles Comic Con! We assigned our two top photographers to look for the best costumes and get a few photos of each genre. With so many subjects to cover, we decided to look out for comics, gaming, horror, anime, film and television! Long time Los Angeles photographers Alex Kluft and Ellen Zuckerman were shooting photos and meeting all of the attendees at LA Comic Con 2018!


More than 100,000 people joined Los Angeles Comic Con at the Los Angeles Convention Center. There were so many artists, vendors, people selling comics and collectibles, art, toys, apparel, and everything in-between. There were also events, and meet n’greets throughout the day.


Los Angeles Comic Con is for the fans! There are opportunities to see celebrities, meet other fans and see some of the most amazing cosplay costumes ever assembled in one location. The Hollywood Press Corps was honored to cover this amazing event. We look forward to Los Angeles Comic Con 2019!

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Dita Von Teese Celebrates her Birthday at the Private Residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS)  Los Angeles, CA — Saturday, September 29th, 2018 — Dita Von Teese celebrates her birthday with an intimate star studded themed birthday at the private residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx. Themed the “Fun’dos and Fondue”  birthday party, guests wore a stunning array of wigs, hairpieces and outfits for the glamorous party. Dita arrived in a Marie Antoinette inspired outfit with a towering white wig and jeweled bodice. Adding to the glamor was the Elyx Salon, with brightly colored wigs, glitter and make up for guests to get touch ups and extra glammed!

Lauren Parsekian (L), Aaron Paul (M) and Dita Von Teese (R) at Dita Von Teese Celebrates her Birthday at the at
the Private Residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx on September 29, 2018 in Los Angeles. Photo by Gabriel Olsen, Getty Images

Aaron Paul enjoyed the Elyx salon and playfully wore a white cropped wig and then kept it on for the rest of the night. He was there with his wife and had fun posing for photos with his close friend the birthday girl Dita. Close to midnight, a five-tiered birthday cake was delivered to the Gatsby Room of the Elyx house and guests gathered to sing happy birthday to Dita.

Aaron Paul (L), Dita Von Teese (M) and Lauren Parsekian (R) at Dita Von Teese Celebrates her Birthday at the
Private Residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of Absolut Elyx on September 29, 2018 in Los Angeles. Photo by Gabriel Olsen, Getty Images

Throughout the night, guests enjoyed specialty themed cocktails including the Filthy Dirty Martini, the Iced Jasmine Teese, the Tight Lacer and the Cherry on Top, all suitably inspired by Dita’s long running reign as the international Queen of Burlesque.

Dita Von Teese at Dita Von Teese Celebrates her Birthday at the Private Residence of Jonas Tahlin, CEO of
Absolut Elyx on September 29, 2018 in Los Angeles. Photo by  Gabriel Olsen, Getty Images

Earlier this year, Absolut Elyx announced a partnership with the fashion and burlesque icon for the ‘Dita Von Teese and the Copper Coupe’ show, her new national and international tour. The new show now features many glittering new copper elements throughout the all inspired by Absolut Elyx and the unique copper distilling process for the luxury vodka. New copper infused acts include the Dita appearing in a giant-sized copper seashell on stage with 1,200 pearl balloons that float from the sky and the grand finale featured the new ‘Copper Coupe,’ part of Dita’s stunning signature cocktail glass act.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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Carmen at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza by Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre

(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — Thousand Oaks, CA — Sunday, September 23, 2018 — The Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre, led by Founding Artistic Director Natasha Middleton, presented the full-length ballet, “CARMEN,” set to the music on Georges Bizet’s opera of the same name. This performance kicks off the 17th anniversary for Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre.

The performance on Sunday at the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza was sold out. So many people who love dance came to experience a full length ballet. The lifts and poses of the dance troupe were smooth and graceful. The men seemed to toss the ballerinas into the air with ease. The recorded sound track by Rodion Shehedrin sounded great with all of Bizet’s iconic melodies played and timed perfectly.
Elen Harutyunyan relished in the part as Carmen. She has the beautiful body of a professional ballerina and the ability to convey the story through dance. Her performance was vibrant as she tempted and seduced the many men in Carmen’s life. Her professional level of dance was obvious and Natasha Middleton’s choreography worked well with Elen’s dance style. Grigori Arakelyan played the love smitten Don Jose. Grigori did such a good job and was graceful in his moves. Preston Swovelin was the dashing Toreador Escamillo.

Grigori Arakelyan (L) as Don José and Elen Harutyunyan (R) as Carmen
during the  Tavernpastia – Photo by Cheryl Mann

Costume designer, Ann Lindsey, did such a great job on all of the costumes. I really thought the Toreador’s costumes were just amazing. Damara Titmus played the ever faithful Micaela. Alexander Fost played the gypsy Remendado. There were, of course, many gypsies and they add a mysterious element to the production. Ricardo Jony did a great job as Zuniga, Lieutenant of the Dragoons. Again, this costume was just stunning. Part military uniform, part dance outfit. The epaulettes on Zuniga’s costume sparkled and were iconic from the back row.

Damara Titmus (Micaela) – Photo by Cheryl Mann

Members of the Corps de Ballet included Alejandro Flores as Dancaire, a gypsy smuggler, Marianna Udovchenko as a lead gypsy, Patrick Fitzsimmons as a Gypsy Bandit, Shelby Freeman as a Gypsy and Cigar Factory worker, Megan Van Deren as a lead gypsy, Chloe Verkinder as a Gypsy Factory Worker and Bridie Connors as a Gypsy and Cigar Factory Worker.

Duo Loparevi – Oleg Loparevi (L) and Natalia Lopareva (R) – a Spanish Couple – Photo by Cheryl Mann
Alexander Fost as Remendado – Photo by Cheryl Mann

I was really impressed with Rodion Shehdrin’s musical score. It sounded great on the sound system at the Scherr Forum Theatre. Georges Bizet’s sweeping musical score from his opera, Carmen, sounded well balanced and full of drama. I immediately recognized the melodies from the Habanera, the Seguidilla, and the Toreador Song.

Grigori Arakelyan (Don José) and Elen Harutyunyan (Carmen) – Photo by Cheryl Mann

Carmen is the story of a wild gypsy girl who lives in Seville, Spain. It is a “hooker with a heart of gold” story that’s been told over and over since Bizet created it in 1875. Carmen lives for sensuality and passion. She gets into a fight with a coworker while they are at work making cigars. Don Jose shows up to arrest her but is easily seduced by Carmen. Don Jose gets locked up for a month for letting her go. When he gets out of jail, he finds that Carmen has hooked up with Lieutenant Zuniga.

Preston Swovelin as Escamillo – Photo by Cheryl Mann

There’s an epic fight over Carmen. Don Jose leaves his childhood sweetheart, Micaela and joins up with Carmen’s gypsy gang which includes Frasquita and Mercedes. Carmen has a gypsy fortune teller giver her a reading. The news is bad. The fortune tellers predict Carmen’s demise. Carmen loses interest in Don Jose and hooks up with a Matador in Seville named Escamillo. Don Jose is hopelessly in love with Carmen and goes to Seville to confront Escamillo. The costumes were just stunning as the full ballet really made a full court press and pulled out all the stops. Natasha Middleton’s choreography was just amazing. They utilized the theatre space well. In the end, Carmen refuses to go back with Don Jose. Don Jose stabs Carmen to death with a dagger. He is then dumbfounded by what he did, but alas, Carmen has met her demise.
This was such a great night for regional dance theatre. It’s such a treat to watch the dancing, the costumes and the music. We look forward to covering more events from the Pacific Ballet Dance Theatre.

Dustin Brown

Dustin Brown

I am the Senior Editor at HollywoodPressCorps.com.

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