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Tuesday, December 11 , 2018, 5:55 am | Fair 42º


Santa Barbara Center for Performing Arts Celebrates 2014-15 Season On Stage at Granada

The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts kicked off Santa Barbara’s 2014-15 performance season with a celebratory event on Sept. 9 on stage at the Granada Theatre.

The evening’s program featured a special tribute honoring Sara Miller McCune for her commitment and vision as a founding member of the SBCPA board, leader of the Granada Theatre’s Restoration Campaign, and for her extraordinarily generous financial contributions to all of the Santa Barbara’s performing arts organizations — including a new five-year pledge commitment of $750,000 to the SBCPA.

The season kickoff also celebrated the recent formation of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District; a growing collaboration among three of Santa Barbara’s downtown historic theaters — the Granada Theatre, the Lobero Theatre and the Ensemble Theatre Co. at the New Vic — aimed at fostering a thriving downtown performing arts scene. This collaboration has long been a vision of McCune’s, as well as other key arts philanthropists, to more effectively attract larger audiences and more supporters by bringing Santa Barbara’s performing arts community together in new and exciting ways.

Working together as Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District, the three venues are ushering in a new era of cooperative programming and convenient access to the performing arts to Santa Barbara’s savvy patrons and presenters.

“The Granada Theatre has always been a physical manifestation of our community’s values and traditions,” McCune said. “Restoring and sustaining Santa Barbara’s historic center for the performing arts is an extraordinary gift to future generations.”

McCune’s success in the publishing world is rivaled only by her philanthropic work. In addition to starting (in 1965) and overseeing one of the leading academic publishing houses in the world, SAGE Publications, she founded both the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy (2007) and the McCune Foundation (together with her late husband George).

A dedicated philanthropist, she has funded schools in the developing world, and made leading contributions to California nonprofit organizations and educational establishments, including Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, UCSB and the SBCPA.

From left, Leni Fe Bland, Craig Springer and Sara Miller McCune. (Photos by Priscilla photo)

In 2012, McCune received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Queens College, for her visionary work as publisher, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. In July of this year, she was awarded an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University and an honorary doctorate from Bath University. An active supporter of the behavioral and social sciences, McCune serves on the Board of Directors of Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences as well as the Visitor’s Committee at the Social Science Research Council based in New York, and she was a long-serving member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

“As we prepare to start another outstanding performance season in Santa Barbara, we are pleased to join with our resident company partners and our Historic Theater District friends in celebrating and honoring Sara Miller McCune as one of the most generous and thoughtful arts philanthropists in our community,” said Dr. Craig Springer, the SBCPA’s Chrisman Executive Director.

Unlike many performing arts centers around the world, the SBCPA does not receive ongoing financial support from local or state government. Similar to most world-class theaters, the SBCPA covers approximately half of its annual budget through ticket sales and other earned income. Each year the SBCPA benefits from private funding and community support to maintain the level of excellence in programming and theater operations that local audiences and the Granada Theatre’s eight resident companies expect. A contribution at any level helps the SBCPA assist the resident companies in bringing the very best in the performing arts from around the world for the entire Santa Barbara community and region.

The SBCPA Board of Directors and staff acknowledge and honor the incredible support the organization has received over the years from all of Santa Barbara and its neighbors on the Central Coast. The SBCPA recognizes that it is only through the community’s sustained generous financial support that the organization and the Granada Theatre will remain an enabling pillar of the Santa Barbara performing arts community for many decades to come.

2014-15 Granada Theatre Concert Series Performance Preview

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group — Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.

When it comes to live improvisation and effortless comedy, Who’s Line Is It Anyway?’s Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are two of the country’s top-performing and well-known funnymen. Their high-profile presentations have played to sold-out venues all over the country. Don’t miss "Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group," the most exciting and hilarious comedy event to hit Santa Barbara this year! Colin and Brad team up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy. Using their quick wit, Colin and Brad take contributions from the live audience to create hilarious and original scenes … just like a live version of Whose Line!

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — Sunday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m.

2014 marks the 21st anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's remarkable arrival onto the music scene. In it's first years, having secured their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world — in the middle of the grunge era, no less — that it was still cool to swing, big band style. The band often plays more than 150 shows a year and has appeared as special guests with many of the great American symphony orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Don’t miss these contemporary swing music masters as they take the stage at the historic The Granada Theatre for a night of great showmanship and musical memories.

An Evening with Christopher Cross — Saturday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.

Christopher Cross was arguably the biggest breakout star of 1980 and virtually defined adult contemporary radio with a series of smoothly sophisticated ballads, including the No. 1 hit "Sailing." Cross' 1980 self-titled debut album with the lead single "Ride Like the Wind" rocketed to the No. 2 spot; the massive success of the second single "Sailing" made Cross a superstar, and in the wake of two more Top 20 hits, "Never Be the Same" and "Say You'll Be Mine," he walked off with an unprecedented and record-setting five Grammys in 1981, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Sailing." He soon scored a second No. 1, as well as an Academy Award, with "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," which he co-wrote with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen for the smash Dudley Moore film comedy Arthur. Cross charted eight songs into the Billboard Top-40 charts between 1980 and 1983. Four years, two albums, eight hit singles, several world tours, five Grammys, and one Oscar marked Christopher's meteoric rise to the top.

Tower of Power — Saturday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m.

For the past 46 years, Tower of Power has been creating a unique kind of soul music. Since 1968, Tower of Power has delivered their unique brand of music to their fans, appearing before sold-out crowds as they tour the world each year. Tower’s sound can be hard to categorize, but the band’s leader and founding member, Emilio Castillo, has labeled their sound an “Urban Soul Music.” Tower’s rhythm section lays down a groove like no other band. The band’s horn-driven sound is unparalleled, and the way that they approach writing, arranging, mixing, and performing is totally their own. Combine all of that with an outstanding lead vocalist, and you have one of the most dynamic groups of musicians to ever hit the Granada Theatre’s stage.

A Very Electric Christmas — Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

A Very Electric Christmas is performed in complete darkness and features creative storylines centered around Nutcracker soldiers, candy canes, naughty rats, an electric Christmas tree surrounded by presents, glow worms, dancing flowers, and many other holiday creatures that light up the stage. Celebrate the holiday season with a truly unique musical evening to remember!

Peking Acrobats — Sunday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m.

The largest and most acclaimed group of its kind returns to The Granada Theatre. Carefully selected from the finest acrobat schools in China, these expert gymnasts, jugglers, cyclists, and tumblers transform 2,000-year-old athletic disciplines into a family friendly kaleidoscope of eye-popping wonder. A live Chinese orchestra accompanied by dazzling lights and jaw-dropping acrobatics set a scene fit for an emperor — and for you and your family!

Vienna Boys Choir — Sunday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.

The Vienna Boys Choir is the modern-day descendent of the boy’s choirs from the Viennese Court, dating back to the late Middle Ages. The choir was established by Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in July 1498. Since then the Vienna Boys' Choir has been a fixed attraction in Austrian musical life. Over the centuries, the choir has worked with many well-known composers, including Salieri, Mozart, Schubert, and Bruckner. The more than-500 year-old choir boasts around 100 members today, between the ages of 10 and 14, who are divided into four touring choirs. The four choirs combine for around 300 concerts and performances each year, in front of almost half a million people. Their repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental music.

To learn more about how to support the Granada Theatre, please contact Kristi Newton, director of development, at [email protected] or 805.899.3000 x130, or click here.

— Sydney Gardner is a publicist representing the Granada Theatre.

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