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McCallum gala to be ‘best ever’ says Gershenfeld

November 29th, 2013 | by Bruce Fessier | Comments

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Katherine Jenkins and Chris Mann may not be not have the name recognition of previous McCallum Theatre gala performers like Barry Manilow, Janet Jackson, Reba McEntire and Tony Bennett, but officials don’t expect anyone to be disappointed in Tuesday’s show at the McCallum.

Jenkins is a crossover lyric mezzo soprano who last year finished second on “Dancing With the Stars.” Mann is a classically-trained singer-songwriter who finished fourth last year on “The Voice.”

They’ll be supported by a 60-piece orchestra conducted by Emmy and Grammy winner Richard Kaufman, and a special guest group is expected to join them for the finale and their own segment in the show.

“I think this will be, in my opinion, the finest gala we’ve ever produced,” said McCallum president and CEO Mitch Gershenfeld. “I think this will be a spectacular show. I mean you’ve got an orchestra than has members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra, the Pacific Symphony, the top studio players from Los Angeles, a great conductor, you have these two great soloists and a special guest surprise artist.

“I really think people are going to walk away from this gala saying, ‘Wow! That was an evening that I will not forget.’”

The gala will honor Wayne Prim, an attorney and venture capitalist who became a McCallum trustee the year the theater opened in 1988. He served as chairman from 1991 until 1997, when he became a trustee emeritus.

The event will be co-chaired by Helene Galen and Harold Matzner, who is the current board chairman.

Gala tickets including a 6 p.m. dinner at either Cuistot, Jillian’s, La Spiga or Wally’s Desert Turtle are $500, but individual concert tickets are $50 and $75. Information: (760) 346-6505, Ext. 12

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