The Kirk Douglas Theater frequently has some awesome stuff onstage, but never better than when it is showcasing the local talent from the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts at Culver City High School. Saturday, June 8 was not just a full house, but a house full of vibrant young artists showing how much they have learned in the last year from their mentors, directors, and teachers.
The evening began with the world class jazz combo serenading the party (see video IMG_0264) while people took in the artwork of the Visual Art Students displayed around the lobby. Parent volunteers hosted the refreshments outside to open more space for art and guests, a strategy that made everyone happy. The silent auction sheets filed up with bids, and then it was time for the show.
The performing branches of the academy were all onstage for an opening “Willkommen” from Cabaret, and each of the presidents and vice-presidents of the film, dance, theater, art and music had a turn to speak and present their accomplishments for the year.
The performances moved quickly from short films to dance numbers, animated soundscapes and jazz stylings and culminated with a scene from “Our Town” by the Blurred Vision Theater Company before intermission and another moment in the lobby to complete the silent auction bidding.
The second half of the show started off with Jim Harris, the president of the AVPA Foundation, offering thanks to the many donors, sponsors and volunteers who make the program possible. The program was thick with names, including Janice Pober of Sony, Eric Sims of the Kirk Douglas, Leslie Adler of the CCEF and and the Fineschriber Family Foundation, who got a walk-through by the Pink Elephant Music Company of all the new instruments the bad was able to purchase with their help.
After more delightful dance numbers, original films, great music and art, the show closed with the finale of RENT, Seasons of Love, sung by the ensemble, from the award winning production the AVPA put on as the spring musical of this year.
Those most pleased by the evening seemed to have been those who had put the much effort; the parent volunteers who created the event as a lovely showcase for the academy. Java Gala 5 was another milestone,and everyone who was part of it can feel they offered their best work for the best reasons. Art saves lives, and AVPA opens the doors for our students to create.