Two glossy new CSUN Performing Arts mailers arrived in my mailbox last week, and although I'm sure the new Valley Performing Arts Center will be the biggest thing to hit Northridge since the quake, most of this season's Plaza Del Sol offerings skew way too lemon party for my taste.
When the Tom Waits'-written musical The Black Rider came to the Ahmanson a couple of years ago, the Ahmanson's directors were exited that it brought in a rare and desirable demographic: the young theatergoer. But a look at CSUN's schedule this season proves that despite being right in the middle of a college campus, they've no interest in drawing an audience that isn't drawing Social Security. I'd be surprised if anyone under the age of 60 would be terribly interested in going to shows like The Count Basie Orchestra, Maureen McGovern: A Long And Winding Road, The Capitol Steps, or Debbie Reynolds.
When CSUN recently hosted a talk by John Waters, it gave me hope that the offerings at the new Valley Performing Arts Center wouldn't all be so unbearably tasteful, but no one's taking any chances this year. It's all about the tried and true.
Then again, the folks at Arts Northridge probably knows which side their bread is buttered on. We who select something other than Geritol as our drug of choice aren't afraid to drive over the hill if Lady Gaga comes to town. But the Valley skews older, and most seniors I know avoid the freeways like they avoid skateboards, so they'll probably flock to Northridge performance of The Songs of Leiber And Stoller in droves. Have a good time, Grandma!