Monday, May 14, 2012

DPAC Showcases Deeper Connections to Durham

This is a different kind of story about DPAC - The Durham Performing Arts Center.  Although DPAC is undeniably known for its incredible programming diversity, the biggest theater shows in the world and unmatched customer service, that’s not the particular focus of this article.  This is a story about some of the artists who have graced the stage of DPAC and their connections to Durham as a place.

When Harry Connick took the stage at DPAC - Durham Performing Arts Center on February, 16, 2010, he was hoarse from lack of sleep and Mardi Gras/Super Bowl victory revelry. He said he hadn't slept but was excited to be in Durham.  He was performing for an adoring crowd that included a long-time friend of his who took the stage to play along.  The night was special for both Connick and a man with whom he grew up, Branford Marsalis.  Marsalis lives in Durham.

Before the band's August 4th, 2011 show, Steely Dan vocalist Donald Fagan was perusing letters and packages left at the theater for him by fans.  Among them was a simple card accompanying some photographs of the sign on the front of the Liggett & Myers building at Main and North Duke Streets that pays tribute to those who made and smoked Chesterfield cigarettes, a brand Fagan famously immortalized on his solo album, The Nightfly.  The card thanked him for visiting and offered, "Bet you didn't know that Lester the Nightfly's smokes were made here in Durham, NC."

When she takes DPAC's stage in July and August, Christie Brinkley will perform in Chicago for thousands of fans.  One of them will be more responsible for her performance than any other.


As the rotors of two plexiglass-bubbled Siloy choppers beat their concussive rhythm above the mountains of Telluride, Colorado on April 1, 1994, international supermodel Christie Brinkley lay dazed and bleeding in the snow.  It was late morning and the chopper from which she and friends had been heli-skiing had crashed.  A storm was approaching and the unfortunate fact was that their chopper was also the one San Miguel County Search and Rescue used in the event of just such an emergency.  Fortunately, SMCSR was able to borrow two Siloys from a neighboring community to execute their mission.

Jimmy Rosen started his day at 3:45 AM that day responding to a 911 carbon monoxide poisoning call, during which the Telluride EMT Association (for whom he served) saved all affected.  At 7 AM, his team's pagers were taken by Assistant Chief of the Telluride Fire Department with the admonishment that they needed to go home to rest after such a call.

Rosen, however, was also a member of the San Miguel County Search & Rescue team.  April 1, 1994 would turn out to be extraordinarily long - "It was far and away the hairiest day of my life," he says recounting that he worked into the evening in the face of a storm that threatened the survival of all involved. Rosen was in the second chopper on the scene at Brinkley's crash site and was the first to attend to her.  She, and her friends, owe their lives to him and his SMCSR team mates.


At Bean Traders on Ninth Street in Durham, Rosen cuts the figure of a regular guy; he's a fit and trim early forties husband and father saddled with the challenges of balancing a personal life and the demands of an incredibly successful career in finance at Durham's Intersouth Partners. He is a Duke '91 graduate who had hopes of a future in medicine.  Clearly, things went another way, but not before saving some lives.

Rosen and his wife are season ticket holders at DPAC.  Watching Chicago show will be special beyond the fact that the facility is highly lauded for its excellence as a venue and the show is a great production, but because he is a bit responsible for Brinkley being there.


Durham is a place to which people from all corners of the globe have connections.  "DCVB is all about encouraging people to visit Durham, but when we have the opportunity to showcase great stories like these to local audiences, we love to do so," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.  “Durham is lucky to have a world-class facility like DPAC; and stories like this make that connection to place even stronger.”

Opened in November, 2008, The Durham Performing Arts Center has 2,700 seats and the largest stage between Washington, DC and Atlanta, GA. The theater is routinely ranked by industry trade magazine Pollstar as one of the ten busiest in the United States.

For tickets to Chicago starring Christie Brinkley, or other upcoming shows at DPAC, go to tickets page of their website.  Check out the Durham Event Calendar for information about all events in Durham.

No comments:

Post a Comment