UC inaugurates performing arts center
by Melissa Rappaport
Reporter staff writer
Oct 25, 2009 | 4212 views | 0 0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
THE STAGE – The first performance of the officially open Union City Performing Arts Center was held on this stage.
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It was an evening of arts and performances at the grand opening of the Union City Performing Arts Center, which also serves as the auditorium of the new Union City High School on Kennedy Blvd.

Spectators gathered at the new venue on Friday, Oct. 16 to view a gallery of over 160 paintings and to enjoy the talents of more than a dozen musicians, poets, and dancers.

Union City Commissioner Lucio Fernandez welcomed the audience in both English and Spanish, then directed the performance.

More than a dozen performers and 160 paintings were part of the event.

“We have put together a group of artists, some of them who live here locally in Union City and West New York,” said Fernandez in an interview last week. “The elegant concert had something for everyone, from classical music to poetry, from tango dance to flamenco, from opera to tap dance.”

Performers from TV, movies

The show celebrated the opening of the UCPAC and also celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month, with artists such as Francisco “Pancho” Navarro, who played a guitar solo in the 2002 movie “Frida.” Navarro also recently appeared in the Brazilian film “Terras.”

Other performers included classical pianist Lida Lopez Mancheva, Soprano Kristina Henry-Mayers, Cuban singer Pedro Domech and his quartet, and world renowned tango couple Pedro & Laura Escudero, known as “Los Pampas.”

Not to be missed were the Tap Ole Dance Company, under director/choreographer Megan Fernandez from the television show “America’s Got Talent,” and Union City’s own Graciela Barreto, a poet and musician who was named poet laureate of Union City in September.

The first performance was Dominico Caro, a Union City resident who has performed on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and at Carnegie Hall. Caro has also performed with David Frost and Liza Minnelli at the Lincoln Center in New York City and at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Guitarist Carlos Revollar strung his guitar to accompany Caro’s Flamenco melody. Flamenco backup dancers moved to the sounds of their music.

The venue Fernandez emphasized that Union City is making efforts to provide a home to local artists. He was proud to announce the opening of the new venue.

“It seats 910 comfortably, plus there is wheelchair access, a state-of-the-art light and sound [system],” he said. “It’s a terrific venue, and we want to bring light to it so people know that we’re going to be doing a lot of programming there.”

For more information on upcoming events, contact Commissioner Fernandez at the Union City Department of Public Affairs at (201) 348-5735.

Melissa Rappaport may be reached at

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