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Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library turns 24

The Kaufman Brentwood Branch Library celebrated 24 years of service Saturday July 14. The event was attended by patrons and friends of the branch, as well as a dynamic duo, Jennifer Ann Watson and Andy S. Watson. The two performed a series of solos and duets for an audience of more than 30 people.

Named after the co-founder of Kaufman and Home, Donald Bruce Kaufman, the library was opened to the public July 17, 1994. The anniversary celebration was “a magical afternoon of remembrance, musical entertainment and delicious refreshments,” according to those who attended.

In addition to the anniversary celebration, the library also hosts regular programming, including a Spanish Conversation Class, an Adult Non-fiction book club, as well as film screenings. In honor of the anniversary the Friends Bookstore will be hosting a 50 percent off anniversary sale through the month of July.

As guests seated themselves inside the Samuel Pinkis Community Room, Jennifer Ann Watson and Andy S. Watson presented their repertoire of fun and lighthearted songs in front of the full-sized windows that overlook library’s entrance. Jennifer, who is an alumni of the University of Redlands and the Longy School of Music, is also a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Platt Branch. She stated that one of the Friends of the Library had reached out about performing after having seen the duo sing at the Encino-Tarzana Branch Library. The songs which she selected for the occasion included, “Vanilla Ice Cream” from the musical “She Loves Me,” “Someone Sending Me Flowers,” by David Baker as well the “The Girl in 14G” by Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan. The songs selected were “more lighthearted and celebratory,” stated Jennifer.

Andy, who has performed with the Opera Pacific Chorus and the San Diego Opera Chorus, added that their repertoire of songs for the anniversary focused on songs that people might know. Songs from “The Phantom of the Opera,” and “Beauty and the Beast” were part of more than a dozen songs that the duo sang. Prior to singing both he and Jennifer provided context to each song. “I know everyone has probably seen the [Beauty and The Beast] cartoon, right,” stated Andy, “well the musical is based off of the cartoon. There’s a scene where Belle goes into the west wing… and Belle lifts up the [case] that has the flower in it, and that’s when the Beast says ‘get out!’” He then began his performance of “If I Can’t Love Her” adding a dash of bravado to his body movements and fascial gestures as he sung the part of the Beast.

As the duo’s performance came to a close, some attendees enjoyed refreshments that were arranged by the library staff, while others headed to the Friends Bookstore, and a few went to compliment Jennifer Ann Watson and Andy S. Watson on their performance. From “The Magic Flute,” to “Camelot” to “She Loves Me,” to “The Phantom of the Opera,” murmurs from the audience could be heard as people commented on their favorite pieces. By the conclusion of their set, the Samuel Pinkis Community Room had reached capacity with people lining the back wall, because the songs could be heard throughout the library.

For more information, visit: https://www.lapl.org/branches/brentwood

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