BWW Blogs: California Central Coast Mid-June Theatre Options

BWW_Blogs_California_Central_Coast_MidJune_Theatre_Options_20100615 brings you theater recommendations from San Luis Obispo's own Curt Miner.

As we come to the middle of June (already?!), a number of our theatre and live entertainment venues have shows opening, or gearing up to do so, here on the beautiful California Central Coast!

The Great American Melodrama ( has kicked off its summer season of exciting melodrama with The Crock of Gold, written by Silas S. Steele and directed by Eric Hoit (photo by Gary Adams).  At the center of this thrilling play is the crock itself - a honey pot full of gold coins that is stolen from its hiding place by the despicable Simon Jennings (Jim Shine), only to be lost soon after.  The crock then finds its way into the hands of Roger Acton (Chuck McLane), an honest but poor man who finds himself sorely tempted by this unexpected discovery.  Will Roger heed the warnings of wife Molly and daughter Grace (Bree Murphy, Megan C.C. Walker) that possession of the crock will only bring sorrow?  Will parlor maid Sarah Slack (Katie Worley) and her beau, the young fisherman Peter Perch (Jim McCaffrey), succeed in protecting Grace from Simon's villainous advances?  And will the testimony of the poacher Ben Burke (Andrew Beck) be enough to save Roger when he is falsely accused of the murder of the crock's owner?  Audiences will find out as they laugh, boo and cheer their way through this terrific blend of comedy and melodrama.

Following The Crock of Gold at each performance, the cast heads for the mountains in "The Great Outdoors Vaudeville Revue."  The best and funniest parts of camping are celebrated in this song, dance and comedy revue, including setting up camp, taking a nature walk, and telling scary stories around the campfire.  And audiences won't want to miss the 'behind the scenes' look at how forest animals really behave when the humans are not around!  Written by Suzy Newman and Jordan Richardson, the revue is directed by Newman, with musical direction by Aaron Lamb and choreography by Michael Jenkinson and Katie Worley.

The Crock of Gold and "The Great Outdoors Vaudeville Revue" plays through September 18 (beginning July 15, this show will alternate with the Melodrama's second summer show, The Tavern).  Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Saturdays at 4:30 and 8:30 pm, and Sundays at 6 pm.  The Melodrama's in-house snack bar features great food and drinks, served before the show and during intermissions.  Tickets are $18 to $22, with discounts available for seniors, students, children and groups.  For more information or to make reservations, call the Melodrama Box Office at 805-489-2499.  The Great American Melodrama is located on Highway 1 in Oceano, just three miles south of Pismo Beach.  The Melodrama has been
providing professional family entertainment on the Central Coast since 1975.

The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (, the Central Coast's Resident Professional Theatre Company, located on the Allan Hancock College Campus in Santa Maria, presents the musical comedy murder mystery Curtains at the Solvang Festival Theater through July 3.  [NOTE: Saw a Saturday matinee of this production during its Marian Theatre run in Santa Maria and it is absolutely WONDERFUL!]

The Santa Maria Civic Theatre ( will be presenting this year's Summer Fairy Tale Doc, Doc ... Goose! July 9-18.

Upcoming performances at the Clark Center ( in Arroyo Grande, include Coastal Dance & Musical Academy's We Are The World June 20, the Sweet Adelines' Celebration Chorus' Laugh-In Revisited June 26 (performances at 2 & 7 PM), Jim Messina of Loggins & Messina in concert on August 10, and the 9th Annual Paul Wolff Accessibility Advocacy Awards with a benefit performance by comedian Josh Blue on August 28.

Ryan Cordero ( and Sorcerer Productions (check them out on Facebook) recently closed a successful run of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Clark Center Studio Theatre.  What's next on the drawing board for what some are calling the most exciting and creative theatre company on the Central Coast?  I'm hearing rumors of a production of The Drowsy Chaperone as part of a full season slate of possibly as many as 5 productions ... stay tuned!

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Curt Miner Curt Miner received his degree in theatre from Northern Arizona University and has been involved in theatre, educationally and professionally, for nearly 40 years now. He is currently Pastor of the United Church of Christ in San Luis Obispo, CA (, where he founded a theatre outreach ministry known as The God Is Still Speaking Players (check them out on Facebook). Their first production was the West Coast Premiere of a new play by Gordon Greene (one of Curt's former theatre professors from back at NAU) entitled "The Scopes Monkey Trial: What Really Happened" in October of 2008. Curt and his wife of 35 years, Linda, worked together as Director and Music Director on a production of "Godspell" June 2009. The group presented a readers' theatre production of Archibald MacLeish's Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning play "J.B." November 2009, participated in a collaborative effort with Bent Angel Productions in a staged reading of "12 Angry Men" in February 2010, presented "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown" the first 2 weekends of September 2010, embarked upon another collaborative effort with Bent Angel Productions of a staged reading of Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood" in November 2010, presented a readers' theatre production of "The Diary of Anne Frank" the first weekend this past March, mounted a production of "Sister Amnesia's Country Western Nunsense Jamboree" the first 2 weekends of September, and presented "Celebration In Song" - a musical variety show to benefit the work of GALA and PFLAG in November. A readers' theatre presentation (possibly "Our Town") or another musical revue will be presented this coming March, with "Snoopy" (sequel to YAGMCB) on the schedule for the first 2 weekends in September. When people ask him "Why a theatre outreach ministry?" Curt tells them "I have found that theatre is sometimes able to touch a person's heart and soul more deeply than the best crafted worship experience ... that's why."

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