Early July Theatre Offerings on the Central Coast of California


As we arrive at and move beyond the 4th of July Holiday, I hope you have made plans to attend a couple of the shows that are being presented at some of the live performance and theatre venues located here on the Central Coast of California!

The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (www.pcpa.org), the Central Coast's Resident Professional Theatre Company, located on the Allan Hancock College Campus in Santa Maria, will present The Rivals July 5-22 at the Solvang Festival Theater, after a 2 week run at the Marian Theatre in Santa Maria, and Legally Blonde - the Musical, July 6-22 in Santa Maria (July 27 – August 19 in Solvang).

For director Michael Jenkinson, the excitement of Legally Blonde is the opportunity to work on a truly "new" musical; as he says, "how exciting to re-imagine something with a less extensive public life where there are less audience expectations."  He also describes this work as a strong, rather than fluff, piece.  For him, it is an important work about how we can come to see ourselves as more than what we are, and how we can change the perceptions of ourselves that we put forward to others.  Too often, Jenkinson argues, we judge a book by its cover; we bring our stereotypes and prejudices to bear on an individual or a situation.  "We need to be reminded that pink isn't foolish and blonde isn't banal."  Legally Blonde, in its heroine Elle Woods, asks us to reconsider those attitudes.  Her self-empowerment empowers others (men and women alike).  Her journey in this musical celebrates sisterhood and supports the position of women in modern life in a modern world.

While originally created in 2001, Jenkinson and his team have chosen to work on a design that is current.  The silhouette of 2012 is distinct and it is essential to the contemporary nature of this staging.  The team is also working to make the regional distinctions ofL.A.and the East Coast clear and vibrant, while making the "stage geography" representational rather than detailed and cinematically specific. Jenkinson is particularly excited by the fun and energy generated by the humor of the work, and by the flow and montage style of its staging.  This play drives the story through quick changes, energy and delighted romance [PHOTO: Jessica Crouch as Elle Wood].

The Pewter Plough Playhouse (www.pewterploughplayhouse.org) in Cambria will present Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks, through July 29.

The Theatre at the Cambria Center for the Arts’ (http://artistsofcambria.com/cambriapac/index.html) Rumors, by Neil Simon, will run August 10 - September 2. 

The REC Foundation in Paso Robles is sponsoring a production of Man of La Mancha, directed by Cynthia Anthony and Jacob Shearer, at Centennial Park, performances September 21 & 22.  Call Jacob at 805-975-5023 for more information. 

The Central Coast Shakespeare Festival (http://centralcoastshakespeare.org/) will present The Tempest, July 12-28, at River Oaks Amphitheatre in Paso Robles. 

Kelrik Productions (www.kelrikproductions.com) will present their summer musical, Grease, through July 8, and their Grades 1-10 Summer Camp/Performance Class production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr in early August.

SLO Little Theatre’s (www.slolittletheatre.org) current mainstage production, My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, will run through July 22.

And then be sure to check out SLOLT’s Ubu’s Other Shoe’s readers’ theatre production of Arcadia July 27 & 28, Academy of Creative Arts’ Anne of Avonlea August 3-12, and The Marvelous Wonderettes August 31 – September 23.

Upcoming performances at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center (www.pacslo.org) include Leslie Jordan on July 7, Joe Goode Performance Group on August 9, Jumpbrush in Concert on August 11, The Academy of Dance's DANCIN' 2012 on August 12, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West on August 14, and CORE Dance Company’s Confessions of a Love Junkie August 17 & 18.  

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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 (www.sloucc.org), 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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