Rubicon's Youth Production of THE DROWSY CHAPERONE Runs Now thru 8/16
Rubicon's Summer Youth Program presents The Drowsy Chaperone, the Tony Award-winning musical with music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison based on a book by Bob Martin and Don McKellar. With direction by Brian McDonald, musical direction by Miriam Arichea and choreography by Carolanne Marano, The Drowsy Chaperone features over 25 local youth performers in a production well suited for children, adults and families. Opening today, August 13th and running through Saturday, August 16th, performances of The Drowsy Chaperone begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday and continue 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Thursday, 8 p.m. on Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday. For tickets, call 805.667.2900 or go to rubicontheatre.org.
As youth from around Ventura County showcase a summer of Rubicon training, frivolity abounds as The Drowsy Chaperone addresses the love of musicals and the desire to be entertained. As a die-hard musical-theatre fan begins to play his favorite cast album, the musical suddenly and literally bursts to life in his living room. He becomes a part of the action as a brazen Broadway starlet tries to find and keep her true love.
The Drowsy Chaperone features over 25 local youths including Natalie Bouton, Gage Burgi, Ariana Cohen, Erika Cook, Natalie Epelone, Becky Graham, Jesse Graham, Natalie Graham, Parker Harris, AJ Herrera, Wynsum Kearns, Seryozha La Porte, Andrew Larson, Macaria Martinez, Sarah Mehrnia, Mimi Mize, Jacob Mizraji, Jaclyn Plotkin, Nick Rada, Josh Ranck, Erica Riley, Gabriella Stefany, Eleanor Stephenson, Kinsey Thomas, Emma Vielbig, Claire Winch, and Xander Young.
Brian McDonald (Director) is an award-winning actor and director who was the recipient of the City of Ventura Mayor's Award for Emerging Artist. Before moving to the West Coast, he appeared in the national tours of Miss Saigon and Forever Plaid which he also directed for various regional theatres including Rubicon Theatre Company. Regionally, McDonald appeared on the stages of the Denver Center, Theatre Virginia, The Lyric Stage, La Mirada Performing Arts Center, Ensemble Theatre, Pasadena Playhouse, Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center, and the Ahmanson. McDonald has appeared on stage at Rubicon in productions of Man of La Mancha and The Importance of Being Earnest. LA Weekly honored him with the Best Supporting Actor Award for his performance as Gaveston in the Circle X production of Edward II directed by Michael Michetti. On television, McDonald starred in the award-winning ABC/PBS Afterschool Special "In the Shadow of Love: A Teen AIDS Story" and guest-starred on "Gilmore Girls." McDonald joined the Rubicon staff in 2002 as the company's first Production Manager and Director of Education and currently serves as Associate Producer. McDonald is the founder and program director of Rubicon's Summer Youth Programs which offer theatre training intensives in musical theatre, drama and technical theatre. As a director, he served as assistant to Tony nominated director Christopher Renshaw during his work on Queen: The Musical (a.k.a. We Will Rock You). Other directing credits include Tennessee Williams' Talk to me Like the Rain and Let me Listen, Hooters, Our Town, Little Women, Bye Bye Birdie, HONK!, Babes in Arms, Once on this Island, Schoolhouse Rock, LIVE!, Seussical the Musical, Footloose, and Godspell. For Rubicon, McDonald directed Bus Stop (5 Ovation nominations including Best Play), Master Harold... and the boys (nominated for 3 Ovation awards including Best Play and an Independent Award and Stage Scene LA Award for Best Director), and the World Premiere musical, Hello! My Baby, written and conceived by Tony-nominated, Emmy and Golden Globe winner, Cheri Steinkellner. He also conceived and directed the critically acclaimed holiday musical review, A Rubicon Family Christmas. He earned a Phi Delta Kappa Community Partnership Award and an Honorary Service Award from the California State PTA two years in a row for his work in the community raising funds for arts education. In addition to one-on-one training for performers, Brian offers private coaching in public speaking for lawyers, clergy and business leaders. He is a B.F.A. graduate of the Boston Conservatory.
Carolanne Marano (Choreographer) has been a professional dancer for the past 25 years. During that time she has been training and performing throughout the country with San Francisco Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ballet West, Metropolitan Ballet, and Dance Foundation of Kansas. Along with her extensive Ballet experience, she is also trained in jazz and musical theatre. Marano most recently performed as Nellie Forbush in Downey Civic Light Opera's South Pacific and at the Hollywood Bowl with Reba McEntire, also in South Pacific. For Rubicon, she appeared as Gypsy Dancer in Man of LaMancha. Other credits include Evita (Tango Dancer, Taiwan Tour), Gypsy (Louise), Sweet Charity (Nickie), Can-Can (Claudine) and West Side Story (Anita). As a choreographer, Marano's most recent work was the Belinda Carlisle/ Rufus Wainwright "A Night in Paris A Go-Go" New Year's Eve show for the LA Philharmonic at Disney Hall. She choreographed numerous musicals including West Side Story, Music Man and The Boyfriend. Her choreography for Studio 1 won numerous awards. Marano is currently choreographing the independent film "The Ghastly Love of Johnny X."
Miriam Arichea (Musical Director) is known locally for her performances as a concert pianist and soloist with the Ventura College Symphony and the Channel Islands Chamber Orchestra. Arichea has collaborated with vocalists and instrumentalists in a variety of venues including the Ventura Music Festival, the Ventura Master Chorale series, and the Ventura Unified Festival of Talent. It was through her work at Festival that Arichea began working with Brian McDonald and started to become involved with Rubicon Theatre productions. She also directs the youth music program at her church and has worked with the Ventura Unified School District choirs as well as the Camarillo Youth Theatre. A lawyer by training, Arichea received her undergraduate and law degrees at Duke University. She presently handles criminal appeals as a court-appointed attorney with the California Appellate Project and lives in Ventura with her husband Jeff Brackett and their children Josh, Arielle and Daniel.
The Rubicon Summer Youth Program is presented in association with The Jack Oakie and Victoria Home Oakie Charitable Foundation with major support from Janet and Mark Goldenson, Sandra and Jordan Laby, Barbara Meister, Loretta and Mike Merewether, and Micheline Sakharoff. All youth programs are co-sponsored by Evelyn and Howard Boroughs Education Fund, Parentclick.com, Jan and Hal Wasserman, and Helen Yunker.
Performances take place on August 13 at 7 p.m., August 14 at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m., August 15 at 8 p.m., and August 16 at 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. A free dress rehearsal performance is open to the public on Tuesday, August 12 at 7p.m. Seats are subject to availability, and attendees are encouraged to get to the theatre early!
Adults: $20 pre-order / $25 at the door
Kids 12 & under: $15 pre-order / $20 at the door
On Sunday, August 17th at 7:30 p.m., a Benefit Concert for Rubicon's Education and Outreach Program takes place entitled KIDS FOR KIDS: The Magic of Motown. With songs such as "Stop in the Name of Love," "ABC," "Heard It Through the Grape Vein," and others, KIDS FOR KIDS showcases the phenomenal talent of over 40 local youth performers who have gone through many of the education programs at Rubicon. Produced by Akira Dann, directed by Seryozha La Porte and choreographed by Natalie Graham, KIDS FOR KIDS truly is a production run by kids for kids. The event is Rubicon's sixth youth-produced fundraiser to benefit the theatre's Education & Outreach programs. Tickets are $45 in advance or $50 at the door.
Tickets may be purchased in person through the Rubicon Theatre Box Office, located at 1006 E. Main Street (Laurel entrance), or by phone at 805.667.2900 or by visiting rubicontheatre.org. Twenty-four-hour-a-day ticketing is available online, thanks to a grant from the Irvine Foundation Regional Arts Initiative.