BWW Blogs: Mid-Month Theatre Offerings on the California Central Coast

As we move beyond the beginning of Daylight Savings Time and the Ides of March, I trust that you will be wanting to avail yourself of some of the wonderful productions that are currently playing (or soon will be) at the numerous theatre and live performance venues that we have here on the beautiful California Central Coast!

Welcome and "All Aboard!"  The Great American Railroad Show ( will be presented at Unity (1490 Southwood Dr in SLO) through March 27.

Train enthusiasts, theatre buffs and music fans will not want to miss this entertainment experience.  This professional show will be intriguing for adults of all ages as well as fascinating for younger family members.  Every passenger on this theatrical railroad show will be served a full menu of railroad history and railroad humor.  The performances will include singing, nostalgia, railroad films, spoof radio commercials, historical 3D photos, famous movie clips and an old fashioned, dastardly melodrama.  The show's railroad songs will include favorites from stage, screen and folklore.  Historical elements will be woven into the show including the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad as well as focusing on the Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, Santa Fe, Pacific Coast Railway and Disneyland Railroads.  The program will be staged as a live radio show taping similar to the format of "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor.  The Great American Railroad Show will include a special Pre Show Railroad Environment which will feature sophisticated running model layouts from the San Luis Obispo Model Railroad Association.  Unique artifacts from the Oceano Depot and the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum will also be on display.

An outstanding cast has been assembled and features some of the area's most intriguing performers.  The cast includes professional character actor Phil Jones, the compelling songstress, actor and piano gal Laurelle Barnett, Broadway Musicals veteran Leona Evans and folk musician, showman and film maker Dave Baumgarten.  Jeff Lee, well known regional professional actor, has been cast as the Conductor/MC for the show.  Regional theatre favorites Judy Dezso, Rick Ridge, Peggy Sharpe, Matthew Evans, Jill Garcia and Sharon Mesker will also add their talents onstage.  The show has been crafted by Writer/Creator Joe Burns and is being co-produced by Curtis Reinhardt, Director of the Central Coast Railroad Festival.  Joe is a Disney Company veteran and Curtis is a music and events industry professional.  Theatre professionals Jake McGuire will direct the show and Mary Moyers-Lee will handle the musical direction (photo of Laurelle Barnett & Dave Baumgarten by Jamie Foster).  

The SLO High School Iambic Pentameter Club presents The Taming of the Shrew (check it out on Facebook) through March 26.

SLO Little Theatre's ( auditions for a readers' theatre production of Too Much Memory, a retelling of the classic Greek story of Antigone set firmly in the present, will be held on March 21 (performance on May 6).  A readers' theatre production of My Name is Rachel Corrie will be presented on March 25.  The Gin Game will be presented April 8 - May 1. 

Kelrik Productions' ( next production, Pinkalicious, will run April 2-17.  Auditions for Aladdin will be held on April 6 (performances May 21 - June 12).

The God Is Still Speaking Players' (follow them on Facebook) next show will be Nunsense Jamboree in September (auditions early/mid July).  They are hosting a production of The Fourth Wall in collaboration with the RadioActive Players on April 30 & May 1 at 2 PM.  Contact director Gene Strohl ( for more information.

Upcoming performances at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center ( include the National Tour of Legally Blonde on March 23, CORE Rhythms A New Beginning (presented by CORE Dance Company) on March 26 & 27, A Midsummer Night's Dream on March 31, and The Barber of Seville on April 1 & 3.

The Houselights Theatre ( is looking for a new place to call home ... got any suggestions?  Details concerning their next show are TBD (and where it will be held).

The Pioneer Players ( presented a "special project,"  Always ... Patsy Cline, at Centennial Park in Paso Robles for 2 performances this past September.  Stay tuned for what they'll be doing next!

The Central Coast Shakespeare Festival ( will hold auditions on April 9 & 10 (appointment required) for their upcoming summer season, which will include As You Like It and The Comedy of Errors

The Pewter Plough Playhouse's ( next production, Becky's New Car, will run March 25 - May 8.

The Theatre at the Old Grammar School (TOGS) ( is pleased to announce that Allied Arts Theatre has been revived and will be presenting the first of a 4 play season, starting with An Evening of Comedy - Creme de la Femme, April 7-10, followed by The Octette Bridge Club July 29 - August 21, and Dearly Departed October 21 - November 20.

Murder In Mind Productions ( is currently looking for actors to fill out the cast of their interactive murder mystery The Altos - Blood Is Thicker Than Wine, which will run on Sundays at The Spyglass Inn in Shell Beach May 1 - June 5.

Exit Pursued by a Bear (follow them on Facebook) is proud to announce their upcoming production of As You Like It (performances May 13-15, 19-21).  I understand that the "twist" for this production is that it will be entirely gender reversed with men playing the women's roles and, well ... I think you get the idea.  Contact Tyler Lopez at for more information.    

Upcoming performances at the Clark Center ( include Nipomo High School's Pirates of Penzance March 24-26, Arroyo Grande High School's Merchant of Venice March 24-27 in the Studio Theater, Cody Bryant & The Riders of the Purple Sage on April 2, and Lisa Haley & the Zydekats on April 9.

Ryan Cordero ( and Sorcerer Productions (check them out on Facebook) will present Drowsy Chaperone, with performances scheduled for April 1-24, at the Clark Center ( in Arroyo Grande as part of their inaugural season of shows.

The Great American Melodrama's ( current production, The Medicine Man, runs through April 24.

The Santa Maria Civic Theatre's ( next production, An Evening with David Ives, will run April 29 - May 21 (rumor has it they're still looking for a couple of actors to round out the casts of this series of one act plays).

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, is proud to present Pride and Prejudice, April 14 - May 8.

So, whatever your plans are over the next couple of weeks - I hope you will take in a show (or 2?) and support the performing arts community here on the California Central Coast!

Curt Miner ... your guy on the ground with the California Central Coast theatre "news & views" 

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From This Author 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. (read more...)