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.  

Murder In Mind Productions (www.murderinmind.com) will present Pirates of Pirates Cove through September 2 at the Spyglass Inn in Shell Beach (reservations required).

100 Years of People - Stories From Our Past will be presented at the Odd Fellows Hall in Arroyo Grande.  "Voices From Halcyon" - July 7, 14, 21 & 28 at2 PM; "This Terrible Tragedy" - August 4, 11, 18 & 25 at2 PM. FREE admission.  Call 805-489-8282 for more information.   

Exit Pursued By a Bear (facebook.com/exitpursuedbyabeartheatre) will present Much Ado About Nothing and Titus Andronicus, running in repertory at Hans Christian Andersen Park in Solvang, August 11 & 12, at 4 PM, and at Dinosaur Caves Park in Shell Beach on August 18 & 19.  Admission is free.  Call 805-698-2158 for additional information.

The Spot (https://www.facebook.com/#!/hit.the.spot) will present the School of Performing Arts Recital July 13 & 14, and Taylor Murphy-Sinclair’s one woman show I Can’t Draw a Heart and Other Episodes July 20-29.

Upcoming performances at the Clark Center (www.clarkcenter.org) include Arroyo Grande Hospital’s Juke Box Rock on July 28, and Central Coast Celebration Chorus’ Alice in Barbershop Land on September 8.

The Great American Melodrama (www.americanmelodrama.com) in Oceano is proud to present Gunsmokin’ or, All Riot’s on the Western Front, written by Ben Millet and adapted by JorDan Richardson, through September 15, followed at each performance by the TGAM Wide World of Sports Vaudeville Revue, directed by Jake McGuire, with musical direction and accompaniment by Mark Pietri.  Beginning July 12, Gunsmokin’ will run alternate performances with the Melodrama’s second summer show, From Rags to Riches.

The Santa Maria Civic Theatre (www.smct.org) will offer a Summer Drama Camp (ages 6-12), culminating in a performance of The Little Mermaid on July 27 & 28 and August 3 & 4.  Auditions for their first mainstage production of the 2012/13 Season, Dearly Beloved, will be held July 9 & 10 (performances September 14 - October 6).   

The Lompoc Civic Theatre's (www.lompoccivictheatre.com) upcoming summer production of tick, tock … BOOM! will run August 3-19.

So, regardless of what else you have planned over the course of the next couple of weeks, I trust you will want to make sure it includes seeing a couple of performances at any number of the numerous theatre and live entertainment establishments here on the Central Coast of California!

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










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