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New Musical 'Twice Upon a Time' Opens CLOSBC 08' Season

The Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities will open their 16th season with the world premiere musical Twice Upon a Time by British playwright Ray Cooney, at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center beginning previews February 16, 2008.

Other shows included in the 2008 season are Miss Saigon, Bye Bye Birdie and Fiddler on the Roof.

Twice Upon a Time is written and directed by Cooney, with lyrics by Mary Stewart-David and music by Chris Walker, and runs through March 2, 2008.

Taking place in 1929 Chicago and 2008 Boston, Twice Upon a Time is described as being "full of toe-tapping tunes and dances and an abundance of laughs... where gangsters rule with their Tommy guns and every Guy gets his Doll."

"Our hero, Steven Tancred, is a hot shot lawyer who lives in England  and works for a large firm whose clients includes a shopping centre developer. A poor  little old lady has the unfortunate luck to be living in a lovely house right in the middle of the development. The nasty developer wants her out, and it's the job of our hero to do it.  During hypnotherapy intended to cure his smoking, he discovers a past life more exciting than his present one. As Johnny May, rookie hoodlum in the Prohibition-era Chicago  gang of Bugs Moran, he falls for Ruby, Bugs's reluctant showgirl moll. As Steven, he is a decent chap with principles, engaged to his boss's daughter and destined for a long career in the family firm. Will his time-travelling exploits on Doctor Patel's couch lead him to rethink his choices?"

Miss Saigon, with a book by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, with lyrics by Boublil and Richard Maltby, Jr., runs from April 30 through May 18 with opening night set for May 3.

"A modern adaptation of Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon similarly tells the tragic tale of a doomed romance involving an Asian woman abandoned by her Caucasian lover," state press notes.  "The setting of the plot is relocated to the 1970s Saigon during the Vietnam War, and Madame Butterfly's American Lieutenant and Japanese geisha coupling is replaced by a romance between an American GI and a Vietnamese bar girl. Inspired by a photograph of a Vietnamese mother leaving her child at a departure gate to board a plane headed for the United States where her ex-GI father would be in a position to provide a much better life for the child, Schönberg considered this mother's actions for her child to be 'The Ultimate Sacrifice,' an idea central to the plot of Miss Saigon."

Bye Bye Birdie, with a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams and music by Charles Strouse, runs from September 17 through October 5 with opening night set for September 20.

"Originally titled 'Let's Go Steady,' (Bye Bye Birdie) the satire on American society is set in 1958 and focuses on Conrad Birdie, a hip-thrusting, rock and roll superstar (a.k.a. Elvis Presley) from Allentown , Pennsylvania," state press notes.  "It is a satire done with the fondest affection, and tells the story of this heartthrob who is about to be inducted into the army and creates a near-riot in a small town when he stops for one last publicity junket before shipping out. The original cast included Dick Van Dyke, Chita Rivera and the late Charles Nelson Reilly and was made into a movie also starring Dick Van Dyke and Ann Margaret." 

Fiddler on the Roof, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein, closes the season running from December 3 through the 21st with opening night set for December 6.

"The story of Tevye the dairyman who, like the other fathers in the small village of Anatevka, has raised his children to uphold the age-old Jewish customs of his ancestors," state press notes.  "When the time has come to find suitable husbands for his beloved daughters, Tevye soon finds out that the young are guided by their hearts and not their elders. Winner of nine Tony Awards, the original Broadway cast included Zero Mostel as the protagonist Tevye the Milkman, Maria Karnilova as his wife Golde, Bea Arthur as Yente the Matchmaker, and Bert Convy as Perchik the student revolutionary. This spectacular stage show was the first Broadway musical to surpass the 3,000 performance mark and went on to become a smash-hit Oscar-winning film. 'Fiddler on the Roof' features some of the most memorable songs in musical history including features songs loved the world over: 'Sunrise, Sunset,' 'If I Were A Rich Man' and 'Matchmaker,' to name a few."

The Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 1935 Manhattan Beach Boulevard in Redondo Beach.  For tickets and more information, visit www.civiclightopera.com, or call 310-372-4477.


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James Sims is the Senior Editor at BroadwayWorld.com. Beyond his duties on this website, James also contributes as a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. (read more...)