UNEXPECTED Cast Are Destined for Greatness
Jonathan Gradilla said he is excited to be playing Connor in Unexpected by John Perovich. Gradilla's past credits with Brelby include Ted in Peter and the Starcatcher, the Nutcracker in Quest for Claus: the Musical, as well as serving as assistant stage manager for The 25th Annual County Spelling Bee. According to Gradilla, he grew up loving the theatre from the outside until he gathered up enough courage to audition for a high school production. Since then he said he has found great comfort when on stage. Through process, trial and error, he said he "loves when a production has reached its fullest potential and seeing fellow cast mates thriving in the light."
"Connor is a very pure and naive character," Gradilla said. "He's gone through his whole life listening to the words of his mother, never gaining his own opinions. He's a straightforward guy until he is faced with one of the biggest contradictions of his life. The play, unexpected, is about how the different ways we show love can impact a person and shape who they become.
Anabel Olguin plays Penelope in unexpected. She said she has dedicated her days for the past two years to teaching middle school students all about the wonderful world of theatre. She said she is excited for the culmination of that chapter in her life, and for the start of a new chapter when she will become a high school drama teacher. When Olguin isn't doing theatre at work, she is spending her time as a Brelby company member. She said her journey with Brelby began three years ago when she was cast as Farrah in the unforgettable She Kills Monsters. She has also been seen on the Brelby stage in Beyond Musketeers: Utopia Lost as Aramis, The Oz Chronicles as Jinjur.
"Penelope embodies curiosity, compassion and optimism like no other character in this show," Olguin said. "She is a free spirit and she will stop at nothing to obtain what she wants more than anything in the world, to find true love. Plus, she's an excellent gardener. This show is primarily about love and the many different types of love there are. In unexpected, audiences will get a glimpse of motherly love, sisterly love, first love, lost love, et cetera," she continued.
Gradilla said the best part about workin on unexpected is "getting the opportunity to work with actors from past shows and meeting all the incredible new actors I hadn't met before."
For Olguin, it's not that simple. "I don't think I can choose just one favorite thing about working on this production. I have truly enjoyed the rehearsal process from day one, but if I really had to choose, I would say that the people involved make it that much more enjoyable."
She says audiences should see unexpected because it is one of a kind. "Shows like unexpected only come around once in a while. This play has something for everyone. The play brings you comedy, drama, romance, fantasy and even a little bit of violence all in the span of two hours."
Gradilla said, "unexpected will become a new classic."
Olguin asked, "What more can you ask for?"
Brelby partners with local downtown Glendale businesses to offer more options for audience members. By showing their digital ticket, audiences can receive 10% off of their bill at the Hop Stop Diner, 10% off of any entrée at Haus Murphy's Restaurant, and 10% off of a customer's bill at the Olde Towne Glendale (OTG) Beer & Wine Bar or the Gaslight Inn.
UNEXPECTED plays May 19-20, 26-27, June 2-3, 9-10 at 7:30pm May 21, 28, June 4 at 2:00PM. Tickets are available by visiting the official website at brelby.com/tickets. General admission is $25 per performance. Admission to unexpected is included in the benefits of Brelby's ShowGO subscription: brelby.com/showgo. The Brelby Playhouse is located at 7154 N 58th Dr, Glendale, AZ 85301.