Cygnet Theatre Announces Mae West Play DIRTY BLONDE for May-June


Artistic Director Sean Murray today announced DIRTY BLONDE, a bawdy, brassy, funny, sexy and touching contemporary love story that captures the essence of Mae West and two fans who loved her, for May 17 to June 17 at the The Old Town Stage in San Diego State Historic Park.

Claudia Shear's DIRTY BLONDE reveals the true spirit behind West's sexy celluloid facade. Nominated for five Tony Awards in 2000, the sexy, funny play chronicles the actress' colorful career, from her beginnings in vaudeville to her legendary stature as one of the silver screen's greatest bombshells. The love-comedy with music focuses on two Mae West-obsessed strangers who seek the grave of their heroine and find each other, but not before there is cross-dressing, an appearance by W.C. Fields and a body building musical number!

Known for her delicious and provocative quotes and double entendres, West was also a trail blazer for women. "Before Madonna...there was Mae West," commentEd Murray in explaining the long-standing appeal of Mae West. "She was one of the first women to embrace her sexuality and leverage it to further her career. She was a feminist, a gay rights activist and a star with a capital S."

Steve Gunderson and Melinda Gilb, who have been bringing their talent and hilarity to San Diego stages for nearly 30 years, team up once again at Cygnet Theatre for DIRTY BLONDE. Audiences may remember them as the creative team behind SUDS-The Musical, The Melinda and Steve Show and on stage in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Gunderson also created (with Kathy Najimy) Off- Broadway's Back to Bacharach and David, which starred Gilb. The creative collaboration continued with Dixie Highway, which featured Gilb performing a score by Gunderson.

Melinda Gilb (The Receptionist) stars as both Mae West and her number-one fan, Jo. As her soul-mate, Charlie, Steve Gunderson (Sweeney Todd - SD Critics Circle Award Performer of the Year) co-stars and also appears in other roles. Resident Artist David McBean (It's a Wonderful Life, Pageant, Fully Committed - SD Critics Circle Award Outstanding Solo Performance) provides his unmatched comedic talent, doing what he does best, playing a wide and wacky variety of characters throughout the journey. McBean will also serve as pianist and Music Director.

"I can't think of three better people to bring this story to our stage than Melinda, Steve and David," Murray said. "These actors have that wonderful ability to make you laugh out loud while tugging at your heartstrings, all at once."

Cygnet's performance schedule for all shows will be Wednesdays & Thursdays at 7:30pm, Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 3pm and 8pm and Sundays at 2pm and 7pm.

For more information regarding tickets, subscriptions and other theatre packages, please contact the box office at 619-337-1525 or visit

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