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MISS GULCH RETURNS! to Kick Off Diversionary Theatre and Martinis Above Fourth's New Collaboration, 4/2-6

Diversionary Theatre and Martinis Above Fourth | Table & Stage in beautiful Hillcrest are excited to announce a new collaboration in 2014, presenting for the first time ever performances of Diversionary's adventurous Cabaret series in San Diego's premier Dinner Theatre!

First up for the new collaboration is "Miss Gulch Returns!", with book, music and lyrics by Fred Barton, and featuring Diversionary and San Diego favorite Tony Houck as the title character.

Interim Executive Director Todd Nelms says "Diversionary Theatre's Cabaret series has always been about up close, high quality and fun entertainment for everyone to enjoy - a perfect fit for this new partnership with San Diego's premier Supper Club, Martinis Above Fourth | Table & Stage! And what better way to kick off our collaboration than to revisit Miss Gulch 75 years after The Wizard of Oz left her in the dust? We're excited to bring her story to a new venue and expose new audiences to Diversionary."

This April, discover the truth behind the ultimate enemy of Dorothy. In this musical exploration of a stereotype, a gay performer trades identities with the infamous curmudgeon Miss Gulch, now liberated from her 2-dimensional, sepia-toned moorings of the screen. She wrestles with an old Hollywood stereo-type in her new, unlikely profession - cabaret entertainer in a Judy-Garland-obsessed world. This musical comedy is a Valentine to the romantically disenfranchised, who can find a new spokesperson in the ultimate spinster, Miss Gulch.

This limited engagement runs April 2, 3, 5, & 6, 2014 at Martini's Above Fourth (3940 4th Ave, San Diego, CA 92103). Tickets are available now at, by calling 619-220-0097 or by visiting 4545 Park Boulevard San Diego, CA 92116. Ticket prices range from $22-$35, with a $15 food and beverage minimum.

TONY HOUCK (Miss Gulch) has been performing on the Diversionary stage since 2008. He was last seen as Suzie in the world premiere of She-Rantulas from Outer Space- in 3D!. Prior to that, he was musical director and accompanist for Marry Me a Little and played the title role in the cabaret show he co-wrote with the stunning Ms. Jacque Wilke, Miss Kitty's Wild West Revue. Other Diversionary credits include: The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler, Pippin, Harmony, Kansas, Next Fall, [title of show], Twist, Yank!, Anita Bryant Died for Your Sins, and Dear Harvey. This is his second year directing and third performing in the holiday hit Scrooge in Rouge, for which he has received a Craig Noel Award (2008) and LA Scenie (2012) award for his performance as Lottie and a LA Scenie (2012) award for his direction of the show. Diversionary Cabaret credits include: Heather and Tony: We Might Be Cousins, Señor Phil's Casa del Haha, and Facts of Life: The Lost Episode. Elsewhere, Tony appeared as Helga in Cygnet Theater's award winning Cabaret. He is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.

RICK SHAFFER (Musical Director) Rick's professional career in musical theater has spanned 45 years with over 400 musicals and plays to his credit. Since his early teens, he has worked continuously as an actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer, and musical director. Originally based out of New York City, Rick moved to San Diego in 1989 to continue his theatrical endeavors. Over the years, notable colleagues have included John Raitt, Alfred Drake, Andy Kaufman, Tom Wopat, Jonathan Larson, Marin Mazzie, and Dana Delany. Rick's San Diego credits include dozens of productions for such theater companies as Diversionary Theatre, Coronado Playhouse, Scripps Ranch Theatre, Compass Theatre, PowPAC, Lamplighters, Pickwick Players, and the Honors Theatre Project of the SDUSD Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

ABOUT DIVERSIONARY THEATRE: Diversionary Theatre was founded in 1986 to provide quality theatre for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The mission of the theatre is to produce plays with gay, lesbian and bisexual themes that portray characters in their complexity and diversity both historically and contemporarily. The goal of the theatre is to continue telling the story of the LGBT community, while providing a home and venue for the remarkable talents of the San Diego's theater professionals.

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