Cabrillo Stage Premieres Re-Imagined Work LUNCH, Now thru 1/19

Photo by Jana Marcus & RR Jones.

Cabrillo Stage, the professional musical theatre company in residence at Cabrillo College, concludes their 32nd repertory season with the premiere of a re-imagined work, Lunch, playing today, January 3 through 19 at the Cabrillo Crocker Theater.

Anticipation and excitement have been building rapidly at Cabrillo Stage as they prepare for Emmy-winner Rick Hawkins and music legends Steve Dorff and John Bettis to descend upon the company for the premiere of their original musical, Lunch. The heartwarming musical comedy tells the story of Mackenzie Richards, a recently deceased Wall Street specialist who discovers that he will not be allowed access to the Gates of Eternity until he proves himself worthy by working "The Lunch Shift." As an emissary from heaven, Mackenzie is given one hour to answer three prayers in three separate Manhattan locations during the busy noontime rush. Providing non-stop laughs as he frantically scrambles to carry out his task, along the way Mackenzie learns how the choices we make affect those around us and that the power of friendship, family, and love are timeless.

Multi award-winning legends Steve Dorff, John Bettis and Rick Hawkins will be at Cabrillo Stage for the rehearsal process in December as well as the opening weekend of performances, not only to "shop the show" to New York and Hollywood producers for future productions, but also for the Evening With The Authors events on January 4. "This is an incredible time for our company," says Artistic Director Jon Nordgren. "Cabrillo Stage is producing a huge, top-notch production of Lunch, and so fortunate to be able to work with these amazing writers on the premiere. It's truly a magical experience."

The January 4 Evening With The Authors events include an intimate pre-show reception with wine and hors d'oeuvres at the historic Cabrillo Sesnon House. The $25 per person reception is a fundraiser for Stage's 2014-15 season, and will give attendees the opportunity to meet and talk with the authors of Lunch. Following the January 4 performance is a free post-show discussion with the authors, on stage at the Crocker Theater.

Cabrillo Stage welcomes Equity actress and TV star Sherry Hursey to the company this January (Home Improvement, Bring It On, Nip/Tuck), along with such Stage audience favorites Nicholas Ceglio (Groucho in Night at the Nutcracker, Love...Perfect...Change, Scrooge), Max Bennett-Parker (Anything Goes, Chico in Night at the Nutcracker, Forever Plaid) and Ashley Little (Hairspray, Swing, Dorothy in Wizard of Oz). Andrew Ceglio directs the production while Jon Nordgren conducts the full pit orchestra.

Don't miss a rare treat to meet and talk with the Grammy and Emmy winning authors of Lunch, Steve Dorff, John Bettis and Rick Hawkins, on Saturday, January 4. Come to a pre-show reception which benefits Cabrillo Stage's upcoming 2014-15 season, from 5:30 - 7:00 PM at the Cabrillo Sesnon House. Reception is limited to first 160 guests. Get your $25 tickets at After the evening's performance expect a lively Q&A at the post-show discussion with authors, actors and directors in the Crocker Theater.

Cabrillo Stage's Lunch
WHEN: January 3 - 19, 2014. Thursday - Saturday evenings at 7:30 PM, Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM
WHERE: Cabrillo Crocker Theater, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA
TICKETS: Online now at
Staffed box office at 831-479-6154 opens December 10. Prices $22 - $42 (includes ticket fees). Call for group discounts and student rush tickets.

Evening with the Authors Benefit: Saturday, January 4, 5:30 - 7:00 PM, Cabrillo Sesnon House. $25 per person benefits Stage's upcoming season. 831-479-6154 or for tickets.

About The Authors:

Steve Dorff - Composer. There is no way to capture the diversity Steve Dorff regularly displays scoring major motion pictures, television, theater, or via an array of # 1 hit songs. In addition to winning the NSAI Songwriter of the Year award, Dorff has also been honored with more than 40 BMI, and 11 Billboard #1 awards. Three-time Grammy nominee and a fixture on the nation's charts, his dossier includes nine #1 film songs and 15 Top 10 hits, including the Kenny Rogers' classic "Through The Years", a BMI 3 million performance song, as well as "I Just Fall In Love Again ", the Anne Murray record that captured Billboard's #1 Song Of The Year honors. His many songs have been sung by some of the greatest artists of our time-Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, George Strait, Vanessa Williams and countless others.

John Bettis - Lyricist. John has written songs that have been sung by some of the most loved artists of our time. Michael Jackson, George Strait, Celine Dion, Madonna, Diana Ross, Whitney Houston, The Carpenters, Julio Igelsias, Barbara Mandrell, Dionne Warwick, New Kids on the Block, Jennifer Warnes and scores of others have recorded his work. John has been nominated for an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, 3 Grammies and 3 Emmys. John received the Emmy in 1988 for "One Moment In Time", theme for that year's Olympics. He also received an Emmy for "Where There Is Hope" in 2003. His list of film work runs from Twilight Zone: The Movie, Vision Quest and Star Trek V to Cocktail and The Godfather Part III. His TV Themes include Growing Pains, Murphy Brown and Empty Nest. In addition to the musical Lunch, he received a Los Angeles Drama Critics' Best Musical Score award for lyrics to The Last Session in 1999. His Svengali, collaboration with Frank Wildhorn, was awarded the prestigious D. Alton Jones grant. Pure Country, the musicalization of the hit film of the same name, also written with Steve Dorff, is currently planned to open at Casa Manana next year. Tony winner Ken Waissman, is producing Bettis and Dorff's Josephine, a musical based on the life of Josephine Baker, for Broadway.

Rick Hawkins - Author. Emmy-winner, Rick Hawkins began his career in television writing for The Carol Burnett Show, where his "Went With Wind" sketch has become one of the most memorable moments in TV history. Hawkins television writing credits span variety, half-hour comedy and drama and have earned him seven Emmy Award nominations, five WGA Writing Award nominations and he twice received the Scott Newman Award. Writing and Executive Producing for twenty-six consecutive TV seasons, Hawkins has worked on such classic series as Welcome Back Kotter, The Love Boat, Dear John, Mama's Family, Punky Brewster, Sister/Sister, Major Dad, The Wayons Bros., and Soul Food. >From 2005 to 2009 Hawkins was home based in Moscow, Russia, where he served as an International Television Consultant for Sony Telepictures, adapting American programming into hit series in Eastern Europe. He oversaw the creation of Russian versions of Married With Children, Who's the Boss and Everybody Loves Raymond, all of which became major international successes.
Lunch is Hawkins' first effort with songwriters, Dorff and Bettis, with whom he has also written the musical, Say Goodnight, A Love Story. Hawkins has penned the stage play, An Offering of Scorpions and is currently working on a Second Stage play, Currency.

About Cabrillo stage: Cabrillo Stage is a non-profit, non-union professional summer stock musical theatre company dedicated to presenting full-scale Broadway musicals to the greater Monterey Bay Area. Producing a diversity of Musical Theatre Works with the goal of educating as well as giving its audiences quality family entertainment, Cabrillo Stage is recognized as one of the three major annual performing arts events in Santa Cruz County. Each summer since 1981, Cabrillo Stage has provided thousands of Santa Cruz county residents and visitors with unforgettable, critically acclaimed productions, noted for innovative sets, beautiful costumes, an outstanding pit orchestra and talented, professional performers. Cabrillo Stage is committed to providing a nurturing, supportive, artistic environment that allows all of its artisans, professional and non-professional, the opportunity to create musicals with high quality production values. Jon Nordgren, Producing Artistic Director.

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