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A few weeks ago, Rubicon Theatre in Ventura announced RUBICON GOES RETRO, the first safe-distance drive-in series in the nation presented by a non-profit regional theatre company. The blast-from-the-past series took off this past week with a successful run of DRIVE-IN HITS featuring Tony Award-winner Christian Hoff, Travis Cloer and friends from Jersey Boys and Million Dollar Quartet.

According to Rubicon Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns, "It was all we had hoped for. Audiences were completely safe and comfortable in their cars while enjoying the 75-minute concert from the stage and LED screens at the fairgrounds. The sound was mixed in the moment and enjoyed through an FM receiver or an app on the phone."

"And although we all continue to miss being in the theatre," continues Burns, "the experience had the kind of electricity that can only happen during a live performance. Audiences honked their horns instead of clapping and turned lights on their cell phones and waved them from their sun roofs or windows."

The Rubicon Goes Retro series continues July 20 through 22 with 2 AM AT THE SANDS: SAMONSKY SINGS SINATRA, a concert starring Broadway leading man and Ventura native Andrew Samonsky backed by a nine-piece swing band conducted by KEVIN SURACE.

Says Burns, "With this concert, audiences can travel back in time to Las Vegas in the late '60s, when the Rat Pack ruled, martinis were the drink du jour, and the early morning show at the Sands was the place to be."

The concert features songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and others who performed with "Ol' Blue Eyes" as guests during the 2 AM show at the Sands Hotel - Dean Martin, SAMMY DAVIS, JR. and Tom Jones. Most arrangements are by Quincy Jones, and several of the musicians performed live with Sinatra.

2 AM AT THE SANDS: SAMONSKY SINGS SINATRA plays for three nights only, Monday, July 20, Tuesday, July 21 and Wednesday, July 22 at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $15 to $99 and children under 12 are free, with proceeds benefitting Rubicon's mainstage and educational programs. Tickets are general admission within row and section, and patrons are encouraged to pack a picnic or pick up a meal from a downtown eatery and come early (the lot opens at 6:30 p.m.). A few patron tickets are still available, which include prime parking, names projected on the screens, and other benefits. For safety reasons, tickets are only available in advance and will not be on sale at the venue, which is located at 10 W. Harbor Blvd., Ventura, CA 93001. To purchase, go to or call 805.667.2900.

More about Andrew Samonsky:

Samonsky returns to Rubicon having appeared in the West Coast Premiere of tick...tick...BOOM! (and the subsequent commercial transfer to the Coronet Theatre in L.A.), the World Premiere of Little Miss Scrooge and Merrily We Roll Along. He has also performed for Rubicon in various cabarets and special events, including the streamed performance of Voices of America earlier this month.

Samonsky most recently appeared as Kevin T on the North American tour of Come From Away which played the Music Center. Just prior, he played Tadeusz Lempicki in the World Premiere production of Lempicka at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where it became a New York Times Critic's Pick.

Broadway roles include Lt. Cable in the Tony Award-winning revival of South Pacific, a role he reprised in the "Live from Lincoln Center" PBS broadcast; Neville Landless in The Mystery of Edwin Drood; and Kenneth Ormisten in Scandalous.

He played Robert Kincaid in the National Tour of The Bridges of Madison County (which played at The Ahmanson.) Samonsky originated the role of Captain Phoebus in the American Premiere of The Hunchback of Notre Dame at the Paper Mill Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse. He was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his portrayal of Frank Russell in the Off-Broadway production of Michael John LaChuisa's Queen of the Mist and appeared in the New York City Center Encores! productions of Fiorello! and Merrily We Roll Along. Samonsky originated the roles of Benny in Benny & Joon at The Old Globe, Globe), Richard in Somewhere in Time at Portland Center Stage), Beauchamp in Tales of the City at ACT), Joshua in Little Miss Sunshine at La Jolla Playhouse), and Nick in the First National Tour of Disney's On the Record.

He's been a soloist with symphonies across the country, including the New York Philharmonic and Boston Pops. His TV and film credits include "Madam Secretary," "Elementary," and others.

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