Rubicon Theatre Company Announces DRIVE-IN THEATRE CONCERT SERIES Featuring Christian Hoff and More

By: Jun. 16, 2020
Rubicon Theatre Company Announces DRIVE-IN THEATRE CONCERT SERIES Featuring Christian Hoff and More

While many businesses have been able to open safely in recent weeks, places like theatres, where community members gather together, are unlikely to open for some time. For most theatre-lovers across the nation, the prospect of seeing live entertainment in the near future seems uncertain. But one theatre company in California has found a creative way to change that for their audiences. Rubicon Theatre Company, based in the beachside community of Ventura, has become the first non-profit professional regional theatre in the nation to announce a Safe-Distance Drive-In Theatre Concert Series.

Starting next month, Rubicon patrons will be able to enjoy a series of five 75-minute concerts from the safety and comfort of their cars (parked 6' apart) in the parking lot of the Ventura County Fairgrounds. The benefit series, called Rubicon Goes Retro, opens July 6 and runs through September 9. The line-up includes a stellar mix of performers from the worlds of Broadway, pop and rock who will perform on an elevated stage with video projected on four large video screens on all sides of the stage. All CDC guidelines will be observed for attendees, singers and musicians; and net proceeds support the artistic and educational programs of Rubicon.

"We are excited to partner with CBF Productions and the Fairgrounds to offer a cross between a drive-in theatre experience and a live concert," says Rubicon Theatre Producing Artistic Director Karyl Lynn Burns. "And we are grateful to the artists for giving their talent and support to help ensure that Rubicon remains healthy and vital during the pandemic."

The series kicks off July 6-8 with Drive-In Hits, as Tony® Award-Winner Christian Hoff, Travis Cloer and friends from Jersey Boys and Million Dollar Quartet share their signature harmonies and smooth moves, performing a song-cycle by Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson, Little Richard, and Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. July 20-22, audiences will swoon to the croon of Broadway leading man Andrew Samonsky who returns to his hometown for 2 AM at the Sands: Samonsky Sings Sinatra, backed by a nine-piece swing band conducted by KEVIN SURACE. August 3-5, Forever Plaid: The 30th Anniversary Concert brings together three of the wildly popular original artists who made the show a worldwide hit - David Engel, Jason Graae and Larry Raben. Music legend JIMMY MESSINA of Poco, Buffalo Springfield and Loggins & Messina takes the stage in Jimmy Messina and Friends August 17-19 (with Kenny Loggins sitting in the 19th and other surprise guests on other nights). The series closes September 7-9 with Music of the Knights: The Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Elton John and Paul McCartney. The Phantom of the Opera phenoms' Teri Bibb and Davis Gaines are slated to appear, as well as two-time Golden Globe® nominee Ted Neeley who will brings his rock wail to "Gethsemane" from Jesus Christ Superstar and other favorites.

Says Rubicon Artistic Director James O'Neil, "We look forward to sharing this safe-distance series with the community, and hope it will be a source of entertainment, joy and healing during this very challenging time."

"Although our programming is usually a blend of dramas, comedies and musicals," says Burns, "for this series, we thought it would be fun to take patrons back to the heyday of drive-in theatres. Hence Rubicon Goes Retro!"

Continues Burns, "This is a chance for audiences to pull their old cardigans out of the closet, don dungarees, and take a drive down memory lane. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., so attendees can pack a picnic or pick up a meal from a downtown restaurant to enjoy before the show. Then at 8:00 p.m. as the sun goes down and the concert begins, audience members can cozy up in their car with their arm around their best shelter buddy and hum along to hits from the 1950's to the 1980s."

Tickets for the series range from $15 to $99.50. Subscriptions are available at a 15% savings for all five concerts if purchased by June 23 (subject to availability). Children 12 and under accompanied by adults are FREE. Patron and Premium tickets are available and offer prime parking and other benefits, and include a tax-deductible contribution. Performances begin at 8:00 p.m. The address for Rubicon Goes Retro performances is 10 Harbor Blvd., Parking Lot A, Ventura, CA 93001 (Ventura County Fairgrounds). Full details and a list of questions-and-answers are available on the Rubicon website. To purchase tickets, go to or call 805.667.2900. Rubicon Guest Services is open Noon to 6:00 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.