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Theatre Group at SBCC Continues Season with LIGHT UP THE SKY, Now thru 3/21

The Theatre Group at SBCC will present the hilarious comedy by Moss Hart, LIGHT UP THE SKY, directed by R. Michael Gros, in the Garvin Theatre, tonight, March 4-21, 2015.


Written by a master of the American comedy, Moss Hart, Light up the Sky is an outstanding hit of the Broadway theatre, a gorgeously amusing comedy about show folks caught in the midst of a new production. The play takes place in a hotel room prior to the opening of a new show and follows a truck-driver-turned-playwright watching his first play being produced in Boston. This backstage comedy features the grandly temperamental leading lady; her sarcastic, gin rummy playing mother; the egomaniacal director; the lowbrow producer; and his ice-skating, wisecracking wife. As the opening approaches, tempers mount and only a miracle seems likely to save a play that seems destined to flop spectacularly. Notes Broadway World, "So fresh, insightful and true that it could have been written today."


After working several years as a director of amateur theatrical groups and an entertainment director at summer resorts, Moss Hart scored his first Broadway hit with Once in a Lifetime (1930), a farce about the arrival of the sound era in Hollywood. The play was written in collaboration with Broadway veteran George S. Kaufman, who regularly wrote with others, notably Marc Connelly and Edna Ferber. (Kaufman also performed in the play's original Broadway cast in the role of a frustrated playwright hired by Hollywood.) During the next decade, Kaufman and Hart teamed on a string of successes, including You Can't Take It With You (1936) and The Man Who Came to Dinner (1939). Though Kaufman had hits with others, Hart is generally conceded to be his most important collaborator.

After George Washington Slept Here (1940), Kaufman and Hart called it quits, although throughout the 1930s, Hart worked both with and without Kaufman on several musicals and revues, including: Face the Music (1932); As Thousands Cheer (1933), with songs by Irving Berlin; Jubilee (musical) (1935), with songs by Cole Porter; and I'd Rather Be Right (1937), with songs by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. (Lorenz Hart and Moss Hart were not related.) Hart continued to write plays after parting with Kaufman, such as Christopher Blake (1946) and Light Up the Sky (1948), as well as the book for the musical Lady In The Dark (1941), with songs by Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin. However, he became best known during this period as a director. Among the Broadway hits he staged were Junior Miss(1941), Dear Ruth (1944) and Anniversary Waltz (1954). By far his biggest hit was the musical My Fair Lady (1956), adapted from George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, with book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe. The show ran over seven years and won a Tony Award for Best Musical. Hart picked up the Tony for Best Director. Hart married Kitty Carlisle on August 10, 1946; they had two children. Moss Hart died of a heart attack at the age of 57 on December 20, 1961


Performances will be March 4-21, 2015, Thursday through Saturday @ 7:30pm, Sundays @ 2pm. Previews on March 4 & 5 @ 7:30pm. The Sunday, March 8, 2pm performance will be live-captioned for the hearing-impaired. All performances have the assisted listening system available and the Garvin Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Ticket prices are: Previews $16 general/$13 seniors/$8 students, Thursday evening and Sunday matinees $22 general/$17 seniors/$12 students, Friday and Saturday evenings $24 general/$19 seniors/$15 students. Parking is free and near the Theatre. For information or reservations call the Garvin Theatre Box Office at 805-965-5935 or purchase tickets online at

Photo: Raymond Wallenthin, Marisol Miller-Wave, Stephanie Erb, David Holmes and Susie Couch in The Theatre Group at SBCC's production of LIGHT UP THE SKY.

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