As we arrive at and move beyond the 4th of July Holiday, I hope you have made plans to attend a couple of the shows that are being presented at some of the live performance and theatre venues located here on the Central Coast of California!
The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (www.pcpa.org), the Central Coast's Resident Professional Theatre Company, located on the Allan Hancock College Campus in Santa Maria, will present The Rivals July 5-22 at the Solvang Festival Theater, after a 2 week run at the Marian Theatre in Santa Maria, and Legally Blonde - the Musical, July 6-22 in Santa Maria (July 27 – August 19 in Solvang).
For director Michael Jenkinson, the excitement of Legally Blonde is the opportunity to work on a truly "new" musical; as he says, "how exciting to re-imagine something with a less extensive public life where there are less audience expectations." He also describes this work as a strong, rather than fluff, piece. For him, it is an important work about how we can come to see ourselves as more than what we are, and how we can change the perceptions of ourselves that we put forward to others. Too often, Jenkinson argues, we judge a book by its cover; we bring our stereotypes and prejudices to bear on an individual or a situation. "We need to be reminded that pink isn't foolish and blonde isn't banal." Legally Blonde, in its heroine Elle Woods, asks us to reconsider those attitudes. Her self-empowerment empowers others (men and women alike). Her journey in this musical celebrates sisterhood and supports the position of women in modern life in a modern world.
While originally created in 2001, Jenkinson and his team have chosen to work on a design that is current. The silhouette of 2012 is distinct and it is essential to the contemporary nature of this staging. The team is also working to make the regional distinctions ofL.A.and the East Coast clear and vibrant, while making the "stage geography" representational rather than detailed and cinematically specific. Jenkinson is particularly excited by the fun and energy generated by the humor of the work, and by the flow and montage style of its staging. This play drives the story through quick changes, energy and delighted romance [PHOTO: Jessica Crouch as Elle Wood].
The Pewter Plough Playhouse (www.pewterploughplayhouse.org) in Cambria will present Six Dance Lessons In Six Weeks, through July 29.
The Theatre at the Cambria Center for the Arts’ (http://artistsofcambria.com/cambriapac/index.html) Rumors, by Neil Simon, will run August 10 - September 2.
The REC Foundation in Paso Robles is sponsoring a production of Man of La Mancha, directed by Cynthia Anthony and Jacob Shearer, at Centennial Park, performances September 21 & 22. Call Jacob at 805-975-5023 for more information.
The Central Coast Shakespeare Festival (http://centralcoastshakespeare.org/) will present The Tempest, July 12-28, at River Oaks Amphitheatre in Paso Robles.
Kelrik Productions (www.kelrikproductions.com) will present their summer musical, Grease, through July 8, and their Grades 1-10 Summer Camp/Performance Class production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr in early August.
SLO Little Theatre’s (www.slolittletheatre.org) current mainstage production, My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra, will run through July 22.
And then be sure to check out SLOLT’s Ubu’s Other Shoe’s readers’ theatre production of Arcadia July 27 & 28, Academy of Creative Arts’ Anne of Avonlea August 3-12, and The Marvelous Wonderettes August 31 – September 23.
Upcoming performances at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center (www.pacslo.org) include Leslie Jordan on July 7, Joe Goode Performance Group on August 9, Jumpbrush in Concert on August 11, The Academy of Dance's DANCIN' 2012 on August 12, the US Air Force Band of the Golden West on August 14, and CORE Dance Company’s Confessions of a Love Junkie August 17 & 18.