photo (c) Tiffany Diamond
Four big musicals all open this month! My Fair Lady, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, (world premiere) Come From Away, and The Sound of Music all get major productions. There is also a new subversive puppet extravaganza from Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes.
Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, the story explores societal prejudices towards class and gender through the tale of lowly Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Allison Standley) and her unlikely run-in with linguistics teacher Henry Higgins (Mark Anders), who embarks on an experiment to transform Eliza into a proper lady.
A new Scot Augustson and Sgt. Rigsby & His Amazing Silhouettes puppet world premiere, performed with radio show-style voices supplied by live actors, original live music, and a menagerie of two-dimensional puppets, the story follows the adventures of orphan Karla Fox, inspired by classic thrillers such as Gaslight and Rebecca. After her parents die in a suspicious accident (involving a drunken bulldog driving a moving van full of pianos), Karla Fox goes to live with her strange, stern Aunt Sadie. But soon Aunt Sadie’s particular brand of crazy gets too real and Karla is forced to flee in the night for her very life. (Not For Children)
Based on the classic MGM motion picture starring Dick Van Dyke, this sparkling musical is filled with the catchy tunes and quirky characters depicted in the original work. Directed by retiring artistic director Linda Hartzell, the story follows Eccentric Inventor Caratacus Potts, Jeremy and Jemima Potts, Truly Scrumptious and of course Chitty the car on an adventure to save the children of Vulgaria. Hartzell says, “As you might expect, the largest challenge is creating a full-size, fully-detailed period car that appears to move around the stage, float on water, and sprout wings and fly!”
World-premiere musical Come From Away is a co-production with La Jolla Playhouse. Featuring book, music and lyrics by the Canadian husband-and-wife team of Irene Sankoff and David Hein (My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding), the production is directed by La Jolla Playhouse Artistic Director Christopher Ashley.
Based on an inspiring true story, September 11, 2001, was an ordinary day in isolated Gander, Newfoundland—until it wasn’t. Thirty-eight planes were diverted to its doorstep on that fateful day, making this small town unexpected hosts to an international community. The camaraderie that followed reminds us of the power that comes from opening up your heart and your home.
Boasting such beloved songs as Do Re Mi, My Favorite Things, Sixteen Going on Seventeen, and Climb Ev’ry Mountain, this production of Austria on the brink of World War II will bring the iconic musical to life. An all-star local cast enlivens the proceedings, with young talent Kirsten deLohr Helland as Maria.