North Coast Rep kicks off 32nd season in Solana Beach with ‘Man with a Load of Mischief’

By Kristina Houck

While other kids listened to Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, director Rick Simas said he played tunes from “Man with a Load of Mischief.” Now Simas is kicking off North Coast Repertory Theatre’s 32nd season with the off-Broadway musical.

“I’ve known this musical since the late ’60s,” said Simas, who co-directs San Diego State University’s master’s program in musical theater. “This was one of those rare finds that people who collected the recordings of musicals would look for because it was a fairly obscure musical and there weren’t a lot of copies of the album out there. I fell in love with the songs and played it over and over.”

Set in the early 19th century, an accident to a coach brings a nobleman, his lackey, a lady and her maid to a wayside inn in England. The musical explores themes of class, equality and first appearances, Simas said.

“I just love the music so much,” he said. “The music is really quite romantic; there’s a lot of intrigue to it. I think the story is interesting.”

With music by John Clifton, “Man with a Load of Mischief” originally opened in 1966 off-Broadway. The musical starred Reid Shelton, who later portrayed Daddy Warbucks in “Annie,” and Virginia Vestoff, who was most famous for her role as Abigail Adams in the original Broadway production of “1776,” a role she reprised in the film adaptation.

‘Man with a Load of Mischief’ cast members Randall Dodge, Robert Yakko and Jacquelyn Ritz Courtesy of

Simas, who has directed more than 100 productions, first produced “Man with a Load of Mischief” in 1991 while teaching in the Bay Area.

“I’m probably the only person in the world who has directed two productions of ‘Man with a Load of Mischief,’” Simas said. “

I really loved it and had a great time with it. Audiences really enjoyed it. It was a great experience for all of us who worked on it.”

Opening Sept. 7, “Man with a Load of Mischief” is Simas’ eighth show at North Coast Repertory Theatre. (Previews will be held Sept. 4-6.)

The San Diego resident said he is excited to launch the local theater’s new season with one of his favorite musicals.

“I feel really quite privileged. It’s my pleasure to introduce North Coast audiences to this piece,” Simas said. “I’m particularly excited to see how audiences respond to it here because I haven’t done it in 22 years. I had a good experience with it and audiences really liked it, but if there’s no name recognition, if you’re not going to see “The Sound of Music,” “My Fair Lady,” “Oklahoma!” or any of the other well-known shows, they don’t come with an expectation.

“I think a lot of people go to musicals because they know the title. They go in knowing the story. I’m interested to see how the audience will respond to this piece not knowing anything about it.”

“Man with a Load of Mischief” plays through Sept. 29 and stars Robert Yakko as “The Man,” Jacquelyn Ritz as “The Lady,” Ron Choularton as “The Innkeeper,” Annie Hinton as “The Innkeeper’s Wife,” Randall Dodge as “The Lord,” and Tatiana Mac as “The Maid.”

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Related posts:

  1. Solana Beach North Coast Rep to mark 30th season with eight shows
  2. ‘Dames at Sea’ set sail at North Coast Rep
  3. North Coast Rep in Solana Beach presents Season 31 lineup
  4. North Coast Rep Theatre ready for new season
  5. North Coast Rep in Solana Beach presents ‘Becoming Cuba’

Short URL:

Posted by Staff on Aug 29, 2013. Filed under A & E, Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply



Bottom Buttons 1

Bottom Buttons 2

Bottom Buttons 3

Bottom Buttons 4

Bottom Buttons 5

Bottom Buttons 6



  • Look how you’ve grown! La Jolla Secret Garden tour celebrates 16 years
    The upcoming Secret Garden Tour of La Jolla, a fundraiser for the La Jolla Historical Society, has come a long way from its first venture in 1999. Event co-founder Linda Marrone said, over time, the committee came up with ways to change and improve the tour, creating the “successful” event it is today. […]
  • La Jolla Community Calendar April 17-24
    Bird Rock Elementary will hold new student registration for the 2014-2105 school year, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 in the Bird Rock Elementary auditorium, 5371 La Jolla Hermosa Ave. An enrollment packet can be picked up in the office in advance to be completed before the registration date. (858) 488-0537. […]
  • Thanks for the non-memories
    When I considered whether to go to my 40th high school reunion — my first reunion ever — the first thing I thought about was whether I’d have to confront my high school nemesis, Medusa (not her real name). […]