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Stories written by geseanari

‘Midsummer’ holds sweet dreams for theatergoers

With a track record of hits sustained by its artists, it’s not surprising the La Jolla Playhouse could take a script that’s four centuries old and craft it into an evening of entertainment those in attendance will remember long after leaving the theater. Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” has never been so extraordinarily delightful.

Ross returns to Old Globe in semi-biographic comedy

Playwright Joe DiPietro, who recently won two Tony Awards for co-writing the musical “Memphis,” has had a busy few years.

So when a friend asked if he would write a romance about her personal life, DiPietro said no, at first. But after some insistence, he penned the play. After all, who can refuse iconic film and TV star Marion Ross?

The West Coast premiere of DiPietro’s “The Last Romance” opens at the Old Globe on July 30.

Del Mar actress lands role in ‘Hairspray’ from San Diego Rep

From the time it first aired in 1988 on the big screen, John Water’s “Hairspray” has had an iconic journey. The 1960s dance-style musical opened on Broadway in 2004 and earned eight Tony awards from 13 nominations. Now theater patrons can see what all the excitement is about when “Hairspray” opens at the San Diego Repertory Theatre on July 17. And, for the first time in local theater history, high school students from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts (SCPA) join professional actors in the production.

Music makes magic in Playhouse’s ‘Midsummer’

William Shakespeare’s comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” will unfold next week in La Jolla Playhouse’s Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre with professional musicians and students from the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory playing music scored for the show, interspersed with classics by Felix Mendelssohn.

Review: It’s a laugh a letter in ‘Putnum County Spelling Bee’

What better way for North Coast Repertory Theatre to usher out its season than with the riotous “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” playing through Aug. 1, there is hardly a chance to catch your breath before you break out in another burst of laughter.

Cast hits quirky notes in musical ‘Bee’

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” playing at North Coast Repertory Theatre, captures the intrigue and amusement that unfolds as six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally-quirky grown-ups.

The contestants soon learn the competition is more than just a spelling bee. With many hilarious turn-of-events, it’s also a dividing line between childhood and adulthood. The reactions to misspelled words can’t be guessed and often leave audiences in stitches.

The two-time Tony Award-winning hit musical is directed by Rick Simas, who saw the play before it went to Broadway. Simas, a teacher in San Diego State University’s MFA Musical Theater Program, knew he wanted to direct the play. “Spelling Bee,” ups the excitement of the show each evening by randomly choosing four people to come on stage and be spellers in the performance.

High wave and high-tech worlds collide in ‘Surf Report’

La Jolla Playhouse patrons who enjoyed Annie Weisman’s 2001 “Be Aggressive” can look forward to seeing her new play, “Surf Report,” making its world premiere at the Playhouse beginning June 15.

Weisman, who grew up in the Del Mar area, came to know the surfing culture of the San Diego region. Her story rides that wave but soon crashes into the high-tech scientific world that indistinctly encompasses the La Jolla community.

Although Weisman now lives away from San Diego, her idea to write a play about her native community was always on her mind.

REVIEW: ‘Voice of the Prairie’ is so fun, you’ll want to see it twice

Leaving an audience so intent that you can hear a pin drop one minute and then hear bursts of laughter ringing out in the next, is true entertainment. That’s what happens in North Coast Repertory Theatre’s “The Voice of the Prairie.”

The story that unravels on the NCRT stage is similar to one of those tall tales we’ve all heard on the popular “Prairie Home Companion” radio show. To have it unfold right before your eyes is icing on the cake.

When a fast-thinking, fast-talking Leon (James Maddy) cranks up his radio and hopes there’s enough power to do his show, he has to be vigilant and entertaining. He knows he’s operating his radio station without a license and that his audience needs another voice to hear.

Ross to preside over Globe fest

Where does time go? It’s the question the Old Globe staff, creators and hundreds of artists who have performed or seen their work stage there must surely be asking themselves. This year, the Old Globe celebrates its 75th anniversary with an exciting open house that’s free to the public. Marion Ross, Old Globe associate artist and TV icon of “Happy Days,” will preside over the event as Queen Elizabeth.

“This is the second time I’ve performed this role,” Ross said. “The Globe is like my home. I performed in “Ladies in Retirement” when I was 18, then “The Twelfth Knight” at the Globe in 1935. It was one of Shakespeare’s plays performed in repertory as part of California Pacific International Exposition.”

Suspense drives drama in ‘The Whipping Man’

The dark, somber and desolate stage of the Globe’s West Coast Premiere of “The Whipping Man” is immediately brought to life when Caleb (Mark J. Sullivan) enters the shattered door of his family’s now destroyed Southern plantation home. It’s just another blow that Caleb faces as he struggles to get down the stairs on one leg; his other was severely damaged in a Civil War battle.

Instantly staring down the nose of a rifle, once again Caleb fears for his life. He and his assailant enter into a shouting match until Caleb recognizes the voice of Simon (Charlie Robinson), his family’s former slave — now a free man.

This fact doesn’t register with Caleb at first as he orders Simon to bring him some water. There’s hesitancy in Simon’s demeanor as the impact of the demand settles in, yet gives way to the fact he’s known this boy since he was a young lad. Simon tells him things are different now, but dutifully brings Caleb the water.