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‘Boeing-Boeing’ ready for flight at Old Globe

Theater patrons can travel back to the days of classic romantic comedy with the Old Globe’s Tony Award-winning farce, “Boeing-Boeing.” The hilarious charade involves Bernard (Rob Breckenridge), an airline pilot who has his life planned so well that he’s engaged to three women. Will he need a parachute to face his final leap into thin air? Find out when “Boeing-Boeing” runs March 13–April 18 in the Globe Theatre.

The original 1960s farce, written in French by Marc Camoletti, made a 1962 London premiere. While the New York production ran for only days, the London production ran for seven years. Mark Schneider, director of “Boeing-Boeing” and who was the associate director on Matthew Warchus’ Tony Award-winning revival of “Boeing-Boeing” and directed its 2008 UK tour, thinks the Globe patrons will find the show highly amusing.

“It’s the story of the Tortoise and the Hare,” Schneider said. “Bernard is a Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, Ralph Kramden-type guy who has a can’t-miss scheme, but the audience is ahead of him. He believes he can remain engaged to three women with no problem, but nature intercedes. Schedules change, and the girls show up at different times than expected.”

‘Culture Clash’ goes beyond immigrant jokes

Entertainers who sustain a career that lasts three decades are rare, but three young Latinos with an urge to entertain, and later a vision to also educate, are among that elite group. Ric Salinas, Herbert Siguenza and Richard Montoya began their comedy troupe Culture Clash in 1984 and have been on the road and in theaters ever since. Their noted show “Culture Clash in AmeriCCa” opens at the San Diego Repertory Theatre on Feb. 18.

The Culture Clash troupe’s first years were diverse. Through its use of satire, vaudeville, mime and spoken-word vignettes, the troupe experienced everything from being run out of towns to creating iconic characters such as a Puerto Rican political activist in Manhattan and Ugandan cab drivers in San Diego.

“We were touring like a rock band,” Montoya said. “We would go from town to town, set up in a community theater, be loud, and put on an assortment of plays, skits and musicals. We were barnstorming America!”

REVIEW: ‘Lost in Yonkers’ still has its charm

Since its initial staging in 1991, Neil Simon’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Lost in Yonkers” has entertained audiences large and small. The drama about survival takes place in 1942 when a family is facing big changes over the coming year. The all-star cast in The Old Globe production present a wonderful rendition of the play, full of both laughs and poignant moments.

We first meet brothers Jay (Steven Kaplan) and Arty (Austyn Myers) in their Grandmother Kurnitz’s immaculate living room where they are scoping the place out and recalling funny moments with their father’s side of the family. Their father, Eddie (Spencer Rowe), runs back and forth from his mother’s room reminding the boys not to disturb anything or leave hair oil on the doilies. He’s extremely nervous and promising to be finished soon.

Eddie’s absence gives the boys time to introduce us to the family through their conversations. It’s immediately clear they truly dislike their grandmother, whom they’ve barely seen during their formative years. Arty erupts with laughter when Jay mimics their Aunt Gert (Amanda Naughton) who says half a sentence while exhaling and the other half while inhaling. They romanticize speculation about Uncle Louie, who Jay explains is a “bag” man, and the more he tries to explain that, the more Arty misconstrues every word.

Play addresses inadequate school systems

After a career teaching children and worries about students meeting the needs of the 2002 No Child Left Behind act, Nilaja Sun felt prompted to create “No Child…” a critically acclaimed and Obie award-winning one-woman show. The one-night only production will be 7 p.m. Jan. 30 in La Jolla Playhouse’s Mandell Weiss Theatre, UCSD campus.

Sun taught in New York City schools for seven years and has been a teaching artist ever since working with math, science and drama teachers in different schools. Sun received a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to write her play, and “No Child…” was commissioned to be performed by the Epic Theater Center.

“It was about a three-month process of thinking, writing and editing,” Sun said. “I really wanted to write a piece on the experience, process and journey of a workshop we do in high school and middle schools as teaching artists.”

Magic, illusion, vaudeville part of ‘Aurelia’s Oratorio’

Figuratively born in a trunk, Aurelia Thierree spent her childhood on the stage. She performed with her parents, Jean-Baptiste Thierree and Victoria Thierree Chaplin, who created the world-renowned Cirque Imaginaire and Cirque Invisible. With her own theatrical piece, “Aurelia’s Oratorio,” Thierree brings a blend of vaudeville, magic, illusion and acrobatics to La Jolla Playhouse from Feb. 3-28.

In addition to her early exposure to an art form that’s truly unique, Aurelia and her brother James (a writer, director and actor) learned most of their skills from their mother, Victoria.

Victoria Thierree Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin’s daughter) studied ballet and music in Switzerland. When she met Jean-Baptiste, she discovered they shared a passion to create a more intimate approach to the circus. Their productions have entertained audiences worldwide.

REVIEW: It’s a laugh a minute in North Coast Rep’s ‘Glorious!’

There’s something exciting about a live performance based on someone’s real-life story; patrons are entertained and educated at the same time.

In Peter Quilter’s “Glorious!” on stage at the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach through Feb. 7, that real life story is about Florence Foster Jenkins, an America soprano and socialite who earned the title “The Worst Singer in the World.”

Rosina Reynolds and Christopher M. Williams direct this delightful and exceptionally funny comedy. The play begins with video clips of Jenkins, who lived from 1868 to 1944. With no vocal talent, her father forbade her to sing publicly, but once he passed away and left her a fortune, Jenkins sang her heart out.

Neil Simon’s ‘Lost in Yonkers’ unfolds in Globe theater

Families looking for solid entertainment will get double their money’s worth when seeing Neil Simon’s Pulitzer prize-, Tony award-winning drama “Lost in Yonkers,” Jan. 23–Feb. 28. It’s the inaugural production in The Old Globe’s new theatre-in-the-round, the Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, in Balboa Park.

“Lost in Yonkers” is set in the summer of 1942 as the country, barely rising from The Great Depression, finds itself in World War II. Brothers Arty and Jay are sent to their grandmother’s while dad tries to recoup some finances. Their dominating Grandma Kurnitz (Judy Kaye) runs the family-owned candy store.

The boys will also grow up under the thumb of their mentally challenged Aunt Bella who has a secret romance, and their Uncle Louie, a small-time hood.

Music, ghostly happenings steer ‘Whisper House’

What happens when an orphaned boy is forced to live with his crotchety aunt in a presumably haunted New England lighthouse is the theme of “Whisper House,” a world premiere musical by songwriter Duncan Sheik and writer/musician Kyle Jarrow.

“Whisper House,” directed by Peter Askin, runs through Feb. 21 in The Old Globe Theater.

Set in 1942, “Whisper House” has World War II in full swing. Eleven-year-old Christopher (Eric Brent Zutty), who has suffered losing his father to the war and his distraught mother to an institution, must now live with his Aunt Lilly (Mare Winningham), a lighthouse keeper.

Music, performed by ghosts (David Poe and Holly Brook), is filtered throughout the heart-warming story as Christopher imagines he’s hearing strange noises in the lighthouse. It’s when Christopher begins to hear the strange music that his fears intensify.

Lessons of Scrooge still haunt us in ‘A Christmas Carol’

If watching another wonderful production of “A Christmas Carol” isn’t enough enticement to head out to the North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach this month, then maybe the addition of “snow” will do the trick. Lifetime Achievement Award winner Jonathan McMurtry will bedazzle as the favorite seasonal curmudgeon, the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge. The play has been adapted by Jacqueline Goldfinger and is directed by NCR actor, director and playwright Matt Thompson.

“I am thrilled that North Coast Rep is producing ‘A Christmas Carol’ for a third year,” Goldfinger said. “I am so happy that it has become a part of the holiday tradition in our community, and in communities around the country.”

The wonderful story of “A Christmas Carol” has been relished every season for more than 100 years. Audiences never tire of the story about a miser who sees no use in giving and is taught an invaluable lesson by his employee Bob Cratchit and his warm family, and especially Cratchit’s son, Tiny Tim, who is quite ill.

REVIEW: ‘I Do, I DO’ There’s nothing like a happy marriage

The first play to inaugurate The Old Globe’s new Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre (formerly the Cassius Carter) is the musical “I Do! I Do!” A tight classic that quickly journey’s through 50 years of a couple’s marriage, “I Do! I Do!” stars real-life married couple Paige Davis and Patrick Page and runs until Dec. 20.

Beginning in the late 1800s, the play opens with Agnes and Michael in full wedding attire who descend on their bedroom with gaiety and a song or two. Michael is beyond buoyant while dancing around the room and singing “I Love My Wife.” Agnes, acting shy and reserved – an appropriate demeanor for a bride in those days – is slowly realizing there are now expectations about her new situation. Davis effectively demonstrates this with her lovely voice in “Something Has Happened.”

This theater arena has always turned a challenge of staging a play without changing sets or scenery into creative and alluring productions. The new intimate 250-seat arena-style theatre with its fully-trapped stage also has a small area near the stage that can be used as a small orchestra pit. For “I Do! I Do!” the addition of piano player Ben Toth and Tim Christensen performing the music to the many songs throughout the show enhanced the great performances.

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