Theater Notebook: Rachmaninoff play highlights busy month of streaming theater in San Diego
Upcoming locally produced plays include shows from Point Loma Playhouse, North Coast Rep, The Roustabouts, SDSU and more
May will be a busy month for local theaters with seven new virtual productions, including a world premiere at San Diego Repertory Theatre.
The biggest of the newly announced shows is the Rep’s debut of Hershey Felder’s play with music “Nicholas, Anna & Sergei.” The latest of Felder’s canon of composer-inspired plays, it’s the story of Russian composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninoff in his final years as an American citizen in Beverly Hills.
It also explores Rachmaninoff’s friendship with Anna Anderson, the imposter from Poland who claimed to be Anastasia, the sole survivor of Russia’s imperial Romanov family, who were massacred in 1918. “Nicholas, Anna & Sergei” will have its world premiere at 5 p.m. May 16. Tickets are $55, which includes one week of repeat streaming. Visit sdrep.org.
Also available in May:
“Ending the Silence: A journey of Short Performance Works”: Palomar College presents a live Zoom program of scenes, sketches, spoken word pieces and short films by Monumental Theatre Ensemble that confront the issue of racism in the United States. Audiences will be invited after each performance to a solution-oriented dialogue. Performances are at 7 p.m. May 13, 14 and 15, and at 2 p.m. May 15 and 16. Pay-what-you-like tickets range from $2 to $25. Visit palomarperforms.com.
“14”: MiraCosta College’s Theatre Department and “Undocumented Tales” filmmaker Armando Ibanez have collaborated on a filmed production of José Casas’s play about a group of 14 Mexican immigrants who died after being abandoned in the desert by human smugglers. Tickets are free by reservation at miracosta.edu/14.
“Jukebox Hero”: San Diego Musical Theatre’s latest benefit concert film stars seven adult actor/singers in a lightly scripted revue of pop songs from Broadway shows, including “Mamma Mia,” “On Your Feet,” “Rock of Ages” and “Donna Summer: The Musical.” “Jukebox Hero” is streaming on demand through May 30. Tickets are a minimum donation of $15. Visit sdmt.org.
“Pippin”: San Diego State University’s MFA Theatre Department presents the Stephen Schwartz musical about a young prince’s struggle to find meaning in his life before ascending to the throne. It will stream at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $10 to $15. Visit ttf.sdsu.edu/events/pippin.
“Provincetown Playhouse Retrospective”: Point Loma Playhouse presents two filmed one-acts that originated at at New York’s first off Broadway theater in the early 20th century, the Provincetown Playhouse. The films, Eugene O'Neill’s “Before Breakfast” and Edna St. Vincent Millay’s “Aria de Capo,” are available for streaming through May 31. Donations are welcome. Visit pointlomaplayhouse.com.
“Señorita Julia”: The Roustabouts Theatre Co. will host a virtual benefit reading of Matthew Salazar-Thompson’s new play, which reframes August Strindberg’s war-of-the-classes tragedy “Miss Julie” into a forbidden romance between a Jewish kept daughter and a Chicano servant. A live virtual reading and audience talkback will be presented at 7 p.m. May 12. It will be available for on-demand streaming May 14-16. Admission is free, but donations are requested. Visit heroustabouts.org/senorita.
Feldshuh stars in ‘Becoming Dr. Ruth’
Four-time Tony Award nominee Tovah Feldshuh is at North Coast Repertory this month rehearsing for a filmed production of Mark St. Germain’s play “Becoming Dr. Ruth.” The solo play tells the surprising backstory of the famed radio and television sex psychotherapist Ruth Westheimer.
The play will stream June 9 through July 4. Tickets are $35. Visit northcoastrep.org.
‘A Thousand Ways’ tickets on sale
Tickets for “An Encounter,” the second piece of 600 Highwaymen’s three-part “A Thousand Ways” interactive theater event, go on sale Wednesday for performances beginning June 3. Produced by La Jolla Playhouse as part of its Without Walls Festival, the second part will pair two strangers at a table, separated by a piece of glass. The ticket-buyers will use a series of cards printed with instructions to communicate silently with one another.
Part One, presented last fall, involved two strangers having a telephone conversation with the help of a computerized assistant that asked questions of each participant and encouraged sharing. The third part, planned later this year, will bring together all of the previous participants in one room, once COVID restrictions allow such a gathering. Tickets to “An Encounter” are $25. For tickets, visit lajollaplayhouse.org/wow-goes-digital.
‘Come From Away’ to stream on Apple TV+
Apple Original Films has won the streaming rights for the filmed version of the La Jolla Playhouse-born musical “Come From Away.”
The film — which will begin streaming at an unspecified date later this year — will feature the Broadway cast that was performing the musical when it shut down in March 2020.
The musical — which earned a Tony Award for its director, La Jolla Playhouse artistic chief Christopher Ashley — is based on the true story of how nearly 7,000 airline passengers were housed and fed by the friendly residents of a Newfoundland town after their planes were grounded by the terrorist attacks in 2001. Ashley also directed the play on film.
Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at email@example.com.
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