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Theater Notebook: San Diego Musical Theater unveils 2022 season

San Diego Musical Theatre will open its annual production of "A Christmas Story" on Nov. 20
San Diego Musical Theatre will revive its production of “A Christmas Story” Nov. 30 through Dec. 30, 2022, at its new SDMT Stage space in Kearny Mesa.
(Ken Jacques)

Also in this week’s San Diego theater report, Cygnet Theatre offers ‘A Christmas Carol’ two ways

San Diego Musical Theatre has announced its 2022 season, which will be presented at its new home in Kearny Mesa, SDMT Stage.

Formerly the headquarters of SDMT co-founders Gary and Erin Lewis’ longtime Tupperware sales and distribution business, the now-retired couple are transforming the building’s former events and training auditorium into a 144-seat black box theater space at 4650 Mercury St., San Diego. It will serve as the home for all of the theater company’s upcoming 15th anniversary season.

For SDMT’s first season since the pandemic began, Erin Lewis said SDMT is starting out by producing only non-Equity shows. The reason, she said, is because the new auditorium isn’t large enough to accommodate Equity’s requirement for 6 feet of social distance between actors and a masked audience. Also, the company can’t afford the $10,000-a-week cost for COVID testing the entire company twice a week. Lewis said the decision on Equity versus non-Equity casting will be re-evaluated before each show is cast.

Lewis said SDMT stage will be the home for all performances and education programs in 2022. But the company would like to move its professional shows to a more traditional theater space in the years to follow.

Three- and four-show 2022 season subscriptions are now on sale ranging in price from $147 to $228. For details on the season, visit sdmt.org. Here’s a preview of the season:

“Catch Me If You Can: The Musical”: Inspired by the semiautobiographical book by reformed con artist Frank Abagnale Jr., this 2003 musical by Terrence McNally, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman is about Abagnale’s high-flying adventures where he passed himself off as an airline pilot, lawyer and a doctor, while a dogged FBI agent is following his every move. The production will be directed by Allison Spratt Pearce, choregraphed by Xavier J. Bush and musically directed by Richard Dueñez Morrison. Feb. 11 through March 13

“In the Heights”: “Hamilton” writer-composer Lin-Manuel Miranda collaborated with bookwriter Quiara Alegria Hudes on this 2005 salsa-infused musical about the struggling owner of a bodega in New York City’s fast-transforming Washington Heights and how he and other business owners are struggling to adapt to change. It will be directed by Jonathan Arana and musically directed by Richard Dueñez Morrison. Winner of four Tony Awards. May 6 through June 5

“Little Shop of Horrors”: This classic 1982 musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken is a sci-fi horror spoof about a man-eating plant from Outer Space that enlists the help of an unwitting skid-row flower shop clerk in its deadly plans. The production will be directed by Paul David Bryant, choreographed by Luke Harvey Jacobs and musically directed by Richard Dueñez Morrison. Sept. 30 through Oct. 30

“A Christmas Story”: San Diego Musical Theatre brings back this 2009 holiday musical inspired by the 1983 film about Ralphie Parker, a 9-year-old Indiana boy who only wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. It will be directed by Kristen Chandler, choreographed by Jill Gorrie and musically directed by Don LeMaster. Nov. 30 through Dec. 30

“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”: SDMT’s annual pre-professional production will be a presented as a non-season extra. It’s a comedy about six awkward and pre-pubescent youths vying for the top prize at the county meet. The musical by Rachel Sheinkin, William Finn and Rebecca Feldman will feature a cast of actors ages 15 to 20. It will be directed by Michael Thomas Visgar and musically directed by Richard Dueñez Morrison. July 29 through Aug. 7

Sean Murray in "A Christmas Carol" at Cygnet Theatre
Cygnet Theatre artistic director Sean Murray takes over the role of Ebenezer Scrooge for the company’s annual “A Christmas Carol” production this year.
(Karli Cadel)

Cygnet does ‘Carol’ two ways

Cygnet Theatre is presenting two different versions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” this month.

Through Dec. 26, the company’s annual live stage production with an adapted book by Sean Murray and original score by Billy Thompson is being presented onstage at the Old Town Theatre at 4040 Twiggs St., San Diego. Tickets are $29 to $58.

And for audience members who’d prefer to view “Carol” from the comfort of their living room, Cygnet has re-released the streaming production it produced last winter during the COVID lockdown. This version is a pared-down one-man version starring Murray performing all the novella’s roles inside the darkened Old Town Theatre. It streams through Dec. 25.

Tickets for both “Carol” productions are available at cygnettheatre.com.

Pam Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at pam.kragen@sduniontribune.com.


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