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“The Great Leap,” a basketball-centric play, is coming to Old Town San Diego’s Cygnet Theatre Jan. 22, 2020. Written by multi-award-winner Lauren Yee, it was one of the 10 most-produced plays in the United States in 2019, along with her “Cambodian Rock Band,” recently staged at La Jolla Playhouse. “The Great Leap,” which premiered in Denver in 2018, is about an American basketball team going to China for an exhibition game. There’s more than a game at stake; there are long-buried personal histories, a clash of dreams and ambitions, and the main setting is Beijing in 1989, when student protesters were about to be massacred in Tienanmen Square. With all this going on, there’s still plenty of humor — one of the playwright’s conspicuous gifts.
Five years ago, North Coast Repertory Theatre announced the creation of San Diego’s Champion for the Arts Award, a community-wide effort to honor individuals who have made a difference in the Arts.
When the Playwrights Project unveiled its 35th annual iteration of its Plays by Young Writers Festival, a familiar North County name popped up: Izzy Ster, a 16-year-old Carmel Valley resident and junior at Canyon Crest Academy.
In Neil Simon’s classic comedy “The Sunshine Boys,” a long-retired vaudeville duo agree to set aside their decades-long animosity to re-team for one last performance. But some old habits die hard. The 1972 comedy gets a funny and spirited workout at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, which is the ideal venue for the play. It presents Simon’s works more than any other local professional theater and its longtime artistic director, David Ellenstein, has long provided senior actors — like Simon’s 70-something vaudevillians — the chance to show audiences that they’ve still got it.
“Nobody knew about things like that then – science just wasn’t as advanced, the way it is now” – Harriet Roeder, Radium Girls, D.
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