It is a universal human experience trying to find where you belong; to find your home. In our 52nd season here at Patio Playhouse, I’m excited to present a series of shows that explore finding family and home.
We open our season at Kit Carson Amphitheater with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s legendary Jesus Christ Superstar, running June 15-30. Loosely based on the Gospels’ accounts of the last week of Jesus’ life, it depicts the interpersonal and political struggles between Jesus and Judas Iscariot as they try to do what they think is best for the Judaic peoples. Presented more than 40 years after its debut, featuring the songs “Superstar” and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” and a live 5-piece band, the story still has a lot it can tell us about finding our place in history.
We follow that up with the family classic, Annie, running July 20-28. This heart-warming story is about little orphan Annie, who dreams of her parents who promised to return, only to find a new home and family with “Daddy” Warbucks. Featuring songs like “Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow,” as well as a live orchestra, this is a perfect recipe for family fun at the park.
We close our Plays in the Park series with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning and Pulitzer nominated musical In the Heights, running August 17-September 1. With dynamic dance and hot music from the live orchestra, In the Heights tells the story of the vibrant, mostly Hispanic, Washington Heights neighborhood in New York City over 3 days of change and upheaval. This upheaval helps all the characters find where they belong and what family means to them.
In October, we move to our home stage on Kalmia Ave for the Frederick Knott thriller Wait Until Dark (adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher), running October 5-28. When Susan Hendrix, a blind but capable woman, finds herself imperiled by conmen looking for a doll filled with contraband, she discovers that her home and her lack of sight might be the key to her survival, but she and her tormentors must wait until dark for this thriller’s chilling conclusion.
We follow that up with a madcap holiday romp through Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) running November 16-December 16. When 3 actors decide they can’t perform Dickens’ A Christmas Carol again, they instead try to cover every Christmas story, plus traditions from around the world and a sing-along of every carol ever sung.
We open 2019 with a world premiere musical, Quibbling Siblings! The Outrageous Game Show Musical by Luann-creator Greg Evans, being performed in repertory with another Greg Evans musical, A Boy and A Girl (updated 2017). Quibbling Siblings!… shows how even a family that fights constantly can come together to fight for good when the situation demands it, and A Boy and A Girl recounts how two completely different people, born on the same day, can fall in love and bring their families together. These shows will be performed on alternating nights from January 25-February 17.
Our youth theater will then take the stage with Thorton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town running March 22-April 7. This classic piece of American theater follows the small town of Grover’s Corners through three acts: “Daily Life,” “Love and Marriage,” and “Death and Eternity.” Narrated by a stage manager and performed with minimal props and sets, audiences follow the Webb and Gibbs families as their children fall in love, marry, and eventually – in one of the most famous scenes in American theatre – die.
We close our 52nd season with the debut of Teatro Patio. We will be hosting a bilingual production of Animales Nocturnos/Nocturnal by the acclaimed Spanish playwright Juan Mayorga and translated by David Johnston. Once each weekend, we will be performing this U.S. premiere with the original text in Spanish; the other two nights we will be performing the translation, Nocturnal. Blackmail. It’s such a dirty word. All Short Man wants is a friend. Someone to go for a drink with, someone who’s always there to listen. All Tall Man wants is his identity as an illegal immigrant kept secret, and so he agrees to become Short Man’s friend. But Tall Man is about to find out just what a high price he has paid to buy his blackmailer’s silence.
I’m very excited to share these wonderful shows with everyone and to continue our work bringing top-quality theater to Escondido!
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