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Strippers, Seussical, and Sylvia

Socal_stages_blog_4 Veteran publicist Larry Aldrich has just taken over as the new public relations rep for the Civic Light Opera of South Bay Cities in Redondo Beach, and he offered us advance news on the 2009 season bill of fare for this Ovation Award-winning company.


The company is perhaps attempting to woo the more sophisticated crowds in the South Bay with the bawdy but ultimately heartwarming Broadway hit, The Full Monty (opening Feb. 11, 2009). It’s based on the Oscar-nominated British working-class film of the same name, Americanized by librettist Terrence McNally in a Buffalo, NY steel-town setting. Those of us who consider it an underrated gem usually call it the musical that got unfairly trampled at the Tonys by the juggernaut known as The Producers.


Next is an Andrew Lloyd Webber opus TBA (opening Apr. 22, 2009). Dare we possibly hope for something relatively fresh like Sunset Blvd., rather than the umpteenth Phantom of the Opera staging? Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! (opening Sept. 16, 2009) is always welcome, even though it seems to be popping up everywhere in the vicinity these days. I doubt any of these conservative CLOs would dare to offer Justin Tanner’s ribald sendup Oklahomo! as an alternative, would they?Sessucial

The holiday season’s gift to family audiences will be Seussuical the Musical (opening Dec. 2, 2009).


The current season has two more shows to go, both tried-and-true favorites: Bye Bye Birdie (opening Sept. 17) and Fiddler on the Roof (opening Dec. 3.)


CLOSBC also produces an annual season of more intimate shows at the nearby Hermosa Beach Playhouse, and the announced bill of fare for its upcoming season includes: Noel Coward’s venerable Blithe Spirit (opening Oct 14, 2008), The Reindeer Monologues (opening Nov. 14, 2008), the zany comedy Sylvia (opening Jan. 13, 2009), The Philadelphia Story (opening Mar. 17, 2009), and The Green Room (opening May 19, 2009).


Besides the productions, SBCLO audiences look forward to executive producer-director James Blackman III’s famous pre-show speeches, in which he gets to be the standup comedian one assumes he always wanted to be before he began producing musicals. If the musical-theatre business ever takes a downward dive, this hilarious guy could always find a home at the Groundlings. More info on the company: www.civiclightopera.com.


-Les Spindle

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