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Escape’s 2009 Entertainment Guide

Plan your year, here

Posted: January 16, 2009 11:23 a.m.
Updated: January 17, 2009 12:40 a.m.

The Signal brings you the top entertainment events for the coming year.

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Happy New Year, and yeah, gas prices are inching up again. What's the solution? Stay close to home for your entertainment. Quality theater, music, art and other frostings-on-the-cake-of-life are right at your doorstep. Most of these offerings are cheaper than "over the hill" and many are free.

Nearly every weekend you can choose from plays, music performances and festivals, and there is something for everyone, regardless of their age. You'll see your friends and neighbors there, as well, and support the kind of things that made you move here in the first place.

While Escape will bring all of these events to you in our calendars and coverage, here are just a few of the highlights you can enjoy in the coming year:

REPERTORY EAST PLAYHOUSE -- 2009 SEASON
Order tickets online at www.repeastplayhouse.org or call (661) 288-0000.

'A Streetcar Named Desire,' Jan. 23 - Feb. 21
Tennessee Williams' play reveals to the very depths the character of Blanche du Bois, a woman whose life has been undermined by her romantic illusions, which lead her to reject - so far as possible - the realities of life with which she is faced and which she consistently ignores.

The pressure brought to bear upon her by her sister, with whom she goes to live in New Orleans, intensified by the earthy and extremely "normal" young husband of the latter, leads to a revelation of her tragic self-delusion and, in the end, to madness.

This celebrated play had a long and successful run on Broadway. This is a tragic and effective drama, which ranks as one of the greatest in our theater.

'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,' March 13 - April 11
By Dale Wasserman, based on the novel by Ken Kesey, the lead character in this play is a charming rogue who contrives to serve a short sentence in an airy mental institution rather than in a prison. This, he learns, was a mistake. He clashes with the head nurse, a fierce martinet.

Quickly, he takes over the yard and accomplishes what the medical profession has been unable to do for 12 years; he makes a presumed deaf and dumb Indian talk. He leads others out of introversion, stages a revolt so that they can see the World Series on television, and arranges a rollicking midnight party with liquor and chippies.

For one offense, the head nurse has him submit to shock treatment. But the party is too horrid for her and she forces him to submit to a final correction - a frontal lobotomy. This is the winner of the 2001 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Revival.

'Eve-Olution,' April 24 - May 3
In this play by Hilary Illick and Jennifer Krier, Alison and Liza are navigating the channels of motherhood as they take a revealing and sometimes comedic look at the balancing act of promise and compromise.
Both women test the vision of who they think they are, who they wish to be, and ultimately who they become as individuals, as mothers, as professionals and as members of their families.

'The Wedding Singer, The Musical Comedy,' May 22 - June 20
In "The Wedding Singer," it's 1985 and rock-star wannabe Robbie Heart is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party, until his own fiancé leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own.

Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. The only trouble is Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.

With a brand new score that pays loving homage to the pop songs of the 1980s, "The Wedding Singer" takes us back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up, and a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room. Music by Matthew Sklar, book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy, lyrics by Chad Beguelin. The play is based on the New Line Cinema film written by Tim Herlihy.

'Fat Pig,' July 10 - July 25
Cow, slob, pig - how many insults can you hear before you have to stand up and defend the woman you love? Tom faces just that question when he falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman who happens to be plus-sized - and then some.

Forced to explain his new relationship to his shallow (although shockingly funny) friends, he finally comes to terms with his own preconceptions of the importance of conventional good looks.

'Beyond Therapy,' Aug. 14 - Aug. 29
Bruce and Prudence are deeply into therapy. Prudence's macho therapist is urging her to be more assertive while Bruce's wacky female therapist wants him to meet women by placing a personal ad. She does not fully comprehend that Bruce has a male lover who is not pleased by Bruce's desire to date a woman: Prudence.

Bruce doesn't know how to handle poor nervous Prudence and Prudence doesn't know what to make of her unpredictable new boyfriend. They do learn to live beyond therapy in Christopher Durang's delightful Off-Broadway hit, which moved successfully to Broadway.

'Sherlock Holmes' The Hound of the Baskervilles,' Sept. 18 - Oct. 17
Perhaps the most famous and popular of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, this gripping tale deals with the curse of the Baskerville family - and the fiendish killer-hound that stalks its members.

As the action begins Sir Charles Baskerville has died under mysterious circumstances, and his nephew and heir, the young Sir Henry, has been threatened even before his arrival at Baskerville Hall. Enlisting the aid of Sherlock Holmes, he sets out for his ancestral home on the Devon moor in the company of Dr. Watson, Holmes' trusted colleague. It's a journey that brings him to danger, mystery and a series of events that build steadily in menace and suspense.

Hard pressed to protect his charge, and to fathom the strange mishaps that beset him, Dr. Watson is much relieved when Holmes himself appears - to trap the diabolical killer who stalks Sir Henry and to unravel the fascinating mystery that accounts for his evil actions. By F. Andrew Leslie, from the novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

'M*A*S*H,' Nov. 13 - Dec. 12
Adapted by Tim Kelly from the book by Richard Hooker, this is a wild, free-flowing comedy. "M*A*S*H" stands for Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, and joining it are two unpredictable madcaps, Hawkeye and Duke. They can't be dealt with casually, however, because they are also two of the best chest surgeons in South Korea.

They decide to wage a campaign to get a young Korean to the United States and entered in a good school. The thread of this effort helps tie together the pileup of comic adventures that pyramid right before your astonished eyes.

Hawkeye has a scene with a woman psychiatrist who believes he's been trying to lobster-trap mermaids in a rice paddy. There's a jolly encounter with the baby-talking Bonwit sisters, the worst tap-dancing act the U.S.O. ever sent overseas.

A sergeant is selling dumb GIs fishing rights in the Bay of Phum. Radar O'Reilly, a soldier with incredible hearing, anticipates things before they happen. The proprietor of a painless dental clinic is cured of dark moods by the recreation of an old monster movie - and a monster.

It's all here, including a little romance mixed in with dramatic moments and a genuine love of life.

SANTA CLARITA ARTISTS' ASSOCIATION
For information visit www.santaclaritaartists.org or call (661) 244-7689.

Plen Air Paintout, Saturday, Jan. 17
This outdoor painting event will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Ed Davis Park in Towsley Canyon, 24255 The Old Rd, in Newhall. The park offers views of the distant canyon, a small wild creek, manicured lawns, a Spanish villa and many different types of mature trees. The colors of the landscape are muted gold, lavender, greens and rust.

There are restrooms available and picnic tables if you care to make use of one. There is a small parking fee of $5 per vehicle. If you are new to plein air or just have questions, call Laura Wambsgans at (661) 259-0696 or Lorelle Miller at (661) 297-1298. On the day of the paintout call (818) 625-0446.

Art Show at Tesoro Adobe, Jan. 17 - Feb. 21
The County of Los Angeles, Department of Parks and Recreation, is presenting Nature Abounds at Tesoro Adobe Historic Park, 29350 Avenida Rancho Tesoro, in Valencia. This show is sponsored by the Santa Clarita Artists' Association and runs Jan. 17 through Feb. 21. The Association will host a free reception, noon to 3 p.m., on Jan. 17.

This is the second in a series of emerging artists' presentations to be staged in the Historic Harry Carey Ranch House Complex buildings. The show hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Fridays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays, and entry is free to the public. The Santa Clarita Artists' Association contact is Sandy Fisher at (661) 618-0939.

Kathryn Hall at monthly meeting, Jan. 19, 7 p.m.
The Santa Clarita Artists' Association's Jan. 19 meeting will feature internationally acclaimed artist Kathryn Hall. She has published and exhibited up and down the Pacific Coast and has been saluted in many articles on art. She specializes in oil, pastel, drawings and mixed media.

Art at the CTG, Jan. 24 - Feb. 22
The Canyon Theatre Guild will feature the art of Santa Clarita Artists' Association members Evie Cook and Olga Kaczmar in the lobby from Jan. 24 to Feb 22. The exhibit will run concurrently with the performance of High School Musical, based on the Disney original movie.

COMMUNITY EVENTS
Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, April 22 - 26
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the festival. Still carrying the new name from last year, it will be offering the same high quality music, poetry, food and cowboy gear that patrons have enjoyed in the past. Events include such favorites as the Riders in the Sky concert, Chuckwagon Dinner Show, Melody Ranch Movie Night, and a variety of cowboy-themed performances on stages and out on Melody Ranch's Main Street. Tickets are now on sale. For information visit www.cowboyfestival.org or call (661) 286-4021.

Taste of the Town, May 3, 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.
The annual Taste of the Town is the SCV's premier food event and fundraiser benefiting the Child & Family Center. This adult-only event hosts thousands of people for a fabulous day of all-you-can-eat food and beverage from our local restaurants, caterers and wine companies. Additional festivities include the famous Diamond Drop, live entertainment, silent auction, and more. Visit www.tasteofthetown.com for details. The event is held at the Mann Biomedical Park, 25104 Rye Canyon Loop, in Valencia.

Fourth of July Parade/Fireworks Shows
The annual Fourth of July parade will once again be held in Old Town Newhall. While details for 2009 are not yet set, this is always one of the year's highlights in the SCV - floats, bands, equestrian groups and local dignitaries help set the mood. Several excellent fireworks shows are usually held around the valley on the day as well. For updated information check with the city of Santa Clarita's Arts and Events Office at (661) 286-4018.

Concerts in the Park, Saturdays in July and August, 7 p.m. at Central Park
The city's free summer concerts are the perfect way to spend a rockin' evening in the park with family, friends and neighbors. Food and beverages will be available to enjoy while dancing under the stars. Concerts in the Park is a tradition run by the city of Santa Clarita's Arts and Events Office, with the support of sponsors. For information call the city's Arts and Events Office at (661) 286-4018.

Oldies and Goodies Classics Show, Sept. 12, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
The 14th annual extravaganza will be held again at Saugus Speedway, with more than 500 classic cars, trucks and motorcycles competing for cash prizes and trophies. This is a true Santa Clarita community event with over 10,000 attendees. It's fun for the whole family.

There are rides, games, vendors, barbecue food, dancing and live entertainment. Step back in time to an era where cars were "cool" and rock and roll was "hot." This is the largest show of its kind in Northern Los Angeles County. Saugus Speedway is located at 22500 Soledad Canyon Road. Visit the Web site at www.saugusspeedway.com.

Street Art Festival, Sept. 26-27, 10 a.m. - 9 p.m., 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
The Santa Clarita Street Art Festival, sponsored by Lockheed Federal Credit Union, will highlight a spectrum of artistic talent in Old Town Newhall. This exciting two-day festival will be located along Main Street between Lyons Avenue and 5th Street.

The Street Art Festival is a free outdoor event, open to the public, and features live entertainment: local and international dance performances, live music, fine arts and crafts, hands-on art activities, and the fine art of street painting. For more information, please visit www.streetartfest.com.

Loose Goose Wine Festival, Early October
The Loose Goose Wine Festival is a multi-day series of events that, in a few short years, has become a favorite in the SCV and one of the largest wine-gatherings in Southern California. Details of the 2009 festival have not been set. Visit www.loosegoosewinefestival.com.

CANYON THEATRE GUILD, Remaining Shows in the 2008 - 2009 Season
For information visit www.canyontheatre.org or call (661) 799-2702

'High School Musical,' Jan. 24 - Feb. 22
Book by David Simpatico
Songs by Matthew Gerrard and Robbie Nevil; Ray Cham, Greg Cham and Andrew Seeley; Randy Petersen and Kevin Quinn; Andy Dodd and Adam Watts; Bryan Louiselle; David N. Lawrence and Faye Greenberg; and Jamie Houston
Music adapted, arranged and produced by Bryan Louiselle
Based on a Disney Channel Original Movie written by Peter Barsocchini
Directed by Barbara Huntington
Produced by special arrangement with Music Theatre International
Sponsored by William R. Lively & Associates

'A Chorus Line,' Feb. 28 - March 21
Conceived and originally directed and choreographed by Michael Bennett
Book by James Kirkwood and Nicholas Dante
Music by Marvin Hamlisch
Lyrics by Edward Kleban
Co-choreographed by Bob Avian
Original Broadway production produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival, Joseph Papp, producer, in association with Plum Productions, Inc.
Directed for the SCRT by TimBen Boydston and Patti Finley
Produced by special arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. in association with the CTG and presented at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons
Sponsored by the city of Santa Clarita

'Leading Ladies,' March 27 - April 25
By Ken Ludwig
Directed by Ingrid Boydston
Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Sponsored by Academy Addressing & Mailing and The Signal

'Treasure Island,' March 28 - April 25
The original pirate story! (version TBA)
Directed by Michael Davies
Sponsored by Vertex Pest Solutions

'Forty-Second Street,' May 22 - June 27
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Al Dubin
Book by Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble
Based on the Novel by Bradford Ropes
Original direction and dances by Gower Champion
Originally produced on Broadway by David Merrick
Directed by Patti Finley
Produced by special arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.
The use of all songs is by arrangement with Warner Brothers, the owner of music publishers' rights
Sponsored by Remo and The Magazine of Santa Clarita

SANTA CLARITA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, January to June 2009
For information visit www.canyonspac.com or call (661) 362-5304

* Hunt Family Fiddlers, Sunday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m.

* L.A. Opera's Figaro's American Adventure, Saturday, Jan. 31, 2 p.m.

* Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago, Saturday, Feb. 7, 8 p.m.

* An Enchanted Evening with Lee Lessack (sold out), Saturday, Feb. 14, light fare 7 p.m., show time 7:30 p.m.

* Literature to Life: The Kite Runner, Sunday, Feb. 22, 4 p.m.

* U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, Monday, Feb. 23

* A Chorus Line, presented by SC Regional Theatre, Feb. 28, March 1, 14, 15, 20 and 21, at various times

* Junie B. Jones, Saturday, March 7, 2 p.m.

* Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Sunday, March 8, 4 p.m.

* Saints & Scoundrels, presented by SC Master Chorale, Sunday, March 22, 3:30 p.m.

* Spring Concert, presented by COC Music, Friday, March 27, 7:30 p.m.

* Early Music & Young Masters by Symphony of the Canyons, Saturday, March 28, 7 p.m.

* A Doll's House, presented by COC Theatre, April 2 - 5, at various times

* The Spencers: Theatre of Illusion, Saturday, April 4, 8 p.m.

* Back to Bach & Into the Future! by COC Orchestras, Saturday, April 18, 7 p.m.

* Family Concert, presented by SC Symphony (postponed), Sunday, April 19, 6 p.m.

* Riders in the Sky, Wednesday, April 22, 7:30 p.m.

* Spring Dance Concert, presented by COC Dance, April 24 - 25, 8 p.m.

* Noises Off, presented by COC Theatre, May 7 - 9, 8 p.m., May 10, 2 p.m.

* Tom Rush with The Lovell Sisters, Saturday, May 16, 2 p.m.

* New Works Festival, presented by COC Theatre, May 13 - 16, 8 p.m., May 17, 2 p.m.

* Pops Concert, presented by COC Music, Friday, May 15, 7:30 p.m.

* Sunday Serenade, presented by COC Choir, Sunday, May 17, 7 p.m.

* Los Lobos, Friday, May 29, 8 p.m.

* How the West was Sung, presented by SC Master Chorale, Sunday, June 7, 3:30 p.m.

* Summer Dance Program, presented by SC Ballet, June 20 - 21, at various times

* The Wizard of Oz, presented by ESCAPE Theatre, June 26 - 28, at various times

 

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