When The Jazz Singer, the first film made with sound, opens in 1927, a vaudeville trio head off to Los Angeles to make it big in the movies. So begins Once in a Lifetime, George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart’s classic Hollywood satire.
But South County residents won’t have to travel that far to take in a good show this season.
That’s right: it’s almost September, which means area theatre companies are dusting off their own red carpets, warming up their ticket-tearing fingers and getting ready for the 2010-2011 stage season.
Edmonds’ Pheonix Theatre opens its season with Once in a Lifetime, running Sept. 3-26. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8 p.m., and Sunday shows start at 2 p.m.
Directed by Christine Mosere, Once in a Lifetime stars Kayti Barnett, Melanie Calderwood, Colleen Carey, Susan Connors, Alysha Curry,* Diane Fadden, Laura Hanson, Steven Heiret, Eric Helland, Alyssa Kay Fox Matthews, Maureen Slabaugh, Mark Waldstein, and Rick Wright.
The comedy follows the vaudeville act, whose misadventures provide an look at the underbelly of Hollywood, including the illiterate producer, the imported New York playwright who loses his mind, and the talentless fame seekers yearning for stardom whatever the cost.
Here’s a preview of what local Edmonds theaters will be offering this season.
Theater location: 9673 Firdale Ave., Edmonds (Top level of Firdale Village Shopping Center)
More information: www.phoenixtheatreedmonds.com
Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com or the Phoenix Box office at 206-533-2000. General Admission – $18; Seniors/Students – $15; Group Rate – $12
Times: Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m., Sunday shows at 2 p.m.
The Complete History of America, Abridged
Director: Loren Reynolds
Runs: Oct. 22 – Nov. 14, 201
Description: In an hour and a half, three actors run riot over 500 years of U.S. history, interpreting the past through vaudeville sketches, word games, puns and parodies.
The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol
Directed by Jay Jenkins
Runs: December 10–23
Description: A limited showing presents the ladies of the Farndale Dramatic Society giving their own rendition of Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol.”
Director: Eric Lewis
Runs: Feb 4–27, 2011
Description: Charlie returns home after his Da’s funeral to find his father’s ghost is still hanging around the house. The events of the protagonist’s youth are replayed, revealing a bittersweet bond between father and son.
Director: Rick Wright
Runs: April 1-24, 2011
Description: At a family reunion, Joe Todd hires Renee Duchene to pose as his fiancé for the evening to impress his father Ivan. What could possibly go wrong? Norm Foster’s play presents a comedy of family values and dysfunctional relationships.
The Smell of the Kill
Director: Mary Beth Dagg
Runs: June 3- 26, 2011
Description: Three unhappy women with three oblivious husbands debate the pros and cons of widowhood. Given the chance to make their husbands vanish without fear of consequence, will they?
In addition to the Mainstage productions previewed below, Driftwood offers a number of short-run performances and their “First Draft” series, where the audience participates in a script-in-progress with the playwright. More infomration at www.driftwoodplayers.org.
Wade James Theater location: 950 Main St., Edmonds
More information: www.driftwoodplayers.org for information about Alternative stages and more.
Tickets: http://www.driftwoodplayers.com/boxoffice.asp. General Admission – $23; Seniors/Students/Military – $20
Times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows at 8 p.m., Sunday shows at 2 p.m.
The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940
Runs: Sept. 10- 26
Description: Far from your typical murder mystery, this show uses jokes, one-liners, and a song or two to solve the mystery. Not to mention there’s a sidekick who turns out to be a hero.
Runs: Nov. 19-Dec. 19
Description: In the 1930s, Annie must live in a miserable orphanage run by the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Her hopeless situation changes when she spends a short time at the residence of the wealthy Oliver Warbucks. She charms the household staff and even the cold-hearted Warbucks.
The Miracle Worker
Runs: Feb 4-20, 2011
Description: Young Helen Keller, blind, deaf, and mute since infancy, is frustrated and violent. Her parents seek help from Annie Sullivan to tutor their daughter. Annie is determined to unlock Helen’s potential, if only she can reach her. Through persistence, love, and sheer stubbornness, Annie breaks through and teaches Helen to communicate, bringing her into the world at last.
Runs: April 1-24, 2011
Description: The Little Sisters of Hoboken display their divine talents in an effort to raise money for their fallen Sisters, and do it all with dance numbers, show-stopping songs and a lot of wit.
Runs: June 10-26, 2011
Description: Millionaire Brock has big business dealings in Washington DC. When his lovely but ignorant mistress Billie Dawn starts to become a political embarrassment, he hires a journalist to take on the job of educating her. But once she realizes his plans, she throws a wrench into the whole business.
*Correction, Aug. 31, 2010: This article originally misspelled Alysha Curry’s name.