As we look ahead to the end of November and early December — always one of the busiest cultural times of the year — here’s a quick glance at local theater you don’t want to miss.
This new musical from composer Adam Gwon is a last-minute addition to the schedule. I just received word today it will be staged Nov. 30-Dec. 8 by Fresno’s Organic Theater Factory at The Voice Shop. From the company’s website:
Ordinary Days tells the story of four young New Yorkers whose lives intersect as they search for fulfillment, happiness, love and cabs. Directed by Anthony Taylor and performed by Terry Lewis, Taylor Abels, Ashley Taylor and Dominic Grijalva; Adam Gwon’s vibrant score rings startlingly true to life.
The cast recording has received prominent priority on my iPod ever since I bought it. The show includes the beautiful song “I’ll Be Here,” which Audra McDonald sang at her most recent Fresno concert.
‘FROG AND TOAD’
StageWorks Fresno’s holiday production also opens Nov. 30 and runs through Dec. 16 at the Severance Theatre. From the company’s website:
Willie Reale’s musical follows two great friends, the cheerful & popular Frog & the rather grumpy Toad through four fun-filled seasons. Waking from hibernation in the spring, they proceed to learn life lessons, including a most important one about friendship & rejoicing in the attributes that make each of us different and special.
J. Daniel Herring (“Next to Normal,” “Best Christmas Pageant Ever”) directs.
Every year, Children’s Musical Theaterworks stages a community theater production, and this one has a definite holiday theme. From the company’s website:
The beloved holiday movie classic comes to life onstage in this new musical sensation. Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, two iconic song-and-dance men, follow a sister act to Vermont, only to discover that the nearly-bankrupt lodge they were to perform in is owned by their former commanding general.
Because of successful pre-sales, another weekend was added to the show’s original run. It will play Nov. 30-Dec. 16.
Fresno City College presents the drama “Tape,” which opens Nov. 30 and runs through Nov. 8. From the college website:
Two high school friends, Jon and Vince, meet up at a motel room in Lansing, Michigan ten years after graduation. The night turns into a high stakes ride when the conversation turns towards an incident years earlier with a girl they both dated, Amy. Vince pressures Jon into admitting that he had possibly date raped Amy and then reveals that he has taped his confession. To top it off, Amy is on her way over to meet them for dinner. Ful of suspense and questions of motive, truth and perception, “Tape” delivers a dynamic roller coaster ride of life-like drama.
Janine Christl directs.
‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’
Reedley’s River City Theatre Company, which performs in the historic Reedley Opera House, will stage the popular musical Nov. 30-Dec. 22. From the company’s website:
Certain stories carry on from generation to generation and earn the designation “timeless” for good reason and Beauty and the Beast is one such story. Beauty and the Beast premiered on Broadway more than a decade ago as the first of Disney’s theatrical ventures. It became a Tony award winner and an instant smash with family audiences.
‘THE ELEPHANT MAN’
Opening a week later than everyone else is Fresno State’s production of “The Elephant Man, which runs Dec. 7-15. It’s directed by J. Daniel Herring, whom I am assuming is going to be pretty busy the next few weeks.
OK, did I forget anybody? I know one thing for sure: The Nov. 30 weekend is going to be very, very busy when it comes to local stage.