SAN DIEGO – April 16, 2015 – San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) announces a four-part special event schedule to kick off the company’s 40th anniversary celebration. The line-up features the return of Mona Golabek in “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” as well as additional productions whose performances are free and open to the public.
“This series of events are above and beyond our traditional season schedule, and provide us an opportunity to reach new and underserved audiences throughout San Diego County with performances in the community or at our home in Horton Plaza,” says Sam Woodhouse, co-founder and artistic director, San Diego REP. “For four decades, we have staged contemporary plays, classics and musicals that honor inclusion and diversity as values we are proud to put on our stages. These events will continue this commitment as we embark on our 40th season this summer.”
By Philip W. Chung
Directed by Jeff Liu
Monday, May 4, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Lyceum’s Underground Stage at San Diego REP
After accusations of racism dogged the release of his masterpiece “The Birth of A Nation,” director D.W. Griffith made “Broken Blossoms” to prove he was no bigot. And to make sure his film about the love between a Chinese man and white woman was “authentic,” he hired two Chinese American consultants. “Unbroken Blossoms” is the story of those two men, the making of a classic movie and how even the best of intentions can go terribly awry.
This stage reading is open to the public and admission is free. Seating is first come, first serve. For more information, visit our website or call the Lyceum Box Office at (619) 544-1000.
Directed by Emilie Whelan
Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 2 p.m. in the Lyceum Space at San Diego REP
The schedule continues with George Brant’s one-woman show “Grounded” starring Heather Ramey in the Lyceum Space on Sunday, May 17 at 2 p.m. Named one of the 10 best plays of the year by The Guardian, this award-winning play seamlessly blends the personal and the political. “Grounded” explores a hot-rod F16 fighter pilot whose unexpected pregnancy ends her career in the sky. Repurposed to flying remote-controlled drones in the Middle East from an air-conditioned trailer near Vegas, she struggles through surreal twelve-hour shifts far from the battlefield, hunting terrorists by day and being a wife and mother by night. A tour-de-force play for actress Heather Ramey, “Grounded” flies from the heights of lyricism to the shallows of workaday existence, targeting our assumptions about war, family and the power of storytelling.
“This show is a hot ticket and has been staged multiple times around the world, and most recently was produced off-Broadway starring Anne Hathaway,” says Sam Woodhouse, co-founder and artistic director, San Diego REP. “We are thrilled to bring this important conversation to our military-infused community.” The May 17 performance at San Diego REP is free and is just one of several that will be staged throughout San Diego County for veterans, military members and their families. The San Diego run of “Grounded” is supported by the Blue Star Theatres Grant Program, a collaboration between Theatre Communications Group (TCG) and Blue Star Families. San Diego REP recently received a $5,000 grant from the program to support activities that can include talkbacks, outreach programs, sponsored tickets, performances, playwriting workshops, readings or workshops that focus on military themes and service. Following the May 17 performance, the director and actor of “Grounded” will host a post-show conversation with the audience about the work onstage.
Admission is free, but you must register in advance for tickets. For more information, visit our website or call the Lyceum Box Office at (619) 544-1000.
Hershey Felder’s “Great American American Song Book Singalong” – ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the Balboa Theatre
Known for his musical character creations from Gershwin to Chopin and Beethoven to Bernstein, Hershey Felder will perform at the historic Balboa Theatre for one night only, with his signature style in an event where the audience gets to take part.
Felder notes: “From the very first performance of ‘George Gershwin Alone’ more than seventeen years ago, it was clear that the moment a few familiar notes were played, the audience was intent on singing along. While the ‘Great American Song Book Singalong’ is chock full of contributions from creative artists with varied backgrounds, many of those early contributions have come from Jewish artists where there is a deep history of storytelling in song. From Berlin to Bernstein, Gershwin to Sondheim, Rogers and Hammerstein, Lerner and Loewe, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen (“The Wizard of Oz”), Bock and Harnick (“Fiddler on the Roof”), and Marvin Hamlisch (“A Chorus Line”) – this evening is not only about singing along to great American classics, but understanding how they came to be and how the Jewish experience influenced their creation.”
Tickets are $40 to $55 for general admission, and $118 for VIP seating that includes a pre-show reception with Hershey Felder. To purchase tickets, please call the Balboa Theatre at (619) 570-1100 or visit http://www.sdrep.org/season40special.php. This performance is also part of the 2015 Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival.
Mona Golabek in “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” – ENCORE PERFORMANCE!
Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder
Based on the book by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen
July 8-26, 2015 on the Lyceum Stage at San Diego REP
A San Diego favorite returns! Set in Vienna in 1938 and in London during the Blitzkrieg, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” tells the true story of Lisa Jura, a young Jewish musician whose dreams are interrupted by the Nazi regime. In this poignant show, virtuoso Mona Golabek returns to the Lyceum Stage to perform some of the world’s most beautiful piano music as she shares her mother’s riveting story of survival. Adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” is infused with hope and invokes the life-affirming power of music. For her awe-inspiring performance, Golabek was the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Solo Performance award from The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle.
“The Pianist of Willesden Lane” is July 8-26 on the Lyceum Stage at San Diego REP. Tickets are $36 to $95. For available show times and tickets, visit our website or call (619) 544-1000. This production is also part of the 2015 Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival.
About San Diego REPertory Theatre
For nearly 40 years, San Diego REPertory Theatre (San Diego REP) has produced intimate, exotic, provocative theatre. San Diego REPertory Theatre is downtown San Diego’s resident theatre, promoting a more inclusive community through vivid works that nourishes progressive political and social values and celebrate the multiple voices of our region. San Diego REPertory Theatre feeds the curious soul. The organization produces and hosts over 300 events and performances year-round on its three stages at the Lyceum Theatre. Since moving to the Lyceum, San Diego REP has produced 45 main stage productions by Latino playwrights and more than 40 world premieres. The company has received over 200 awards for artistic excellence from the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle, Patté Theatre Awards, NAACP, Backstage West, Dramalogue and StageSceneLA. In 2005, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented San Diego REP with the Craig Noel Award “For 30 Years of Artistic Dedication to Downtown and Diversity.” To learn more about San Diego REP, to purchase tickets or make a donation, visit www.sdrep.org. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.