The Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre this week announced its season, beginning Oct. 4 with ‘The Marvelous Wonderettes” and ending May 3 with a return of the Long Beach City College Studio Singers.
Between those shows are a host of productions in the theatre’s most ambitious season yet. “We are excited to be able to expand our season this year,” said Shira Dubrovner, the artistic director.
“Two projects we’ve done, ‘Theatre for Young Audiences’ and ‘Evening with the Stars,’ we’ve not done together in the same season due to cost and staff restraints,” Dubrovner said.
“It’s through the generosity of our donors and sponsors, our loyal audiences, dedicated local performers, and Measure U funding that we are able to offer both this season and bring even more culture to the Mammoth Lakes community and the Eastern Sierra.”
The season opens Oct. 4 with “The Marvelous Wonderettes,” written by Roger Bean. It is a trip back to 1958 and the Springfield High School prom with Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy—four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts.
Classic songs include “Lollipop,” “Sandman,” “Stupid Cupid,” “Wedding Bell Blues,” “Son of a Preacher Man,” and “Respect.” The musical runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through Oct. 21.
A Theatre for Young Audiences production of “Bluenose”—a pirate comedy, quickly follows it. Elementary school students from across the Eastern Sierra will attend performances during the week prior. The schools are provided with an “Educators’ Resource Guide” that ties in the educational elements within the production.
“This is one way we begin to grow our audiences of the future,” Dubrovner said. “The students not only have a great time, they also learn about theatre etiquette, the excitement of live theatre, and take away a lesson in tolerance.
“It exemplifies the mission of the Mammoth Lakes Foundation—supporting education and the arts, together in one event.”
December’s play is a farce based on a Christmas classic with “A Dickens’ Christmas Carol: A Traveling Travesty in Two Tumultuous Acts.”
In January, “Poetry Out Loud” returns for the third year. This is the poetry recitation competition where Mono County high school students compete to represent the county at the state competition in Sacramento.
Last year, the number of schools participating doubled and a Mammoth High School student, Ashley Garrison, won.
Also in January is an “Evening With the Stars” staged reading of Bernard Slade’s romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year,” starring Linda Purl (“Matlock,” “The Office”) and Robert Picardo (“China Beach,” “The Wonder Years,” “Star Trek: Voyager”).
The event, which also is a fundraiser for the theatre, has expanded this season to two evenings, with special pricing allowing for twice as many opportunities to see the stars in action.
“I’m thrilled to have Robert Picardo return to Mammoth for this event and bringing Linda Purl with him,” Dubrovner said. “I directed him in Los Angeles; he’s very supportive of theatre in Mammoth. It’s also exciting to meet and direct Linda Purl, whose work I’ve admired for a long time.”
In February, the theatre will present “The Miracle Worker,” the story of Helen Keller and her teacher Annie Sullivan, followed by the return of Todd Offenbacher’s Tahoe Adventure Film Festival, a touring festival of extreme outdoor adventure footage.
In April, the theatre will present Edward Albee’s Tony Award winning Best Play “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”
The season closes on Friday, May 3, with a return of the Long Beach City College Studio Singers, who were a smash success last spring.
Prices for the productions vary with most tickets costing $20 for adults and $18 for students. However, a season pass is available for $60 a person and provides entrance to four shows of the pass-holder’s choice. The “Evening with the Stars” $35 ticket counts as two shows.
“Having a season pass is a fantastic way for our audience members to get the most out of this year’s season,” Dubrovner said. “We’ve been rehearsing ‘The Marvelous Wonderettes’ for weeks and you won’t want to miss the season opener.”
To purchase season passes, make reservations for a specific show, or to donate to the theatre, call 760-934-6592, or visit the website at www.mammothlakesfoundation.org/theatre.html . There are links to donate on the site.