continues; OCTC announces schedule
It’s been a bumpy ride, but Oak Creek Theatre Company
Producing Artistic Director Mary Guaraldi wasn’t expecting
rough spots make success all the sweeter,” said Guaraldi.
“Yes, we had a thoroughly exhausting search for a new home,
but now that search is over, and we’re excited to be knee-deep
in the construction phase.”
The space, located in the Old Marketplace plaza on Highway
89A in Sedona, needs some significant remodeling so that Guaraldi
and her professional company can effectively stage the remainder
of the 2001-2002 season.
“We’re in the thick of things with architects and contractors
and engineers and hope to be ready to unveil our theatre to
the community at the end of February or the beginning of March,”
The inaugural events will take shape over a full weekend
and are designed to be a special thank you to the community.
“So many people have helped us - by coming to see our
productions, by volunteering, by donating, by sending good
wishes when our future was uncertain - we want to show them
what their support has created,” Guaraldi said.
After the thank you celebration, which will offer a
variety of free and paid events, the theatre turns the spotlight
on the remainder of its fourth season.
“Our regular season consists of four productions from
September to April,” Guaraldi said. “And this year’s three-out-of-four
isn’t bad, considering that until December we were without
OCTC opened the season back in October with A.R. Gurney’s
Ancestral Voices, starring Betsy Palmer, Christopher Gausselin,
Michael Peach, Lynne Wieneke and Larry Soller. The intimate
chamber piece was staged to acclaim at the Sedona Creative
“With our new home established, we’re in the mood to
celebrate,” said Guaraldi. “We all love drama, but this is
the time for music and fun.”
“Side By Side By Sondheim” is a collection of songs
by Stephen Sondheim that Clive Barnes of The New York Times
called “a tiny, many-faceted gem that lights up Broadway.”
Side By Side previews March 6, formally opens the new theatre
on March 7 and closes March 31. It will be followed by Larry
Shue’s “The Nerd,” which previews April 10, opens April 11
and closes May 5.
Song after song, Sondheim has dazzled Broadway for years.
As a composer and as a lyricist, he is a master of the Broadway
musical. With numbers from “West Side Story,” “Follies,” “A
Little Night Music,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to
the Forum,” and “Gypsy,” Side By Side is one of Sondheim’s
most performed shows.
This collection of more than 35 selections from his
work on Broadway, in films and in television features numbers
as diverse as “Comedy Tonight,” “Send in the Clowns,” “I Feel
Pretty” and “You Gotta Get a Gimmick.”
The evening unfolds as a series of vignettes in song,
each one telling a story - from the longings of British sailors
far from home in Japan to the hilarious advice of more experienced
colleagues to the young Gypsy Rose Lee. The juxtaposition
of songs, from sophisticated to sad and from cynical to romantic,
is a life’s worth of emotional material that takes the audience
on an unforgettable journey.
heads up the same production team that brought northern Arizona
theatre-goers the stunningly realized trip through the music
of Rodgers and Hammerstein, “A Grand Night for Singing.” Musical
director Eric Tucker has extensive performance credits throughout
the United States and is currently a faculty member at Northern
Arizona University. Set and lighting designer Edwin Nagy has
been a key member of the team designing the new theatre
space. The cast features Lynne Wieneke, Antoinette Tucker,
Nathaniel Hackman (last season’s Charlie Brown) and Carl Barra.
Larry Shue’s hit comedy “The Nerd” will close OCTC’s
main stage season. The same sense of mischief and chaos Shue
exhibited in “The Foreigner” creates a world of laughter as
several lives head on a collision course that can only mean
Willum Gilbert has it all - a promising career, a close
circle of friends, a serious girlfriend. Every day he thanks
the mystery man who saved his life back in Vietnam - until
that mystery man pays a visit.
If you’ve ever
seen Rowan Atkins as Mr. Bean, you’ll have a pretty good idea
of what a nerd is, and Atkins starred in the original production.
“The Nerd” is a maddening combination of wimp, geek and klutz
with a large dash of insensitivity thrown in for good measure.
Within minutes of his appearance on the scene, poor Willum
is thinking he might have been better off dead. Dan Schay,
who directed last season’s “The Foreigner,” will also direct
When the mainstage season closes, OCTC will begin work
on a series of new programs, including Canyon Moon Academy
of the Performing Arts, which will begin classes in the spring.
Classes are planned in acting, technical theatre, magic and
clowning. Plans are also underway for a summer theatre institute
for youth in conjunction with Children’s Classic Caravan that
will culminate in a production. OCTC’s new space will also
play host to New Territory Art Space for a series of professional
and open mic poetry sessions and creative writing courses.
To order a two-pack season subscription or individual
tickets for upcoming productions, call Canyon Moon Theatre
at (928) 282-6212. There is no performance of “Side By Side
By Sondheim” on Good Friday, March 29.
For additional information on Canyon Moon’s OCTC and
its many programs, you can check them out on the Web (oakcreektheatre.org).