Oceanside Theatre Company in the News

Tafolla brings his ‘Seasons’ song cycle home to San Diego

Tyler Tafolla, a longtime San Diego musical theater composer, playwright and performer, will present the San Diego debut of “Seasons: A New Musical Song Cycle” at the Oceanside Theatre Company in December. The 18-song piece follows six childhood friends on a journey over six years of their lives through milestones that include leaving home, starting new careers, establishing new relationships and examining lifelong connections. “Seasons” was developed in 2020 as a concept album and then remastered and re-released with Broadway Records and Theatre Barn Records in January 2022. It has since been staged in Los Angeles and New York.

Introducing a New Era for Oceanside Theatre Company at the Brooks

 

If you walk by the historic Brooks Theater in the heart of downtown Oceanside on any given night, you could find the doors open to welcome audiences and participants to any number of events from highly anticipated musical theater productions to artist open houses to hip hop concerts. Under the guidance of its current Board and staff, Oceanside Theatre Company envisions the theater, which encompasses a 198-seat main stage and an adjoining 50-person capactiy studio, as an arts and cultural hub for North County. “Ideally we hope to have the Brooks Theater bursting with activity constantly,” said Managing Diretor Alex Goodman, who officially took on the role in June 2023.”

‘Sleepy Hollow’ Gets a Steampunk Retelling at Oceanside Theatre

American author Washington Irving first wrote ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ in 1820, a story which would maintain its popularity around Halloween each year, primarily due to the idea that the eerie horseman was bearing, rather than a head on his shoulders, a pumpkin atop his saddle. Oceanside Theatre Company and local writer Heather Megill have taken it upon themselves to recreate the spooky story in a joint youth/adult production, playing through October 29 at the Sunshine Brooks Theater.

“Welcome to Sleepy Hollow” A Wonderfully Haunting Start to the Halloween Season

The end of year months of seasons has begun as October begins with Halloween set for the final day for the month. Oceanside Theatre Company at the Brooks Theatre has a perfect way for you to get into the spirit of the month as they present “A Hauntingly Romantic Musical”, “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow”. This musical adaptation of Washington Irving’s short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, is a wonderful way to get in the Halloween mood.

Review: OTC’s ‘Welcome to Sleepy Hollow’ musical gives classic horror story fun steampunk twist

This month in San Diego County, there are at least seven horror-themed plays, comedies and musicals on local stages. Some were written for grown-ups and some for family audiences. Then there’s Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow,” which opened Saturday , that covers all the options. It’s an entertaining original musical with some dark elements featuring both adult actors and children from OTC’s youth ensemble program. Oceanside native Heather Megill wrote the script and score for “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow” back in 2001 on a commission for Encore Youth Theatre in Vista. In recent years, she updated the score with electrical guitar and bass to give the show a more rock ‘n’ roll sound. For this production, she also designed all of the costumes, which have a great steampunk vibe (Victorian corsets, top hats, leather pants, driving goggles, etc.).

Oceanside Theatre Company presents ‘Sleepy Hollow’ musical

Oceanside Theatre Company presents “Welcome to Sleepy Hollow,” a musical written by Oceanside playwright Heather Megill and directed by Kandace Crystal, beginning Oct. 6 and running through Oct. 29 at the historic Sunshine Brooks Theater. Originally commissioned for Encore Youth Theatre in 2001, Megill’s play is an updated version of the classic tale of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” featuring a contemporary musical theater score with a steampunk aesthetic.

OTC and The Boys & Girls Clubs Of Oceanside Offer Free After-School Youth Outreach Theatre Program

The Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside (BGCO) are offering a free theatre program for youth ages 9-19 from August 29 through November 19 at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside and the Brooks Theater. Introducing participants to the magic of the theater arts through the production of Disney’s Little Mermaid, the program will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:45 – 6 p.m. The three-month-long program will culminate in eight performances – six for the general public and two school performances. For information on registration, visit https://oceansidetheatre.org/youth-programs/little-mermaid-2023/

 

Kevin ‘Blax’ Burroughs Appointed Associate Artistic Director of Oceanside Theatre Company

OTC has announced the appointment of Kevin ‘Blax’ Burroughs as the new Associate Artistic Director of Oceanside Theatre Company. In this role, Burroughs will work alongside OTC Artistic Director Ted Leib to support the artistic vision of the organization and programming of the mainstage subscription season, as well as auxiliary programming and other special projects. “The energy and experience that Blax brings to OTC is just what we need at this moment,” said OTC Board President John McCoy. “He has the ability to lead a production from the director’s seat, is fluent in the language of designers, is an incredibly talented performer and has a real vision for the future of not only Oceanside Theatre Company, but theatre in America. We could not be happier that Blax has agreed to continue his artistic leadership journey with OTC.”

Youth program returns to Brooks Theater with ‘The Little Mermaid’

The Oceanside Theatre Company and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside are offering a free youth theater program for ages 9 to 19 from Aug. 29 through Nov. 19 at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside and the Brooks Theater. Introducing participants to the theater arts through the production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” the program will take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 to 6 p.m. The three-month-long program will culminate in eight performances – six for the general public and two school performances.

Burroughs takes on new role with Oceanside Theatre Company

Oceanside Theatre Company has appointed Kevin ‘Blax’ Burroughs as its new associate artistic director. In this role, Burroughs will work alongside Artistic Director Ted Leib to support the artistic vision of the organization and programming of the main stage subscription season, as well as auxiliary programming and other special projects. Burroughs last worked with OTC on the co-production of Teatro San Diego’s inaugural live performance of “Songs for a New World” in June 2022. Along with fellow Teatro San Diego co-founder and co-director Julio Catano, Burroughs brought a modern concept to the production by resetting the show in the “new world” of the post-George Floyd and Black Lives Matter era.

Dave Drexler Interviews Synthia L. Hardy on “Inside Art”

“Inside Art” radio segment with Synthia L. Hardy previewing Billie:  Backstage with Lady Day The interview aired Sunday, July 23rd at 6pm PT on KSDS-FM, Jazz 88.3 (streaming live at www.jazz88.org and phone apps).  The full online version is posted to the KSDS. You may listen to the program at any time using your web browser by clicking on the above link.

Arts & Culture Newsletter

This week, Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Billie” musical, singer Sasha Cooke, Korean film “Past Lives,” TV show “Dark Winds” and more

Few artists in jazz are as iconic as Billie Holiday, whose voice and vocal stylings are unmistakable and who continues to influence performers more than 60 years after her passing. She’s honored and remembered in Synthia L. Hardy’s one-person show “Billie! Backstage with Lady Day,” which is back at the Oceanside Theatre Company’s Brooks Theatre this weekend. There will be three performances: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. This is a return engagement for “Backstage,” which OTC presented last fall.

BILLIE! BACKSTAGE WITH LADY DAY to Return to Oceanside Theatre Company’s Brooks Theater

Intimate. Intense. Visceral. Playwright, actress, and singer Synthia L. Hardy returns to the Brooks Theater for one weekend only in Billie! Backstage with Lady Day on July 28-30, 2023. Her award-winning one-woman show about Billie Holiday, one of the greatest jazz and blues performers of all time, received glowing reviews in its 2022 San Diego Premiere.

Brooks Theater Is New Home for Improv

Oceanside Theatre Company has launched Improv at the Brooks, a multi-faceted program of improv comedy classes, workshops and performances. Improv at the Brooks will offer a variety of opportunities for anyone interested in learning improv comedy, regardless of their experience level. The program currently features drop-in classes on the first and third Tuesdays of every month, where participants can learn the basics of improv through very fun games and exercises.

13 The Musical Hits the Stage July 14-16

van Goldman is about to turn thirteen, and he can’t wait. When he is forced to move with his mom from big-city New York to podunk Appleton, Indiana, he must find a way to fit in. If Evan can’t get the coolest kids to come to his bar mitzvah, how is he going to survive the school year, not to mention, the rest of his life? As Evan navigates the world of cool kids and nerds, jocks and cheerleaders, first kisses and heartbreak, he comes to understand “What it Means to Be a Friend.” With a bright, catchy pop score from Jason Robert Brown, equal doses of humor and pathos, and a cast of wildly talented teens, 13 is irresistible to grown ups and almost-grown ups alike.

Oceanside Theatre Company Presents – Welcome to Sleepy Hollow

rills, thrills, and romance! Oceanside Theatre Company presents Welcome to Sleepy Hollow, a hauntingly romantic musical written by Oceanside playwright Heather Megill and directed by Kandace Crystal on October 6-29, 2023 at the Brooks Theater. This thrillingly updated version of the classic tale with the headless horseman features a contemporary musical theater score with a steampunk aesthetic. Originally commissioned for Encore Youth Theatre in 2001, Megill’s play is a refreshing contrast to the original text of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Megill gave life to many of the characters, including the Woman in White and Katrina Van Tassel, Ichabod Crane’s love interest whose role in the original short story was overshadowed by descriptions of her father’s land and dinners.

Theatre Company to Honor Kathy Brombacher

Oceanside Theatre Company has selected Kathy Brombacher, a renowned theater and cultural arts leader, as the recipient of its inaugural Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award. The award was created by the Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) to recognize exceptional excellence in the field of theatre throughout Southern California. Brombacher, emeritus artistic director and founder of Moonlight Stage Productions and a respected freelance director and theatre educator, will be presented with the award at the Sunshine Soiree by the Sea on Sept. 16 at The Seabird Resort, where her lifelong impact on the theatre community will be celebrated.

Oceanside Theatre Company to Honor Kathy Brombacher Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) is thrilled to announce that Kathy Brombacher, a renowned theater and cultural arts leader, has been selected as the recipient of its inaugural Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award. This honorable award has been created by OTC to recognize exceptional excellence in the field of theatre throughout Southern California. Brombacher, Emeritus Artistic Director/Founder of Moonlight Stage Productions and a respected Freelance Director/Theatre Educator, will be presented with this distinguished honor at OTC’s “Sunshine Soiree by the Sea” Saturday, September 16 at The Seabird Resort, where her lifelong impact on the theatre community will be celebrated.

OTC Announces “Sunshine Soiree by the Sea”

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), the resident production company at the historic Sunshine Brooks Theatre will host an afternoon of entertainment, food and celebration by the sea at the luxury Mission Pacific resort, just steps from the ocean. OTC will also present the inaugural Lifetime Theatre Achievement Award to Kathy Brombacher, Emeritus Artistic Director/Founder, Moonlight Stage Productions; Freelance Director/Theatre Educator for her lifetime dedication to theatrical excellence and her impact on theatre and cultural arts in Southern California.

Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Good People” will Have Audiences Debating

I always start the views with a frame of reference -in my world- so it makes sense for everybody. This is the first time I have seen a production of David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People. The Old Globe staged it in 2012 and since we theatre people measure time in shows, it is curious to see that eleven years later, ‘People comes back to the county through Oceanside Theatre Company’s take and a directorial debut by Sandy Campbell which I consider to be one of the best productions this year so far. Those who read my pieces know I like to keep it current and ongoing. If I see something that truly affects me, it will go in writing and with that said, this production of Good People lived in my brain, marinating for days after. Playwright Lindsay Abaire’s words are crisp and authentic.

‘Good People’ Examines the Choices that We Have… And Have Not

“You want to talk about making choices? … You’re wrong if you think everyone has them.” Choice and lack thereof are at the center of Oceanside Theatre Company’s newest production, Good People, currently in production at the Brooks Theatre, where it runs for one more weekend. The drama, written by David Lindsay-Abaire and helmed by directorial debut Sandy Campbell, follows Margie Walsh, a kind woman with roots – and branches – in one of the more demographically poor neighborhoods in her region. Though some of Margie’s friends and her romantic partner, Michael Dillon, made it out of Southie, she hasn’t had the same luck, having gotten pregnant and subsequently have had to raise a disabled child.

South Boston is Setting for Oceanside Theatre Company’s Good People

Ted Leib, Artistic Director for the Oceanside Theater Company (OTC) and an actor in OTC’s production of Good People, is joined by Sandy Campbell, Director of Good People, and Susan Clausen, an actress in the play. Leib, Campbell and Clausen chat about the roles humor and choice play in Good People.

Oceanside Theatre’s “Good People” Dynamic, Emotional, Challenging Experience

It’s at times raw, satirical, humorous, and extremely emotional and the play, “Good People”, will leave you drained by the final moments on stage; but you will be thoroughly entertained and talking about the performance as you leave Oceanside Theatre. “Good People” is written by Pulitzer Prize winning author David Lindsey-Abaire. It had its world premiere at the Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City and on Broadway at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre.  In 2011 it was nominated for two Tony Awards including Best Play. It did win a Tony for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play and a New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play.

Sandy Campbell Makes Auspicious Directing Debut in Oceanside’s ‘Good People’

Playwright David Lindsay-Abaire is on familiar territory with his play, Good People, as he grew up in South Boston, where
the play is set. A satirical examination of how class differences emerge among people who used to be friends from the same neighborhood, Good People is laugh-out-loud funny in the right hands. And the right hands turn out to belong to Sandy Campbell, actress extraordinaire, who makes her directing debut with this production. Margie (Susan Clausen) has just been fired for tardiness at a Dollar Store. Her manager, Stevie (Dennis Peters) is apologetic but says that he will lose his job if he continues only to warn her. Nevertheless, Stevie continues to play Bingo in the neighborhood with Margie and her friends, Dottie (Heidi Bridges) and Jean (Sherri Allen).

Review: Oceanside Theatre Co. balances humor and darkness in well-staged ‘Good People’

One of the favorites to win this year’s Tony Award for Best Musical is “Kimberly Akimbo,” a quirky and heartwarming Broadway musical with a script by David Lindsay-Abaire, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright with a gift for crafting complex and realistic American characters who are struggling to succeed and survive in an often-unforgiving world. His Tony-nominated 2011 play “Good People” — which made its West Coast premiere at the Old Globe in 2012 — is just such a story. Despite its upbeat name, “Good People” is about a group of South Boston (“Southie”) natives who aren’t necessarily good or bad. They’re people with good in them, but also flaws, secrets and shameful backstories that rise to the surface when times get tough.

Theater Notebook: Massachusetts ex-pats team up for Oceanside Theatre Company’s ‘Good People’

Six years ago, Ted Leib and Susan Clausen co-starred in David Lindsay-Abaire’s play “Good People” at Scripps Ranch Theatre. This month, they’re returning to the same play at Oceanside Theatre Company, where Leib is artistic director. Clausen has moved up from the secondary character of Jean to the lead role of Margie, and Leib will reprise the role of Mike, the play’s lead male character. Set in South Boston — where the playwright grew up — the 2011 play is the story of Margie, a nice but impoverished dollar-store worker who struggles to support herself and her special-needs adult daughter. When she loses her job, she reaches out for help to Mike, her high school ex-boyfriend, who left the neighborhood and became a successful doctor. As she pressures him to help out an old friend, she begins spilling secrets from his past.

Oceanside Theatre Presents Evening Of Poetry & Storytelling

Oceanside Theatre Company presents an evening of poetry and storytelling in honor of National Poetry Month with San Diego Poet Laureate Jason Magabo Perez and other local poets. Having grown up in Oceanside, Magabo Perez comes home to share his work and engage with the community on Thursday, April 25 at 7 PM. He will be reading works from his three hybrid collections of poetry and prose and discussing their connections to Oceanside. The readings will be followed by a question and answer session moderated by OTC Board Member and local activist Jimmy Figueroa.

Sandy Campbell Makes Her Directorial Debut In Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Good People”

Oceanside, CA -April, 2023 – Long-time San Diego actress, Sandy Campbell is taking on a new challenge with her directorial debut of Oceanside Theatre Company’s Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, an emotional, heartfelt drama broken up by poignant moments of laugh-aloud humor. Having most recently worked as assistant director on The Children at the Moxie Theater, Campbell has won multiple San Diego Critics Circle awards for her acting and has worked at most of the theaters in town including the Old Globe, Moonlight, San Diego Rep, and La Jolla Playhouse. Her husband Danny Campbell joins her in this new endeavor as Associate Director.

Sandy Campbell Makes Her Directorial Debut in Oceanside Theatre Company’s Good People

Long-time San Diego actress, Sandy Campbell is taking on a new challenge with her directorial debut of Oceanside Theatre Company’s Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, an emotional, heartfelt drama broken up by poignant moments of laugh-aloud humor. Having most recently worked as assistant director on The Children at the Moxie Theater, Campbell has won multiple San Diego Critics Circle awards for her acting and has worked at most of the theaters in town including the Old Globe, Moonlight, San Diego Rep, and La Jolla Playhouse. Her husband Danny Campbell joins her in this new endeavor as Associate Director.

Oceanside Theatre Company Presents GOOD PEOPLE At The Brooks Theater

Long-time San Diego actress, Sandy Campbell is taking on a new challenge with her directorial debut of Oceanside Theatre Company’s Good People by David Lindsay-Abaire, an emotional, heartfelt drama broken up by poignant moments of laugh-aloud humor. Having most recently worked as assistant director on The Children at the Moxie Theater, Campbell has won multiple San Diego Critics Circle awards for her acting and has worked at most of the theaters in town including The Old Globe, Moonlight, San Diego Rep, and La Jolla Playhouse. Her husband Danny Campbell joins her in this new endeavor as Associate Director.

The best things to do this weekend in San Diego: April 6-9

“Face 2 Face: Portraits and Self-Portraits”: Oceanside Theatre Company presents an exhibit of 39 pieces of portraiture by 24 artists curated by Carol Naegele. Opening reception, 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. Runs through May 1. 217 N. Coast Highway, Oceanside. (760) 433-8900, oceansidetheatre.org

Theater Notebook: Lederer Celebrates Shakespeare

Wordsmith Richard Lederer, the author of more than 50 books and longtime San Diego Union-Tribune language columnist, will present his tribute to the works of William Shakespeare later this month in Oceanside. Lederer will demonstrate the enduring nature of the Bard’s words through the playwright’s plays and sonnets.

Theatre Talk: Lucky Stiff

When an improbable plot merges with a ridiculous circumstance, you can bet “Something Funny’s Going On.”Accompanied by the melodious stylings of musical director Terry O’Donnell, bored British shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon (Cody Ingram) trudges back to his rented room on another Friday night wishing for life to change. His boring life takes a screwball trajectory when an American uncle leaves him $6 million in his will. Of course, there is a caveat.

Oceanside Theatre Company Teams Up With Comedian Tim X. Lee

To Offer Sober, but Far from Sobering, Comedy to North County

Nerd Comedy’s Tim X. Lee is dedicated to creating alcohol-free entertainment for North County’s communities. From champagne on New Year’s Eve to margaritas on Cinco de Mayo, many of the holidays celebrated in Southern California revolve around drinking culture. Comedian Tim X. Lee has teamed up with Oceanside Theatre Company to offer an alternative option for those in recovery, as well as those who simply want to enjoy a healthy laugh without the drink bill, by hosting the alcohol-free Nerd Comedy at the Brooks Theater on available holidays.

Zany, Off-Beat Musical Farce “Lucky Stiff” Opens at Brooks Theater Oceanside

If you are looking for something to take your mind off rising gas and food prices and political rhetoric then you need to see Oceanside Theatre Company’s latest production at Brooks Theater, “Lucky Stiff”. This over-the-top farcical musical murder mystery with a twisted plot will bring enough chuckles and giggles to your evening to give you a break for your day. This musical comedy, written by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, premiered in 1988 Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons.

Oceanside Theatre Company Announces Fourth Collaboration With Scripps Ranch Theatre: LUCKY STIFF

It’s not easy being a small theatre company. Putting on quality professional theatre is expensive. Putting on a musical, which requires extensive rehearsal, choreography and personnel, is even more costly. That’s why two local professional theatre companies, Oceanside Theatre Company and Scripps Ranch Theatre, have teamed up to bring North County a bigger, better production than either could separately.

Oceanside Theatre Company Invites Audiences to “Take a Chance” in March

Lucky Stiff is a frolicking musical romcom full of hilarious hijinx in which Harry Witherspoon, an English shoe salesman, longs for adventure. When opportunity knocks in the form of an all expense paid trip to Monte Carlo with a dead guy – it might not exactly be the kind of relaxing vacation he had in mind. But he takes a chance on something new – and falls head over heels. This month, Oceanside Theatre Company invites the community to take a little inspiration from the play and take a chance on one of the many activities Brooks Theater has to offer including submitting their own creative work, checking out local artists, taking an improv class, discovering an acclaimed blues artist or learning to paint.

Small Theatres Team Up to Improve Their Odds

It’s not easy being a small theatre company. Putting on quality professional theatre is expensive. Putting on a musical, which requires extensive rehearsal, choreography and personnel, is even more costly. That’s why two local professional theatre companies, Oceanside Theatre Company and Scripps Ranch Theatre, have teamed up to bring North County a bigger, better production than either could separately. Lucky Stiff is a frolicking musical romcom full of hilarious hijinx in which English shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon agrees to take his dead uncle’s corpse on vacation to Monte Carlo in hopes of winning his inheritance – which it turns out was  embezzled from his uncle’s girlfriend’s husband. The musical farce, written by the Tony-award-winning writing team Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and directed by Moonlight Theatre founder Kathy Brombacher, offers audiences a wonderful sense of escapism.

New, Now, Next…Oceanside

Theatergoers looking for laughs should book a date for Oceanside Theatre Company’s production
of “Lucky Stiff” a Weekend at Bernie’s-esque jaunt starring Harry, a man whose inheritance rests with
the condition of fulfilling his dead uncle’s last wish, co-produced by OTC with Scripps Ranch Theatre
and running from March 3-19. oceansidetheatre.org

Wacky musical farce ‘Lucky Stiff’ opens at Scripps Ranch Theatre

A cool six million would change just about anyone’s life. Such is the case for shoe salesman Harry Witherspoon, who learns just what happens when your inheritance comes with conditions in Lucky Stiff by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, running at the Scripps Ranch Theatre space through Feb. 19. his show, a co-production of Scripps Ranch Theatre and Oceanside Theatre Company, is under the direction of Kathy Brombacher and music direction of Terry O’Donnell. A campy musical farce, the storyline follows Witherspoon (played by Cody Ingram) as he learns that his Uncle Anthony has kicked the can and left a sizable fortune to his nephew, whom he’s never met. The catch?

Theater Review: Lucky Stiff

Ready for an evening of craziness, goofy songs, loony people and a plot that will keep you guessing? Have I got a suggestion for you: Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s wildly farcical musical “Lucky Stiff,” playing through Feb. 19 at Scripps Ranch Theatre. This is a co-production with Oceanside Theatre; the show will run there from March 3-19. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a farce, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a musical farce, but this one will keep you laughing and let you forget about all the awful news we’ve been subjected to lately. Kathy Brombacher directs the lunacy and eleven outrageously talented actor/singers, while music director Terry O’Donnell keeps the whole thing moving from the piano.

Review: Well-directed and smartly cast ‘Lucky Stiff’ is amusing mayhem at Scripps Ranch Theatre

If there was an award for best performance as a dead man in a stage musical, Ralph Johnson of Scripps Ranch Theatre’s “Lucky Stiff” would be a shoo-in. The veteran San Diego actor spends the whole show playing a corpse, most of the time in a wheelchair with hat, sunglasses and stone face.

Johnson’s feat is all the more impressive given everything that happens around him. This amusing musical farce that opened Saturday features a cast of 11 at times going at Keystone Cops speed — except for Johnson, of course. However, under the direction of Kathy Brombacher with choreography by Valerie Clark, the antics on the Legler-Benbough Theatre stage rise well above controlled chaos.

Lucky Stiff – Madcap Romp

A farce is a comedy with mistaken identity, disguises, hilarious characters, door slams, plot twists and a whole lot of zany. A musical farce is rare. Scripps Ranch Theatre presents a musical comedy by Ahrens and Flaharty, Lucky Stiff. The show is directed by Kathy Brombacher with Terry O’Donnell as musical director. This show has everything you need in a farce. Lucky Stiff tells the story of an unassuming English shoe salesman who is tasked with escorting the remains of his murdered uncle to Monte Carlo for a final fling. Along the way, he encounters a series of offbeat characters. The score is lively and upbeat, featuring a mix of ballads and showstoppers, and the lyrics are clever and witty.

Oceanside Rushell Gordon business owner of Bliss Tea and Treats and Kristi Hawthorne, director of the Oceanside Historical Society have an event coming up that will honor 140 years of black history in Oceanside. “It was really an interesting process because I started emailing Christy questions I was like

‘Can you tell me you know about tea rooms in Oceanside and can you tell me about other black businesses and there wasn’t a lot of information there. So we decided, okay well let’s figure out how we can build the database so that there’s more information so we had a couple meetings and then we realized, wow, when we get this information what are we going to do with it? So then that’s how
the idea of this show came about, so it really was kind of a brainchild of us wanting to just get more data on the
history and building the Historical Society, because I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that the data is
not there it’s because we’re not feeding the Historical Society the information.”

Theater Notebook: San Diego’s favorite character actor, Ralph Johnson, is playing dead — again

It’s hard work playing a dead guy. Just ask Ralph Johnson, who is performing the title role in the musical “Lucky Stiff” this winter in a co-production that runs Jan. 28-Feb. 19 at Scripps Ranch Theatre, then moves to North County for a second run with Oceanside Theatre Company March 3-19. The beloved San Diego character actor said that even though he doesn’t have to memorize any lines or stage blocking for the show, it takes a great deal of concentration, listening and stillness to play the role of Tony Hendon. Hendon is a newly dead American millionaire whose final request to his nephew and sole heir, Harry, is to take Tony’s corpse on an all-expense-paid gambling vacation in Monte Carlo.

Music Notebook: Music Notebook: Jon Mayer and Roy McCurdy at Dizzy’s, Gunhild Carling at Brooks Theatre, Hot Moms Club at Soda Bar

Trying to top Gunhild Carling on stage can be a formidable challenge. In addition to singing and performing with equal vigor on trombone, harmonica, bagpipes and several other instruments, she plays three trumpets — simultaneously — at her concerts. Often billed as Sweden’s “Queen of Swing,” the now-California-based Carling sometimes performs with a band that includes her two teen children, Idun and Viggo. Both are, unsurprisingly, also multi-instrumentalists.

Live! at the Brooks: Swedish Queen of Swing

Sweden’s Queen of Swing, Gunhild Carling, sings, dances, and plays over 10 instruments including trombone, trumpet, recorder, bagpipe, harmonica, drums, and piano sometimes all in one song! Born to a family of musicians in 1975, Carling’s home life was filled with a variety of artistic endeavors including acting, circus tricks, dance, music, Vaudeville, and novelty. Carling became infatuated with jazz music and instruments at a young age and is now one of the world’s truly great jazz performers.

Oceanside Theatre Company & Six String Society Announce 2023 (Music) Season

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) and Six String Society will collaborate on a new music series, “Live! at the Brooks,” featuring an eclectic series of nine concerts throughout 2023 at the historic Brooks Theater in downtown Oceanside. With local and national acts ranging from blues to jazz, from soul to gospel, and rock to hip-hop, this enthralling musical collaboration promises to surprise and delight a variety of audiences. “Over the past several years, we have put on some fantastic Six String Society shows in this historic theater in downtown Oceanside,” said producer Kenneth Rexrode. “It’s a great venue with a large theater-style stage, yet it remains very intimate as well. We are 100% committed to bringing in some exciting local, national, and even international acts to the OTC music series which will commence in mid-January.”

Oceanside Theatre Company Set To Grow In 2023

As Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) looks forward to a new year of growth, the resident company of the Historic Brooks Theater adds six new members to its board of directors, the largest influx of board leadership in the 12-year history of the organization. A multi-talented group of individuals, including educators, public accountants, program managers, and community advocates, the new additions to the board of directors are a step towards OTC’s commitment to expanding and diversifying its governing body spearheaded by its first Interim Managing Director Alex Goodman who was hired in April 2022.

Beauty and The Beast Jr. Encore!! Encore!! What a production!

The opening night, 11/11/2022, of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast Jr. at the Brooks Theatre in Oceanside was a HIT!! Where do I begin…. The set for this production was very professional and impressive, to say the least. The setting for the castle perfectly suited the stage and space. The props that were moved on and off stage were vibrant and just enough to depict the change in environment. I loved how the settings and props afforded the cast an opportunity to create depth within their space. There was a dungeon and an upper East and West Wings, it was clear that the castle was a multi-level house and that each room was located on a different floor. As a fan of Beauty and the Beast, as soon as I saw the set, my eyes were drawn to the vibrant red rose in the glass capsule in the West Wing. I couldn’t help but wondered how the infamous rose petals would fall throughout the production as it sat untouched. Fortunately, as scripted, the last petal fell on cue and I thought, “how did they do it?”

Oceanside Theatre Announces 2023 Subscription Season

A musical farce full of miscreants. A heartwarming dramedy exploring hard choices. Trills, thrills, and romance. A hilarious holiday experience. Oceanside Theatre Company’s 2023 season offers a chance to smile and laugh over life’s absurdities, hardships, horrors, and traditions with a splash of comedy in every show.  Tickets range from $20 for Preview Nights to $45 for Opening Night with Season Subscription and Group Rates available. They can be purchased through OceansideTheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at 760-433-8900.

Oceanside Theatre Announces 2023 Subscription Season

A musical farce full of miscreants. A heartwarming dramedy exploring hard choices. Trills, thrills, and romance. A hilarious holiday experience. Oceanside Theatre Company’s 2023 season offers a chance to smile and laugh over life’s absurdities, hardships, horrors, and traditions with a splash of comedy in every show.  Tickets range from $20 for Preview Nights to $45 for Opening Night with Season Subscription and Group Rates available. They can be purchased through OceansideTheatre.org or by calling the Box Office at 760-433-8900.

Synthia L. Hardy who wrote and stars in the play Billie! Backstage with Lady Day currently playing at the Brooks Theatre in Downtown Oceanside until October 2

“Theatre doors are theatre doors, it really does not matter what color. If there is something they want to see, they will come and see it.” We had a very nice conversation with Synthia L. Hardy who wrote and stars in the play Billie! Backstage with Lady Day which had its San Diego premiere on September 23 produced by the Oceanside Theatre Company. Billie! had its debut in 2009 at The Whitefire Theater in Los Angeles and has had annual encore performances. Let us dive into Synthia’s world for a few lines and enjoy what she had to share…

You wrote this piece that has been around for 13 years, what inspired you to write it?

I have always loved jazz and the big band sound. Growing up I would just hear the different people in my family, the adults talking about Billie Holiday and all of those things and then one day, I can’t tell you what click to make me say I wanted to write her story, but I decided to write her story and a couple of others as a one-person show and this one seemed to come out ahead of the other two. 

History Comes Alive Onstage with Oceanside’s Billie! Backstage with Lady Day

One part exposé, one part jazz show, and one part history lesson, Billie! Backstage with Lady Day brings iconic performer Billie Holiday to life at Oceanside’s Brooks Theater through October 2nd. This musical, a one-woman show which features playwright/actor/vocalist Synthia L. Hardy as the music legend alongside pianist Woody Woods and jazz combo musicians Russell Bizzett, Dr. Marcus Wilcher, and Gedeon Deák, is in some ways a historic impersonation production more than a play, an approach that places the audience squarely in the 1950s. During Act 1, Billie breaks the fourth wall, interview-style, to recount various events and experiences from her formative years and intermission shifts the locale to the mainstage of the club itself as the headliner takes the stage. This format, while simple, provides a peek into how Billie Holiday’s traumas shaped her art before unabashedly putting the art on display.

Review: Oceanside Theatre’s ‘Billie! Backstage’ offers poignant look inside Holiday’s final years

Synthia L. Hardy has clearly spent many years studying and performing onstage as Billie Holiday. But she doesn’t glamorize the famous jazz singer in her well-written play with music “Billie! Backstage with Lady Day.” Portraying Holiday in the mid-1950s, Hardy starts the play by storming up a side aisle from the lobby muttering a stream of obscenities at those who have wronged her. Holiday drank herself to death at age 44, just a few years after this play is set, and her character’s proud delusions about her sobriety and her “good” husband Louis McKay — who would embezzle her earnings and leave her penniless — are poignant insights about the singer’s troubled life.

Meet Alex Goodman, Managing Director Of Oceanside Theatre Company

The Historic “Sunshine” Brooks Theater has long been considered the cultural center point of Oceanside and undoubtedly contributed to the city being named one of only 14 inaugural Cultural Districts designated by the State of California. Now, with a new 20-year City of Oceanside Use Agreement the Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC), is taking bold steps to meet the cultural needs of a growing North County community. The first step for the previously all-volunteer OTC management team was to hire its first Managing Director, Alex Goodman. 

Oceanside Theatre and New Village Arts Collaboration is a Win-Win for Everyone

It has taken two years of patience on the part of two outstanding theatre arts companies, Oceanside Theatre Company and New Village Arts Theatre, but the wait was well worth it on their latest collaboration, the award-winning musical Into the Woods. A shut down of all theatre companies during the COVID pandemic restrictions and a major remodel of Carlsbad’s New Village Arts Theatre led to NVA’s founder and director Kristianne Kurner and OTC’s Producing Artistic Director Ted Leib joining together to stage one of the classics of musical theatre on the OTC stage.

Review: ‘Into the Woods’ is fresh, funny and well sung in Oceanside production

The first thing to know about recently passed Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim is that he was a genius. The second is that Sondheim’s scores can be treacherous to perform. Their intricate melodies, blazing-fast lyrics, changeable tempos and multilayered harmonies are devilishly difficult work for singers, musicians and directors to pull off. So that’s what makes New Village Arts and Oceanside Theatre Company’s new coproduction of Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods” such a pleasure.

Brooks Theater Reopens for Youth Arts Camp

After restrictions lifted in June, the theater was able to reopen its doors after a year’s hiatus for its annual Youth Theater Arts Camp. The camp invites children between 7 and 17 years of age to participate in a several-week-long camp that teaches theater skills like singing, dancing, acting, poetry, and choral reading.

As Part of SD Theatre Week, Tours of the Brooks Theatre to be given February 21st

In honor of San Diego Theatre Week, OTC is offering behind-the-scene tours of the historic Brooks Theatre on February 21st at 11:00am & 1:00pm. At the end of the tour, patrons will receive the option to purchase discounted tickets (2 for $30) to one of the upcoming 2017-18 season productions.

“Outside Mullingar” A Sentimental Journey at Scripps Ranch Theatre

“There was a girl, there was a boy. If they had met they might have found a world of joy. But he lived on the morning side of the mountain and she lived on the twilight side of the hill. They never met, they never kissed. They will never know what happiness they’ve missed ‘Cause he lived on the morning side of the mountain and she lived on the twilight side of the hill. For love’s a rose that never grows without the kiss of the morning dew. And every Jack must have a Jill to know the thrill of a dream that comes true. And you and I are just like they for all we know our love is just a kiss away”

Scripps Ranch Theatre and Oceanside Theatre Company Co Produce OUTSIDE MULLINGAR

Scripps Ranch Theatre, located on the campus of Alliant Int’l University in Scripps Ranch has opened OUTSIDE MULLINGAR, by John Patrick Shanley, a co-production with Oceanside Theatre Company. The production runs from January 19th – February 18th at Scripps Ranch Theatre. Outside Mullingar continues its run with Oceanside Theatre Company housed at the Brooks Theatre from February 23rd – March 11th.

“Foxfire” preview on KNSD Channel 39

 

Oceanside Theatre Company Presents MIRACLE ON 34th STREET

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) to present MIRACLE ON 34th STREET, the second show in their 2017/2018 Season. The production is directed by Heather Reba with musical direction by Noelle Marie Kerr . OTC performs at the Brooks Theatre in Oceanside.

Michelle Marie Trester and Eric Hellmers Lead Cast of SAME TIME NEXT YEAR

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) announces casting for Same Time Next Year, by Bernard Slade, the first show in their 2017/2018 Season. Their four show season starts in October of 2017 and runs through May of 2018. They perform at the Brooks Theatre in Oceanside. (More)

William Inge’s PICNIC to Close 2016-17 Season at Oceanside Theatre Company

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) will produce the Pulitzer prize winning play PICNIC, by classic American Playwright William Inge, as the final production of OTC’s 2016/2017 Season. The show runs from May 5 – 21 and is directed by OTC’s new Artistic Director, Ted Leib.

Oceanside Theatre Company Welcomes Ted Leib as New Artistic Director

Oceanside Theatre Company (OTC) named Ted Leib as their new Artistic Director, effective March 1, 2017. Leib will direct PICNIC, by William Inge – the final production of OTC’s 2016/2017 Season running from May 5 – 21 and will be announcing the company’s 2017/2018 Season in April.

San Diego Theatre Week returning for a third go-round

You could argue that every week is theater week in San Diego — one of the most active theater towns in America, with a reputation that stretches to Broadway and beyond thanks to the new work developed here.

Outside Mullingar is full of Irish wit

“Outside Mullingar” is a play involving four characters in the Irish countryside. Scripps Ranch Theatre has rolled out this production full of wit and humor, and is presenting it on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 18.

Oceanside Theatre Company’s “Same Time Next Year” Remains a Funny, Romantic Comedy

The first play of Oceanside Theatre’s 8th Season and first under new artistic director Ted Leib still retains the humor, sensitivity and timelessness even though it covers a relationship spanning 1951 to 1975. When it first appeared on stage at Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City, starring award winning actress Ellen Burstyn and Charles Grodin, critics referred to the play as a “funny comedy about love and adultery”. The play would run on Broadway for four years.

‘The Full Monty’ and ‘Outside Mullingar’ are nice Valentine’s options

Valentine’s Day is a couple of weeks away, but love is already in bloom at Scripps Ranch Theatre, which is staging a quaint and shamelessly romantic production of John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar. This four-person play set on adjoining cattle and sheep farms in the Irish countryside was presented two years ago by the San Diego Rep. The Scripps Ranch version—a co-production with Oceanside Theatre Company and directed by Kathy Brombacher—is a reiteration of the 2014 love story’s charm. It’s also a reminder of the script’s fatal flaw in the motivation department. No spoilers forthcoming.

“Outside Mullingar” at Scripps Ranch Theatre

John Patrick Shanley stated he wanted to create a story about a family farm he was familiar with and a love story that dealt with all of the feelings surrounding this emotion. Shanley, 2005 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner for “Doubt”, wrote this play “Outside Mulligar” after his 60th birthday. It appeared on Broadway in 2014 and was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play and received two Drama Desk nominations for Best Play and Outstanding Featured Actor. He actually used the real names of his relatives for the story.

THEATER REVIEW: “Outside Mullingar”

Some people never forget a slight. Others don’t know a come-on when they see it. Playwright John Patrick Shanley takes his own very Irish family as a starting point for “Outside Mullingar,” a romantic comedy about two (fictionalized) feuding families.

Consider Anthony Reilly (Manny Fernandes), who grew up with his dad Tony (Mike Genovese) on the next fram over from Rosemary Muldoon (Carla Gartung) and her mother Aoife (pronounced EE-fah) in the hardscrabble though beautiful Irish countryside west of Dublin. there’s bad blood between these families going back to when Rosemary was seven years old, and she hasn’t forgotten about it.