Aug. 22 2012 02:29 PM

10 important developments in San Diego theater

Metamorphoses, a 2005 Lamb’s Players Theatre production, is gone but hardly forgotten.

    Highlights, lowlights and overhead lights colored local theater over the last 10 years. Here, we look back at some of the work CityBeat covered in its first decade:

    1. Al Germani founds Lynx Performance Theatre: Doesn't seem possible it was that long ago, but in 2003, Germani's troupe began mesmerizing audiences with his dark, controversial fare.

    2. Poor Players Theatre Company makes its debut: In 2004, Poor Players introduced its irreverent take on Shakespeare, making actor Richard Baird the greatest founding artistic director in the history of the universe.

    3. Lamb's Players Theatre stages Metamorphoses: I'll never forget Lamb's Players' superb 2005 retelling of 11 ancient Roman stories. This wasn't a show; this was a state of mind.

    4. San Diego Repertory Theatre opens Blessings of a Broken Heart: In 2006, Rep associate artistic director Tod Salovey adapted and directed this sobering account of the murders of two Jewish boys, taken from the book of the same name.

    5. Old Globe Theatre mounts Othello: The Globe staged this as part of its 2006 Summer Shakespeare Festival. If ever there was an argument for the legalization of assisted suicide—.

    6. La Jolla Playhouse teams up with Steppenwolf. In 2007, the Playhouse and Chicago's great Steppenwolf Theatre Company produced an excellent after the quake, centering on an injured little girl and a frog that saves Tokyo from a big fat worm.

    7. Spring Awakening comes to the Balboa Theatre: The seven-time Tony-winning musical captured San Diego audiences in 2008 following the venue's reopening after more than 20 years.

    8. Bang! Productions trots out Side Man: Little Bang! did a giant's job in 2010 with this drama about the fortunes of a group of washed-out jazz musicians.

    9. San Diego pays its respects: In 2010, local theater mourned the passings of Old Globe founder Craig Noel and actor Sandra Ellis-Troy. George Flint, who founded the former Renaissance Theatre Company at age 80, died the following year, as did performer Glynn Bedington. 

    10. Moxie stages A Raisin in the Sun. This show, from last February, featured an absolutely magnificent set of production values and an overwhelmingly powerful statement on race relations.

    Martin Jones Westlin was CityBeat's theater critic from 2003 to 2011.


    Anything Goes: This plot of this farcical musical, involving hijinks on a passenger ship, almost doesn't matter; this one's all about the Cole Porter tunes. Opens Aug. 22 at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista.

    Les Miserables: In 19th-century France, a man spends much of his adult life on the run from the law while caring for the daughter of a dead prostitute. Presented Broadway San Diego, the classic musical drama runs Aug. 28 through Sept. 2 at the Civic Theatre, Downtown.

    The Mystery Plays: The one-act plays in question are The Filmmaker's Mystery and Ghost Children and take their cues from Alfred Hitchcock and The Twilight Zone. Presented by Ion Theatre, it runs in previews on Aug. 23 and 24, and it opens for real on Aug. 25 at BLKBOX @ 6th & Penn Theatre in Hillcrest.

    The Music Man: A con man aims to scam the good folks of River City in the musical that brought us the timeless tune, "Shipoopi." Presented by Patio Playhouse, it runs through Aug. 25 at Kit Carson Park Amphitheatre in Escondido.

    Man of La Mancha: Don Quixote dreams the impossible dream, or so Miguel de Cervantes tells us, in this classic musical. Through Aug. 26 at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town.

    Wrinkles: A New Old Musical!: A song-filled day in the life of three couples who are wrinkled.Through Aug. 26 at Welk Resorts Theatre in Escondido.

    God of Carnage: Two sets of ill-behaved parentsfight over their sons' altercation in a park in this darkly comedic play, which originated in Switzerland and was adapted by Roman Polanski into the 2011 film Carnage. Through Sept. 2 at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park.

    My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish & I'm Still in Therapy!: Yep, it's the one-man sequel toMy Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, and I'm in Therapy!, written by and starring funnyman Steve Solomon. Presented by Le Roy Associates, it runs through Sept. 9 at the Lyceum Space at Horton Plaza, Downtown.

    Respect: A Musical Journey of Women: The evolution of women's roles in society is explored through past top-40 hits in this upbeat musical. Extended through Sept. 9 at the Lyceum Stage at Horton Plaza.

    The Lion in Winter: It's Christmastime in 1183, and King Henry II must decide which one of his three sons will be his successor to the throne. Through Sept. 15 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista.

    An Iliad: Homer's epic poem about the Trojan Waris adapted, using contemporary language, into a one-man show by actor Denis O'Hare and director Lisa Peterson.Through Sept. 19 at La Jolla Playhouse.

    See How They Run: This World War II-era farce, set in Britain, takes the mistaken-identity device and runs wild with it.Through Sept. 23 at Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado.

    Inherit the Wind: The Old Globe takes on the classic fictionalized version of the true story of the Scopes "monkey trial," at the end of which a high-school teacher was convicted for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution. The 1955 play used the trial as a parallel to the McCarthyism of the era. Through Sept. 25 in the Lowell Davies Festival Theatre at The Old Globe in Balboa Park.

    Richard III: King Edward IV's malicious, manipulative, murderous little brother lusts for England's throne, takes it and presides over a reign of terror in Shakespeare's history play. Through Sept. 29 in The Old Globe's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park.

    As You Like It: If it's a case of mistaken identity, it must be the Bard. The story of lovebirds Rosalind and Orlando in the Forest of Arden is part of The Old Globe's 2012 Shakespeare Festival. Through Sept. 30 in the Globe's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park.

    miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through Nov. 25 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown.

    Once Upon a Wedding: Zaniness abounds during a wedding gone horribly wrong, and it does so while patrons dine aboard a boat making its way around Mission Bay, beginning at the Bahia Resort Hotel. Runs on various dates through Dec. 13.

    Crime Pays: A radio game show with dastardly overtones, served up with dinner, is presented by Mystery Cafe at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill.


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