Thursday, November 22, 2012

This North Coast Weekend

When Black Friday comes, so will two stage openings. The 1977 musical Annie opens at Ferndale Repertory Theatre on Friday (November 23.)   With a story based on the popular 1930s comic strip, it’s set in the Great Depression, featuring an 11 year-old orphan heroine, a mean orphanage director, a beneficent millionaire and a singing-and-dancing President Franklin D. Roosevelt. And it ends on Christmas.

With music by Charles Strouse and lyrics by Martin Charnin, Annie was an immediate sensation and has been a theatrical staple ever since. The latest Broadway revival just opened in early November, providing New York critics with opportunities to muse on optimism after the hurricane and the politics of rich and poor. But basically it’s a big, very child-friendly musical that Ferndale produces with a cast of 24, featuring Craig Benson as Daddy Warbucks, Andrea Zvaleko as the evil Miss Hannigan, Kristi Peifer as Daddy’s faithful personal assistant and Jeff Kieser as the comic villain, Rooster. Ariel Vergen and Marina Benson will play Annie. Kate Haley directs, with choreography by Linda Maxwell, scenic design by Calder Johnson, costumes by Taylor Depew, lighting by Greta Stockwell and music direction by Justin Ross, who also conducts the live band.

The NY Times review of the new production there (which led with the audience response to the cute dog) noted the number of little girls in the audience.  Of course, there are a number of little girls in the cast as well, and this play has incubated a number of child stars.  Among those who appeared over the years were Sarah Jessica Parker, Molly Ringwald and Alyssa Milano.

  Annie runs Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons from November 23 through December 16. 1-800-838-3006.

Also opening November 23 is the North Coast traditional Dell’Arte holiday show for all ages, that begins in Blue Lake and travels up and down 101 from Scotia to Cave Junction, Oregon for mostly free shows. This year it’s an original fantasy called The Fish In My Head, created by the ensemble of seven actor/musician/acrobats: Janessa Johnsrude, Ryan Musil, Jacob Trillo, Meridith Ann Baldwin (all seen in last summer’s Mary Jane: The Musical), Rux Cantir, Anson Kalani Smith and Anthony Arnista. Directed and designed by Ronlin Foreman, it’s a fish story about transformations and adventure that starts out in the humdrum but escapes to the bottom of the sea and off to the moon, and back.

Opening weekend performances at the Carlo Theatre in Blue Lake (Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23 & 24 at 7:30 p.m.) are free, though audiences are asked to contribute non-perishable food items to be donated to local food banks. That goes for the touring shows, too, which reach an estimated seven-to-ten thousand people, many of them school children.  Then The Fish in My Head returns to Blue Lake Dec. 13-16, with tickets priced at $10 and $8. Ticket outlets include Wildberries Marketplace, Pierson Building Center and Moore’s Sleep World. Also: 707-668-5663, ext. 20.

Meanwhile, the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes continues at North Coast Rep.  My review is in this week's NC Journal.

Fish in My Head Full Schedule

Nov. 23, 24 Blue Lake, CA DAI’s Carlo Theatre 7:30 PM FREE
Nov. 26 Klamath, CA Yurok Tribal Headquarters 6:00 PM FREE
Nov. 27 McKinleyville, CA McKinleyville High School 7:30 PM FREE
Nov. 28 Arcata, CA Van Duzer at HSU 7:30 PM FREE
Nov. 30 Trinidad, CA Trinidad School 7:00 PM FREE
Dec. 2 Point Arena, CA Arena Theater 4:00 PM $10/8
Dec. 4 Redway, CA Mateel Community Center 6:30 PM $10/5
  Dec. 5 Scotia, CA Winema Theater 7:30 PM FREE
Dec. 6 Orick, CA Orick Community Center 5:00 PM FREE
Dec. 7 Burnt Ranch Burnt Ranch School 12:30PM FREE
Dec. 8 Eureka, CA Eureka Theater 7:30 PM FREE
Dec. 10 Cave Junction, OR Lorna Byrne Middle School 7:00 PM FREE
Dec. 13- 16 Blue Lake, CA DAI’s Carlo Theatre 7:30PM $10/8

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