IN THE HEIGHTS

In The Heights, the thrilling, entertaining, emotionally powerful Tony-winning Best Musical of 2008, has arrived at the Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center in a production whose triple-threat performances rival the best of the multiple professional ITH stagings I’ve seen over the past six years.
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CHILDREN OF EDEN

An onstage cast of fifty multitalented musical theater performers, an absolutely exquisite production design, and above all what may well be Stephen Schwartz’s most gorgeous score (Wicked included) add up to a glorious Children Of Eden, now being given the kind of Grade-A professional staging you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere other than Cabrillo Music Theater.
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SEE ROCK CITY

A couple of Kentucky newlyweds and their respective mothers are all it takes for playwright Arlene Hutton to evoke the societal changes wrought by World War II in the most entertaining of ways in her justifiably lauded home-front dramedy See Rock City, exquisitely staged and performed this month at Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre.
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THE ADDAMS FAMILY

The “creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky” family known as The Addams have arrived at the Simi Valley Performing Arts Center in a production that proves an audience-pleaser even without Broadway sets and Equity performers, particularly as captained by a sensational George Chavez as Gomez Addams.
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MY FAIR LADY

My Fair Lady with a cast of seventeen, minimal sets, and a two-piano orchestra is hardly the My Fair Lady you and I have grown up seeing, but Rubicon Theatre’s chamber adaptation of the Lerner & Lowe classic works mostly as well as (and in some ways better than) a more traditional production.
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DAMN YANKEES

Cabrillo Music Theatre scores an out-of-the-ballpark home run with its revival of the 1955 Broadway gem Damn Yankees, a production highlighted by a quintet of terrific lead performances, numerous supporting gems, and some of the best dancing in town.
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OKLAHOMA!

Dance reigns supreme in Cabrillo Music Theatre’s rousing revival of the Richard Rodgers-Oscar Hammerstein II classic Oklahoma!, billed as “The Musical That Reinvented American Musical Theatre,” a phrase that still rings true nearly three-quarters of a century after it revolutionized Broadway.
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OTHER DESERT CITIES

Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities has arrived 175 miles west of Palm Springs at Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre in a production that makes it abundantly clear why the 2012 Pulitzer Prize finalist stands as one of the best written, most thought-provoking, and ultimately most moving plays of the last decade.
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