Spring Arts Preview 2012: Theater

Spring Shows Include Spring Awakening

<em>Hello! My Baby</em> is set in an era when songs were sold as sheet music by young singers working on street corners.
Courtesy Photo

Creditors at Ensemble Theatre Company’s Alhecama Theatre: August Strindberg can compete with the best when it comes to putting unresolved sexual tension onstage. In Creditors, two men play mind and power games with a woman who is about as far from a total victim as you can get. It’s based on Strindberg’s own marriage, and it contains as much caustic wit as it does scathing argument. Ensemble Theatre Company’s Jonathan Fox directs a cast that includes Westmont College professor of theater and Equity actor Mitchell Thomas. March 29-April 15. Call 965-5400 or visit ensembletheatre.com.

Spring Awakening at Center Stage Theater: This rock musical, based on a controversial fin de siècle German Expressionist play by Frank Wedekind, took home eight Tony Awards back in 2007, and launched the careers of Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele, who have gone on to television stardom with the Fox series Glee. Santa Barbara gets its chance to revel in Duncan Sheik’s brilliant pop-rock score and writhe in the pangs of Wedekind’s vision of wall-to-wall adolescent angst when Out of the Box, the up-and-coming company most recently responsible for the Halloween-weekend production of Evil Dead: The Musical, brings this show to a Santa Barbara stage for the first time. April 19-29. Call 963-0408 or visit centerstagetheater.org.

Piezoelectric Love: The (half) Life of Marie Curie at UCSB’s Performing Arts Theater: The life of Marie Curie, the two-time Nobel Prize-winning scientist who discovered radium, may seem like an unusual subject for a play, but consider how much more unusual a subject it is for a play that describes itself as “a mask play, a clown piece, a dance concert, a ‘Chekhovian’ style drama, and a docu-play all in one.” Conceived by UCSB drama professor and Boxtales mainstay Jeff Mills and written by Mills and Valerie Slitor, this promises to be one of the spring’s most enigmatic and exciting evenings in the theater. At an advance preview performance of the work back in the 2011, Mills and company were positively glowing, and not just from the radiation. The production’s original music is written and performed by James Connolly and Anna Abbey. May 10-19. Call 893-3022 or visit www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu.

More Theater:

Hello! My Baby. At Rubicon Theatre Company, through April 15.

Wally’s Café. At Circle Bar B Dinner Theatre, April 6-May 20.

Speaking of Stories: Nothing Like a Good Surprise! At Center Stage Theater, April 15-16.

The Fringe. At various locations on the Westmont campus, April 19-21.

Romeo and Juliet. At PCPA’s Marian Theatre, April 19-May 13.

National Theatre Live in HD present She Stoops to Conquer. At the Lobero Theatre, April 19.

The Fever. At Westmont’s Porter Theatre, April 26-28.

Anowa. At UCSB’s Hatlen Theatre, May 25-June 2.


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