Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cygnet Theatre: innovative, cutting edge venue offers holiday classic

Cygnet Theater in Old Town is a fantastic night out, with a stop at nearby Hacienda de las Rosas Winery before or after.

'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' with a twist opens this weekend in at Old Town venue

STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS                 CLICK HERE ==>> Lilians Last Dance
and courtesy Cygnet Theatre                                                                    e-book on Amazon

Lively direction, fine singing
entertained in Cygnet's
"Little Shop of Horrors."
THE WORD cygnet means many things, from an obscure city in Tasmania to a fancy automobile, to its more familiar meaning, a young swan.
"A Christmas Carol" promises the familiar story with a twist!
In San Diego, Cygnet means
quality theater. The delightful venue in Old Town serves up a feast of hard-hitting drama, musicals, comedies and just up, a new twist on an old favorite.
We've seen dozens of fabulous productions at Cygnet in the eight years I've been a part-time San Diegan.
"Sweeney Todd" was gangbusters, with actor-director Sean Murray a charming menace in the title role. "Cabaret" a la Cygnet and "Little Shop of Horrors" were delightful, too, and I've seen Broadway versions of "Sweeney," "Sweeney," "Cabaret" and "Little Shop."
Antonio TJ Johnson as one
of a magnificent quartet of actors
in Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love."
Sean Murray wins accolades for both direction and acting.
I SPEND part of each year in London, where  "Noises Off" remains a favorite in my West End repertoire.  Cygnet's lively  production held its own against the formidable London version. Ditto for Cygnet's "A Glass Menagerie."
Hacienda de las Rosas Winery offers
 fun before or after a Cygnet play. 
CYGNET'S 'MAN of La Mancha," a musical I hold dear for having conducted 27 performances myself, was moving, remarkably true to the spirit of the noble Don Quixote. Sean Murray's portrayal of the idealistic dreamer of the title, would have brought a tear to the eye of Cervantes!  I saw Richard Kiley in the Broadway production and Murray did the role proud. (Murray's versatility garnered a "best actor" award for "La Mancha"
Cygnet's name is a nod to the Old Globe of London,
and its rival in Shakespearean times, the Swan. San Diego's
Old Globe was honored and amused when Cygnet' chose its name.
The intimate, award winning 246-seat venue is located in Old Town.  
and "best director" award for Cygnet's cutting edge production of "Cabaret" with a female emcee!)
RECENTLY, we took in Cygnet's Sam Shepard plays, a pairing of two of the playwright's evocative, disturbing and elegantly written short pieces.  Stage direction was inventive -- again, thanks to Murray -- and the acting superb. Carla Harting and Francis Gercke were the tormented mismatched lovers, Antonio TJ Johnson the conscience/father and Manny Fernandes the play's voice of reason. Fantastic, thoughtful work.
Cygnet's current season features a new twist on "A Christmas Carol." On tap: the perennial favorite "My Fair Lady," the provocative Pulitzer Prize nominee, "Sons of the Prophet" and more: www.cygnettheatre.com
And try this pairing: before or after Cygnet, we like to visit Old Town's nearby Hacienda de las Rosas Winery for a glass: www.sdwinery.com

COMING SOON:  Acting, performance and the lively characters who make the magic... these all play parts in our novel, "Lilian's Last Dance," hot off the presses on Amazon eBooks.   How did we come up with these characters, their values and eccentricities? A famous Broadway director played into the story. Remember:  carpe diem!  Take time to explore, learn and live, and visit of Wednesdays and weekends at: www.whereiscookie.com

(This review is from: Lilian's Last Dance (Kindle Edition)

Here's what Billings, Montana reader, Carole W. Baumann said:
"Such an entertaining read about the beginning film industry and the traveling showmen that bring it to life as they cross the nation. "Lilian's Last Dance" informs as it amuses the reader.")

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