Friday, November 29, 2019

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas as holiday shows debut


Soap star Eric Martsolf of "Days of Our Lives"  soap fame headlines a zippy, pretty and nostalgic holiday show at Welk Resort Theatre, celebrating its 20th season, northeast of San Diego. The show opened to raves. welkresorts.com/san-diego/theatre/

SANTA, SONGS, SEQUINS, SNOW AS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA TOP THEATERS USHER IN THE SEASON


STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
 San Diego Union Tribune & theater marketing departments

"Welkome Home for the Holidays" features a soap star
from Los Angeles and a terrific cast of singers and dancers.
WE MAY have palm trees instead of fir, but it's full-on Christmas in southern California where theater choices abound, from song-and-dance revues to other options not necessarily holiday themed but perfect for boosting holiday cheer.
Pick one or try them all to get yourself out of the Grinch mode and into a merry mood.
We begin our rounds at Welk Resort Theatre.
"WELKOME HOME for the Holidays." Welk Resort. Splendidly produced musical revue guaranteed to send even the sourest Scrooge out the door with a song in his heart. Soap star Eric Martsolf headlines a top cast with a zippy montage of
classics -- some cleverly revised in holiday wrap -- from Kander and Ebb to Irving Berlin. Carols, comedy, ballads, a dozen tap dancing Santas and show-stopping cameos in this show-stopping extravaganza. Through Dec. 29  welkresorts.com/san-diego/theatre/
Imaginative musical take on "Around the World in 80 Days."
"A CHRISTMAS CAROL" at Cygnet Theatre.
This imaginative production features original music, creative stagecraft and puppetry, and live sound effects. Adapted from the classic Dickens tale with lyrics and score by Sean Murray and Billy Thompson. Stylishly directed by Murray. Through Dec. 29 cygnettheatre.com
Piratical pleasures await
 at New Village Arts.
"AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS."  New Village Arts. Complete with live, buccaneer-style original tunes from The Shantyannes. Through Dec. 22. newvillagearts.org
Todd Waite is an
endearing Crumpet the Elf in
David Sedaris' humorous tale.
"SANTALAND DIARIES." Diversionary Theatre. Company Artist Todd Waite reprises his role as "Crumpet the Elf" in David Sedaris' outlandish, side-splitting chronicle of his experience as a worker in Macy's department store. A sure holiday spirit pleaser. Through Dec. 22. diversionary.org
 Heidi Meyer and Jake Millgard in San Diego
 Musical Theatre’s “A Christmas Story.” 
"A CHRISTMAS STORY."  San Diego Musical Theatre.
Ralphie's search for a Christmas BB gun gets a magical, musical spin at Horton Grand Theatre. Guaranteed laughs, lively tunes. Through Dec. 29. sdmt.org

At San Diego Repertory Theatre, the
Lyceum features a one-man show.
"WE HOLD THESE Truths." San Diego Repertory Theatre. One-man tour de force starring Ryun Yu, written by Jeanne Sakata. A Japanese-American man who spent 50 years trying to avenge injustice done to Americans of Japanese ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Through Dec. 8. sdrep.org

Lamb's "Festival of Christmas" is a
lovely ode to theater -- and the holidays
"LAMB'S FESTIVAL of Christmas."  Lambs Players Theatre. Heartwarming ode to the theater's "on with the show" motto is set in a New York TV studio, 1952. A live broadcast of a Christmas variety show is thrown into chaos when a blizzard shuts down the city. Music, merriment, sound effects with Lamb's trademark stylish delivery. lambsplayers.org
Fabulous music, versatile actors weave a story of
a father and daughter over several decades.

"CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND." La Jolla Playhouse. Brilliantly told, moving story of a daughter's search for her father's history during the genocide days of the Khmer Rouge, with gifted actors playing multiple roles decades apart. Terrific, unusual production and while not a traditional holiday show is imbued with spirit and time honored themes: love, tradition, grace, acceptance, change and the transcendent quality of music.    Through Dec. 15. lajollaplayhouse.org 
"DICKENS UNSCRIPTED." North Coast Repertory Theatre. Crack troupe creates an improvised comedy in the melodramatic style of Dickens, with a festive theme. Two days only, Dec. 16-17.  northcoastrep org

Fountains Abbey, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is beautiful all year round.
We take you there and to Yorkminster and Castle Howard -- coming soon.

UP NEXT: England's abbeys,  castles, manor houses and churches represent some of the world' most magnificent architecture.  More than 800 medieval castles alone boast visible remains in England.  We take you to a classic abbey, a castle and a famous minster, in a two-part feature, whetting your appetite for English history and Medieval Gothic ruins.  One of the most famous is Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal Park Water Gardens, founded in 1132. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays for a fresh look at travel, the arts, nature, family and more: www.whereiscookie.com

Friday, November 22, 2019

Thanksgiving week transplant saga: another life saved at Scripps

BROTHER'S DONATION SAVES HIS SISTER'S LIFE AS WE CELEBRATE 30 MONTHS FROM OUR SCRIPPS TRANSPLANT

Emotions run high as a donor is wheeled Tuesday to surgery, to cheers
balloons, whistles and applause from Scripps staffers.
 (patient's face is blurred to respect his privacy. )
  


STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS

PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

and CM
Checking the donate box on your driver's
license could make a difference to someone. 

WE THANK the gods every day that we are on the planet. This week's prelude to Thanksgiving offered another reason to count our blessings: an excellent check-up for Keller, 30 months post-transplant.  Ours wasn't the only good news.  On the day of our MRIs, CTs, bloodwork and doctor visits, another life was saved because of organ donation.  We witnessed a small part of the miracle as the donor was wheeled down the hall to the transplantation theater to give a kidney to his ailing sister.
For me, organ donation plays a moving part in my personal scenario.  Both my late husbands were organ donors. It comforted me after their passings that parts of them were helping others live.  That my third partner's life was saved by a generous donor touches my heart, a full circle pleasure.So as Keller and I waited between tests and meetings, we revelled in a heartwarming scene at Scripps Green, "our" hospital, known for its cutting edge, compassionate, highly regarded transplantation program.
WE WERE MISTY eyed as the young donor was wheeled into the operating room, to cheers and fanfare of "the team" -- doctors, nurses, physicians' assistants, schedulers, receptionists -- that wonderful group of people we've come to know in our five years of "Scripps" loyalty. Both donor and his sister had successfully navigated weeks of testing so the surgery was a go.
Week of the transplant, click here

 Andrew Ruoff of Scripps Green is
a dedicated transplant team nurse.

Bruce Keller's chief transplant surgeon Dr. Jonathan Fisher
is happy with his patient's progress these 30 months.
That act of generosity is called a living organ donation.  It means that some healthy person donates one of his kidneys or a portion of his liver to a loved one, a friend or someone in need.WE WERE LUCKY.  We worked our way up the transplant list, over 18 long months.  One's status on the list is the result of a complicated formula based on many factors. The wait was difficult but we still traveled, keeping close to home as we climbed the list. On May 13, 2017, at 10 p.m., we were called.  Scripps had a donor. We were among three possible recipients called in; ours was the best match. In the early hours of May 14, "we" were transplanted.  Many are not so fortunate.
Rocky, happy first weeks, click here
 Doctors and PAs at Scripps have
the latest information on the
evolving transplantation field.


Today, more than 110,000 people are awaiting a lifesaving organ transplant in the U.S., a fifth of them in California's transplant centers. One in three people on the list will die due to organ shortage. Our state is in the vanguard of transplantation, which makes the fact that we live 10 minutes from Scripps even more extraordinary.  We've met people through my support group who move to San Diego to be near its fine doctors and modern, welcoming facilities.
OFTEN TRANSPLANT candidates wait years for an organ from a deceased donor while others don't live long enough to receive a transplant. Still others are removed from the list because they become too ill to undergo transplant. More than 20,000, or twenty per cent of the national total, are listed at California transplant centers.  One in three of those waiting will die because of organ shortage. One of every 380 people is on a kidney transplant list.
Bruce Keller and his hepatologist, internationally known Dr. Catherine
Frenette are happy with his results this week for his three-month exams.
Adjusting to transplant, click here
IF YOU WANT to help, do check the donor box on your driver's license.  And consider another way to help patients waiting for an organ. Scripps and other institutions offer a "living kidney donor program" allowing friends, family and those who wish to be anonymous to donate, sparing someone a long, uncertain wait for a deceased donor. 
Hours after surgery, Keller rests
in Scripps Green ICU. He was out
in a remarkable two days.






Only about 5,000 deceased-donor livers are available for transplant for 14,000-plus U.S. residents waiting.  When a patient such as Keller receives a transplant, his entire liver is removed, then replaced by the donated liver.  "Living liver" donor programs exist as the only option  if a patient is too ill to wait for a deceased donor transplant.
Now 30 months post-transplant, Bruce Keller and
Christene "Cookie" Meyers are a nationally known
travel writing/photography team, exploring the world. 
ONE OF OUR favorite nurses gave part of his liver to his mother. The "living liver" surgery removes part of the donor's healthy liver and uses that to replace the recipient's diseased liver.  Both donor and recipient livers grow to normal size, just as Keller's liver has adjusted.
Tears, anxiety and questions are part of the emotional transplant roller coaster. As our award-winning, compassionate Scripps hepatologist says, "We don't deny emotion, we embrace it, and integrate it into the process.'' We tip our hat to transplantation and the Scripps team for giving us that most precious commodity, time. For more information:
www.scripps.org/news_items/6608-kusi-explores-new-liver-transplant-policy-with-scripps-specialist
Soap star Eric Martsolf is a charismatic emcee in Welk
Resort Theatre's "Welkome Home for the Holidays,"
a lively and clever song-and-dance revue.
www.scripps.org/news_items/6757-becoming-a-living-donor-video;  www.scripps.org/news_items/6737-scripps-first-to-use-new-liver-transport-system-in-san-diego-county
UP NEXT:  Holiday shows abound and they're opening this week. Yes even in the land of palm trees and ocean breezes, it's beginning to look (and sound) a lot like Christmas. We take you to several of our favorite southern California holiday shows and recommend our favorites.  Meanwhile,
remember to explore, learn and live and catch us each Friday for a fresh look at travel, the arts, celebrations, nature, family and more: whereiscookie.com





Friday, November 15, 2019

California's historic ferry Madaket sails Eureka's bustling waterfront



The historic Madaket is the last of seven ferries on Humboldt Bay, a relic of the waterfront heyday of Eureka, Calif.
Bruce Keller and Christene "Cookie" Meyers aboard the
Madaket, for a cruise around historic Humboldt Bay.

BAY'S HEYDAY COMES ALIVE WITH COLORFUL COMMENTARY, INTERESTING SIGHTS ABOARD HISTORIC VESSEL


STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

IN DAYS OF YORE, ferries were critical to transporting the people of Humboldt Bay. They serviced both the boats and businesses along the waterfront as the town's fishing and lumbering industries exploded in a building boom.
Libby Tonning goes by the moniker
"Captain Zippo" and acts as both able
skipper and informed tour guide.
THE LONG, sheltered bay with its narrow entrance was obscured by sand bars extending out farther than normal.  Thus explorer Juan Cabrillo and other adventurers overlooked it in their explorations of the California coast.
Today, the last of seven ferries still transits the waters. The lovingly preserved Madaket is piloted by a self-described "surfer nerd'' who likes to be called Zippo, a nickname bestowed by her boss, a commercial tugboat captain.
WE SET off with Captain Zippo and other passengers, including a family and a couple locals who make the nostalgic journey each year.  On a glorious autumn day, we pulled away from the Humboldt dock, chugging north into New York by water, click here
one of the most pristine bays on the west coast, perhaps in all the United States. Because few ferries remain to remind us of the glory days, it was a special treat.
The Madaket was built in 1910 and is one of the last reminders of Eureka, California's bustling waterfront days.  The name "Madaket" means "gift of God" and for the people who enjoy the eight-mile cruise, the trip is a gift.
Fishing vessels and buildings are described on a journey
with Capt. Zippo, from May into September. 

CAPTAIN ZIPPO  is the alter ego of Libby Tonning, a natural born naturalist, storyteller and skipper.  She gives a lively commentary on the area, from early explorer days to the county's present industries, which include cannabis. Her love of Humboldt Bay is obvious from the moment we spot our first bird, a graceful egret. "He's likely from the rookery on Indian Island," says Zippo.
She guides us past sawmills, boat life, fish-packing plants, private yachts, bird sanctuaries and more, giving a lively synopsis of decades of history, development and change.
A piece of artwork near the Madaket ticket
booth in Old Town waterfront, Eureka.


SHE POINTS out Samoa Beach, where the USS Milwaukee ran aground in 1916, pulling closer to remnants of trestles built to salvage the 400-foot Navy cruiser.
The Carson Mansion is considered the country's
finest example of Queen Anne architecture.
The Madaket is the oldest continuously operating passenger vessel in the U.S. She also boasts the state's smallest licensed bar, where we enjoyed sodas while the locals sipped chardonnay.
THE 90-MINUTE trip is both history lesson and pleasant afternoon. We learn of fish processing plants and see which boats bring in clams or oysters. We Another historic vessel, click here
view where douglas fir is cut and readied for  China. We learn of the native people, the indigenous Wiyot.
A cottage and fishing boats along the harbor's north end.
We admire the stately Carson Mansion, built in 1884 by lumber magnet William Carson. It's a towering Victorian house in Old Town, not far from the harbor.
The house is regarded as one of the best examples of American Queen Anne Style architecture.
OUR SKIPPER, a 31-year old New Mexico native, fell in love with Humboldt Bay when she visited as a teen on a family vacation. She returned to attend Humboldt State University, majoring in marine fisheries.  But she was drawn more to surfing and boats, so she cultivated sea time, studying for her captain’s license.  She earned it in 2017 and signed on at Madaket where she continues as both skipper and tour guide. She also surfs, scuba-dives, and works as a hand aboard Zerlang tugboats."I can't imagine doing anything else," she says as we pull along the dock for her next passengers. Madaket also offers cocktail cruises during the season.   humboldtbaymaritimemuseum.com 707 445-1910


Thanksgiving in southern France for us included a wine tasting with several small
 courses and  plenty of delicious cheese.  The accommodating Provencals
 also provided tasty non-alcoholic beer, warm baguettes and berries.  
UP NEXT: Come along with us as we travel outside the United States to celebrate Thanksgiving on foreign soil. Although it's not a holiday in most places we go, we nod to this traditional American holiday with paella, pudding and prosciutto, blue cheese and baguettes, remembering to be thankful for a multitude of things. Those include our ability to travel, immerse ourselves in other cultures, their art, music and theater.  And always, we enjoy their food. Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us each Friday for a fresh look at travel, nature, art, food, family and more: whereiscookie.com  

Friday, November 8, 2019

All aboard a British train, with a long, proud history of riding the rails

All aboard! North Yorkshire Moors Railway pulls out of the station with a full complement of passengers. 
York's National Railway Museum has won national awards
for its expansive telling of the country's rail history.

MERRY OLDE ENGLAND NURTURES A DEEP AFFECTION FOR RAIL TRAVEL

STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER

TRAINS ARE as much a part of English life today as ships were centuries ago.
The National Railway Museum in York is the largest and most expansive
in the country, known for its variety, welcoming layout and detailed exhibits. 
We recently explored several rail venues in Northeast England and are anxious to expand our rail travel to other parts of the United Kingdom. Since the country's first steam locomotives chugged out of Stockton and Darlington in 1825, that pastoral corner of England has held rail travel close to its heart. People in all parts of the UK enjoy relaxing, soaking up views. Nowhere is the rail experience more rewarding than in the North York Moors.
With lovely scenery, a beverage and perhaps a pleasant lunch, tea or dinner, train travel here combines three things the British love: countryside, history and sharing a bite, a cuppa or a pint.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway offers splendid scenery
and a chance to relax and visit over a beverage or snack.
QUEENS, SOLDIERS and school children enjoyed rail travel dating back to the golden age of steam. We began our "train fix" with a history lesson at York's fine National Railway Museum, part of the extensive Science Museum Group. Admission is by donation and upon entering the expansive halls, wonders unfold: iconic locomotives, Queen Victoria's plush car, a detailed rail ambulance which saved lives during wartime, a magical mail car with a
Eurail pass beckons
fascinating film of workers tossing and collecting bags of post from moving trains. The Royal Scotsman, Orient Express --  trains, from antique to sleek-contemporary.
BRITISH RAIL travel, much like train travel in the U.S., developed during the railway boom of the 1840s, with dozens of competing companies.  Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, these consolidated or were bought up
Miss Eastwood serves beverages
aboard an old-fashioned steam train.
by competitors until only a few companies remained.
One enterprise that flourishes is the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. We joined 100-plus fellow train lovers for a pleasant journey from Whitby to Pickering.  Our hosts, John and Sue, arranged the trip -- she dropped us off via auto and John joined us in our red velvet car. We traveled through lush woodlands and picturesque villages, much as they were 100 years ago. We visited, relaxed and sipped beverages served by a smiling stewardess then Sue kindly met us to motor us home.
We've trained around the UK through England, Scotland and Wales in past visits, and recommend it for its "no hassle" ease, speed and convenience.
As passengers departed their trains in York, we headed
for ours, in a lovely car taking us to London for six days. 
 SINCE THEY
 "do the driving," rail travel is a stress-free, comfortable way to travel, even on short notice.  A spontaneous trip can easily be arranged. Visiting BritRail's website is a good place to start.  You'll find passes for extended travel, sleeping cars and even package tours.
The expansive BritRail train system offers a variety of
excellent passes to suit every desire for travel in the UK.
This trip, we experienced only a small part of BritRail's destination bonanza. Our York-London trip was a comfy two-hour journey to central London, then just a 10-minute taxi to our hotel.
THOUSANDS MAKE use of BritRail passes for the flexibility in using the UK's expansive national rail network to historic places. All major cities are served, including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Brighton, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham and many more.    Here are a few of the impressive variety of passes BritRail offers:
Cookie and Keller visit York's famous Rail Museum which
features all manner of train-related transportation, antique
to contemporary.  The museum asks only a donation.
BritRail England Pass - travel the whole of England.
BritRail London Plus Pass - travel Southeast England to Stratford Upon Avon, Bristol, Bath and Cambridge.
BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass- travel all over Scotland including ferry routes to the islands.
BritRail Central Scotland Pass - travel between Glasgow and Edinburgh via historical towns such as Stirling, Linlithgow and Dunblane.
BritRail Scottish Highlands Pass - travel around the Scottish Highlands by rail with some ferry routes.
BritRail Southwest Pass - travel from London (including busy Heathrow Airport) to Southwest England, to visit  the beaches of Cornwall or have a cream tea in Devon.
  TO GET YOU in a train state of mind, the York museum is planning fun holiday displays, including one featuring the original Stephenson's Rocket, which changed rail travel in 1829.  Another exhibit features "The Age of Innovation" when vicars, lace-makers and miners brought their own miniature locomotives to life.
We recommend rail travel over renting a car in Britain, particularly for our fellow Yanks. To avoid driving "the wrong side of the road," why not ride the rails instead?
nymr.co.uk;  railwaymuseum.org.uk; britrail.com

Bruce Keller, aka "Keller" and Christene "Cookie" Meyers
on board the Madaket, on a cruise around Humboldt Bay.



UP NEXT: Did you know that there exists in  northern California, the country's oldest still operational ferry boat.  The Madaket proudly patrols the waters of Humboldt Bay, with a skipper who knows her business and shares information about the wildlife, economy, waterways, history and purpose of the charming ferry, which among other attributes boasts the smallest licensed bar in the state.  More next week.  Meanwhile, remember to explore, learn, laugh and live and catch us Fridays for a fresh look at travel, nature, the arts, family and more:  www.whereiscookie.com  Please share the links and tell your friends. We have a global readership of which we are very proud.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Theater thrives as San Diego playhouses harvest autumn treasures


"Cambodian  Rock Band" is like no other musical. The writers of this column saw it recently at Oregon 
Shakespeare Festival. The fine production comes to LJPH.
-- photo courtesy Oregon Shakespeare Festival 
STORY By CHRISTENE MEYERS
PHOTOS By BRUCE KELLER
and courtesy theaters' marketing depts

FROM THE groundbreaking rock musical about a father and daughter and a southeast Asian band, to classic comedy by Neil Simon, a romantic adventure, a musical romance, historical drama and a stockingful of holiday shows, theater lovers can see a new production or two each week through year's end -- and be delighted with the mix.
 Jamie and Cathy are played with finesse by Michael
 Louis Cusimano and and Racquel Williams in Cygnet's
 "The Last  Five Years," on tap through Nov. 17.
CYGNET THEATRE. "The Last Five Years." Through Nov. 17. Billed as "an emotionally powerful and intimate musical" always energetic Cygnet features this charmer about two struggling New Yorkers in their twenties -- a novelist and actress -- who fall in and out of love over half a decade. With catchy solo turns, the music and lyrics showcase Jamie and Cathy as their relationship deepens and changes, and they face challenge both to the relationship and their individual desires.  Then Cygnet's always charming holiday musical tradition, "A Christmas Carol" with Sean Murray's clever adaptation. It runs Nov. 27-Dec. 29.  cygnettheatre.com
Award winning internationally
acclaimed David Sedaris' witty
"The Santaland Diaries" comes to
Diversionary Theatre.
DIVERSIONARY THEATRE. "The Santaland Diaries."  This small, mind-challenging company presents a work written by comic and essayist David Sedaris.  His humorous account of a stint working as a Christmas elf in "Santaland" at Macy's department store is a sure holiday spirit pleaser. Sedaris first read the essay on National Public Radio's Morning Edition during the 1992 holidays and the story of the very unmerry elf has become a sardonic holiday classic. Diversionary continues its excellent tradition of LGBT work. Nov. 21-Dec. 22. diversionary.org
The approach to La Jolla Playhouse in evening.
"Cambodian Rock Band" promises to delight opening soon.
 La JOLLA PLAYHOUSE. "Cambodian Rock Band" Nov. 12-Dec. 15. We recently saw and loved this innovative production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It is absolutely ground-breaking, touching, mesmerizing. Epic in its sweep, it is both play and rock concert, thrusting us into the life of a young woman with a mission: to discover family history from 30 years earlier. She knew little about her musician father who fled Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge's brutal assault on the land, its artists and thinkers. A gifted cast performs a mix of contemporary Dengue Fever hits and Cambodian oldies.
A stellar ensemble presents "Ring Around the Moon"
at Lamb's Players Theatre. A lively holiday show follows. 
 The San Diego connection is playwright Lauren Yee, UC San Diego alum, who brilliantly brings the Cambodian rock scene of the ‘60s and ‘70s to life. We're excited to see it again, a masterful story about the power of survival, family loyalty and enduring music. lajollaplayhouse.org
LAMB'S PLAYERS THEATRE: "Ring Around the Moon." Christopher Fry’s 1950 adaptation  of Jean Anouilh's "Invitation to the Castle." A romantic adventure about love, identity and money, it's winning praise for its lovely staging, strong ensemble work and light-hearted comedy.  Through Nov. 17.  Then the popular and always unique "Lamb's Festival of Christmas" runs Dec. 5-29. lambsplayers.org


Lisel Gorell-Getz as Mags, 
and Debra Wanger as Liz at Moxie.
MOXIE THEATRE: "Handbagged." Through Nov. 17. This ground-breaking company presents works by and about interesting women in a mission to showcase diverse and honest looks at the female gender. "Handbagged" features two characters, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher ("Mags") and Queen Elizabeth II ("Liz,") with their older and younger versions played by four talented actors. The title references the handbags of the two same-age women who ruled with purses over their wrists. The play explores who really had the upper hand behind closed palace doors. It's winning raves. moxietheatre.com
New Village Arts' intimate space is a perfect venue for
an imaginative production of "Around the World in 80 Days."
NEW VILLAGE ARTS. "Around the World In 80 Days." Nov. 8-Dec. 22  The classic tale gets a new twist with original music as the mysterious, wealthy, lonely Victorian Phileas Fogg determines to circumnavigate the world in 80 days. On this belief, he has wagered his  fortune. Will bandits, buffalo, chivalry, an unreliable but faithful valet, and unrelenting inspector from Scotland Yard keep him from his impossible task? We follow Fogg and his eccentric companions aboard steamships, locomotives, and pachyderms as they learn about love, themselves, and the unanticipated.  With original pirate rock ‘n roll music by The Shantyannes.  newvillagearts.org
  Lenny Wolpe, as Willie Clark and James Sutorius as Al Lewis are 
  endearing and delightful in "The Sunshine Boys," extended to Nov. 24.
NORTHCOAST REPERTORY THEATRE: "The Sunshine Boys," is winning raves for its delightful rendition of Neil Simon's beloved comedy, the story of two cranky old actors who reunite for a final hurrah. North Coast Rep's ambitious artistic director David Ellenstein crafts a varied lineup for the theater's 38th season which opened with "Amadeus" and includes a Harold Pinter classic. The intimate house offers not a single bad seat and this production promises laughs and a perhaps a tear with the smile. northcoastrep.org  

"A Christmas Story" promises to delight, based on
the popular movie (seen here), at San Diego
Musical Theatre, with an ambitious season.
SAN DIEGO MUSICAL THEATRE: "A Christmas Story" runs Nov. 29-Dec. 29 after SDMT's sold-out production of "Man of LaMancha" with Robert J. Townsend a moving Don Quixote. The lively holiday show is based on the delightful movie by the same name, about family, a coveted gift ("you'll shoot your eye out") and growing up. The ambitious SDMT season includes the romantic comedy, "She
Loves Me," Tony winning "Rent," always winning "Little Shop
of Horrors" and more. Erin and Gary Lewis founded
the enterprise in 2006. It has a loyal following for its
widely varied repertoire. sdmt.org 

SAN DIEGO REPERTORY THEATRE: "Hold These Truths"
Ryun Yu plays all 37 characters in an emotionally
charged production, "Hold These Truths" at SD Rep. 
Nov. 14-Dec. 8. One-man tour de force starring Ryun Yu in a work written by Jeanne Sakata. The story tells of a Japanese-American man who spent 50 years trying to avenge the injustice done to Americans of Japanese ancestry after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The actor plays all 37 characters in what promises the Rep's usual electric, thought-provoking theatrical experience. It comes on the heels of a brilliant comedy, "Bad Hombres, Good Wives." sdrep.org
WELK THEATRE. 
Welk Resort's always popular holiday show opens
Nov. 22, a family musical entertainment.
  "The Addams Family." Through Nov. 10. New musical comedy, with fun twists but loosely based on the TV show.  Campy action and a veteran cast. "Welkhome Home Nov. 22-Dec. 29 promises swinging sounds of traditional songs, contemporary work and a perfect family entertainment. Then the Broadway classic, “A Chorus Line” is up Jan. 10-March 22. This is one of the writer's "Top 10" Broadway shows, a concept musical about Broadway dancers auditioning for spots on a chorus line. Don't neglect the resort's excellent tribute shows. welkresorts.com

Train passengers arrive from many UK cities in York. 
UP NEXT: Train, train, train...... England style.  Come with us to trace the evolution of rail travel as transportation evolved from stagecoach to trains. We ride the rails, old and new, as Cookie and Keller  explore the United Kingdom's long love affair with rail travel.  We take you to York's fabulous Railroad Museum, then catch a vintage steam train for a delightful 90-minute journey. Next, we go inside the beautiful Orient Express cars when rail travel was elegant and try a Britrail pass to London and more.  Remember to explore, learn and live and catch us Fridays for a novel look at travel, the arts, nature and family.