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PCPA Theaterfest Heats Up ‘The Spitfire Grill’

Performances start in August at venues in Santa Maria and Solvang

PCPA Theaterfest’s 45th anniversary season continues with The Spitfire Grill, playing Aug. 7-23 in Santa Maria’s Marian Theatre and Aug. 28 to Sept. 13 in Solvang’s Festival Theater.

Based on the movie by David Zlotoff, The Spitfire Grill comes to the stage as a musical brimming with Americana charm infused with folk and bluegrass music. It creates a uniquely new Broadway musical tradition. The score propels a story of hope and redemption with such tunes as “Something’s Cooking at the Spitfire Grill,” “Coffee Cups and Gossip” and “Into the Frying Pan.”

Percy is a young woman looking for a new beginning in a small town called Gilead. She’s played by guest artist Lexy Fridell (Avenue Q and Finding Nemo). Phoebe Moyer (The Last Night at Ballyhoo) is Hannah, the crusty widow and owner of the grill. Kiera O’Niel (Ragtime) is Shelby and soon to become Percy’s closest friend. Bree Murphy (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee) is Effy, the town’s postmistress and busybody.

The cast also includes resident artists Michael Jenkinson as Joe, the town sheriff, and Colum Parke Morgan as Caleb, Shelby’s husband.

The Spitfire Grill is directed by Valerie Rachelle, who said, “This is a delightful opportunity to work on an intimate show that focuses on humanity, beauty and honesty.”

Hannah has been trying to escape her painful past by trying to sell the grill, though unsuccessfully, for the past 10 years. Percy suggests an essay raffle contest, and before long the letters start arriving by the sack full. As the townsfolk become engaged in reading the entries, the transformation of the town and its people is under way. The previously sleepy and dilapidated Gilead is suddenly bustling and gleaming.

For tickets, call 805.922.8313 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, or click here to purchase tickets online. For information about group sales for 12 or more patrons, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 800.PCPA.123.

— Craig Shafer is the communications director for PCPA Theaterfest.

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