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PCPA Theaterfest Announces Its 45th Anniversary Season

The 2008-09 season will feature five hit musicals, a Shakespeare comedy and a new play.

PCPA Theaterfest has a blockbuster 45th anniversary season line-up for 2008-09 that includes arguably the most popular musical of all time — Les Misérables!

Worthy of a milestone anniversary, PCPA has assembled an impressive season that includes five hit musicals, as well as a favorite Shakespeare comedy and a new play that examines the distractions that command our attention in our modern world.

Kicking off the anniversary with a joyful holiday classic, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas surely will put the family in the spirit of the season. It plays in Santa Maria’s Marian Theatre Nov. 6 through Dec. 21. A pair of showbiz buddies are putting on a show in a picturesque Vermont inn and they just happen to find their perfect mates in the bargain. The marvelous Irving Berlin score includes Count Your Blessings, Sisters and the classic title song.

William Shakespeare’s enchanted romantic comedy, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, is a delightful fantasy reveling in, and revealing that “the course of true love never did run smooth.” It plays in the Marian Theatre Feb. 12 through March 1. Whether in the conflicts of Athenian lovers, or the inventions of the woodland fairy world, this rhyming romp balances the discontents of civilization with the enlightening and transformative power of imagination.

Winner of every major international theater award, Les Misérables is based on Victor Hugo’s landmark novel about social change and political revolution in 19th-century France. It will play in Santa Maria April 9 through May 10 then in Solvang June 5 through July 12, 2009. Boublil and Schonber’s musical is a powerful examination of justice, change and redemption.

There’s a hot new play that’s just been made available, but PCPA is not allowed to publish the title or the names of the authors until December. We can, however, tell you that it’s a Tony Award-winner, it’s fresh, it’s funny and we know you’re going to love it. Catch it in Santa Maria June 19–July 11 and in the Solvang Festival Theater July 17 through Aug. 2.

Next up is a family musical, 76-trombones strong, celebrating Midwestern American traditions and foibles. Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man features con man Professor Harold Hill who plans on cleaning up the pool halls in River City by replacing them with a wholesome marching band, or so he wants us to believe. Marian Theatre performances are July 17 through Aug. 1, then Aug.7–23 in Solvang.

In a musical story of hope, hearth and home, The Spitfire Grill is a young woman’s search for redemption. This prize-winning quintessential American musical fuses a poignant story of reawakening with country, bluegrass and Broadway musical traditions. The music and book by James Valcq and lyrics by Fred Alley were inspired by the 1996 Lee David Zoloff film of the same name.

Distracted by Lisa Loomer is a modern comedy cleverly exploring parenting, analysis, and the struggle to maintain focus in this era of confusion, the Internet and Ritalin. The story follows mother’s interactions with teachers, therapists and neighbors as she and her husband attempt to determine if her son’s problems are rooted in ADD. Distracted plays in the Severson Theatre, Santa Maria, Aug. 28-Sept. 20. (Mature language and themes.)

Also, as part of PCPA’s 45th season is a continued commitment to new works. InterPlay: The Stage Between, a festival of new play readings is scheduled for March 6-15; titles to be announced.

Subscribers will save big this season. By taking advantage of the low subscription ticket rate, they can attend the special engagement of Les Misérables for 30 percent off the regular ticket price; and return again and again at the same subscriber rate.

Season subscriptions for the 2008-09 season go on sale in August with single tickets on sale Oct. 15.

Subscription plans start with as few as a four-play choose your own series. Call the box office for all the subscriber plans and benefits at 805.922.8313 or visit www.pcpa.org.

Craig Shafer represents PCPA Theaterfest.

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