PCPA Announces Return of Live Shows One Year After Pandemic Ends | Arts and theater

the PCPA stage will light up this summer with two musical productions at Solvang Festival Theater, representing a return to performing arts from a one-year closure due to the pandemic.

PCPA Artistic Director Mark Booher at a virtual press conference on Thursday announced that the two summer shows will perform at the Solvang Town Center Open Air Theater starting in July.

The first production, “Together: A Musical Journey,” will begin July 21 and run through August 8. The second production, “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill,” will begin August 19 and run through September 5.

“A Musical Journey” – written by Erik Stein, directed by Katie Fuchs-Wackowski, under the musical direction of Michael Wilkens – features seven actors and musicians who will take audience members on a musical journey to celebrate a lifetime of experiences shared and adventure stories.

The musical concert was created exclusively for the PCPA audience to rejoice as a community and to rejoice in being together, a spokesperson for the theater said.

Fuchs-Wackowski said she was privileged to be the head of the original piece.

“I am very happy to be working on this incredibly unique project,” she said. “A musical journey [was] specially created to celebrate the return together after this long and difficult year of separation. It’s a piece created for the here and now, and showcases the creative skills of our local designers and performers.

The cast includes resident artists Kitty Balay, Andrew Philpot, Yusef Seevers, Stein, Emily Trask, George Walker and guest artist Annali Fuchs-Wackowski.

The second production, “Lady Day”, will once again welcome guest artist Karole Foreman to play the legendary Billie Holiday.

The story takes place in a seedy bar in 1959 in Philadelphia.

Audiences will see one of Holiday’s latest performances, featuring more than a dozen songs from the jazz legend “interwoven with salty and often humorous reminiscences,” the spokesperson said.

The PCPA is looking for affordable housing for emerging theater artists in training at the theater conservatory.

The Holiday character will be joined by Jimmy Powers, played by guest artist Stephan Terry, who is also the show’s musical director.

Director Wren T. Brown noted that the tribute production will be sampled from the legendary music of Holiday, which “continues to soar and stir audiences” six decades later.

“I am delighted to be conducting ‘Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill’ because it gives me the opportunity to explore and examine the life of one of the most transcendent artists of the 20th century,” he said. he declares.

Brown said through her singing, Holiday has used everything that has happened in her life to inform her art, with many of her songs becoming standards that have “made the audience feel her heart and soul, in a way. way unlike any other artist.

“Sixty years after her death, at a time in America where race, gender and the opioid crisis are the subject of loud daily discussions, the life and career of Billie Holiday is a prime example of what not only means survive but triumph in the world in the face of violence and lifelong struggle, ”said Brown.

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Lisa André covers lifestyles and local news for Santa Ynez Valley News and Lompoc Record.

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