6500 Soquel Dr.
Aptos, CA 95003
Thu, Fri & Sat
12pm - 6pm
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ARTISTIC DIRECTOR NOTES
On behalf of the entire company, welcome to Cabrillo Stage’s 2022 Summer Musical Festival season. We are overjoyed to return to our beloved home in the Crocker Theatre and a sense of normalcy as Cabrillo College continues to help us provide a safe theater experience.
Two years ago, we were forced to cancel our 2020 Summer Festival along with our plans to
produce Leonard Bernstein’s, Candide. But in my mind, it was simply postponed, and after
an amazing 2021 Summer season, including renovating our outdoor Amphitheater for 5 different productions, we are now back on track to bring you this “masterpiece for the ages”.
On every musician’s bucket list…(including mine!), Leonard Bernstein’s score is by far his best; and we have engaged the incomparable Cabrillo College Director of Vocal Music, Cheryl Anderson to be our Musical Director. Teamed up with New York Director, Gary John LaRosa, and Set Designer, Skip Epperson, look forward to a spectacular production that will rival our best efforts.
Voltaire’s, Magnum Opus, is a satire of the Leibnizian philosophy of optimism that was popular in his day. Candide takes our hero, and his true love, around the world, where they meet misfortune at every turn, including surviving 18th century disasters like the Seven Years War and the Lisbon Earthquake, continually challenging their belief in, “this, the best of all possible worlds”. Once reunited in the end, the disillusioned couple finally make sense of life by singing Bernstein’s masterpiece, Make Our Garden Grow.
Even today, the conflict between our optimism and our reality are something we all experience. We strive to, “keep a stiff upper lip” and forge ahead through each new challenge and disaster, eventually suffering from disillusionment, fatigue, and even burnout. Disasters like earthquakes and senseless wars challenge our collective hope to reveal our despair and people become polarized over how to proceed with each other. Candide’s retreat to his garden may seem simply a diversion or distraction from the realities of life, but isn’t it more the acceptance that we are only a very small part of this world and can do little to change it. And in that spirit of humility, we can more easily stay in the present, and direct our attention and efforts towards the beautiful and good things in each of our lives.
PLEASE NOTE: Candide is a complex masterpiece created by geniuses. As in Shakespeare, you will enjoy the production 10-fold if you take some time to read the synopsis before attending…..
Grease is the ideal way to open our comeback. A light, simple and fun show that helps us forget the complexities of life. It’s comic, coming-of-age story touches us all through the nostalgic lens of high school in the 1950’s. As Music Director, my goal will be to recreate the original Broadway score with authentic 50’s accompaniment from our onstage orchestra, recalling the music of Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Elvis Presley, the Diamonds and the Drifters, that became the soundtrack of a generation.
Producing Grease has ignited controversy around Cabrillo Stage as we look to parody high school, and the 1950’s, without surrendering to some of the sexist and violent stereotypes and themes that have been sensationalized in movies and other productions, and are so ugly to us now.
To do this, I decided that I needed to find a young director, who could help us navigate the new realities of how we tell the story incorporating diversity, inclusion and acceptance of all in our company and our production. Cassie Nordgren brings more than two decades of musical theater experience including work on Broadway and an International production of Grease. She is currently completing her MFA in Theater at Baylor University, and is on the cutting edge of defining modern theater trends.
So, hipsters, greasers, or beatniks; don’t be a wet rag! Grease back your hair, don your leather jackets and poodle skirts, and join us in fast city as we flip our lids and have a ball remembering the rockin’ 50’s!
Thank you, our loyal supporters and audience! It has been a difficult couple of years for all of us, but we are ready to dance and sing again! Tell everyone you know that Cabrillo Stage is back this summer……
See you on Broadway!