The spotlights will once again be shining at the Sierra Repertory Theatre and the Fallon House Theater as they launch an abridged season featuring a musical with a familiar ogre, a classic murder mystery and a feel-good radio play, along with a series of tribute concerts.
“There’s no question that the last 14 months have taken their toll on everyone,” said Scott Viets, SRT’s Producing Artistic Director. “It’s ironic that at a time when live theatre has never been more needed in our lives, we have had to remain closed. However, we couldn’t be more excited about the lineup of shows we have in store. We have carefully curated these shows to provide what we feel is needed the most now: joy, comfort, celebration, and fun.”
“We are excited to welcome back artists and audiences alike,” saidManaging Director Jeremy Blunt “While the pandemic is far from over and its effects continue to evolve, we are committed to a safe reopening of Sierra Repertory Theatre.”
The Main Stage series of Sierra Rep’s 2021 Homecoming Season opens with “Shrek the Musical on Sept. 2. The award-winning Broadway musical based on the Oscar-winning film finds the reclusive ogre on a life-changing journey alongside a wisecracking donkey and a feisty princess. Add to the mix a short-tempered wannabe king, a cookie with an attitude, over a dozen other classic fairy tale misfits, and song and dance numbers to tickle the funny bone. The New York Times called it “true happiness” and The Daily Mirror said it’s “the most fun you’ll ever have.”
The show is family friendly, but children under 5 years will not be admitted.
The show is two hours with an intermission.
A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac opens Sierra Rep’s 2021 Tribute Series. The show celebrates the chart-topping band of the 70s and 80s and is led by Yesenia McNett, the singer and performer from Texas. In addition to fronting the Fleetwood Mac tribute, McNett has performed in other tribute shows as Patsy Cline and Linda Ronstandt, including one in Sonora in 2019 that sold-out.
The Fleetwood Mac tribute show is scheduled for Sept. 22 to 26.
MANIA! returns to SRT by popular demand with A Tribute to The Beatles. This encore performance reunites Aaron Linkin, Aaron Sion, Christ Ernst, and Jeremy Dawson, to celebrate the music of the four lads from Liverpool on Sept. 29 to Oct. 3.
Maggie Hollinbeck leads A Tribute to Joni Mitchell, on Oct. 20 to 24. This show honors the music of the Canadian musician, singer songwriter and painter. Featuring Hannah Jane Kile, Corey Morgan Strange, Natalie Hagwood, and Graham Sobelman.
Agatha Christie’s masterful mystery “Murder on the Orient Express will be at the East Sonora Theatre Oct. 28 to Nov. 28.
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is filled to capacity, but by the morning, it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, his door locked from the inside. Isolated, with a killer on the loose, Detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer–before he or she decides to strike again.
Ken Ludwig’s clever adaptation of the Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express” boasts all the glamour, intrigue, and suspense of Dame Agatha’s celebrated novel, with a healthy dose of humor to quicken the pace. The Huffington Post called it “a guaranteed good time.”
The show has adult themes, violence, simulated smoking, gunshots, and murder and is recommended for those 12 years and older. Children under 5 years will not be admitted. There will be strobe lighting and non-toxic haze effects. The show is two hours with an intermission.
“Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play will close out the 2021 season, with shows set for Nov. 18 to Dec. 19 at the Fallon House Theatre.
This beloved American holiday classic comes to captivating life as a live 1940s radio broadcast. With the help of an ensemble that brings a few dozen characters to the stage, the story of the Smith family unfolds just before the 1904 world’s fair took over St Louis’ and the nation’s imagination. The musical includes the best-loved songs from the film, including “The Boy Next Door,” “The Trolley Song,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.”
The Reporter newspaper wrote about the show, stating “Meet Me in St. Louis: A Live Radio Play is perfect for a holiday outing and spot-on for the entire family. [You] won’t leave without a smile on your face.”
The show is two hours with an intermission. Children under 5 years will not be admitted.
The pandemic forced SRT to go dark for 14 months and has left the troupe with some challenges to overcome.
“Though we’re re-opening, we are by no means out of the woods yet,” said Associate Artistic Director Jerry Lee. “There’s a lot to rebuild. Our year-and-a-half-long closure will make smaller cast shows and reduced programming an inevitability in 2022. We remain committed to maintaining youth workshops and camps and our school-touring program. But if there’s anyone out there who is still wondering “How can I help SRT?”, the answer is to buy tickets and buy them early.
“We would be remiss not to mention the outpouring of community support we received during our mandated closure,” Lee said. “The dedication of our fans is astounding and a testament to how vital this organization is to our region. Supporters made it very clear that there was no way they would lose the theatre because of the pandemic. In return, we’ve devised a dynamite season that offers comedy, suspense, and romance. And plenty of music. There’s something for everyone!”
As safety precautions are ever-evolving, SRT will continue to operate in accordance with the most current guidelines. Actors on stage will appear unmasked. A list of the most current guidelines will be available on the theatre’s website.
All the tribute concerts play for one week at the Fallon House Theatre in Columbia State Historic Park. Showtimes are at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets for all tribute shows are $40.
Season subscriptions will not be sold for the 2021 season. SRT will bring back season subscriptions for the 2022 Season. Ticket prices for the theatrical shows range from $30 to $42, and discounts are available.
SRT has also made the addition of three preview performances per mainstage production. Tickets to these performances are open to the public at a discounted rate. The preview performance process allows the creative staff (directors and designers) an opportunity to adjust a production based on the addition of a live audience.
“Time off has also afforded all of us in management to sharpen our goals for the theatre thoughtfully,” said Viets. “As a result, our commitment to coming back “safer, stronger, better than ever” is not just rhetoric but well-laid plans that continue to materialize every day.”
The East Sonora Theatre is located at 13891 Mono Way, Sonora. The Historic Fallon House Theatre is located at 11175 Washington St. in Columbia, California. Both theaters are air-conditioned and ADA accessible.
For more information about showtimes, how to purchase and Sierra Repertory Theatre, please visit www.SierraRep.org or call the Box Office at (209) 532-3120. Follow Sierra Repertory Theatre on Instagram at @SierraRep; and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SierraRep. ●