News Column

Theater, classical music and culture events: 'The Diary,' a musical inspired by Anne Frank, opens next week in Thousand Oaks

August 16, 2013

YellowBrix

Aug. 16--Book musical

'The Diary' in Thousand Oaks

When Anne Frank turned 13 in 1942, she received lots of presents. Her favorite? Probably her new diary. It was, she said, "possibly the nicest of all."

It was in this diary that the Jewish teen began to record her thoughts and her dreams -- and the mounting dread that came as the Nazis occupied her Holland homeland. Less than a month after she began the diary, her family was forced out of their Amsterdam home and into hiding as Adolf Hitler ramped up his persecution of the Jews. They managed to elude the Nazis for two years; when they were caught, the family was shipped off to a concentration camp. Anne would die there, the victim of typhus.

Her diary, however, survived. When it was published in 1947, it became a worldwide sensation that, all these decades later, remains a must-read.

Now the book has inspired a musical, "The Diary," which gets its world premiere next week in Thousand Oaks. It's the brainchild of award-winning musical director Lloyd Cooper, who penned the book, music and lyrics, and Cooper's wife, singer Barbara Matteson Cooper. It's being presented by the Thousand Oaks Repertory Company.

The story begins with a 13-year-old girl receiving her own copy of "Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl." She's reluctant to read it at first, but when she does she's surprised and intrigued to learn about the many similarities she shares with Anne. As Anne slowly comes to life through her eyes, the show becomes a musical tale of two families -- the girl's present-day family and Anne's World War II-era family.

Allan Hunt will direct the show, which will be staged at 8 p.m. Thursday and Aug. 23, 2 and 8 p.m. Aug. 24 and 2 p.m. Aug. 25 in the Scherr Forum Theatre at Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Tickets are $29, available in person at the box office and through Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000 or visit http://www.ticketmaster.com. Call 449-2787 for information.

THEATER

Ventura County

"Cabaret": Camarillo Skyway Playhouse presents this Tony Award-winning musical about the decadence of 1930s Berlin amid the Nazis' rise to power. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 25, 330 Skyway Drive, Camarillo. $18 general admission, $13 seniors, students and military, $10 children. 388-5716; cabaretatcsp.brownpapertickets.com.

"The Diary": Thousand Oaks Repertory Company presents this musical based on the story of Anne Frank as viewed through the perspective of a 13-year-old girl who receives "Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl" as a gift. 8 p.m. Aug. 22-23, 2 and 8 p.m. Aug. 24, and 2 p.m. Aug. 25, Scherr Forum Theatre at Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Tickets are available in person at the box office or through Ticketmaster, 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com. For more information, call 449-2787.

"Les Miserables": Actors' Repertory Theatre of Simi presents its production of this classic musical, which is based on a book by Victor Hugo. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 25, Simi Valley Cultural Arts Center, 3050 Los Angeles Ave., Simi Valley. $22 general admission, $18 students and seniors, $16 children 12 and younger. 583-7900; http://www.simi-arts.org.

"Oklahoma!": A 30-member cast, backed up by a nine-piece band and 10 pit singers, will bring this Rodgers and Hammerstein classic to life. The show, presented by Comedy Tonight Productions, features such classic songs as "Oh What a Beautiful Mornin'," "Kansas City," "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top" and "People Will Say We're in Love." 8 p.m. Aug. 16, 3 and 8 p.m. Aug. 17 and 3 p.m. Aug. 18 at Poinsettia Pavillion, 3451 Foothill Road, Ventura. $18 general admission, $15 seniors and students, $5 children 12 and younger. A dinner-and-show package, which includes dinner at Yolanda's Mexican Cafe and preferred seating for the show, is available for the Aug. 17 evening performance; cost is $35. 949-542-6371; comedytonightproductions.com.

"Random": The Santa Paula Theater Center presents this original drama by Michael Perlmutter about a man who believes that time does not pass linearly. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 25, 125 South Seventh St., Santa Paula. $15 general admission, $12 seniors, students, military. 525-4645; santapaulatheatercenter.org.

"The Rocky Horror Show": Young Artists Ensemble Alumni and Friends present this humorous musical, which sends up vintage science fiction and horror movies. 8 p.m. Aug. 16 and 17, midnight Aug. 17, Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. $15. 381-1246; yaeonline.com.

"Selling Love": The Elite Theatre Company presents this play by author Logan Rica Smith about two employees working in a company where no one's job is safe. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, Aug. 23 through Sept. 29, 2731 S. Victoria Ave., Oxnard. $18 general admission, $15 seniors and students. 483-5118; elitetheatre.org.

DOWN SOUTH

"Citizen Twain": The Pasadena Playhouse presents this play starring Val Kilmer as Mark Twain. Aug. 21--30, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. $30-$75. 626-356-7529; pasadenaplayhouse.org.

"A Parallelogram": Center Theatre Group presents this darkly comic play by Bruce Norris about a woman who believes she has the ability to know what happens in the future. Norris won a Tony and a Pulitzer for his play "Clybourne Park." Through Aug. 18, Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. $20-$70. 213-628-2772; centertheatregroup.org.

CULTURE

Ventura County

Kids for Kids Benefit Concert: Rubicon Theatre Company's youth artists will take the spotlight in the fifth annual benefit concert, this year titled "Come Together: The Music of the Beatles." Rubicon students, teachers and special guests will perform Beatles classics in their own styles and arrangements. 7 p.m. Aug. 17, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. $45 in advance, $50 at the door. 667-2900; rubicontheatre.org.

The Perfect Gentlemen: The award-winning musical variety group will mix vocal harmonies and vaudevillian comedy. 7:30 p.m. Aug. 17, Santa Paula Theater Center, 125 South Seventh St., Santa Paula. $15. 525-4645; santapaulatheatercenter.org.

The Channel Cities Jazz Club: This month's meeting features a performance by The Larry Gillespie Sextet. 1-4 p.m. Aug. 18, Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club, 2600 S. Harbor Blvd., Oxnard. $10 general admission, $7 members. 487-3062; channelcitiesjazzclub.org.

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(c)2013 Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.)

Visit Ventura County Star (Camarillo, Calif.) at www.vcstar.com

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