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Theater, culture and classical music: Youth troupes perform 'Romeo & Juliet,' 'The Sound of Music' Aug. 2-4

August 2, 2013


Aug. 02--The kids are all right

'Romeo & Juliet' in Ventura, 'The Sound of Music' in Moorpark

Where art thou, Romeo? Hint: Look in Ventura.

How do you solve a problem like Maria? Hint: You'll find the answer in Moorpark.

This weekend two different youth troupes -- Rubicon Theatre Company's Fearless Shakespeare Program and the new Hollywood Stage Academy -- will present a pair of classics.

In Ventura, Nathan Budrow and Akira Dann will star as the star-crossed lovers in "Romeo & Juliet." Their search for love comes amid a bitter feud between their families, a feud that has raged on for so long that no one in either brood can even remember how the tiff began. It's a Shakespeare classic, of course, filled with such indelible lines as "Parting is such sweet sorrow," "But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?" and "Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs."

The Fearless Shakespeare Program will perform "Romeo & Juliet" today at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Rubicon regular Joseph Fuqua will direct; Jonathan Drahos is the verse coach. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door for adults; $10 in advance, $15 at the door for children 12 and younger. Call 667-2900 or visit

In Moorpark, the hills will be alive with a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic. "The Sound of Music," based on the real-life tale of the Von Trapp family and their escape from Nazi Germany, is being staged by the Agoura Hills-based Hollywood Stage Academy. The acting school was started last year by a trio of industry professionals: actor-writer Kevin McCloskey, comedian-actress Mirage Thrams and Broadway veteran Patrick Cassidy.

Cassidy, who lives in Thousand Oaks, knows a thing or two about Rodgers and Hammerstein. His mom, Shirley Jones, starred in the big-screen versions of two R&H classics, "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel," and he toured with her in a 1977 production of "The Sound of Music." She played Maria, he played the young German messenger Rolf. By 2011, he had graduated to the male lead, playing Capt. Von Trapp for Reagle Music Theatre in Waltham, Mass. At the time, he told The Boston Globe about his plans to open an acting school. "Working with kids is like a dream for me," he said. "The idea of getting to actually merge teaching, performing, and coaching children is really what I want to do with my life now."

Cassidy's sons both will be featured in the production. Cole is slated to play Capt. Von Trapp and Jack is set to play Herr Zeller. Bella Mancuso will star as Maria, the free-spirited nun-in-training who gets to sing such classics as "My Favorite Things," "Do-Re-Mi" and the title song. Cassidy's wife, Melissa, a dancer who has toured with David Bowie and performed in such movies as "That Thing You Do!," will choreograph the production. Virginia Stewart is the musical director.

"The Sound of Music" will be performed at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the High Street Arts Center, 45 E. High Street, Moorpark. Tickets, $15, are available at Visit for information.


Ventura County

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee": Moorpark College presents this Tony Award-winning musical about six adolescents competing to win the county spelling bee. 8 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3, 8-10 and 2 p.m. Aug. 4 and 11, 7075 Campus Road, Moorpark. 378-1485;

"42nd Street": The Young Artists Ensemble of Thousand Oaks presents this play about a chorus girl going on in place of an injured star. 7:30 Aug. 2, 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 3, Thousand Oaks High School Performing Arts Center, 2323 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. $19 general admission, $17 seniors, children and students. 381-1246;

"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;

"The Doctor's Dilemma": Classics in the Park presents outdoor performances of George Bernard Shaw's satire about a new doctor who develops a revolutionary cure for tuberculosis and must use his limited resources to cure either a genius artist or a close friend. 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays Aug. 3-11, Hillcrest Center for the Arts, 403 W. Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks. $15 general admission, $12.50 seniors and students. 381-1246;

"Fiddler on the Roof": Ojai Art Center Theater presents this Broadway musical about a dairy man and his family in Russia around the turn of the century. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays, through Aug. 11, 113 S. Montgomery St., Ojai. $25 general admission; $20 seniors and students. 640-8797;

"Forever Plaid": Conejo Players Theatre presents this musical that celebrates 1950s-era male harmony groups. 8 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3, 351 S. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks. $20 general admission; $18 seniors, students and military. 495-3715;

"Hamlet": The second production in the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company's summer season is this classic tragedy about a young Danish prince who seeks to avenge the death of his father. 8 p.m. Aug. 2, 3, and 4, Kingsmen Park, CLU, 60 W. Olsen Road, Thousand Oaks. $20 general admission, free for youths younger than 18; $90 premium seats; $75 box seats. 493-3014;

"Les Miserables": Actors' Repertory Theatre of Simi presents its production of this classic musical 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;

"Romeo and Juliet": Young performers in Rubicon Theatre Company's Fearless Shakespeare Program perform the Bard's classic tragedy about star-crossed lovers. 7 p.m. Aug. 2, 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 3, 2 p.m. Aug. 4, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. $10-$15 advance, $15-$20 at the door. 667-2900;

"Second Samuel": Santa Paula Theater Center presents Pamela Parker's comedy about life in a small Georgia town after the death of its matriarch. 8 p.m. Aug. 2 and 3, 4 p.m. Aug. 4, 125 S. Seventh St., Santa Paula. $18 general admission, $15 seniors and students, $12 children. 525-4645;

"Urinetown": Young performers in Rubicon Theatre Company's Musical Theatre Camp will perform this musical satire about the legal system, capitalism and corporate mismanagement. 8 p.m. Aug. 9, 2 and 8 p.m. Aug. 10, 2 and 7 p.m. Aug. 11, Rubicon Theatre, 1006 E. Main St., Ventura. $15-$20 advance, $20-$25 at the door. 667-2900;

Down south

"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;


Ventura County

Opera concert: Ojai Youth Opera presents a concert featuring a pair of New York City Opera performers, contralto Nicole Mitchell and mezzo soprano Rebecca Comerford. They'll be accompanied by pianist Jennifer Radisch. 4 p.m. Aug. 3, Ojai Playhouse, 145 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. $20 donation.

Up north

Music Academy of the West Summer Festival: The 2013 festival will run through Aug. 10, featuring almost-daily master classes and concerts by vocal and instrumental soloists and ensembles at the academy and other Santa Barbara venues. For a schedule and tickets, visit or call 969-8787.


Ventura County

Ojai Community Band: The Rotary Club of Ojai West will host a summer concert series with the Ojai Community Band performing a range of music, from George Gershwin to the Beatles. Bring lawn chairs or blankets. 7:30-9 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 14. Free. 509-0214.

Ojai Playwrights Conference: The conference's Summer New Works Festival features workshop readings of eight plays-in-progress by new and established playwrights, plus two "Intersection Series" events and a Youth Workshop Performance. Participating playwrights are Luis Alfaro, Lucy Alibar, Richard Cabral, Samuel D. Hunter, Sean Lewis, Jiehae Park, Laura Schellhardt and David Wiener. Alice Tuan is this year's writer-in-residence. Events take place Aug. 7-11 at Matilija Auditorium (703 El Paseo Road, Ojai) and Zalk Theater (8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Road, Ojai). $20-25.

Mwamba Children's Choir: The Ugandan choir will perform joyful songs of hope. CDs and handicrafts will be available for purchase. Noon-1 p.m. Aug. 4, Unity of the Oaks, 2786 Crescent Way, Thousand Oaks. Donations encouraged. 496-6901;

John Reischman and the Jaybirds: The Ojai Concert Series presents the band performing bluegrass. Guests are encouraged to bring a low-back deck chair, blanket, flashlight and a dish for the optional potluck that will precede the concert. 5 p.m. Aug. 4, Dancing Oak Ranch, 4585 Casitas Pass Road, Ventura. $20 general admission, free for children under 15.

Katia Moraes & Samba Society: The Gardens of the World presents an afternoon of Brazilian music as part of its 11th annual Summer Jazz Concert Series. Bring lawn chairs or blankets for lawn seating; no pets, smoking, alcohol or glassware allowed. 5 p.m. Aug. 4, Gardens of the World, 2001 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. Free. 557-1135;


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