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July 12, 2013
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Bringing back the Off Broadstreet legends

Friday night’s opening of “Legends To Go” at Off Broadstreet (OBS) in Nevada City represented much more than the return of a popular production at the cabaret dessert theater.

It was also a milestone for the close-knit company that has had to overcome a lot of adversity.

It began last August when OBS regular Darin Driscoll was struck by another vehicle on Highway 20 in Nevada City while riding his motorcycle in to rehearsal.

He incurred a laundry list of injuries, including breaking both feet — one in 11 places — a shattered hip and other serious injuries that landed him in an intensive care unit for five days and the hospital for another 17. It took him another four months to be able to get out of bed.

The accident forced the cancelation of the production Darin Driscoll was rehearsing for, said John Driscoll, owner of OBS and Darin’s father.

John Driscoll quickly pulled together the existing cast and brought back another popular production to fill the void in the theater’s schedule.

For Darin, it was a long, hard road to recovery from the multiple injuries. With the help of his sister-in-law, he found new life in the water, he said.

The weightless environment of a swimming pool helped give Darin a way to rehabilitate and improve.

John was in the middle of rehearsals for his next production a few months ago when a family emergency occurred with another cast member, pulling her away for what could be months.

John’s solution? Go back to an old favorite and get Darin back on stage.

“My first instinct was no,” Darin said. But he reluctantly agreed to participate in “Legends To Go.”

“I’m so happy to have him there. He brings so much life and energy to the stage,” John said.

John also recruited Tony Lauria, who had performed for OBS years ago. Lauria was also on the mend from a serious mountain biking accident that broke his neck.

“We’re up there because we wanted to regain … feeling what it means to feel normal again,” Darin said.

The company, which has been around for more than two decades, has developed an extended-family atmosphere.

People have been asking about Darin since the accident, so seeing him up on stage will be a great moment for patrons, cast and crew, as well, John said.

In “Legends To Go,” four socially awkward people have failed assertiveness training at the Medina Institute for Personal Growth — twice.

In order to preserve its reputation, the institute has given the four a final assignment: to hire themselves out as celebrity impersonators as a way of using “borrowed identities” to overcome their social phobias. The plan produces some unexpected results, according to OBS.

Following the completion of the final assignment, they decide to start their own on-call celebrity impersonation business called “Legends To Go.”

What follows is madcap comedy and lively musical performances. In addition to Darin and Lauria, “Legends To Go” features the talents of Liz Larsen and Darryl Stines.

The play showcases hit tunes from the past 50 years and zany impressions of three dozen of the colorful artists who made the songs famous, including Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Sammy Davis Jr., Willie Nelson, Liza Minelli, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, Jim Morrison, Joe Cocker, Elvis, Tina Turner and a host of others.

“Legends To Go” runs for six weeks, through Aug. 17. Performances are at 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are $25 per person and can be reserved by calling 530-265-8686.

For more about OBS, go to http://offbroadstreet.com/index.htm.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be contacted at bbentley@theunion.com.


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The Union Updated Jul 12, 2013 11:46PM Published Jul 12, 2013 11:46PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.