Sierra Stages will present “Closer Than Ever,” an intimate musical about life, love and everything in between, as its final production of the 2013 season. The musical revue opens Thursday (Oct. 31) and runs through Nov. 24 at the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley.
In “Closer Than Ever,” the songs by the Broadway songwriting team of Richard Maltby, Jr. and David Shire form an extraordinary collection of stories about ordinary people as they make their way through life. The rousing opening number, entitled “Doors,” frames the evening as the cast sings about the opportunities that life places in our path and the uncertainties that those opportunities present. The audience is invited to journey with the cast through the craziness of young love, the awkwardness of dating, the joys of marriage and raising children and the inevitability of becoming a parent to your parents, as each of the songs alludes to the many choices we are faced with when it comes to relationships with friends, lovers and family.
Many musical revues (such as “Side by Side” by Sondheim, “A Grand Night for Singing,” and “The World Goes Round,” each of which has been presented by Sierra Stages in prior seasons) are collections from the songwriters’ existing shows. In contrast, “Closer Than Ever” is an original creation that includes both new songs written by lyricist Maltby and composer Shire and songs that were written but not used in their book musicals. As a songwriting team, Maltby and Shire relish ambiguity in both character and situation, and their songs tell compelling stories, often with an unexpected twist at the end. The songs in “Closer Than Ever” are melodic, inventive and penetrating and cover the whole spectrum from funny character numbers to moving ballads.
The Sierra Stages production of “Closer Than Ever” features Isaias Acosta, Nancy Haffey, Kate Haight, JR Lewis, Danny McCammon and Kim Wellman. They are accompanied by musical director Ken Getz at the Steinway and Steve Nicholson on bass. The show is directed by Peter Mason with musical staging by Becky Browning. Set design is by Mike Edwards, and lighting design is by Erin Beatie.
Performances of “Closer Than Ever” will be at 7 p.m. Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays (Nov. 3, 10 and 24). General admission for the preview performances Thursday (Oct. 31) and Friday is $15. General admission for all other performances is discounted to $20 if purchased before Sunday. Thereafter, general admission is $25. For those audience members who prefer a specific seat location and wish to provide additional financial support for Sierra Stages, reserved seating for all performances is available for $35.