Celebrating 30 with a Mexican Riviera cruise: Off Broadstreet brings ‘Baja Princess’ to the stage
September marks the thirtieth anniversary of Off Broadstreet Cabaret Dessert Theatre. The popular cabaret theater opened its doors for the first time on Friday, Sept. 22, 1989 with a rousing musical comedy revue, Dress Rehearsal. In the three decades since, owners Jan Kopp and John Driscoll have produced over sixty original scripts and have entertained thousands of locals and Nevada County visitors with their upbeat, optimistic and sometimes downright zany musical comedies, most of which contain familiar songs that cause the audience members to feel compelled to sing along.
“Baja Princess” ranks right up there with the best of this time-honored tradition. The premise is a familiar Off Broadstreet theme: A rag-tag bunch of amateurs forced to perform out of their depth and somehow, by pluck and determination, rising to the challenge. Featuring the talents of Off Broadstreet veterans Micah Cone, Danny McCammon, Kate Haight and Tina Marie Kelley, this fast-paced, high-energy musical comedy by owner John Driscoll follows the antics of an amateur acting troupe aboard a “discount loveboat” during a four-day cruise off the coast of Baja California. The “Azure Seas Lounge” of Siesta Line’s flagship, the Baja Princess, is losing money, and the only way the performers can keep their jobs is to lure people away from the shipboard disco and karaoke bars. Each night, facing termination, the group tries a new strategy to spark audience enthusiasm with an assortment of familiar songs from the past and present.
The ship-board ensemble is led by the driven Kate Honey, as played by Kate Haight, who wants to make this engagement their big break into the big time. She is a perfect foil for the antics of Tina Marie Kelley as Roxanne, a hypochondriac who carries a drugstore in her purse, and who makes a total disaster of one musical number while amped on allergy medicine.
The male side of the group consists of Danny Davis (as portrayed by Danny McCammon) a claustrophobic sleep-deprived Shakespearean actor out of his element as the group’s stand-up comic. Balancing Danny’s ineptitude is Micah Cone’s energetic Mikey, who breathes fire into every musical number. It is Mikey’s creativity with items from the ship’s lost and found that morphs the show from a Latin Revue to a musical trip down memory lane, to celebrity impersonations and ultimately to a break-out finale.
The show is directed by original 2003 cast member Andrew Kerr. Stunning, colorful and outlandish costumes designed Jan Kopp and a fun set make this a must-see production. “Baja Princess” is suitable for all ages of people who love good music and “underdog comedy.”
“Baja Princess” will play at 8:15 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from Sept. 13 through Oct. 19 (admission $29) as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22nd and Oct. 6 (admission $25). There is no performances on Friday, Sept. 20.
Off Broadstreet Cabaret Dessert Theatre is located at 305 Commercial Street in Historic Downtown Nevada City. Pre-show entertainment is offered by local musician and songwriter Chris Crockett starting one hour before show time for all performances. For reservations, call 530-265-8686. For further information, please visit http://www.offbroadstreet.com.
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