Dress rehearsal performances are set for ‘The Maltshop Cafe’
In September 1989, Nevada City’s Off Broadstreet Theatre opened its doors for the first time with a novel approach to stage entertainment: Dessert Theater. Audiences were seated at small cabaret tables, served local wines and desserts and treated to an evening of wonderful music and zany comedy. The first production was also a novel format: The play was called simply “Dress Rehearsal.” It gave audiences a chance to be a “fly on the wall” and get a glimpse behind the scenes into the mishaps and glitches that amateur theaters often face when preparing for a live audience. But the signature feature was the inclusion of “fantasy sequences” in which all action stops and everyone freezes in place except for one performer who comes forward and shares a personal moment with the audience.
That first “Dress Rehearsal” formula became so popular with audiences that the authors, OBS owners Jan Kopp and John Driscoll, have revived it every few years with new actors, hit different music choices and storylines, while continuing to spice up the action with various mishaps like walls falling down, costumes getting stapled to a wall or Jan Kopp being forced to play a whole scene with a microphone stuck to her hand with fabric glue.
This year’s 30th anniversary iteration has expanded on that theme to include scenes in the dressing room. And the “show-within-a-show” aspect centers on a 1960s story of dreams and young love.
Off Broadstreet favorites Ken Miele, Jay Barker, Kelly Nevius, Krissi DeKowzan, Tasa Proberts and Tina Marie Kelley are joined by newcomer Kenny DeKowzan in this rollicking comedy about the dress rehearsal of a new musical comedy called “The Maltshop Café,” in which everything that could go wrong, does. Laughs and awesome No. 1 hit tunes from the era abound, including songs by Elvis, Bobby Darin, Connie Francis, The Coasters, The Shirelles, Danny & The Juniors, Frankie Valli, Jerry Lee Lewis and so many more. Creative choreography by Tina Marie Kelley adds to the fun.
Off Broadstreet Cabaret Dessert Theatre is located at 305 Commercial St. in historic downtown Nevada City. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:15 p.m., as well as 2 p.m. Sunday, July 21, and Sunday, Aug. 4. The theater will be closed July 19 and Aug. 2.
Pre-show entertainment is provided by Chris Crockett beginning one hour before show time for all performances. For more information or show reservations, call 530-265-8686 or go to http://www.offbroadstreet.com.
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