Theatre Preview — May 10, 2018

Theatre contributor Joey Landwehr joined Good Morning San Diego to talk about some local plays you can see this Mother’s Day weekend.

RED
Oceanside Theatre Company (at Brooks Theatre)
Through May 20
RED takes place in New York in 1958/1959. Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art – a series of murals for New York’s famed Four Seasons Restaurant. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly with his young assistant, Ken, in his studio on the Bowery. Mark gives orders to Ken as he mixes the paints, makes the frames, and paints the canvases. Ken, however, brashly questions Rothko’s theories of art and his acceding to work on such a commercial project. For his part, Rothko dislikes the rise of Pop art. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing.
• 2010 Tony Award winner as Best Play featuring Alfred Molina and Eddie Redmayne
• Raw and provocative, RED is a searing portrait of an artist’s ambition and vulnerability as he tries to create a definitive work for an extraordinary setting.

STEEL MAGNOLIAS
Powpac Community Theatre
Through June 10
Steel Magnolias is the story of a group of Southern women friends who share their lives and cope with the death of one of their own.
The play opens with discussion of Shelby’s wedding day to her fiancé Jackson at Truvy’s in-home beauty parlour where the women regularly gather. It covers events over the next three years with Shelby’s diabetes and how the women interact at times with conflict but in the end resolved friends: Shelby’s decision to have a child despite the complication that could result from her condition, Clairee’s friendship with the curmudgeon Ouiser; Annelle’s transformation from a shy, anxious newcomer in town to a good-time girl then repentant revival-tent Christian; and Truvy’s relationships with the men in her family.

• Play inspired the 1989 movie with Sally Field, Julia Roberts and Olympia Dukakis
• PowPac is a member of the San Diego Theatre Connection which promotes entertainment among community theatres and has partnered this production with the Salvation Army’s Door of Hope program raising awareness and donations to help homeless women and their children.
• The title suggests the “female characters are as delicate as magnolias but as tough as steel”. The magnolia specifically references a magnolia tree they are arguing about at the beginning.

HAIRSPRAY
JCompany Youth Theatre
Through May 13
“You Can’t Stop the Beat” in this big, bold, and beautiful musical about one girl’s inspiring dream to dance. The 1950s are out, and change is in the air! Hairspray, winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, is a family-friendly musical, piled bouffant-high with romance and laughter. It’s 1962 in Baltimore, and the lovable plus-size teen, Tracy Turnblad, has only one desire – to dance on the popular “Corny Collins Show.” When she finally gets her shot, she is transformed from social outcast to sudden star… all without denting her ‘do! Including all your favorites like “Good Morning Baltimore,” “Welcome To The 60’s,” “Big, Blonde And Beautiful,” and “You Can’t Stop The Beat.”
Directed by Joey Landwehr

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