VISTA, CA (JUNE 13, 2018) — At the end of its third decade on the cusp of celebrating its 40th anniversary, Moonlight Stage Productions today announced its 2019 season. For its 39th summer, Moonlight will offer three new musicals to its stage, and one treasured revival.
Mel Brooks’ “equal opportunity offender” hit THE PRODUCERS (June 12 – 29, 2019) is receiving its Moonlight premiere and launches the season with Broadway veteran Larry Raben in the role of Leo Bloom, the part he played on Broadway and in the entire Las Vegas run of the show. Raben will also direct and Moonlight’s production will feature the Broadway sets and costumes. Roald Dahl’s MATILDA: THE MUSICAL (July 17 – Aug. 3, 2019) will receive its San Diego Regional Premiere at the Moonlight. With its last performance on Broadway on Jan. 1, 2017 and its last US tour performance on June 25, 2017 MATILDA swept the New York theatre awards in 2013 capturing numerous Tony, Drama League, Outer Critics Circle, and Drama Desk Awards among others. At the Moonlight, treasured actor Randall Hickman will take on the role of Miss Trunchbull, the tyrannical headmistress.
The season continues with the Moonlight revival of WEST SIDE STORY (Aug. 13 – 31, 2019) to be helmed by the same trio which produced Moonlight’s 2007 award-winning and critically-acclaimed production: Director Steven Glaudini, Choreographer Carlos Mendoza, and Musical Director and Conductor Elan McMahan. The creative team will explore modern creative avenues including projections to deliver the story of two star-crossed lovers caught in the middle of warring street gangs in the 1950’s of New York City. Bringing the summer to a close is the San Diego Regional Premiere of VICTOR/VICTORIA (Sept. 11 – 28, 2019), complete with the Broadway sets and costumes. Based on Blake Edwards’ classic 1980s film starring Julie Andrews and Robert Preston, the appealing, sophisticated show, centers on the career of the Paris entertainer Victoria Grant, who becomes a star female impersonator, only to fall in love-at-first-sight with macho King Marchan. The show ran on Broadway for 734 performances from 1995 to 1997.
“I am very excited about the musicals coming to the Moonlight in 2019,” stated Producing Artistic Director Steven Glaudini. “I began my artistic directorship of the Moonlight in 2013 and in that season produced Mel Brooks’ ‘Young Frankenstein.’ I was testing the waters to see how receptive audiences would be to Mel Brooks’ bawdy humor, and it was a hit! The audience reception was so great that the show surpassed sales for any Rodgers and Hammerstein previously done at the theatre and it landed in our top ten. With that in mind, and the recent availability of the Broadway sets and costumes, I felt the time was ripe for another foray into the Mel Brooks genre with THE PRODUCERS.
“MATILDA is going to be the perfect family musical with its appeal to both young people and adults,” Glaudini continued. “This show has won worldwide acclaim, winning more than 85 international awards, including 16 for best musical. Roald Dahl puts the spotlight on an extraordinary girl who takes a stand and changes her own destiny. The show is definitely one of the most recently imaginatively produced musicals that captures the hearts and minds of audiences with its heartwarming story and addictive original score.
“I cannot wait to reunite with Carlos Mendoza and Elan McMahan to bring new insights into WEST SIDE STORY,” Glaudini said. “Leonard Bernstein created a brilliant American score that is still adored today, along with Stephen Sondheim’s perfectly crafted lyrics. Moonlight has produced this show only two times in its history, both on our old stage. It is exciting to be able to explore the possibilities of technical enhancements now afforded us on our new stage. When the Sharks and the Jets dance down the streets of New York City, I want to be able to visually take audiences down those streets. We’ll give Bernstein’s score due justice with a full orchestra in the pit. I can’t wait!
“VICTOR/VICTORIA is a musical I have wanted to produce for a very long time,” Glaudini said. “But only recently the Broadway sets and costumes came available and I hopped at the opportunity to add this musical to our line-up. The show is based on the masterful film by Blake Edwards and features incredible production numbers and a hilarious battle of the sexes plot. It is first-rate musical comedy fun, something which audiences will really go for. And the score? It’s jazzy and features the distinctive touch of the one and only Henry Mancini. Who could ask for anything more?”
Subscriptions for the 2019 season will go on sale in January, followed by single ticket sales in March. Ticket prices will be available by each on-sale. For more information, call (760) 724-2110 or visit moonlightstage.com.
Moonlight Stage Productions is the City of Vista’s Cultural Arts Program currently producing its 38th summer season of Broadway musicals at the Moonlight Amphitheatre. The 2018 season includes the San Diego Regional Premieres of MAMMA MIA! (June 13 – 30, 2018) and Disney’s NEWSIES (July 18 – August 4, 2018), and the Moonlight premieres of THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Aug. 15 – Sept. 1, 2018), and CHICAGO (Sept. 12 – 29, 2018). In conjunction with the Moonlight Cultural Foundation, Moonlight will produce a one-night-only concert performance of the musical 1776 on Sat., July 7. The concert will feature some of the region’s top musical theatre artists and will benefit the Foundation, Moonlight’s non-profit fund-raising partner.
Book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Music and Lyrics by Mel Brooks
Based on the 1968 Film
June 12 – 29, 2019
A scheming producer and his mousy accountant aim to produce the biggest flop on Broadway in Mel Brooks’ laugh-out-loud spectacle. The Producers once again sets the standard for modern, outrageous, in-your-face humor. It is a truly “boffo” hit, winning a record twelve Tony Awards and wowing capacity crowds night after night. The plot is simple: a down-on-his-luck Broadway producer and his mild-mannered accountant come up with a scheme to produce the most notorious flop in history, thereby bilking their backers (all “little old ladies”) out of millions of dollars. Only one thing goes awry: the show is a smash hit! The antics of Max Bialystock and Leo Bloom as they maneuver their way fecklessly through finding a show (the gloriously offensive “Springtime for Hitler”), hiring a director, raising the money and finally going to prison for their misdeeds is a lesson in broad comic construction. At the core of the insanely funny adventure is a poignant emotional journey of two very different men who become friends. The Producers skewers Broadway traditions and takes no prisoners as it proudly proclaims itself an “equal opportunity offender!”
MATILDA: THE MUSICAL
San Diego Regional Premiere
Book by Dennis Kelly
Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin
Based on the book, Matilda by Roald Dahl
July 17 – August 2, 2019
Inspired by the twisted genius of Roald Dahl, the Tony Award-winning Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is the captivating masterpiece from the Royal Shakespeare Company that revels in the anarchy of childhood, the power of imagination and the inspiring story of a girl who dreams of a better life. Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She’s unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other’s lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda’s extraordinary personality. Matilda’s school life isn’t completely smooth sailing, however – the school’s mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don’t abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils’ saving grace! Packed with high-energy dance numbers, catchy songs and an unforgettable star turn for a young actress, Matilda is a joyous girl power romp. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.
WEST SIDE STORY
Book by Arthur Laurents
Music by Leonard Bernstein
Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Based on a Conception of Jerome Robbins
August 14 – 31, 2019
From the first notes to the final breath, West Side Story is one of the most memorable musicals and greatest love stories of all time. Arthur Laurents’ book remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The score by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim is widely regarded as one of the best ever written. The world’s greatest love story takes to the streets in this landmark Broadway musical that is one of the theatre’s finest accomplishments. Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is transported to New York City as two young, idealistic lovers find themselves caught between warring street gangs, the “American” Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks. Their struggle to survive in a world of hate, violence and prejudice is one of the most innovative, heart-wrenching and relevant musical dramas of our time.
San Diego Regional Premiere
Book by Blake Edwards
Music by Henry Mancini
Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse
Additional Music by Frank Wildhorn
Based on Blake Edwards’ 1982 film
September 11 – 28, 2019
Victor/Victoria is a witty, comic romp examining questions of gender, identity and love, set in Paris in the 1930’s. English soprano Victoria Grant finds herself at a nightclub, without work or money. She meets Carroll Todd, or “Toddy,” a performer at the club who gets fired while trying to help her. The two soon team up and embark on an unlikely (and surprisingly successful) scheme. With Toddy’s help, Victoria becomes “Count Victor Grazinski” – a renowned female impersonator. The twist is of course that she is a woman, claiming to be a man, claiming to be a woman. Things get even crazier when sparks begin to fly between Victoria and a notorious Chicago businessman, King Marchan, and he sets out to uncover “the Count’s” secret. The show is based on a 1933 German film, written by Reinhold Schünzel and titled Viktor und Viktoria. The story was reworked as a musical film in 1982. The film starred Julie Andrews and had a script by Blake Edwards (who also directed) and Hans Hoemburg, music by Henry Mancini and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.