• This article was first published in our July 2021 Print Edition.

      A wooden sign for a theatre

      Pasadena Playhouse, June 2021 (Photo – ColoradoBlvd.net)

      Morphing step by step from lockdown to virtual to live!

      By Carol Edger Germain

      Pasadenans treasure the variety, quantity, and quality of live theater available in our town. It has been a long, silent 16 months of deprivation of pleasure for patrons, livelihood for actors, staff, and producers of live theatre, as well as financial uncertainty for theater owners.  But these passionate artists will not be silenced!  As the rules change and more personal interaction progresses, we’ll be inching toward the former abundance of good theatre in this city.  Meanwhile, here is a brief update of what is happening at our local theaters.

      39 S. El Molino, Pasadena

      The Playhouse is the “Official State Theater of California.”  No definite startup date for live performances has been announced. Meanwhile, however, check out pasadenalive.org, where you can sign up (for free) for live streaming of various works in production, interviews, and announcements regarding reopening.

      70 N. Mentor, Pasadena

      Boston Court is taking the month of July off to “recharge, recover, and prepare to reopen,” and will be totally offline until August 2.  Meanwhile, you can check the website for the events coming in Fall 2021, with tickets on sale in August when they are back online.  On August 7 you can watch a virtual play reading of “Unrivaled” by Rosie Narasaki, the first public presentation of B/C’s new playwrights’ group. National Theatre Live screenings are also coming back in-person beginning with “Cyrano de Bergerac,” with James McAvoy in the lead. In August they will announce reopening dates and future productions of theatre, art, and music.

      3352 E. Foothill, Pasadena

      A Noise Within has announced its ’21-’22 season, with the overall theme “They Shattered the Chrysalis,” focusing on a time of extraordinary change:  “a year of Covid-19, a time of greater awareness of systemic racism and of confronting violence against Black, indigenous, and other people of color; a more aggressive push for women’s and LGBTQ+ rights; and more.  The world we inhabited is shattering.”  Take a look at the upcoming 6 plays, varied and exciting.  Tickets are on sale now for certain passes, and regular tickets will be available July 13.

      95 N. Marengo, Suite 110, Pasadena

      Parson’s Nose’s claim to fame is “Great Classis in 90 minutes or less” – they focus on the “comedic plays of the greats and present them in a simple but sophisticated comic style.”  They are quite unique; I recommend you explore their website if you aren’t familiar with what they do.  For the moment, they are doing podcasts, which can be accessed through pretty much any smart device or other method you access to get your podcasts.  Looking forward to an announcement of the return to live shows!

      1000 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena

      For July and August, the Young Stars Theatre (YoungStarsTheatre.org) will be producing “Matilda Jr. the Musical” at Fremont Centre Theatre.  See their website for videos of past productions by the young actors.  Also, if you have anyone in your life under age 18 interesting in acting, I note that their website says there are openings for their summer camp program.  Looking forward to the main Fremont Centre Theatre troupe returning to the live stage as well.

      87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre

      Sierra Madre Playhouse has been very successful in implementing its goal (paraphrasing their Mission and Vision statements) of” “showcasing the power of live theatre to engage, connect and bring people of all ages and backgrounds together, illuminating the diversity of the American experience.”  Their current offering is “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” staged outdoors at Memorial Park, where the Peanuts gang ponder life’s great questions as they go about the business of having fun, growing up, and celebrating the joy of friendship.  Coming up in the Fall inside the theater (check website for ticket release dates) are:  “King of the Yees,” described as “an epic joyride across cultural, national, and familial borders that explore what it means to be a daughter, a Chinese-American, and truly be a Yee,” and “This Wonderful Life,” a one-man interpretation of the iconic holiday movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” hilariously and heartwarmingly realizing the effect one man’s life has on the people around him.

      320 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel

      This historic theater, opened in 1927, is a focal point of the San Gabriel Mission District, and serves as a venue for various community events, in addition to offering live theatre and other events to the general public.  As of today, they remain on hiatus from live events, but we will be following their website to bring additional information when they reopen.

      Finally, I know that most readers know how much the theaters depend on donations as well as ticket sales, so obviously most are hurting. If you are a theater fan and have charitable dollars to spend, please consider our wonderful and important local theaters.

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      [This article has been updated to include new information about Boston Court Pasadena. July 8, 12:04 pm]

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