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On Theater: Open season in September

September 09, 2010|By Tom Titus

September is with us and so are a number of new stage productions either opening tonight (as in two cases) or waiting in the wings.

Tonight's opener is "The Rainmaker" at the Newport Theater Arts Center. This is an oldie by N. Richard Nash that inspired a movie of the same name with Burt Lancaster and Katharine Hepburn (don't confuse it with the John Grisham novel/movie of the same name).

This "Rainmaker" centers on the spinster daughter of a ranching family in the drought-stricken Southwest of the 1930s and the smooth-talking con man who promises to bring much-needed rainfall and sweeps the lady off her feet. The show runs weekends through Oct. 10.

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Orange Coast College also opens its season tonight with a one-weekend-only show titled "2 by Gurney" — a pair of A.R. Gurney plays, "The Golden Fleece" and "The Guest Lecturer," directed by OCC students. They'll be on the Studio Theater stage tonight through Sunday.

Fans of Mel Brooks fans will be lining up for "Young Frankenstein" at the Orange County Performing Arts Center. The comic musical based on the hit movie will be in residence from Sunday through Sept. 25.

Another oldie, this one updated and set to music, is "Alice" at Vanguard University, opening Sept. 17 for three weekends. The show is based on Lewis Carroll's classic children's story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and will be staged Fridays through Sundays until Oct. 3.

Witty comedy "Misalliance," by George Bernard Shaw, returns to South Coast Repertory. The play about the generation gap opens Sept. 18 on the Segerstrom Stage after a week of previews and continues through Oct. 10.

No sooner does "Young Frankenstein" "walk this way" off the center stage than "Peter Pan" flies onto it. This is a new theatrical production of J.M. Barrie's classic story performed in a state-of-the-art 1,350-seat theater pavilion.

Billed as the world's first 360-degree video projection for live theater, the show flies both cast and audience over Edwardian London in an extended engagement through Nov. 21.

South Coast Repertory is back in action Sept. 26 through Oct. 17 with Sarah Ruhl's "In the Next Room (or, the vibrator play)." This one centers on a Victorian age doctor who finds a way to release women from their inhibitions and will be presented on the Julianne Argyros Stage.

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