"Guys and Dolls."
"We are very excited about our upcoming season," said Tom Amen,
who'll direct three of the four productions, turning the reins of the
musical over to Martie Ramm. "We believe that it provides an
excellent balance of exceptionally well-crafted plays."
Regarding his choice of "Hamlet," Amen observed, "In recent years,
we have opted to undertake increasingly ambitious productions," such
as his currently playing stage version of "The Grapes of Wrath."
"We believe that we are continuing that trend with this wonderful
slate of quality plays," Amen added.
"Hamlet," the legendary epic of murder and revenge, remains one of
the centerpieces of the world theater, 400 years after it was
written. Amen calls it "powerful, passionate and deeply moving,"
noting that it "crackles with suspense from its opening moments to
its shattering conclusion."
The Shakespearean classic will kick off the Golden West season,
opening Nov. 5 and playing through the 21st in the college's
The theme shifts to romantic conquest March 4 when Christopher
Hampton's "Les Liaisons Dangereuses" mounts the stage. In this rarely
produced drama, "a wicked game of conquest is under way," Amen said.
"Anything goes when a predatory, wealthy widow challenges a
notorious rake to seduce a beautiful young newlywed. The rake
succeeds, but not before falling helplessly into a fatal attraction."
Amen noted that his production of this play will be "full of
compelling characters and malicious wit" and will be "shamelessly
decadent fun." It'll be recommended for mature audiences when it
opens March 4.
Damon Runyan's stereotypical Broadway of the 1940s is the scene
for "Guys and Dolls," which follows the unlikely romance between a
high roller and a "mission doll," unfolding against the background of
the "oldest established floating crap game in New York."
The Frank Loesser score features such musical standards as "Take
Back Your Mink," "Sue Me," "A Bushel and a Peck" and the rollicking
"Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat," not to mention the title number.
The show runs from May 6 to 15 only, so reservations should be made
"Lend Me a Tenor" takes the audience backstage at an opera house
of the 1930s for a series of wild misadventures and backstage
shenanigans that culminate in a simple young man's becoming an
overnight singing sensation. The college promises a million laughs
between July 8 and 17.
"We always have our audience in mind when we select our seasons,
and we feel that this season offers something for everyone," Amen
said. "We feel our audiences, and particularly our season
subscribers, deserve the best in theater programming."
Speaking of season subscribers, they'll be able to reserve their
seats for the 2004-05 campaign beginning July 9 with the opening of
Golden West's final production of the current season, "Pride and
They can call (714) 895-8150 for more information.
* TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Independent.