A Silicon Valley performing arts tour may be just the ticket to escape the woes of the world. Three local theater productions open May 20, and the Santa Clara Chorale performs at Mission Santa Clara on May 21.
“We could all use some laughs right about now, and this show provides lots of them,” said Dave Leon, director of the Santa Clara Players’ production Drinking Habits 2, Caught in the Act, by American playwright Tom Smith, running May 20 – June 11.
“We’re not here looking for a deeper meaning. It’s a farce!” said Leon. “Sometimes it’s absolutely okay to just escape for a couple of hours.”
Leon also directed Drinking Habits, the prequel, in February of 2020. He said that Drinking Habits 2 is like a funny, stand-alone sitcom episode. The wine-making Sisters of Perpetual Sewing focus their hilarious efforts at saving an orphanage from peril.
In the South Bay Musical Theatre’s May 20 – June 4 production of On the Town, scored by Leonard Bernstein, Sunnyvale resident Lysander Abadia stars as Gabey, one of three footloose sailors on 24-hour shore leave in New York City during WWII.
“On the Town is a rare script that is equal parts acting, singing, and dancing,” said Abadia, an experienced theater arts professional. “The audience will be swept away by our amazing orchestra and the talented cast and crew telling the story…It is joyous escapism, executed with skill and exuberance that the whole family can enjoy.”
“Though it is set in 1944, the need for connection is timeless,” Abadia continued. “Everyone knows what it is to search for love—and the comedy that can come from the successes and failures in that search.”
Santa Clara resident Tim Huang makes his stage debut as an ensemble member.
“I like On The Town’s mix of big, brassy musical numbers, gorgeous dance scenes, and Vaudevillian humor,” said Huang. “It serves up a heaping helping of lightness and levity to distract people from the harsh realities of the day.”
Another distraction, Santa Clara University Presents stages Sister Act—A Divine Musical Comedy, May 20 – 29.
“It is a laugh-out-loud musical comedy that is exactly what our society needs right now,” said SCU Presents spokesperson Jennifer Reichert. “Not only is the show full of irreverent humor, but there are really beautiful moments surrounding sisterhood and finding oneself.”
Sister Act, based on the 1992 film of the same name, stars a nightclub performer who enters the witness protection program at a financially failing convent and saves it—and herself—through music. Its cast of 30 is the largest ever to perform on the Louis B. Mayer Theatre stage.
As part of “Art Connecting Community Week,” $3 from each ticket sale May 20 – 26 goes to Project Hope for Ukraine refugee relief.
On May 21, 8 p.m., at Mission Santa Clara, the 60-voice Santa Clara Chorale presents A New Song, conducted by former artistic director Thomas Colohan. He directs the Santa Clara Chorale, San José Chamber Orchestra and Santa Clara University Choirs in a massive collaboration.
The concert features the world premiere of “Kohelet” by Henry Dehlinger. The five-movement cantata uses original Hebrew text from “Ecclesiastes” and “The Song of Songs.” The choirs also perform Sunrise Mass by Ola Gjeilo, a four-movement mass sung in Latin.
A performing arts tour in your own backyard—at far less cost than a one-week theater tour of New York City—is the great escape.