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Theater Notebook: ‘Come from Away’ film to premiere on eve of 9/11 20th anniversary

Jenn Colella, center, seen performing with the original cast of "Come from Away" at the 2017 Tony Awards.
Jenn Colella (center), seen performing with the original cast of “Come from Away” at the 2017 Tony Awards, will lead the cast of the filmed version of the musical premiering Sept. 10 on Apple TV+.
(Michael Zorn/Invision/AP)

This week’s San Diego theater news from La Jolla Playhouse, North Coast Rep, the Old Globe, OnStage Playhouse and Point Loma Playhouse

Apple TV+ has announced that it will premiere the filmed version of the La Jolla Playhouse-born musical “Come From Away” on Sept. 10, the day before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedies that inspired the show.

Last fall, actors from the Broadway production reassembled on the empty Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in Manhattan to film a live-capture performance of the show. The film production was directed by its Tony Award-winning director Christopher Ashley, who is artistic director at La Jolla Playhouse, where the musical premiered in 2015.

Co-written by the Canadian team of Irene Sankoff and David Hein, “Come From Away” is based on the true story of how residents in a small town in Newfoundland cared for and sheltered more than 7,000 stranded airline passengers whose planes were grounded there for days in the aftermath of the terror attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Seven of the musical’s original Broadway cast members, including Tony-nominated star Jenn Colella, appear in the film. Meanwhile, the Broadway production of “Come From Away” reopens on Sept. 21. It is also a part of Broadway San Diego’s upcoming season — rescheduled from 2020 — with a May 17-22, 2022, run date locally.

Second theater announces vaccine rules

North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach has become the second San Diego County theater to announce vaccine rules for ticket buyers. It will reopen for live indoor performances on Sept. 8 with the play “Dancing Lessons.” The company’s vaccine and mask policy is similar to that of Cygnet Theatre, which unveiled its new health protocols on Aug. 2.

Until further notice, all North Coast Rep guests will be required to present a photo ID and either a physical Centers for Disease Control completed vaccination card or a digital vaccination record that can be scanned. There must be at least 14 days from the date of the final dose.

Unvaccinated patrons must present a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test within 72 hours of the performance date. This includes guests under age 12 or those who need reasonable accommodation for medical reasons or have sincerely held religious beliefs. Unvaccinated patrons must wear a mask at all times indoors. Vaccinated guests are also strongly encouraged to wear a mask indoors.

The full policy can be found at northcoastrep.org/covid-19-update-for-our-patrons/.

‘Hair’ free for health-care workers

The Old Globe has announced it will offer a limited number of free tickets to health-care workers to every performance of its musical “Hair,” which is now playing through Sept. 26 on its outdoor stage. Two tickets per person will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to health-care workers as a thank-you for their service during the pandemic. To reserve tickets, call (619) 234-5623, reserve the tickets in person at the box office or go online at theoldglobe.org/healthcareworkers.

‘Gardens of Anuncia’ cast announced

The Old Globe has announced the cast of the upcoming Michael John LaChiusa world premiere musical “The Gardens of Anuncia.” The musical is inspired by the real-life story of Broadway icon Graciela Daniele, who is directing and co-choreographing the production, which opens Sept. 10.

The cast will include Enrique Acevedo, Andréa Burns, Eden Espinosa, John Herrera, Carmen Roman, Tally Sessions, Mary Testa and Kalyn West.

OnStage announces ‘Drowning Girls’

OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista will open its 2021-22 season next month with the local premiere of the Canadian play “The Drowning Girls: A Story of Misogyny and Murder.”

The prize-winning 2008 play tells the story of the real-life “brides in the bathtub murders” that took place in England from 1912 to 1914. The 2008 play by Beth Graham, Charlie Tomlinson and Daniela Vlaskalic is about a London serial killer who killed three wives and how women were devalued in British society at the time.

The production will open Sept. 3 and run through Sept. 26 with live, in-person performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at 291 Third Ave., Chula Vista. Mask wearing will be voluntary but encouraged. onstageplayhouse.org.

Point Loma plans ‘Glorious’ reopening

Point Loma Playhouse will reopen in September with the San Diego premiere of Peter Quilter’s play “Glorious.” The play is based on the real-life chanteuse Florence Foster Jenkins, a soprano who was famous for her atrocious singing but still packed in appreciative New York audiences in the 1940s. “Glorious” will be presented at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 3 p.m. Sundays, Sept. 17 through Oct. 9, at 3035 Talbot St., Point Loma. Visit pointlomaplayhouse.com.

Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at pam.kragen@sduniontribune.com.


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