Walter Mencken 10:48 a.m., May 22
This summer, San Diego audiences have an opportunity to see a show on board the USS Midway Museum.
CCT, Christian Community Theater, has long been a bastion of community theater in San Diego. They have been doing Broadway style shows since 1980.
I talked to managing director, Cathie Stanner, about how CCT ended up on the Midway.
"Beginning 2006 CCT took a four year leave of absence from Mt Helix – while the venue is breathtaking the transportation cost to shuttle people up and down the hill was out of reach. We did return in 2010 for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and to celebrate our 30th birthday."
Wasn't CCT performing at The East County Performing Arts Center?
"The City of El Cajon closed ECPAC in January 2010 for renovation with the goal to re-open in 2011 – unfortunately they have not begun any work".
Without a home theater and with Mt. Helix being impractical, The Midway is just about the best of both worlds. The Midway is downtown, is outdoors, and has a spectacular view. It's hard to beat as a summer venue.
When did the relationship with The Midway begin?
"In 2006 Executive/Artistic Director Paul Russell had the vision to take a popular musical to a unique venue. CCT polled its patrons and overwhelmingly, three to one, patrons indicated they would support the project. CCT staff contacted Midway Aircraft Carrier personnel and pitched the project which was accepted with the caveat that the show was themed to the aircraft carrier. In 2007, with little advertising, CCT sold out the entire run of the musical South Pacific on board the Midway Aircraft Carrier, prior to show opening. CCT and the Midway agreed the partnership was successful and met to plan an annual show onboard during the summer months. All 2008 dates were booked by other events but 2009 dates were blocked to accommodate the project."
What is the show looking like for this year?
"It's called Jump Jive an' Wail and it's set in The Savoy Ballroom in Harlem from the 1920's to the 1950's. It was The Savoy that made Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald famous. The Battle of the Bands was first held there with Benny Goodman and Count Basie. And it was at the Savoy where The Lindy Hoppers created American swing dancing."
For more information the CCT website is http://www.christiancommunitytheater.com.mphp.lynch2.com/home