San Diego outdoors: Aida, animal tracks, rugby, SUP with dogs, 1800s Old Town, waterski and wakeboard
Indoors: WWI San Diego, complete history of theater, Christopher Plummer, pickles, Van Gogh-Gaughin, Martina McBride
11:50 a.m., June 28
Who knew? Who knew that a door-slamming farce, first produced in 1937, would resonate with such relevance today? Seven years into the Great Depression, after Sam Harris dropped the project in Philadelphia, George Abbott became producer and director of a fledgling comedy. He turned it into a Broadway hit, then sold it to the Marx Brothers for the highest price ever. The situation's what theaters across the country face today: a producer on a shoestring has a hot script but no money. Backers are backing out, and he owes the White Way Hotel a small fortune for housing his 22-person cast. The show must go on - but how? Amid a giant moose head, a big bunch of bananas, a stuffed owl, doctors (both true and quack), harried hotel - and doubly harried theater - folk, and maybe the world's most on-the-spot creative producer (a tribute to Abbott, who was just as inventive off-stage as on), the show not only goes on, the villain...well, see for yourself what happens to him. Robert Smyth and his Lamb's Players cast have obvious fun breaking today's rules of acting and going for broad portrayals; the broader the better, in fact. Jon Lorenz's mellifluous-voiced producer flat refuses to accept defeat, as does John Rosen's Gregory Wagner, red-faced hotel honcho; the two are a frenetic pair, around whom the cast runs a two-act steeplechase on Mike Buckley's handsome, hotel suite scenic design. Special mention: David Cochran Heath keeps walking offstage as one character then, seconds later, comes back as someone else, equally believable, detailed, and funny. Note: due to popular demand, Lamb's Players has extended the show's run.