For those desperate for something stimulating during their October break, California theaters will be ripe with captivating shows from Broadway and beyond.
Following the premier of the musical sensation “Hamilton” in San Francisco earlier this year, many other returning and new musicals will be starting their seasons in the Bay Area. There are a lot of wonderful shows that explore cultures that some students might not be familiar with, so I’d say now is a great time to start venturing into the world of theater.
If you’ve always hated Shakespeare, then I’d suggest seeing the musical comedy “Something Rotten!” where two brothers rival the immortal bard in the theatrical world, at the Orpheum theater in SF.
Or if that’s too zany for you, “On Your Feet!” is a great introduction to the musical scene with its inspiring story of Cuban-fusion pop musicians Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan. The show begins September 11 at the Golden Gate Theater and its music will make you want to follow the title’s instructions and dance through the aisles.
The more romantic types might enjoy “An American in Paris,” starting September 12 at the Orpheum, which follows an American soldier’s new life in Paris and his love for a French ballerina. This classic American-style musical is also a great fix for those who may be waiting on a stage version of last year’s hit movie “La La Land.”
One of my favorite musicals to travel west is “Waitress,” which premiers October 16 at the Golden Gate Theater. Based on the movie by the same name, it is a tragicomedy about an unexpectedly pregnant waitress who wants something more in life than her loveless marriage.
“Waitress” features music by my favorite artist Sara Bareilles who has a real knack for storytelling and whose shrewd composition fits well in this slice of life (pie) story.
The beloved musical comedy “La Cage Aux Folles” is showing at the San Francisco Playhouse until September 8 and takes the over-the-topness of most floor shows to the point of being a pure, enjoyable farce.
Of course, there is still the option of seeing America’s musical “Hamilton” which is now performing at the Hollywood Pantages in Los Angeles. It’s definitely not a possibility for everyone, but it really is a revolutionary show for this generation of musical theater.
Sadly, Stockton isn’t home to as high-budget productions as San Francisco or L.A., but it does have its fair share of wonderful theaters. Stockton Civic Theatre will be performing the musical comedy “The Addams Family” starting August 30 which carries the same kooky charm that the original TV series, films and more recent adaptations have portrayed.
Understandably, the price for seeing any of these professional shows is probably intimidating for many students, including myself, but I’d say the quality of these performances is worth the costs.