Summer theater preview: Dramatic and hilarious shows heat up San Diego

    Summer’s here and for most that means no more school. A time to relax, a time to play. However, for those suffering from severe sunburns, or those who are just a bit tired of the beach, check out some theater events happening around San Diego this summer.

    Mamma Mia

    For those who love ABBA, “”Mamma Mia!”” is a must see. From August 12 to 17, the Civic Theater will be alive with the sounds of over twenty of ABBA’s best known songs including “”Dancing Queen,”” “”The Winner Takes it All,”” “”Knowing Me, Knowing You”” and “”Mamma Mia.”” This charming story focuses on a young woman as she prepares to marry while her mother confronts her past. Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeu’s musical has been receiving praise around the world and should not be missed. Tickets for this event can be purchased by phone at (619) 615-4178 or in person at the Concourse Box Office at 3rd and B Street between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    CATS

    For those who are looking to celebrate the end of finals, check out “”CATS”” running June 10 to 15 at the San Diego Civic Theater. This beloved Andrew Lloyd Webbed production is the winner of seven Tony Awards including Best Musical, and is the longest running Broadway show ever. The sets and costumes always impress and the wonderful music leaves a lasting impression. This show is a classic, perfect for longtime musical lovers or those looking to see one for the first time. Tickets for this event range from $20 to $70 and can be purchased by phone at (619) 615-4178 or in person at the Concourse Box Office at 3rd and B Street between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    The Country

    From July 29 to Aug. 31, the La Jolla Playhouse presents the American premiere of “”The Country.”” This play tells the story of a doctor who brings home a young woman that he finds lying unconscious on the side of the road. The truth about the woman that emerges tests everyone. This production is directed by Lisa Peterson as she explores what playwright Martin Crimp has to say about contemporary marriages. This is a serious production that should draw viewers in and keep them captivated. Tickets range from $35 to $49 and can be purchased by calling (858) 550-1035.

    Uncle Vanya

    “”Uncle Vanya”” is running now through June 29 at the La Jolla Playhouse. This is the story of a college professor who returns home with his new wife and introduces her to the rest of his family. This causes problems in the lives of his daughter and her Uncle Vanya, ultimately testing the bonds of love and family. This touching story is adapted and directed by Emily Mann. For those who enjoy plays with great characterization, this is a must-see. Tickets range from $35 to $49 and can be purchased by calling (858) 550-1035.

    Fraulein Else

    From June 10 to July 13, the La Jolla Playhouse will be presenting the world premiere of “”Fraulein Else,”” the story of a young Viennese woman who receives a shocking telegram from her family while on vacation with her wealthy aunt at a spa. Else is then torn between her family and herself and her decision will change the course of her life forever. This play is adapted by Francesca Faridany from the novella by Arthur Schnitzler and is directed by Stephen Wadsworth. This story explores the workings of the human mind and the depths of the human soul while touching the audience’s hearts. Tickets range from $35 to $49 and can be purchased by calling (858) 550-1035.

    Eden Lane

    The La Jolla Playhouse is putting on the world premiere of “”Eden Lane”” from Aug. 12 to Sept. 14. Des McAnuff directs this story of a woman named May who finally leaves the vastness of the big city for her dream house. However, there is one problem; her interior designer says that a window can not be put into her bedroom. While May tries to look outside her house, what is inside creates more problems than she had ever anticipated. This original production will be a great experience for those who love the heart and the passion of drama. Tickets range from $35 to $49 and can be purchased by calling (858) 550-1035.

    Aida

    “”Aida”” is the musical love story of Aida, a beautiful Nubian princess taken from her country; Ammeris, an Egyptian princess; and Radames, the soldier that has captured both their hearts and comes to the San Deigo Civic Theater from July 15 to July 20. “”Aida”” is based on the opera by Verdi and won four Tony Awards in 2002. The score won not only a Tony, but a Grammy as well and marks the first collaboration of Elton John and Time Rice since they wrote the music for “”The Lion King.”” This production has style and passion and is a must-see for musical lovers. Tickets for this event range from $22 to $58 and can be purchased by phone at (619) 615-4178 or in person at the Concourse Box Office at 3rd and B Street between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

    Celebrate Dance Festival

    Dance lovers should be sure to check out the annual Celebrate Dance Festival in Balboa Park. This free event runs from August 22 to 24 and gives the general public a chance to see some of the best dance companies in San Diego all in one place. Over 50 different companies will be performing this year with an array of styles that guarantees something for everyone. The usual tap, ballet, modern and jazz will be performed as well as such styles as hip-hop, contemporary dance, Butoh dance, along with a stunning variety of ethnic dances. This is a wonderful opportunity for beginners to learn about different forms of dance as well as for more experienced viewers to enjoy a variety of styles.

    The Graduate

    For a generation, the movie “”The Graduate”” has captivaed audiences while the book has enthralled readers. Now it can be seen onstage at the San Diego Civic Theater from Sept. 9 to Sept. 14. The story is that of Benjamin Braddock, an innocent college graduate who is seduced by Mrs. Robinson, an older woman, but then falls in love with Mrs. Robinson’s daughter Elaine. This is a wonderful production that is sure to delight viewers. This is the perfect chance to see one of the most captivating dramas in all its glory. Tickets for this event can be purchased by phone at (619) 615-4178 or in person at the Concourse Box Office at 3rd and B Street between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

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