For North Coast Repertory Theatre, the first thing on the July agenda is keeping the lights on. In an already challenging economy for local theatres, NCRT urgently needs to replace lighting equipment that's 40 years old. So the first of two fundraisers this month is Keepin' the Lights On, a musical revue featuring show tunes performed by lights-out singers Katy Curtis, Evan Needham, Nanette Voss, Craig Waldvogel and Andrea Zvaleko, with musical accompaniment by Laura Welch. It's on for two nights, Friday and Saturday, July 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. in the North Coast Rep theatre. Suggested donation is five bucks.
Next up at Redwood Curtain is Kimberly Akimbo by David Lindsay-Abaire, a play that puts the ultimate spin on growing up fast. It's centered on a New Jersey teenager with a suspect family and a rare condition that causes her to speed rapidly to old age. It's Redwood Curtain's third time doing a Lindsay-Abaire play. "This playwright's works are a perfect match for our uniquely twisted sense of humor," said Artistic Director Clint Rebik. Adina Lawson plays Kimberly, with James Hitchcock, Elisa Abelleira, Peggy Metzger and Kody Dennis. Cassandra Hesseltine directs.
One reviewer wrote that this play "buzzes along" like a balloon "tied to a firecracker" -- which may make it perfect for an early July opening. Kimberly Akimbo previews at Redwood Curtain on Thursday and Friday, July 7 and 8, with the official opening (and reception) on Saturday, July 9, at 8 p.m. Performances continue Thursdays through Saturdays until July 30. Thursdays are cheap date nights. There's also one Sunday matinee, July 24 at 2 p.m. Information at www.redwoodcurtain.com.
The Mad River Festival in Blue Lake continues in July with A Suicide Note from a Cockroach, a circus theatre spectacle performed by Pelu' Theatre, a company based in Portland, but rooted in Puerto Rico. Billed as putting a comic twist on being an immigrant in a U.S. city, it's presented in Dell'Arte's Carlo Theatre July 7-10 at 8 p.m.
Also as part of this year's Fest, the Dell'Arte production of Three Trees with Joe Krienke, Stephanie Thompson and Lauren Wilson as wartime clowns, first staged in January. It returns for four performances, July 14-17 at 8 p.m. in the Carlo. Information for both shows at www.dellarte.com, with reservations at 668-5663 ext. 20.
Near month's end, North Coast Rep opens The Kitchen Wives, a comedy by Caroline Smith that follows cable-access cooking co-hostesses who are old enough to know better, but hate each other anyway. Directed by Carol Escobar, it features Kathleen Marshall, Laura Rose, Daniel Kennedy and George Szabo. Opening night is Thursday, July 28, with weekend performances through August 20.
NCRT's second fundraiser, Let There Be Light, is a few nights earlier, Saturday, July 23, at the Blue Lake Casino's Sapphire Palace with cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7, a variety show at 8, all for a $40 donation (and you get $10 in Casino Blue Bucks). Proceeds again go to new lighting equipment. For reservations to the play The Kitchen Wives, and/or the fundraiser call 442-NCRT (6278) or go to www.ncrt.net.
And what would summer be without summer camp? Personally I'm looking for a Hogwarts camp that takes so-called adults. But for actual children, Redwood Curtain Conservatory runs a youth summer day camp at the theatre, Mondays through Fridays, July 25-August 5. There are sessions for ages 6-10 ("Imagination and Play, an Introduction to Theatre") and ages 11-14 ("Stage Presence, Performing from the Start"). The instructor is Molly Armstrong.