American Stories: A Concert Performance Series, a musical salute to this country's progressive past, will be presented every Sunday afternoon at Theatricum Botanicum Sept. 6 through Oct. 10. There will be tributes to the history of the labor movement (on Labor Day, naturally), Black History, The Strength of Women and Woody Guthrie. The shows are ideal for families, students and educators, not to speak of general audiences interested in American history.
Searching for the American Dream is the Labor Day show (Sept. 6 at 3 PM), with portraits of Mother Jones, Cesar Chavez and Karen Silkwood topping the musical bill.
Black History in America will be presented Sept. 26 at 1 PM. Voices from Black history will be melded with folk and gospel songs.
The Strength of Women will take center stage on Oct. 3 at 1 PM, with female artists, politicians and thinkers highlighted.
On Oct. 12 at 1 PM Theatricum Botanicum will reprise its annual favorite, The Woody Guthrie Show. It was originally developed by the late Will Geer, who founded TB, as a tribute to his old friend and comrade Guthrie (who actually lived on the theatre grounds in the 1950s).The matinee series will run concurrently with the last two regular shows of TB's 1999 season, Charley's Aunt and The Seagull. Tickets for the former show will be discounted when tickets for American Stories are purchased.
Theatricum Botanicum is located at l419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga. For tickets and information call (310) 455-3723.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent