Share the magic."
That's the motto of the 1997-98 season at Norris Theatre For The Performing Arts in Rolling Hills Estates, CA, where big band concerts and children's shows mix with plays and musicals for an eclectic theatre season.
Theatre highlights of the upcoming season include solo evenings with Anna Maria Alberghetti and Shirley Jones, plus a one-man drama featuring "The Addams Family's" John Astin as Edgar Allan Poe.
Here are the theatre offerings of the Norris season:
An Evening With Anna Maria Alberghetti (Sept. 12-13)
This season opener features Broadway actress Alberghetti singing tunes from shows in which she's appeared (Carnival, The Sound Of Music), as well as popular Italian ditties. Once Upon A Midnight (Oct. 24-25)
Just in time for Halloween, this one-man show mixes Edgar Allan Poe's somber poetry with stories of his life's turmoil. Star John Astin is best known for playing Gomez on the original TV "Addams Family," and he has a recurring role as a shady salesman on the animated series, "Duckman." In 1993 he starred in the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players' HMS Pinafore.
Broadway Magic (Nov. 14-15)
A revue featuring Raymond Saar, Valerie Perrie & Diane Ketchie singing showtunes by Sondheim, Webber and others. (Last year, the same trio appeared in The Music Of Andrew Lloyd Webber at the Norris).
Five Guys Named Moe (Nov. 21-22)
This musical tribute to band leader Louis Jordan played in NY in 1992 and ran the gamut from swing to Calypso.
The Mikado (Jan. 23-24)
Perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan's most melodic operetta, wherein Nanki-Poo hopes to marry Yum-Yum -- and keep his head from the Lord High Executioner. This production staged by the Riverside Civic Light Opera.
The Mario Lanza Story (March 20-21, 1998)
Charles GaVoian impersonates one of the great operatic voices of the century. He's croon such Lanza hits as "Be My Love" and "Because You're Mine" and also shed light on the tenor's untimely death.
The All Night Strut (April 3-4, 1998)
Blues, pop and jazz standards from the 1930s and 40s fill this revue, which runs from boogie woogie to Cafe Society. Songs include Ain't Misbehavin' and Fascinating Rhythm.
The Bible: The Compete Word Of God (Abridged) (April 17-18, 1998)
By the same lunatics who brought us The Compleat Wks Of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), it's another romp through history and literature with the Reduced Shakespeare Company.
Children's shows at the Norris include Hans Brinker & The Silver Skates (Nov. 9), Thimbelina, a puppet show by Bits ` N Pieces Theatre (April 5, 1998); Lazer Vaudeville (Jan. 11, 1998) and The Five Senses, by dance/story troupe, Blue Palm (Oct. 5).
For tickets and subscriptions to the Norris season call (310)544-0403. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 12.
--By David Lefkowitz