L.A.'s Colony Theatre Company officially moves into its new home in Burbank on April 27, when a ribbon- cutting ceremony will take place. The venue, located at 55 N. Third St. at the corner of Cypress, once housed a natural history museum and will now be known as Burbank Center Stage--Home of the Colony Theatre Company. It has taken four years for the theatre to be constructed.
"It's taken much longer than any of us expected," said producing director Barbara Beckley, "but there's a nice symmetry to our moving at this particular time--we officially took up residence at Studio Theatre Playhouse in Silver Lake on April 1, 1975, so we're celebrating our 25th anniversary and beginning our Burbank adventure simultaneously."
The Stage features a spacious lobby, concession area, gallery, multiple restrooms and a large multi-purpose room for rehearsals, meetings and receptions. The Colony plans to open with 99 seats, finish the current season, and then present one more 99-seat season before expanding to full 276-seat capacity. Future plans include conversion of the multi-purpose room into a combination late-night cabaret and black box theatre for Second Stage productions and readings.
For many years, the Colony has enjoyed the largest subscriber base, approximately 3000, of any 99-seat theatre in southern California. However, in the past two months, the company has added 1,000 new subscribers for a current total in excess of 4,000.
The first Colony production in Burbank will be a revival of Ray Bradbury's Dandelion Wine. Based on Bradbury's novel, the musical version has music and lyrics by Jeffrey Rockwell and was a big hit in the 1981 season. Terrence Shank, the Colony's first artistic director, returns to helm the musical. For the past ten years he has been artistic director of the Mount Dora Theatre Company in Orlando, Florida.For tickets and information call (323) 665-3011.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent