THOUSAND OAKS, CA -- The recent opening of A Little Night Music at the Forum Theatre, located in the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, marks the inauguration of a new mid-sized professional theatre company, Gold Coast Plays.
The new organization is a member of Gold Coast Performing Arts Association, an umbrella group of locally based companies that perform at the Civic Arts Plaza. It took the place of the Santa Susana Repertory Co. which staged the first professional production at the Forum in 1994.
Santa Susana will still be represented at the Forum with its annual A Christmas Carol production, but its other shows will be performed on the campus of California Luthern University in Thousand Oaks.
A philosophical disagreement led to the split between Santa Susana artistic director Lane Davies and Gold Coast Assn. founder and chief funder Larry Janss.
"Lane didn't read the tea leaves right," Janns said. "He was anxious to move on to serious plays and to Shakespeare." "Larry underestimates the caliber of the audience," Davies said. "There is too much light entertainment out here and not enough serious theatre."
At present Gold Coast Plays is utilizing a 349-seat thrust stage configuration of the Forum for Night Music, a road company featuring Dale Kristien, Amanda McBroom, George Ball and Fay DeWitt.
Starting in September, Gold Coast will present a subscription season in a 400-seat proscenium configuration of the Forum.
Night Music plays through May 7. Performances are Thurs.-Sat. at 8.30 PM; Sun. at 2.30 PM. Tickets are $25-$30. Call (805) 583-8700, (213) 480-3232 or (714) 740-2000.
-- By Willard Manus
Southern California Correspondent