American explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark opened up the West, so it follows a theatre in the West — Los Angeles' Colony Theatre — would premiere Leon Martell's Lewis and Clark play, Beatiful in the Extreme. Billed a "theatrical imagining of Lewis accounts" rather than a historical recreation, Beatiful plays Oct. 19-Nov. 17 with David Rose (Colony's Our Country's Good, The Front Page) directing.
In January, 1803, President Thomas Jefferson started the Lewis and Clark expedition of lands west of the Mississippi in a secret communication to Congress asking for funds. Once the Louisiana Purchase went through in 1804, the explorers were free to travel the length of the Mississippi River. By late 1805, thanks in part to help from Native Americans like the famous Sacagawea, Lewis and Clark arrived at the Pacific Ocean, having recorded hundreds of new plants and animals. Despite failing to uncover the fabled Northwest Passage, the explorers were still toasted as heroes when they finally returned to Washington, DC in fall, 1808.
Both Lewis and Clark left behind diaries, which Martell mines for their observations of the unspoiled natural beauty of the American West. The playwright won two Emmy Awards for his work in children's television and has authored Mooncalf, Hard Hat Area and Feed Them Dogs for the theatre.
Tickets are $28-$25. The Colony Theatre is located at 555 North Third Street in Burbank. For reservations, call (818) 558-7000. The Colony Theatre is on the web at http://www.colonytheatre.org.
— By Christine Ehren