San Diego Rep Will Stage Long Story Short Musical and Siguenza's New Picasso Play | Playbill

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News San Diego Rep Will Stage Long Story Short Musical and Siguenza's New Picasso Play San Diego Repertory Theatre's 2009-10 season will include a new production of the emerging two-character musical Long Story Short by Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda, plus the world premiere of the solo-actor play A Weekend With Pablo Picasso.

Also expect Conor McPherson's Irish play The Seafarer, about guilt, responsibility, friendship and human souls; a visit by the Culture Clash troupe, presenting a revised version of its Culture Clash in Americca; and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's play, boom, about nothing less than the end of the world.

The California company's 34th season will open in September with Milburn and Vigoda's Long Story Short, a musical version of David Schulner's play An Infinite Ache.

The musical charts "the love affair between an Asian girl and a Jewish guy, both living in Southern California," from blind date to old-age. It was first seen in a co-production by City Theatre (Pittsburgh, PA) and TheatreWorks (Palo Alto, CA).

The fall 2009 staging will includes revisions by the writers, with new director Kent Nicholson, former director of new works at TheatreWorks, and the new director of musical theatre at Playwrights Horizons, at the helm.

Milburn and Vigoda told on March 30, "We're planning to take out the act break and make it a clean 90 minutes, thereby depriving people of a chance to ruminate on how depressing the end of Act One is — and hurtling the audience, along with the characters, to the end of the story. "We're also looking at tweaking orchestrations, putting a song back in, cutting parts out of others, and rewriting the first 10 or 15 minutes completely.

The playwright, David Schulner, saw our version of his work in Pittsburgh and told us he liked the brand-new, made-out-of-whole-cloth stuff best. 'Cut more of my dialogue!' he insisted. So we're obliging him by doing so.

"We're terribly glad to have the opportunity to have another chance to see it on its feet again so soon, though we're sad to lose Tracy Brigden, our director, due to a scheduling conflict. Our old friend Kent Nicholson is stepping in to fill the director's chair this time."

Long Story Short is billed as an "audacious musical…a 50-year love story featuring the music of GrooveLily." Milburn and Vigoda make up two-thirds of the pop trio GrooveLily. Their musical theatre writing credits include the musicals Striking 12, Sleeping Beauty Wakes and more.

Delicia Turner Sonnenberg directs the award-winning The Seafarer, a critically acclaimed London and Broadway drama with humor and a metaphysical twist, in November-December.

Directed by Rep artistic director Sam Woodhouse, boom (in January 2010) "is a madcap, heartfelt high wire act that suggests hope is worth holding on to precisely because we don't know what will happen next," according to the Rep. "Twenty-something marine biologist Jules has turned his apartment into an underground lab and bunker to survive the end of life on earth as we know it. Dead sure that a comet is due to hit the planet in fewer than ten minutes, Jules has a plan to repopulate the human race — he's invited journalist Jo over for a hookup that promises 'sex to change the world.' But Jo has no intention of being stuck underground with a geeky madman for an doomsday dating game."

America's Latino comedy troupe Culture Clash (Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas, Herbert Siguenza) will be seen in February-March 2010 in its "provocative comedy," Culture Clash in Americca, a "performance collage."

According to the Rep, "As in all of their memorable comedic sketches, the characters in Culture Clash in Americca are adapted from real interviews with people from across the U.S. who live radically diverse lives. The troupe's signature use of satire, vaudeville, mime and spoken word dramatizes the voices of the socially invisible and the New Americans, offering a fresh examination of cultures in flux. From Cuban exiles and Haitian immigrants in Miami, to a Puerto Rican political activist in Manhattan, to commies and dot-commers rubbing elbows in San Francisco's Mission District, to expatriates in Tijuana and Ugandan cab drivers in San Diego, these are unforgettable characters who will leave you gasping, laughing and cheering. Since creating this work at our theatre nine years ago, the ensemble has mined the cultures of Washington, DC, San Francisco, Boston and Orange County (adding to their interviews with people from Miami, Berkeley, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and our own San Diego and Tijuana)."

The season will close in March-April 2010 with the workshop production of Herbert Siguenza's one-man show, A Weekend With Pablo Picasso, "which pays homage to one of the greatest and most controversial artists of the 20th century."

The writer-actor "will be performing and painting onstage during the tour de force workshop production." According to Rep notes, "Though he is best known for his comedic work with Culture Clash, Siguenza was first a visual artist. As a young boy, he was given a photo album of Pablo Picasso at work in his studio. Stunned by the playfulness and creative freedom of the 77-year old artist, he told his mother: 'When I grow old I want to live like this man.' Now Siguenza, at the top of his game as a theatre artist, brings his writing, acting and visual art skills to an unforgettable one-man show."

Rep associate artistic director Todd Salovey directs. The play "invites the audience into Picasso's private studio for an intimate and revealing weekend."

Siguenza will share Picasso's thoughts on "children, war, creativity, ambition, destruction, cubism, God, love, hate, beauty, friendship, patriotism, eternity, and art as an agent of social change." Siguenza "will sing, clown, paint, dance ballet and flamenco, draw, impersonate a matador, sculpt, re-enact a nightmare disguised as a minotaur, prance wildly as a satyr in the face of the horror of his painting Guernica and lead the audience through Picasso's revealing critique of modern art."

The Rep is at 79 Horton Plaza in San Diego, CA. For more information, call (619) 544-1000 or visit

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