James and the Giant Peach at Patio Playhouse

Off the Cuff
James and the Giant Peach

James and the Giant Peach

 James and the Giant Peach

Patio Playhouse director Larry Steckling and producer Sharon Gann this summer put out the call for youth actors to audition for roles in James and the Giant Peach.

The kids came out alright to St. Paul Lutheran Church for tryouts and now are trying their hand at the finished production that was adapted for the stage by David Wood from Ron Dahl’s book.

James and the Peach is just peachy keen from Oct. 9 to Oct. 25 at the playhouse, 116 S. Kalmia St., between Vinz Wine Bar and Continental Deli. Matinees are at 2 p.m. Sunday with regular performance at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Spoiler alert, as for the plot: James, a young orphan boy, as he escapes from a dreary life ruled by his horrible aunts to The Big Apple on a Giant Peach with his charming crew of insect friends on a magical adventure crossing the Atlantic. On their journey, James and his companions learn valuable life lessons about the wickedness of some, the goodness of others and the joy of friendship.

Christian Reyes and Brooks Winter play James. Bobby Villegas is Mr. Trotter, Katie O’Connell is Mrs. Trotter. Belle Morelock is the tour guide with peggy Schneider and Maddy Ernst as Aunt Spiker.

Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for kids up to age 16. Visit http://bit.ly/1QVSe2S for more information.

‘Off the Cuff, ‘ a one-day only “improvaganza’ at Patio Playhouse

While you’re at it, don’t forget another incarnation of “off the Cuff,” one night only performance featuring improvisational scenes will be presented at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11.

This unusual production appears in a different version every so often throughout the calendar year. It is the brainchild of Patio veteran director, actress and lighting designer, Deborah Zimmer.

The cast is comprised of a variety of local actors of all ages, many of whom have appeared at Patio at various times.

Sometimes, the theater does not know exactly who will be available to perform, until the last minute.

But, it’s always a good show, according to Zimmer and cast.

Zimmer employs a variety of improvisational comedy techniques similar to the popular TV show, “Whose Line Is It, Anyway?” She often suggests characters and situations to the actors and then, presto, they must perform the scene. Often, she assigns them characters such as a “dirty dish” or “running water.”

Said frequent performer Connie Boyd, “It is such fun and it keeps me young,”

Another frequent performer, Peggy Schneider, said, “ It is great exercise for an actor, keeps you on your toes.” Added actor, Adam Sheldon, “ Helps to keep those acting muscles well-toned.”

To add to the fun, suggestions are often taken from the audience and in some cases, audience members may even be invited on stage. Often, a scene is repeated in a different style, such as Soap Opera or Country Western song….The actors need to switch swiftly from one style to another.

Tickets are $7 at the door while four pre-paid tickets are available in a $20 package. For more information, call (760) 746-6669 or visit www.patioplayhouse.com.