'Ready'  for fall

'Ready' for fall


Three local theaters offer fun onstage to close out the summer



By Carl Kozlowski 08/26/2013

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Labor Day marks the end of the summer season, a time when people have likely exhausted their entertainment options with blockbuster movies, outdoor concerts, fireworks displays and trips to Magic Mountain, Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm.  

With one weekend left, this might be the best time to enjoy some great live theater at three area venues. 
Upstart Stages of Gray Theatre has been producing a lively array of ensemble-based plays over the past few years, with this weekend promising to get toes tapping with the world premiere of its jukebox musical “Ready for the Storm.” The show uses a collection of Broadway’s best known and loved songs in telling the story of a young Jenn and Bobby, whose pre-wedding jitters force them to reevaluate whether they have the strength to stay together amid life’s storms. 

Meanwhile, South Pasadena’s Fremont Centre Theatre continues its long tradition of presenting innovative dramas as it opens “Auto Parts,” a theater piece consisting of four interrelated “parts,” or stories. Each story, all set in or near an automobile, is presented in an order selected by the audience before each show.  This means the show is never performed the same way twice, yet the parts are all clearly presented to the audience with a surprise ending at the end of each show. With themes ranging from love and longing to infidelity and murder, “Auto Parts” promises to be a real nail-biter as well as a production that’s fun to think about. 

Finally, the Sierra Madre Playhouse closes out the summer with a play based on an all-American family classic. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” refashions Mark Twain’s highly popular book for the stage  and gives attendees three convenient times to share the fun.  

Stages of Gray Theatre presents “Ready for the Storm” at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 22 at 299 N. Altadena Drive, Suite 100, Pasadena. Tickets are $27 to $30. Call (909) 461-7375 or visit stagesofgray.com. 

Fremont Centre Theatre presents “Auto Parts” at 8 p.m. Fridays through Sept. 20 at 1000 Fremont Ave., South Pasadena. Tickets are $15. Call (866) 811-4111 or visit fremontcentretheatre.com. 

Sierra Madre Playhouse presents “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” at 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Sunday at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Tickets are $12 to $25. Call (626) 355-4319 or visit sierramadreplayhouse.org.

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