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PCPA announces return of live performances this summer at Solvang Festival Theater

PCPA Solvang Theater

SANTA MARIA, Calif. -- PCPA has announced it will resume live performances this summer with two productions at Solvang Festival Theater.

The Allan Hancock College-based professional conservatory theatre has been unable to hold live performances for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

PCPA is scheduled to perform Together: A Musical Journey from July 21 through Aug. 8, and Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill from Aug. 19 through Sept. 5.

Together: A Musical Journey is written by PCPA's very own Erik Stein.

In a press release, the play is described as, "A new live and in-person concert that revels in the simple fact that life is better when we live it together. Seven actors and a musician take you on a musical journey that celebrates our shared experiences and the stories that have yet to be told – tales of the like-minded and adventures of those that dance to a different beat. This concert was created exclusively for PCPA’s audiences to rejoice as a community, and to relish being together."

Stein, who has entertained PCPA audiences for nearly 20 years, said the inspiration for the musical was the magic of live connection with theatergoers.

"I read an article that outlined an experiment that showed that when people are in a room together sharing an experience, their hearts start to beat in the same rhythm. If our hearts can overcome differences and actually beat together, our brains should be able to as well," Stein said. "All of us in a room together sharing an experience is truly essential."

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is set in a 1959 Philadelphia bar where legendary singer Billie Holiday is singing during one of her final performances.

More than a dozen of her songs are interlaced with what PCPA said are, "salty, often humorous reminiscences in this riveting portrait of Holiday and her music."

“I am excited to direct Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, because it affords me the opportunity to explore and examine the life of one of the most transcendent artists of the 20th century," said director Wren T. Brown. "Through her singing, Billie Holiday used everything that happened in her life to inform her art. Many of the songs she performed and recorded have become standards, and have caused audiences to feel her heart and soul, in a manner unlike any other artist. Sixty years after her death, at a time in America when race, gender, and the opioid crisis are being discussed loudly on a daily basis, Billie Holiday's life and career are a great example of what it means to not just survive but triumph in the face of lifelong abuse and struggle.” 

Lady Day contains adult themes and language.

All performances will start at 8 p.m. 

Tickets go on sale June 8, visit www.pcpa.org or call the box office (805) 922-8313.

Ticket prices are $35 - $50.

Box office hours are Wednesday through Sunday 3 p.m. – 7 p.m.

The Solvang Box Office will open July 14 with hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on non-show days and 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. on show days. 

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