Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. *
Sunday, March 8 at 3 p.m.
Westmont College's Porter Theatre
$20 general admission, $15 for students & seniors
To purchase, visit www.westmont.edu/boxoffice or call 565-7140.
* On Saturday, "The Cherry Orchard" is in repertory with the Westmont Theatre Department's new production of Karel and Josef Capek's "The Insect Comedy," also directed by Blondell, performed at 2 p.m. Separate tickets required. For tickets and information, www.westmont.edu
Lit Moon's production of Anton Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard" directed by company Artistic Director John Blondell was hailed as "nothing less than a triumph" by the Santa Barbara Independent when it debuted in September 2014.
Reviewer Tom Jacobs continued "Director John Blondell and a strong cast managed to find a surprising number of laughs in this melancholy tale of missed connections and missed opportunities... and more importantly, they have created a staging that not only never feels stagnant... but also builds to a deeply moving conclusion."
"The play is a richly observed, sometimes heart-breaking, and often hilarious picture of a family and period in transition," says Blondell. "I was interested in creating a rich, luscious, romantic staging of this play, and fill it with an abundant sense of life. I want the stage to bubble with vitality, and for the audience to be swept away by the deep longings and somewhat crazy idiosyncrasies of these characters."
In the play Lyubov Andreevna (Victoria Finlayson) returns from Paris to find that the family estate is in arrears, and it must be sold. A local businessman Lopakhin (Mitchell Thomas) has an idea to sell the estate, along with the adjacent cherry orchard, in order to develop the property for leisure homes. The ensuing action focuses on whether the estate will be sold, and the implications for the family, servants, and hangers on.
"The Cherry Orchard" also features Michael Bernard, Brian Harwell, Stan Hoffman, Ben Offringa, Nina Sallinen, Paige Tautz, Matthew Tavianini, Chris Wagstaffe, Lauren White, and in a gender-bending casting choice, Jeff Mills as the governess Charlotta.
Music composition and performance is by Jim Connolly, and the lighting design by Jonathan Hicks. The stage manager is Elaine Galang.
In October 2014, Lit Moon traveled to Asia for the first time to participate in the 6th International Festival of the National Theatre of China, in Beijing.
The company played "Hamlet" to sold-out audiences in the Studio Theatre for this biannual festival, organized by National Theatre Vice-President, Wang Xiaoying.
The four other invited companies included Bitola National Theatre (who played their production of "Henry VI, Part 3," directed by Lit Moon Artistic Director John Blondell), along with National Theatre of China, Frankfurt Shauspiel, Malthouse Theatre (Melbourne), and Yohangza Theatre (Seoul).
"The trip to China was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," says Blondell. "It was intense and vivid, and we will never forget the great opportunity to play Shakespeare's most famous play in the Chinese capitol."
The company also had time to sightsee, including trips to the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, and the Great Wall.
"The company performed beautifully, and audience members stayed and stayed after each performance to talk long into the night, about the play, our approach to it, and their reactions to it," adds Blondell. "It was wild!"