DOWNEY - Cheap sex! Spurting blood! Serial murder! Exploding cities!Wouldn't you just like to whistle a happy tune for a change? Wouldn't it be nice every once in a while to direct your feet to the sunny side of the street? Then come to the Downey Civic Light Opera, where music, dance, comedy and romance are presented in shows written and composed by some of the greatest theater writers in American history. The shows produced by the DCLO, now in its 55th year, aren't just seasonal wonders, they've proven themselves durable decade after decade in sending audiences home with a song in their hearts. For the 2010-11 season, the DCLO presents three productions that contain the optimism, pluck and can-do spirit that represent America in its best image the world over. If you think boom and bust times are just those of the 1990s through our early aught years, then check out Otto Harback, Frank Mandel and Vincent Youmans' "No, No Nanette," the 1925 musical that captured the giddy spirit of the Roaring 20s, before the crash came and shoeshine boys lost their Wall Street holdings. "Tea for Two" and "I Want to be Happy" are two of "No, No Nanette's" songs that did not go down with the dollar. The show plays Sept. 30 through Oct. 17, 2010. If for some reason the songs "White Christmas," "God Bless America" and "Easter Parade" were banned by decree, wouldn't you feel their loss? But they, and hundreds of other great songs so popular that we take them for granted, were written by a Jewish Lithuanian immigrant named Irving Berlin. Everybody knows "There's No Business Like Show Business," but nobody set it to music before he did. "The Melody Lingers On," based on Mary Ellen Barrett's memory of her father, is an unending roster of hall of fame songs by the most popular and prolific songwriter in U.S. history. Feb. 17 - March 6, 2011. "American Idol" meets Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown in "Funny Girl," except the Fanny Brice and Nicky Arnstein of Jule Styne and Bob Merrill's 1964 musical had a lot more class. "People" and "Don't Rain on my Parade" are two songs from the show that made Barbra Streisand the first modern musical superstar, long before Lady Gaga was even born. June 2-19, 2011. Good seats and group sales are available for all performances. Full season tickets, at $32 for orchestra and $27 for balcony, are bargain basement prices. The DCLO box office opens in September, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 1-5 p.m. Call (562) 923-1714, or mail your request to P.O. Box 429, Downey CA 90241.
********** Published: August 12, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 17