With Independence Day celebrations done, and the midsummer visitor rush in full swing (before schools elsewhere go into session in mid-August), some Cambrians are beginning to focus in depth on the Lions Club’s upcoming Pinedorado festivities over Labor Day weekend.
For instance, Pinedorado’s 2016 theme is “Celebrate the Past, Serve the Future,” and the recently anointed parade marshal will be Marjorie Sewell (The Cambrian will profile the San Simeon native, author and award-winning volunteer in August).
Meanwhile, Peggy Christianson is gearing up for an all-new Follies presentation, her eighth Pinedorado production since 2002 (she took a Follies break for the past two years.)
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This production will be like none of the predecessors, she said in a July 11 phone interview: It’s the Pinedorado Follies as interactive dinner theater, entitled the “‘Joyful’ Wedding Celebration.”
Ticketholders become “guests” at the wedding reception.
There will be four performances (6:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 1-4), but far fewer tickets will be available each night than for previous Follies shows, she said — just 96 for each performance.
That’s because the $50 admission price includes a sit-down dinner catered by Linn’s. The menu is a work in progress, but it’s expected to include wine and waiter-served hors d’oeuvres, salad course, entrée and (of course) wedding cake for dessert.
The blend between fantasy and reality is a little bit unclear, and that’s part of the fun.
Peggy Christianson, Pinedorado Follies director
Regular tickets, $50 each, go on sale Aug. 1 at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce, 767 Main St., and Christianson expects ticket buyers will, as usual, wait in line starting early that morning.
However, “angel tickets,” $100 each, are available now for those who want to skip that long, often-chilly lineup procedure, or who want to make sure they get to sit with their friends. Those tickets are selling fast, she said. “We’ve been blown away” by how many have already sold.
Angel tables will be closest to the stage. Unlike in previous years, there’s no limit to the number of available angel tickets, she said.
To buy angel tickets, call 927-7131.
The play’s the thing
The diagnosis of “joyful wedding” will be up to the wedding guests, Christianson explained. The bride (Anna Harrington-Bilu), groom (Tony Costa), mother of the bride (Renee Linn) and father of the groom (Kirk Henning, who also will act as the “wedding coordinator” and emcee) must muddle through an assortment of matrimonial conflicts, upheaval and mayhem. Additional actors will portray bridesmaids, groomsmen, family members and other wedding participants.
Spoiler alert: Some of the actors may start out sitting in the audience, a la mystery-dinner theater.
“The blend between fantasy and reality is a little bit unclear,” Christianson said with a laugh, “and that’s part of the fun. They’ll not always be sure who the actors are and who are guests at the wedding.”
The memorial building will be “decorated in a flurry of pink, really overdone,” the 72-year-old writer/director/actress/dancer said. The show “is a lot of fun, and it’s certainly different. … I’ve had a great time writing this,” in part because technical aspects are less complex than those in her previous shows.
Some of the show is scripted, some of it not so much, Christianson said of the partially improv show. There’s no official show program, because “you’re at a wedding.” There’ll also be “a lot of music, with singing and dancing and terrific actors.”
Fun for all (including Christianson and the participants) and a lot of surprises, that’s the Pinedorado Follies, 2016 edition.