Cambrian: Opinion

‘Small-town goodness’: Cambria’s Pinedorado Follies back again for more laughs and good times

I told some friends from a “big city” recently about Pinedorado weekend in Cambria and all that goes on.

Classic stuff like a parade, festival and the ever-popular Cambria Follies. “Oh, small-town goodness... that is so neat and I think more people would be happier in life if they could experience things like that!” one of my friends said.

I couldn’t agree more.

This year’s Follies will be capitalizing on the sellout success of last year’s performance, which was Randy Schwalbe’s debut as writer/director. Talk about small town goodness, “Shakedown in Slabtown” poked fun at everything and everyone we hold near and dear... and not so dear!

This year, Schwalbe is back at the helm with a sequel entitled, “Cambridonia.”

Aside from roasting well-known locals, habits and philosophies, Schwalbe very cleverly installs a show-within-a-show melodrama. Essentially, the villain that got “booed” off stage last year returns as he had threatened and once more leads the evil SNAFU Construction Company against the PECAN team of citizens.

It is a healthy community that can chuckle about its real-life follies in the form of a stage farce — this is your opportunity to heal!

Not only does “Cambridonia” promise an amusing script but equally clever musical numbers choreographed by the very talented Shirley Kirks-Mar, accompanied by a live orchestra with Jeff Mar and Ron Perry. The combination of talents involved make everyone look professional, but it is as corny and silly as one may hope a small production like this would tease out.

And Schwalbe loves to tease.

Even his promotional posters try to make you wonder what may be in store for the audience. Is it really about Cambria at all?

He has done his best to keep many elements of the plot secret to “maintain maximum surprise impact on the audience,” Schwalbe told me. “I could never publish these works because of the ‘inside’ nature of the material.”

Can’t get more personal than that.

When asked what his biggest challenge of this year’s Follies was, Schwalbe answered, “Matching or one-upping the previous production that was so well received. How was I going to top what I did last year? Somehow, I devised a script that could be more outrageous than the previous show. It will be up to the viewer to decide if it is or not, but I think it is!”

So, put Wednesday, Aug. 28-Sept. 1 on your calendar starting at 7 p.m. as your friends and neighbors from around Cambria aim to give you one darn good two hours of entertainment! Regular tickets are $25, but “Angel” seats (comfortable seats, I am told) are available for a special donation of $75 and are available at Cambria Chamber of Commerce. All proceeds benefit the Lions Club of Cambria.

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune