Two productions – “Social Security” and “Little Women” – are currently playing at the Canyon Theatre Guild’s Old Town Newhall location and each one offers a unique theater experience for a wide range of ages.
“Social Security” focuses on a trendy Manhattan art gallery couple whose life is upended when the wife’s sister from Long Island deposits their eccentric mother on the couple’s doorstep while she and her husband head to Buffalo to “rescue” their daughter from her newly-adopted wild college lifestyle.
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The art dealers introduce the mother to a suave, spry 90-something-year-old artist and then the fun really begins. Set in the 1980s, “Social Security” is a hilarious take on the “golden years.”
Directed by Ingrid Boydston, one of the favorite comedy directors of the CTG, the cast features seasoned stage veterans from the Santa Clarita Valley and beyond, including Lori D’Itri, Michael Collins, Nancy Lantis, Jymn Magon, Marla Khayat and Darel Roberts. “Social Security” is adult comedy and not recommended for young audiences.
The story of “Little Women,” from Louisa May Alcott’s famous novel, is so well known and loved that it will never grow old. The current dramatization on stage, under the direction of Randy Aronson, faithfully embraces the essence of the novel, interweaving the lives of the March girls, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, and Laurie, the boy next door, as they grow up happily together. What some people may not know is that Ms. Alcott actually wrote two books, the first being “Little Women” and the second, “Good Wives.” It is from the first book that this script has been adapted.
The time is during the Civil War, and the place is New England. Marmee (Gin Treadwell-Eng), Meg (Charissa Wilson), Jo (Sandra Kate Burck), Beth (Tyler Joy Bannerman) and Amy (Justine Kelly) struggle during difficult times, while Mr. March (John Morris)has gone to serve as a chaplain in the Union Army. The family is poor, but happy in their love for each other, and they are cared for by their long-time maid, Hannah (Jane Arnett) who has become like one of the family and vexed from time to time by visits from crusty old Aunt March (Patti Finley). The girls unofficially “adopt” neighbor Laurie (Gregory Rosenberg) as the brother they never had, and develop a warm friendship with his grandfather, Mr. Laurence (Greg Finley), and Laurie’s tutor, John Brooke (John Tanksley).
“Little Women” has Saturday and Sunday matinee performances at 2 p.m. on April 2, 3, 9, 16. 17 and 23, and Sunday evening performances at 6:30 p.m. on April 10. Tickets are $10-$12 for juniors/seniors, and $12-$15 for all others. “Social Security” has performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. on April 2, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23. There is a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. on April 10. Tickets are $10-$12 for juniors (under 18) and seniors (62 and over) and $12-$15 for all others.
To make reservations, call the box office at 661-799-2702. The Canyon Theatre Guild is located at 24242 Main Street in Newhall.