Los Banos unveiled its first attempt at community theater last week. Directed by Robert Pagan, "Los Broadway" had a two-day run at the Ted Falasco Arts Center beginning Aug. 23.
"I'm very satisfied with how it turned out. For four weeks (of rehearsal) they did well. A lot of the cast had not done theater before, now they have."
Pagan, 26, gathered a cast of 52 ranging in age from 4 to 65. Los Broadway was the first step in his plan to establish a community theater program in Los Banos. He said he'd like to have a production every six to eight weeks. He has already started holding auditions for his next production, "Into the Woods" by Stephen Sodheim.
The first production was a review of some of Broadway's most popular musicals, 'Phantom of the Opera,' 'Wicked,' 'Fiddler on the Roof,' 'Annie,' 'Oliver' and others. The production is set at the Royal Theater in Wonderland, where the queen is considering banning musical theater.
Pagan's review literally leapt at the audience as there were various instances where scenes started on stage and ended in the audience, and vice versa. Pagan said his view of what theater should be dictates that he engages the audience. He said people can expect it in his productions.
Pagan said the performance of "Los Broadway" went smoothly by the final show. He said there were some issues opening night, but that's to be expected.
"It was normal things like where to place the light," he said.
"Los Broadway," a playful phrase combining the former Hollister resident's new city and his love of theater, acted as a fundraiser for the community theater program. Pagan said the fundraiser, which included a raffle featuring dinners, trips to a renaissance fair and gift certificates to retail stores, took in enough money to pay for his next production.
Arts Council member Cyndi Roelofs, who encouraged Pagan to bring community theater to Los Banos, said she was excited about the attendence for "Los Broadway."
"I thought the show was a huge success. We sold out two shows, and director Robert (Pagan) added a third that was 90 percent sold out," she said. "This project gives a chance for actors of all ages and levels to experience theater and work on their craft year-round. Also, it's a treat for local patrons to have live theater at the Ted Falasco Arts Center."
Pagan's production of "Into the Woods" will debut in November.
Enterprise reporter Corey Pride can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.