By: Jules Verne
By: Jules Verne
We are deeply grateful for your support of the ACTC and the Lyceum during this unprecedented time, as we continue to do our part to slow the spread of Coronavirus. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by COVID-19, and we truly wish health and safety for you and your family.
In previous communication we made a promise to closely monitor COVID-19 updates and government mandates regarding the reopening of our theater. As hopeful as it is to see local businesses beginning to reopen under Governor Newsom’s Phase II plan, we have yet to receive official clearance from Vanguard and the Governor’s office to reopen the Lyceum Theater for our scheduled July events. We understand there are still many unknowns and plans continue to change daily, but in communication with Vanguard and ACTC’s Artistic Producing Director, we have made the difficult and unfortunate decision to cancel The Marvelous Wonderettes scheduled for July 2-27, as well as both ACCT Workshops.
The Marvelous Wonderettes will be postponed until Summer 2022, and ACCT’s workshops will be postponed until July 2021.
Regarding future events at the Lyceum Theater:
While there may be additional unforeseen scheduling changes, please know this is our commitment to you so that you may purchase your season ticket subscriptions with confidence: if performances are rescheduled or cancelled, you will always have the option to receive a full refund, credit for a future performance within our season, or donate the tickets to Vanguard’s Theatre Department and receive a tax deduction for the total ticket value. Vanguard University’s ACTC is a not-for-profit organization and relies on community support to present high-quality performances, impactful education programs, and free community events. Please consider donating your tickets if you are able. Your donation will help us re-open safely and strongly as soon as possible.
Please know as we look forward to our upcoming 21/22 theatre season this fall, everyone at Vanguard and the Lyceum is working diligently to present a safe, healthy and enjoyable venue for us all to once again share the joy of live theatre.
Lyceum Theater Manager
This smash Off-Broadway hit takes you to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where we meet Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy: four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts! As we learn about their lives and loves, the girls serenade us with classic ‘50s hits including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” “Stupid Cupid,” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.” In Act II, the Wonderettes reunite to take the stage and perform at their ten-year reunion. We learn about the highs and lows the girls have experienced in the past decade and are charmed to find that no matter what life throws their way, they will conquer it together. Featuring over 30 classic ’50s and ’60s hits, The Marvelous Wonderettes will keep you smiling in this must-take musical trip down memory lane!
Fridays at 7:30 pm
Saturdays at 2:00 & 7:30 pm
Sundays at 2:00 pm
Written by Daniella Litvak
Rock ‘n’ roll belongs to everyone, but the origin of The Beat Goes On belongs to Orange County. Back in 2014 Vanda Eggington created The Beat Goes On as a showcase for Vanguard University’s students. It was a hit. Now it’s back, but it’s not just a repeat of a previous success. This time The Beat Goes On is an American Coast Theater (the resident professional theater of Vanguard University) production. In addition to the professional upgrade, Eggington has also made some changes that include more material.
So what’s it all about? The short answer is that it’s a recounting of the history of rock ‘n’ roll in the style of a musical revue. Featuring music from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today, each time period has song and dance segments dedicated to the rock ‘n’ roll music of its era. In between and throughout these sections the Narrators not only provide background information for the music but they also bring the audience up to speed on what else is happening in the world at that particular time.
As someone who’s always liked history class, I don’t mind when the Narrators start lecturing. Nevertheless I appreciate the show for coming up with more creative framing devices —such as the infomercial shown during the 70’s —and for allowing the Narrators to be more interactive with the rest of the cast as we progress. I also like how the show becomes progressively more tongue-in-cheek with the performers gleefully embracing the campy and zany aspects of the music they perform.
It’s not all bubblegum pop though. Even if you’re already familiar with the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War, the images and songs from the time still strike a chord. Despite being very brief, one of the most poignant moments of the night is when Justin Budds sings a bit of “Mrs. Robinson” while narrating about Watergate.
It’s important to remember that the songs are performed in a medley style. There may be times when you wish the whole song (or even just one more chorus) would be performed, but the song choices contained in each medley are well chosen. They actually use this format to their advantage— particularly in allowing the men and women to sing counterpoint to one another.
Overall the singing is good. Some consistency issues still occur though, particularly at the beginning when the performances feel a bit too restrained. Once the 60’s roll around the performers really get into the grove. They have some great energy and stage presence. It is clear the entire cast put their heart into the show, which pays off in the results because there are a lot of great moments.
The Beat Goes On invites you to reflect and revel in our past and present. Things have changed. Yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. No matter how uneasy we feel about the social climate or the growing sense of isolation from one another, we’ll always have rock ‘n’ roll to lift our spirits.