Theater Notebook: Felder announces new season; Sarnos honored

A scene from Hershey Felder's "Great American Songbook Singalong"
A scene from Hershey Felder’s “Great American Songbook Singalong” featuring Felder, left, singer Nathan Gunn and his wife, Julie Gunn.
(Hershey Felder Presents)

This week’s San Diego theater report, with news from North Coast Rep, O.B. Playhouse, Moonlight, San Diego Musical Theatre and The Roustabouts


Hershey Felder, the playwright-actor-pianist who has presented nine original filmed and livecast theater shows from Italy over the past 16 months has announced a new season of “Live from Florence” that went on sale this week.

The all-original biographical plays with music will be co-presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre, but details can be found at

“Dante in Florence”: The real-life love story between 14th-century Italian poet Dante Alighieri and his muse, filmed in Florence. Nov. 28

“Mozart in Vienna: Viennese composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and music when he was composing “The Marriage of Figaro.” Jan. 9

“Verdi’s Macbeth”: A new ghost story presented on the 175th anniversary of the premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Macbeth” in Florence’s Teatro della Pergola. March 14

“Rossini: Pesaro and Rome”: The life and music of Italian opera composer Gioachino Rossini filmed in his hometown of Pesaro and in Rome. April 24

“The Assembly”: Filmed at San Diego School of Creative and performing Arts, this new play is inspired by the school lectures held for many decades by the late Eva Libitzky of Florida, who survived the Holocaust in Poland. May 29

“Chopin in Paris”: Felder will create a new version of his “Monsieur Chopin” solo play that will be filmed in Paris, Vienna and Warsaw. Aug. 7

“The Crazy Widow”: The story of Mose de Leon, the 13th century Spanish rabbi who created the mystical Kabbalah tradition. It will be filmed in the walled city of Avila, Spain. Sept. 18, 2022

“Liszt and Wagner in Venice”: The true story of the brittle relationship between 19th century composers Franz Liszt of Hungary and Richard Wagner of Germany. Oct. 30, 2022

Julie and Jay Sarno
Julie and Jay Sarno
(Darin Fong)

Sarnos honored as arts champions

Longtime theater philanthropists Jay and Julie Sarno of Carlsbad were honored Aug. 29 as San Diego “Champions for the Arts” at a gala hosted Aug. 29 by North Coast Repertory Theatre at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

The Sarnos support 11 San Diego County theaters through subscriptions and Jay Sarno has helped provide board education and technical support to theaters countywide. In 2016, Actors Equity gave Jay the “Lucy Jordan Award” for his efforts to support actors’ lives. Julie Sarno was honored in 2012 as a “Woman of Dedication” for serving as chair at numerous organizations’ fundraising galas. She also chairs the annual San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Awards. The Sarnos have also been honored by the North County Philanthropy Council for their dedication to North Coast Rep, where Jay has served for 24 years on the board of directors and Julie worked for many years as the company’s director of development.

Moonlight cancels two performances

Moonlight Stage Productions in Vista was forced to cancel two performances of “A Chorus Line” on Aug. 27 and 28 after it reported online that some members of its fully-vaccinated cast were exposed to COVID-19. In an abundance of caution, the company decided to cancel those two shows and called all of the ticket-holders to offer seats for alternative show dates or a refund. “A Chorus Line” continues through Sept. 5. For details visit

The OB Playhouse & Theatre Company production of "The Rocky Horror Show" has been extended through Oct. 30.
The OB Playhouse & Theatre Company production of “The Rocky Horror Show” has been extended through Oct. 30.
(Courtesy photo)

‘Rocky Horror’ extends run

OB Playhouse and Theatre Company’s summer run of “The Rocky Horror Show” has been extended by two months.

The adult-themed sci-fi sexual parody musical, directed and choreographed by Michael Mizerany with musical direction by Kirk Valles, will play at 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, through Oct. 30, at 4944 Newport Ave., Suite D., in Ocean Beach.

All ticket buyers are required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, and all must wear a face mask during the performance. For details, visit

Rey Lucas in the film "Anonymous Biography: The Arguments of Juan Jose Saer."
(The Old Globe)

Old Globe launches ‘Anonymous Biography’ film

On Monday, the Old Globe launched a free streaming production of Argentinian playwright Juan José Saer’s new play “Anonymous Biography: The Arguments of Juan José Saer.” Both English- and Spanish-language versions of the five-part digital production are now available for viewing through Oct. 31 on the Globe’s YouTube channel.

“Anonymous Biography” presents actor Rey Lucas performing a collection of Saer characters “whose separate perceptions, insights and feelings come together to illuminate the human experience that connects us all.” The project was directed by Johanna McKeon and filmed and edited by Joshua “Lucky” Peters. Visit

SDMT to present ‘Rent’

San Diego Musical Theatre will present a production of Jonathan Larson’s “Rent,” featuring performers in the company’s pre-professional training company. Courtney Corey directs and choreographs the production featuring actors ages 15 to 21.

Performances will be presented from Oct. 1 through 17 at the company’s SDMT Stage building in Kearny Mesa. Tickets are $25 to $30. Ticket buyers must present proof of vaccination or results of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of the performance. Masks are required for all patrons. For details, visit

Kragen writes about theater for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Email her at