New Village Arts to present Leonard Bernstein musical revue at the Flower Fields

Trevor Rex and Johnisa Breault in New Village Arts' "Leonard Bernstein's New York."
(Amanda Tsai)

The two-character musical includes songs from “West Side Story,” “On the Town” and “Wonderful Town”


While its home theater undergoes renovation this summer and fall, Carlsbad’s New Village Arts is presenting a second season of theatrical performances on the outdoor stage at the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch.

Kicking off the theatrical season is “Leonard Bernstein’s New York,” a two-character musical revue that spotlights the songs that longtime New York-based composer and conductor wrote with his musical friends Betty Comden, Adolph Green and Stephen Sondheim.

The musical will feature two performers, Johnisa Breault and Trevor Rex, who will play a pair of New Yorkers, one a longtime resident and one fresh off the bus, who dance and sing their way through the city using the musical’s score to describe their experiences in the city.

Trevor Rex and Johnisa Breault in New Village Arts' "Leonard Bernstein's New York."
(Amanda Tsai)

Kristianne Kurner, New Village’s executive artistic director, said she learned a lot last summer about the type of theater entertainment that worked best on the outdoor stage at the Flower Fields. Because the stage platform doesn’t have a backstage area for scenery or costume changes, she plans to present smaller-cast shows this summer that celebrate the performers singing, acting and dancing talents.

“When I came across ‘Leonard Bernstein’s New York,’ obviously his music is amazing, but what I really liked about it was that while it has two characters, a boy and a girl, it doesn’t fall into the whole traditional boy-meets-girl story. It’s really about how you create community and, for me, it’s such a love letter to New York City.”

Kurner studied at the Actor’s Studio in New York City before moving to San Diego two decades ago, and in May she visited New York and attended several Broadway plays with her son, Jonah, who lives there. The experience reminded her of what she loves most about the city and how “Leonard Bernstein’s New York” epitomizes that relationship.

“It’s about the possibilities that exist in New York. You see the journey of arriving in New York and the challenges of being there, but also what it’s like being around the brilliant genius-level artists of New York City. “

The revue was conceived and arranged by Rob Fisher. Among its featured songs are “Something’s Coming,” “Maria” and “Mambo” from “West Side Story,” “Lonely Town” and “New York, New York” from “On the Town” and “Ohio” and “A Little Bit In Love” from “Wonderful Town.”

Kurner said that while the Flower Fields are no longer in bloom, the manicured gardens around the stage are in full bloom. And the stage and seating areas have an awning overhead to reduce sun exposure.

“It’s such a beautiful location and so comfortable out there for people. We’re happy to continue our partnership with the Flower Fields,” she said.

‘Leonard Bernstein’s New York’

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and July 1, 6, 7, 13, 15, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28 and 29. 2 p.m. July 3, 10, 24 and 31

Where: The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch, 5704 Paseo Del Norte, Carlsbad

Tickets: $28-$40

Phone: (760) 433-3245