Lamplighters Community Theatre

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE - LAUGHTER IS THE BEST MEDICINE AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATER

By Kathy Carpenter 

September 1, 2023 (La Mesa) - "Silence is rest for the mind," says Masha - a thought that rings true when pondered upon. With any kind of sound, your mind engages in interpretation. Lamplighters Community Theatre in La Mesa is currently staging the uplifting comedy, "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike." For years, I resisted watching this play due to its seemingly unappealing title. I stand corrected. This production turned out to be uproariously funny and while San Diego hosts numerous humorous shows, not many prompt genuine, laugh-out-loud reactions. "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" is an exception.


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THE KITCHEN WITCHES: THE CANDOR EXPRESS

Review by Kathy Carpenter

 

July 18, 2023 (La Mesa) - A delightful culinary treat where Martha Stewart meets Jerry Springer takes stage as Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents The Kitchen Witches.  The recipe for this play?  Take a spoonful of fun, whisk in plenty of witty dialog, sprinkle in some food chatter, and you will be spellbound for 90 minutes. Written by Caroline Smith, “The Kitchen Witches” combines humor, friendship, the love of food and witches for a spell that will leave you hungry for more. 


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SILKWORMS AT LAMPLIGHTERS: CELEBRATING THREE GENERATIONS OF STRENGTH AND COURAGE

By Kathy Carpenter

 

June 6, 2023 (La Mesa) - "Gioia di vivere!” The joy of living is expressed in Slikworms, Lamplighters Theatre’s latest production, by local playwright Connie Terwilliger. A world premiere, Silkworms represents three generations of women. Silkworms need mulberry leaves to survive; both are interdependent.  Similarly, the women in this play need each other for support and love.

 

The grandmother provides wisdom and guidance, the mother provides love and support and the daughter provides hope and new beginnings. Together, they form a strong and unbreakable bond that sustains them through good times and bad. Silkworms is relatable, humorous and poignant.


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HONKY TONK ANGELS: SASS, CLASS AND COUNTRY MUSIC DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR HEART

By Kathy Carpenter

April 26, 2023 (La Mesa) - Honky Tonk Angels delivers an electrifying dose of pure country energy with a powerhouse cast and a playlist of iconic hits that will have you singing along and cheering for these fierce, flawed and unforgettable women. Written by Ted Swindle, directed by Jonathan Sturch and with Jerrica Ignacio as music director, this musical revue is a must-see for fans of classic country music and the stories that come with it.


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REVIEW - ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST AT LAMPLIGHTER’S IN LA MESA

By Kathy Carpenter

 

March 9, 2023 (La Mesa) - Individuality versus conformity is an eternal conflict and in the case of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, man versus institution. More than that, this is a story of people, with a huge, wonderful cast full of characters to connect to and learn from. The play is emotionally impactful and well-acted; you leave Lamplighters theatre with an impression of right or wrong and individuality at all costs. 


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THE REVLON GIRL - IT’S NOT JUST LIPSTICK

By Kathy Carpenter

 

January 19, 2023 (La Mesa) - After tragedy, life needs to be rebuilt. Lamplighters Theatre presents The Revlon Girl, written by Neil Anthony Docking. With so many tragic events hitting the news these days, it's hard to recall the details from month to month. Disasters need to be remembered and documented. The Revelon Girl humanizes Aberfan in England in 1966, delivering the stories and healing process of four women who lost their children and the woman who volunteers to help them.


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LAMPLIGHTER'S THEATRE REVIEW: THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI - TIMELESS CHRISTMAS ROMANCE THROUGH DEC. 18 AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE IN LA MESA

By Kathy Carpenter

 

December 6, 2022 (La Mesa) - In San Diego, we do not have snow for Christmas. For many, it isn't Christmas without snow. In "The Gifts of The Magi" presented by Lamplighter's Theatre, the character City Her asks the question: how can I tell the Fourth of July from Christmas without snow? The Narrator, Willie Porter, sums up the Christmas season with his reply: people are uncharacteristically civilized.  That’s a term I fell in love with immediately because it's so apt.


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THE 39 STEPS LIGHTS UP LAMPLIGHTERS THROUGH NOV. 6

By Kathy Carpenter

October 24, 2022 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community Theatre deliver a breath of fresh air as we breeze through October into November in a keystone-cop type comedy presentation of The 39 Steps. This play lightens the mood, when normally at this time of year it's all things dark and spooky. The play is a treat -- light-hearted, delightful and a bit of a spoof on film noir classic Hitchcock.


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RICHARD LEDERER, “DR. GRAMMAR GUY” AT LAMPLIGHTERS IN LA MESA SEPT. 10 AND 12

East County News Service

September 8, 2022 (La Mesa) – Richard Lederer, the San Diego Union-Tribune’s language columnist, best-selling language author and former usage editor for the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, will give two humorous presentations at Lamplighters Community Theatre in La Mesa.


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SILENT SKY REVIEW - TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR

By Kathy Carpenter

August 31, 2022 (La Mesa) - One hundred and one years ago on August 26, 1922, women won the right to vote.   Fittingly, Aug. 26 was opening night of Lamplighters Theatre’s production of Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. Disguised as a drama, the show is a gift of history, romance, family connections, and a touch of humor, without the happily-ever-after, depending on how you look at the story. "Simply Marvelous, well-acted, and well-written."


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BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS: ADOLESCENT REFLECTIONS

By Kathy Carpenter

July 14, 2022 (La Mesa) - Who says boys can't be drama queens or their male counterparts?  Lamplighter's presents Brighton Beach Memoirs by Neil Simon and directed by Dennis Floyd.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster filled with laughter and tears. 


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LAMPLIGHTERS PRESENTS NEIL SIMON'S "RUMORS"

By Kathy Carpenter
 
April 12, 2022 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters'  "Rumors" is a classic farce.  A farce is defined as a comedy that seeks to entertain an audience through situations that are highly exaggerated, extravagant, ridiculous, absurd and improbable. With lots of doors, comings and goings and people impersonating other people. An evening of fun and laughter. 

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LAMPLIGHTER’S THEATRE REVIEW: THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL - GOING HOME FEB. 25 - MARCH 20

By Kathy Carpenter

March 2, 2022 (La Mesa) - It's said you can't go home again because nothing will be the same. You have changed in your time away. In the 1940s, elderly Carrie Watts lived in Texas in a small apartment with a controlling daughter-in-law and her hen-pecked son. For 20 years, she kept trying to return to Bountiful, where she had spent the happiest years of her life. The only thing that keeps her going in her aged years is that she keeps trying to sneak out and go back home. She's always been caught, until now.


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LAMPLIGHTERS SERVES UP "THE COCKTAIL HOUR"

Review by Kathy Carpenter

January 19, 2022 (La Mesa) - Do we need permission? These days it is often touted to give yourself permission to move forward. A lot of people may think the whole plot of this play is hooey. As Nike’s slogan says, "Just Do It." But there is also such a thing as respecting others.

Lamplighters Theatre is presenting "The Cocktail Hour," a play written by A.R. Gurney. The play is based on Gurney and his family, a technique not uncommon in playwrights. The story is set in the northeast United States, many decades ago, with a somewhat affluent white family.


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REVIEW: 1940S RADIO HOUR - STEP BACK IN TIME AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE

By Kathy Carpenter 

November 28, 2021 (La Mesa) - Once upon a time, before scrolling through your social media feed, before television, in a simpler time, there was radio--with only a couple of options to choose from. But the family came together and listened. Lamplighter's theatre presents "The 1940s Radio Hour," a musical by Walton Jones touching on the nostalgia of the era. The play is a soothing and peaceful interlude among the chaos of the holiday season’s hustle and bustle.


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LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE PRESENTS “THE 1940S RADIO HOUR”

East County News Service

November 22, 2021 (La Mesa) – Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa will provide a look into yesteryear with its presentation of “The 1940s Radio Hour” by Walton Jones November 26 through December 19.


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REVIEW: “THE FRONT PORCH” AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE NOW THROUGH SEPT. 28 -- PEOPLE ARE PEOPLE

By Kathy Carpenter 

September 14, 2021 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community Theatre  presents "The Front Porch," written and directed by local talent Geoge Bailey. Watching a video back in the winter of 2011 on Martin Luther King Jr, triggered a memory for Bailey. Growing up in Baltimore Maryland, Bailey was too young to recall the riots in 1968. But what he does remember is going with his father when things were safe to visit another family. He was shocked to see  tanks and soldiers with guns in their arms—a vivid childhood memory that inspired the play.


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THE LAST FIVE YEARS: MODERN DAY ROMANCE AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE IN LA MESA

By Kathy Carpenter

August 7, 2021 (La Mesa) - Can A broken romance be romantic? Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa is back. They are presenting Jason Robert Brown's "The Last Five Years" directed by Teri Brown and Johnathan Sturch with Musical Director Christopher T. Miller. The play opened July 23 and runs through August 15.


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LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE PRESENTS “THE LAST FIVE YEARS” JULY 23-AUG. 15

East County News Service

July 24, 2021 (La Mesa) – Live theatre returns at Lamplighters Theatre after a 15-month closure due to COVID-19.  Lamplighters presents “The Last Five Years,” Tony-Award winner Jason Robert Brown’s poignant and smart contemporary musical of five years in the relationship of an ambitious young writer, Jamie, and his struggling actress wife, Cathy. The show runs July 23 through Aug. 15.


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LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE PRESENTS ENCORE ONLINE PERFORMANCE MARCH 12-14: THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKEY

East County News Service

March 7, 2021 (La Mesa) – Lamplighters Community Theatre in La Mesa will present an encore virtual performance March 12-14 of “The Absolutely Brightness of Leonard Pelkey.”  For tickets, click here.


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REVIEW: THE ABSOLUTE BRIGHTNESS OF LEONARD PELKY - LET YOUR BEST SELF SHINE

By Kathy Carpenter

December 8, 2020 (La Mesa) - Dateline with a touch of Glee sprinkled in best describes this virtual performance by Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa. Director O.P. Hadlock's The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey shines a light on two things: first, the brilliant acting of James Steinberg, portraying eight characters in this one man show. It takes a great talent to pull shows like this off and have viewers leave feeling as if a whole group of people were witnessed.


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THEATERS IN THE TIME OF COVID

 
By David L. Coddon
 
Photo:  House of Joy, a virtual production of San Diego Repertory Theatre, courtesy of San Diego Repertory Theatre via Zoom productions.
 
July 30, 2020 (San Diego) - Lamplighters Community Theatre in La Mesa has been producing for 82 seasons, but no season presented the artistic and financial challenges of its proposed 83rd.
 
“We’re just trying to figure out what to do,” said Paul Ericson, president of Lamplighters’ board of directors. “It’s very difficult to plan anything.”
 
Photo, right:  Beethoven, a Zoom production by San Diego Repertory Theatre, courtesy of San Diego Repertory Theatre via Zoom productions

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LAMPLIGHTERS CHRISTMAS PAST REVIEW: TWO FOR ONE

By Kathy Carpenter

December 2, 2019 (La Mesa) - I'm a traditionalist. I want each holiday to have its time. Thus, I refused to watch Christmas movies until after Thanksgiving. Plays...well sometimes, I have to go earlier; I usually need to go in the first couple days to review them and give them adequate time for people to read. In this case, Black Friday was my induction into the Christmas season.


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AND MISS REARDON DRINKS A LITTLE: LAMPLIGHTERS SHOW CELEBRATES IDIOSYNCRACIES

Review By Kathy Carpenter

Photos by Adriana Zuniga Williams

September 8, 2019 (La Mesa) - Life would be dull without the eccentricities that make us who we are. Pulitzer winner Paul Zindel presents us with the delightfully complex characters of three sisters in “And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little,” now playing at Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa through September 22.  The story takes place on an October evening in the apartment of Catherine and Anna Reardon.


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THE SUNSHINE BOYS REVIEW: BREAKUPS ARE NEVER EASY

By Kathy Carpenter

July 19, 2019 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community theatre Presents The Sunshine Boys--a comfortable feud, with laughter at the stuff you can totally agree with.

Directed by Steve Murdock, The Sunshine Boys is about two old vaudeville partners. One day out of the blue, Al Lewis announces he is retiring. Willie Clark is so mad he does not speak to him for eleven years. Clark is not ready to retire.


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NINE THE MUSICAL: A DREAM COMES TRUE ONSTAGE AT LAMPLIGHTERS THEATRE IN LA MESA APRIL 19 - MAY 19

 

 

Review by Kathy Carpenter

April 25, (La Mesa) - Everyone has a dream. Most of us do not get the opportunity to realize the dream. For George Bailey, director of Nine, at least one of his dreams came true. Many years ago he would go to the downtown library and check out albums from different musicals. One day he checked out the album for Nine and went home to listen on his parents’ stereo. He loved the score and identified with the story. A fleeting thought crossed his mind. If he was a director he would direct Nine. The thought was forgotten until Lamplighters brought his dream to life.


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10 OUT OF 12 REVIEW - TO BE OR NOT TO BE - LAMPLIGHTERS MARCH 1-31

 

 

By Kathy Carpenter

March 6, 2019 (La Mesa) - Ever want to see what happens before the show goes on? You 've probably heard of a dress rehearsal. That''s for the actors to run through a play exactly how the show will go. The day before the dress they have what is called a tech rehearsal, which is what the play 10 out of 12 is about.  A tech rehearsal is for the crew and director to know where the director wants the lights to be for every scene, with the stage hands marking where each piece of furniture will go. There are last minute changes, for sound, props and what have you. The cast does have to be there and it is a long day having to repeat everything again and again until all is perfect.


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LAMPLIGHTERS PRESENTS “AND THEN THERE WERE NONE” JAN.11 - FEB. 10

 

East County News Service

January 6, 2019 (La Mesa) -- Lamplighters Theatre in La Mesa presents “And Then There Were None,” based on Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery novel.  The play will be presented Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from January 11th through February 10th.


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PETER AND THE STARCATCHER REVIEW - ADVENTURE ON THE HIGH SEA APRIL 20 - MAY 13

 

By Kathy Carpenter

April 26, 2018 La Mesa) - Pirates, fairies, mermaids. starcatchers, and the little boy who never wanted to grow up: Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson do a great job explaining how Peter Pan, and the elements from the original story came about in a new novel. Rick Elice turned the novel into a play. Raylene J. Wall directed the Lamplighters version and brought the play to life. Fun, silly and well-acted, Peter and the Starcatcher makes you smile.


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LAMPLIGHTERS PRESENTS “PETER AND THE STARCATCHER” APRIL 20-MAY 13

 

East County News Service

April 6, 2018 (La Mesa) - Lamplighters Community Theatre ends its historic 80th season with fun for the whole family in a presentation of Peter and the Starcatcher. Tony-winning Peter and the Starcatcher upends the century-old story of how a miserable orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan).


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