At first it seemed like a really fun idea to see a play about a family making a home video to send in to the ABC network show "Extreme Makeover."
You remember, it was one of the first home-makeover shows aired. Neighbors and community volunteers were enlisted to help the celebrity host remodel a home for one lucky family. After 50 minutes of remodeling and styling the home, the reveal always came at the very end of the show when the host and volunteers chanted into the camera, "move that bus!"
New playwright Makasha Copeland sets this one act 90-minute play near her home in Kingsville, Texas in May 2007.
The Vega family live in a broken-down-mobile home near the King Ranch. Valentina Vega (Tamarin K. Ythier) has recently been widowed and now, as the sole provider for her family, she is desperate to get help to repair her home.
Her big idea is to make a video to send in to the ABC network for a chance to be chosen for an upcoming episode of "Extreme Makeover."
Recruiting her family's help, 16-year-old son Marco (Ramon Villa) gets his 10-year-old sister Lupe (Dani Diaz) involved too. As it happens, Valentina has just enough VHS space to record 5-daily segments to present their case. But it's Grandmother Guadalupe (Leticia Bombardier) who adds the real pathos when she suggests "they'd have better luck to be picked if Lupe had an illness." David (Javier Guerrero) makes a brief cameo toward the end.
Olivia Espinosa directs; Alyssa Kane is the scenic designer, and Nathan Waits is the set builder. Ted Leib did sound design and lighting is by Mitchell Simkovsky. The projection designer is Estefania Ricalde and Rosa Sanchez handled costumes.
Playing at Scripps Ranch Theatre on the Alliant International campus until Dec. 4 with plenty of free parking. For tickets, call 858-395-0573 or visit https://scrippsranchtheatre.org. Rated 6 out of 10.
The family friendly "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" will play at Christ the King Lutheran Church on Dec. 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 10 and 17 at 2 p.m. All cast members are 7-18 years old. Call 760-728-3256 for tickets.
Coming soon is "Two Pianos 4 Hands" at North Coast Repertory in Solana Beach. If you missed it when this show was in town, here's your chance to catch it. For tickets, call 858-481-1055 or visit https:// northcoastrep.org.
"Plaid Tidings" opens at San Diego Musical Theatre on Nov. 25, playing through Dec. 24. Guaranteed to tickle your funny bone. Tickets at 858-560-5740 or http://www.sdmt.org.
Closer to home, PowPac is running with "1940's Radio Christmas Carol" until Dec. 4. Tickets at 858-679-8085 or http://powpac.org.
Hot off the press: The Cygnet Theatre in Old Town will have a new home in 2024. They will be a part of the arts district at Liberty Station in their new venue at the Joan and Irwin Jacobs Performing Art Center. Currently "A Christmas Carol" is playing at the Old Town location. For tickets: 619-337-1525 or https://www.cygnettheatre.com/.
Broadway San Diego is in full swing. "Annie" will open later in December. For tickets, visit https://www.broadwaysd.com/upcoming-events/annie/. Harry Connick, Jr. plays for one night on Dec. 11 at the Balboa Theater downtown.
The Diversionary Theatre downtown is open for Cabaret nights throughout the week. Also, their new connection to La Jolla Playhouse will feature " a vibrant...cast of trans, non-binary and Queer performers in Shakespeare's "As You Like It." For details call 858-550-1010 or visit https://lajollaplayhouse.org/.
Lastly, The Old Globe is full of holiday spirit. Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" closes on Dec. 31 along with "Ebenezer Scrooge's Big San Diego Christmas show" closing on the 24th. For tickets, visit https://www.theoldglobe.org or call 619-234-5623. Always ask about prepaid parking.
Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected].