‘California Dreaming’ premieres in new McClure theatre at Spring - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

‘California Dreaming’ premieres in new McClure theatre at Springer

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(Photo credit: Springer Opera House) (Photo credit: Springer Opera House)
(Photo credit: Springer Opera House) (Photo credit: Springer Opera House)
(Photo credit: Springer Opera House) (Photo credit: Springer Opera House)
(Photo credit: Springer Opera House) (Photo credit: Springer Opera House)
(Photo credit: Springer Opera House) (Photo credit: Springer Opera House)

 The Springer Opera House opens a brand new play in a brand new theatre November 14-23.

 "California Dreaming" premieres as the first play to be produced in the McClure Theatre at the State Theatre of Georgia.

 "California Dreaming" was written by Springer producing director Paul R. Pierce and Debbie Anderson. It is a musical journey back to the late 1960s and early ‘70s when the tight harmonies of folk music met the electronic guitars of rock and roll. California became the destination for musicians as young people put down their pom poms and footballs, strapped on Rickenbackers and began to play a new music that featured beautiful harmony with a driving beat.

 Groups like the Beach Boys, The Byrds, the Mamas and the Papas, the Fifth Dimension, the Grateful Dead, and Crosby, Stills and Nash made music history with songs like "Surfin' U.S.A.," "Dream a Little Dream of Me," "Our House," "Monday, Monday," "Good Vibrations," "Up, Up and Away" and "California Dreamin'." (All of which will be featured in "California Dreaming.")

 Pierce said he was inspired to create this show when "Good Vibrations," a Beach Boys musical flopped on Broadway.

"That made me mad," he said. "Someone was able to get a Beach Boys musical on Broadway. And they messed it up."

 "People love the music of this era from this area," he continued. "Remember when lyrics were king? When bands actually sang in harmony? It's a hopeful music that speaks of a brighter day for humanity."

 He recruited Anderson, who has worked with him on so many musical projects. Anderson, the wife of Springer associate artistic director Ron Anderson, is a long-time performer on the Springer stage and a professor of music at Columbus State.

 The McClure, which has informally been dubbed "The Dot," is the realization of a 40-year dream. The Springer was slated for demolition to make way for a parking lot in the early 1960s when a group of theatre patrons managed to stave off the wrecking ball.

 They cleaned up the building which had been abandoned for several years and began putting on plays. From the beginning they dreamed of building a second theatre for children's plays and studio productions of plays that are more suitable for an intimate, smaller space than the 700-seat Mainstage of Emily Woodruff Hall.

  The McClure Theatre was the culmination of a $11.5 million campaign that also resulted in the construction of four new classrooms and offices for the Springer Theatre Academy in two renovated buildings on the property.

 "California Dreaming" runs at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 14-16 and Nov. 21-23, and at 2:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 17.

Call 706-327-3688 or visit springeroperahouse.org for tickets or more information.

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