Evangeline Elston
For the Tribune

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June 26, 2014
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Another summer full of theater at Valhalla

Valhalla Tahoe is known for its wonderful theater productions. From locals to weekenders, folks look forward to a summer of theater at the lake. This summer is no different with Valhalla Tahoe producing two plays for the Valhalla Art, Music and Theatre Festival: “The Servant of Two Masters” to be performed at the Boathouse Theatre and “August: Osage County” at Lake Tahoe Community College’s Duke Theatre.

As some readers know the Boathouse Theatre is a stunning place to see a play or a concert. It is an intimate and historic building with ambiance unmatched in the Tahoe Basin. But the size of the stage and the limited backstage area makes some plays impossible to produce there. That hasn’t stopped Valhalla from presenting wonderful theater there through the years but it does dictate the productions that are chosen.

This year Valhalla Tahoe has embarked on a very exciting partnership with Lake Tahoe Community College to produce the critically acclaimed play, “August: Osage County” in LTCC’s Duke Theatre. Normally dark during the summer months, the Duke Theatre offers a much larger stage and production space to work with as well as more seats in the house. “August: Osage County” is a production that requires more space so Valhalla’s Board of Directors and the play’s director are thrilled to be working with LTCC this season and hope the relationship will be long lasting.

Picture this: It’s August in Osage County, OK. A vanished father. A pill-popping mother and three sisters harboring little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Mix in Violet, the drugged-up, scathingly acidic matriarch, and you’ve got a major new play that unflinchingly — and uproariously — exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family.

Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts were both nominated for Academy Awards in the 2013 film version of this Pulitzer Prize winning play. The stage production, which won the 2008 Tony Award for Best Play, allows for a level of humor and connection to a greater range of characters that the movie did not. If you’ve seen the movie, come see the play. If you haven’t seen the movie, come see the play. “August: Osage County” will run for two weekends at LTCC’s Duke Theatre, July 24-27 and July 31-Aug. 2.

“The Servant of Two Masters” is a family friendly comedy directed by recent Ashland University graduate, Ethan Niven. Whether it’s date night, girls night out, or family night, make your plans today to see this hilarious play. “The Servant of Two Masters” is a high-flung/low-brow comedy about a hungry servant who hatches a scheme to double his wages (and his meals) by serving two masters at once. You don’t want to miss this sometimes bawdy, always charming hit The Washington Post hailed as a “bowlful of joy!” “The Servant of Two Masters” will also run two weekends, July 10-13 and July 17-20 at Valhalla’s Boathouse Theatre.

Back by popular demand, the Valhalla Art, Music and Theatre Festival presents the Tahoe Improv Players, the longest running improve troupe at South Lake Tahoe. It’s simple. They make stuff up, you laugh. These shows are so popular we decided to extend their engagement again this summer to four dates. You can see them perform at the Boathouse Theatre July 8 and 22 and Aug. 5 and 12.

And, finally, a quick reminder that on Tuesday, July 1, we’ll have live, locally grown jazz featuring South Lake Tahoe band the Alan Miller Trio, performing jazz standards and a few surprises. Alan studied guitar at the famed Southern California “Guitar Institute of Technology.” Alan is backed by Dory Smith on bass and vocals, veteran performer with Coolwater from the MS Dixie. The rhythm section is Steve Katzman on drums. Steve played in numerous jazz combos and often jammed with the late great Jim Aton. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Boathouse Theatre and tickets are only $12!

For information on all Valhalla art, Music and Theatre Festival events, visit www.valhallatahoe.com or call the office at 530-541-4975.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jun 26, 2014 08:28PM Published Jun 26, 2014 08:28PM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.