October 5 – 28 at the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley
This fall, Sierra Stages concludes its ninth season with the critically acclaimed musical “Ordinary Days” written by composer/lyricist Adam Gwon. Sandra Rockman directs, with music direction by Ken Getz, and featuring local Nevada County actors Jay Barker, Nancy Haffey, Jonathan Hansard, and Kim Wellman.
From one of musical theatre’s most exciting new composers comes “Ordinary Days”, a refreshingly honest and funny musical about making real connections in the city that never sleeps. In the bustle and routine of New York, “Ordinary Days” tells the story of four everyday people discovering that their dreams, their passions, and their struggles are anything but ordinary. This intimate musical – about finding the beauty and the extraordinary in the everyday – has been called “a quietly affecting show” by the New York Times and “arrestingly poetic” by the Los Angeles Times.
“‘Ordinary Days’ is an incredibly compelling musical,” says music director Getz, who also accompanies the actors on piano during performances. “Our director (Sandra), our four actors (Jay, Nancy, Jonathan and Kim), and I worked on a one-night reading of the show as part of our Theater by the Book play reading series in the spring of 2015 and we all truly loved the show, so much so that we began looking for a way to do a full production and explore the characters and songs in greater depth. When we were putting together our season for 2017, we thought that an intimate four-person musical with solo piano would perfectly complement our very large 20-person/16-musician summer musical, Chicago.”
The New York Times review of the original Off-Broadway production proclaimed: “‘Ordinary Days’ introduces a promising newcomer to our talent-hungry musical theater, the composer and lyricist Adam Gwon. Mr. Gwon writes crisp, fluid and often funny lyrics that reflect the racing minds of the four New Yorkers on a nervous search for their immediate futures.”
The Washington Post review called the musical “a sweet and tender survey of four New Yorkers, fighting through the emotional noise and dramatic traffic to arrive at a clearer sense of who they are and what they want to be. It’s a beguiling little tale, set to composer Adam Gwon’s effervescent, urban-romantic melodies.”
The Post review continued: “Gwon’s 19 songs are the evening’s sole engine. They’re lyrically witty and rich enough in narrative and character detail to power the dual plots of the musical. One tale revolves around strangers and the other, around lovers. In the former, a connection is made after Warren finds Deb’s misplaced treasure, the book containing all of the notes for her dissertation on Virginia Woolf, and arranges to give it back to her. In the latter, cohabiting Jason and Claire learn that building a city nest requires more compromise and patience than they bargained for. The two stories converge only tangentially, in that random way people in a large metropolis might brush past each other, once or maybe as many as 100 times, in a Starbucks, a park, or a museum. Incidentally, the Warren-and-Deb plot is about friendship, not romance. It’s one of the refreshing dichotomies constructed by Gwon, who can invest a platonic story with as much meaning as one about passion.”
“When we did the one-night reading of ‘Ordinary Days’ almost three years ago now, we had no idea whether anyone would show up because virtually no one had ever heard of the show, the songs, or the composer/lyricist,” says Getz. “We were pleasantly surprised that night to have an overflow crowd, all of whom were immediately engaged by the music, story and characters. We’re hoping those folks will come see our full production with sets, lights, costumes, and even more deeply drawn characters and even more nuanced singing of the songs by our terrific cast, and will tell their friends to come as well and experience this moving, thoughtful, and funny show.”
“Ordinary Days” plays for four weekends only from October 5 – 28 at the Off Center Stage, 315 Richardson Street, Grass Valley. Performances are Thursdays (October 5 and October 26) at 7 PM; Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM; and Sundays (October 8 and October 15) at 2 PM. General Admission is $25; Reserved Seating is offered at $35 and is available for audience members who wish to select specific seat locations in advance and provide additional financial support to the production and Sierra Stages. $15 Student Rush tickets (for students age 25 and under with a valid student ID) are offered at the door beginning ½ hour before each performance, subject to availability. For tickets and information, visit www.SierraStages.org or call Sierra Stages at 530.346.3210. There are NO ADDITIONAL CHARGES for purchasing tickets online.
Sierra Stages is a tax-exempt nonprofit community theatre based in western Nevada County with a mission to provide quality productions that are affordable and accessible to everyone. Since it began in 2008, Sierra Stages has presented 32 plays and musicals at various venues in Grass Valley and Nevada City.
In addition, Sierra Stages and the Miners Foundry Cultural Center co-present Theater by the Book, a series of informal play readings throughout the year. This fall, the fifth season of this popular series concludes with “Stage Kiss” by Sarah Ruhl on Wednesday, October 25. The readings are free, with a suggested $10 donation. For more information about Sierra Stages, visit www.SierraStages.org or call (530) 346-3210.
What: The musical “Ordinary Days” by composer/lyricist Adam Gwon
When: October 5-28 Thursdays (October 5 and October 26) at 7 pm; Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays (October 8 and October 15) at 2 pm
Where: Off Center Stage, 315 Richardson Street, Grass Valley
Information: www.SierraStages.org or call (530) 346-3210