Coronado's eclectic eight-play season also features some San Diego premieres, including "The Pinchpenny Phantom of the Opera," a parody of "The Phantom of the Opera," played by four actors in the setting of a very cheap opera company, June 6-Aug. 22; a new play, "Smart Aleck," about drama critic Alexander Woollcott (to be played by Montgomery), Sept. 5-19, and the rarely done Cole Porter musical "Out of This World," featuring the song "From This Moment On," Oct. 31-Dec. 5.
Montgomery said his hope is to open the new space in time for the company's 50th anniversary. In the meantime, he makes no apology for the Coronado Playhouse's current community theater status.
"I think there's a very strong need to have a semiprofessional niche that's in between collegiate work and professional work--not only to help people on their way to their professions, but for people who must do theater as an avocation because they have families to support. And that doesn't mean they don't have a long and abiding talent for what they do."
PROGRAM NOTES: The Milwaukee-based Great American Children's Theatre Company added another Thursday performance to its March 2-6 production of "The Wind in the Willows" at the Spreckels Theatre to accommodate children on the waiting list. More than 14,000 local youths are expected during the course of the run. Maurice Stein, who has made masks for "The Planet of the Apes," created the masks for Mr. Toad, Mole, Ratty and Badger. For tickets, call 1-800-852-9772. . . .
Steve Gunderson will leave "The Heidi Chronicles" on March 1 to understudy one of the actors in the "Forever Plaid" tour of Japan. Dan O'Connor will replace him through the end of "The Heidi Chronicles" run.
SIX-WOMAN HIT 'BEEHIVE' TOURS '60S SOUNDS
Whatever weird harmonic convergence "Suds," "Forever Plaid" and "Six Women With Brain Death" struck with San Diego audiences, "Beehive," the new six-woman hit at The Theatre in Old Town, seems plugged into it, too. The show is nothing heavy, but it's great fun from the moment the women appear with their beehive hairdos and hair spray and start singing a host of hits through the '60s, swiftly changing clothes and styles in the process. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, through March 15. At 4040 Twiggs St., San Diego. Call 688-2494.