No Square Theatre’s season, topped by the 20th anniversary of its flagship production, “Lagunatics,” begins Feb. 3 and 4 with a reading of “My Funny Valentine,” a “new” musical written by Chris Quilter.
The script, which sat in his “drawer of dust-covered dreams” for years, incorporates the music of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart and is an ideal fit for the company’s latest project: the Great American Songbooks series, which also includes productions March 16-17, April 27-28 and June 8-9. These cabaret-style concerts survey the work of composers and lyricists such as Frank Loesser, George and Ira Gershwin, and Irving Berlin.
“Valentine” is directed by Joe Lauderdale, music directed by Roxanna Ward, and features some of the company’s top vocal talent, including Steve McIntosh, Natalie Powers, and Bree Burgess Rosen. “I’ve rewritten the script so many times over the years, I don’t know what to expect,” Quilter said in an invite to friends.
“Because this is a reading, the actors are on script, there are no sets or costumes, and we are not charging admission. But you must have a ticket. We hope you will make a tax-deductible donation as part of the checkout process to offset the costs of the reading and keep the lights on,” he said. $20 per person is suggested.
In July, No Square returns to the Artists’ Theatre for a midsummer family musical though the perfect summer show has yet to be determined.
The musical parody “Roast of the Coast” will celebrate 20 years of “schlock and awe” with a “best of” retrospective at the Forum Theater in October. Since its inception, the show has raised funds for local nonprofits, including the Laguna Playhouse, Laguna Shanti, Laguna Beach Seniors, the Community Clinic, the Artists’ Theatre and others.
In addition to these productions, No Square continues its Local Vocals Open Mic Nights, kids chorus, and summer theater camp in its rehearsal and performance space in Legion Hall, where it moved in 2009. The company expects to wrap up $50,000 in renovations this year.