Sizzling Season 60 in Solvang

By Steven Libowitz   |   June 18, 2024
Cult classic Little Shop of Horrors launches the PCPA Theaterfest (photo by Luis Escobar)

I’ve been singing the Solvang Festival Theater’s praises for decades, and the little amphitheater downtown in the Danish-themed village – call it the Santa Ynez Valley’s scaled-down version of the Santa Barbara Bowl – has only burnished that bountiful reputation with the recent renovations. While concerts and other events now also take place on the stage under the starlit skies, PCPA Theaterfest is still the primary producer of entertainment during the summer, and this year’s celebratory 60th season of repertory theater offers lots to anticipate. 

The cult classic musical Little Shop of Horrors launches the summer June 13 through July 7, as Audrey, the carnivorous, blood-craving plant, helps to save Seymour’s struggling flower shop on Skid Row in the laugh-out-loud musical spoof of B-movies from Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Side-splitting humor also subsumes the stage July 12-28 in The Play That Goes Wrong, an award-winning comedy about a decidedly amateur theater company attempting to put on a 1920s murder mystery, and trying to cope when just about anything that can derail a production does, with results even worse, and funnier, than the title suggest. 

Humor takes a breather for the summer’s centerpiece, the Kander & Ebb musical Cabaret, running August 2-25. The iconic work – set in Berlin almost a century ago, when the free-wheeling 1920s days of excess were stomped on by the emerging Third Reich – still resonates in our modern world. The serious and timely note continues for the season-closer in The Agitators, running August 29-September 8, Mat Smart’s historical play of rebellion, revolution, passion and sacrifice that depicts the relationship between the young abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony in upstate New York in
the 1840s. 

Visit or call (805) 922-8313 for information and tickets, and enjoy a rare opportunity to see top-flight theater outdoors. 


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