Merced County Times Newspaper
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New Playhouse show, great acts at Merced Theatre, and pizza

How bout a pizza? How bout a pizza from the place that was rated No. 1 in Merced by me just a few months ago, but then closed? It’s been closed for a couple months. But, wow — it has just re-opened!

Yes, Pizza Villa, a Merced icon for more than 60 years took the shutters off last weekend. Under new ownership, it’s been busy, they are under-staffed and can’t answer the phones yet. Social media says they may soon be hiring. Same spot – at R & Loughborough.

Wish the new owner good luck and hope they can last another few years.

Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

Summer is over. Well at least the “summer break” for Playhouse Merced. I really don’t know how they can call it a break when they are still very busy, but it was a break from their normal production schedule. During their off time, the children’s’ program was going strong, the annual Gala fundraiser made a ton of money at the Courthouse park and a new troupe put on a show too.

Opening tomorrow night to start a 3-weekend run is Andrew Lloyd Weber’s “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Will it sell out? My gut says “quickly!” – so get your tickets or season passes now. Online or at the box office. You’ll love the sets, costumes, and how can you go wrong with music by Andrew Lloyd Weber? Joseph is one of the most enduring shows of all time, a re-imagining of the Biblical story of Joseph, his father Jacob, eleven brothers and the coat of many colors. Be sure to look at the brochure for the full season as well, and use your calendar’s “save the date” for the rest of this amazing season.

Santana Tribute,
Mark Chestnut

Later in the month, the Merced Theatre, now decked out with its new digital marquee, also opens its 2019-2020 season with two shows. First, on Sept. 21, Caravanserai: The Santana Tribute at 8 pm.

Just 5 days later, Mark Chestnut will return for his third visit to the Theatre, on Thursday, Sept. 26, 8 p.m. The opening act for this show will be Scott Patrick, a very popular local musician formerly part of “Cottonwood Creek.”

Chestnut’s promotion site says, “Mark Chesnut is one of Country’s true musical treasures. Critics have hailed him as a classic Country singer of the first order and some of Country music’s most elite entertainers from George Jones to George Strait echo this sentiment. Mark Chesnut’s stature is easily gauged; he has 14 No. 1 hits, 23 top ten singles, four platinum albums and five gold records.”

I hope he brings plenty of merchandise because I really want to buy his “Proud American” t-shirt. Seat prices range from $29 to $55.

The Merced Theatre also has a rental by Perico Productions earlier in the month on Friday, Sept. 13, “Los Lonely Boys.” If you enjoy the Hispanic Culture, you need to act quickly. As of this writing the entire downstairs is just about full. Tickets are between $35 and $45 dollars.

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