The queen of jazz, Ella Fitzgerald, comes to the Lesher Arts Center this weekend as Center Repertory Theater presents "Ella, the Musical."
Yvette Cason, who played Effie in the Broadway hit "Dreamgirls," portrays the musical icon.
Set in 1966, the musical weaves myth, memory and music to tell the uplifting and poignant story of one of the greatest jazz vocalists of all time.
In between singing such hits as "They Can't Take That Away From Me," "How High the Moon," and "That Old Black Magic," the fabled songstress reflects on her life, her secrets and her love of music.
Robert Barry Fleming directs. The show runs Sept. 6—Oct. 12. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
Also opening at the Lesher Center this weekend is the heartwarming, hilarious fractured fairy tale "Shrek the Musical."
Diablo Theatre Company recreates the fantasy Kingdom of Far Far Away where a swamp-dwelling ogre and his chatterbox donkey become a slightly altered version of the standard heroic knight and noble steed.
Other unusual fairy-tale characters include a Gingerbread Man with an attitude and Three Blind Mice channeling their own inner Dreamgirls.
Kikau Alvaro directs and choreographs the DTC production with Jerry Lee (Shrek), Brittany Danielle (Fiona), Alex Alvarez (Donkey), and Chris Vettel (Lord Farquaad) heading up a cast of 22.
Bill Chessman continues his original radio plays with two short works at 8 p.m. Sept. 6-7, and at 2 p.m. Sept. 8.
Performances begin with "Jungle Gem," which follows the exploits of Buzz Comstock and his dwindling band of explorers as they journey through the jungle to find a fabled jewel.
Following a brief intermission, the action continues with "Cleaners," a space odyssey chronicling the first manned landing on Mars and a most remarkable discovery.
The cast features the voice talent of Deborah Bialik, Don Bialik, Bill Chessman, Kevin Donnelly, Patricia Inabnet, Mary Kidwell, Edward Kimak, and Tom Westlake.
Shows are at Under the Sun Studios, 2956 Treat Blvd., Suite B, in Concord. Tickets, priced at $10, are available at the door or online at https://junglegemcleaners.eventbrite.com.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.