Vaudeville at the Golden State Theatre

The word “vaudeville” evokes a type of popular entertainment long ago replaced by various and sundry electronic media, but like canning, backyard chickens, and other once-quaint old-fashioned pursuits finding fresh hipness today, vaudeville is back.  On Thursday, February 28, a lively troupe of local performers will present Vaudeville at the Golden State Theatre—a fitting historic venue for launching vaudeville’s next chapter.

According to Scott Grover, the show’s producer, Vaudeville at the Golden State will be a fast-paced musical revue that harkens back to the traditional historic style of vaudeville. 

“There will be dance numbers and comedy bits, there will be a magician, and a ton of actors doing myriad skits” he says.  “Most of the material is written by the troupe, with a few other bits and pieces and gags incorporated.”

Grover, who has brought vaudeville to the Golden State from the Alternative Cafe, in Seaside, is excited about the wealth of local talent involved, from set designer Carey Crockett and Emmy-winning director Jim Dultz, to actors such as Michael Lojkovic and Michelle Vallentyne.  The show will be hosted by Brandon Blomquist and Tiffany Decker, and Juan Sanchez will provide musical direction.

After its most recent incarnation as a church, it is good to see the Golden State Theatre serving the public as a venue for live entertainment and a forum for the flourishing of local creativity.  But can this incredible building, built in 1926 and gorgeously restored in 2005, play a role in the renewal of downtown Monterey, a subject of seemingly perpetual discussion and debate?

“Absolutely,” Grover says.  “The Golden State is not just downtown, it is a part of downtown.”  As founder and president of the new Golden State Theatre Partners, Grover has been involved in meetings about Monterey’s future, bringing to the table his passion for the arts, and his belief in the value of live performance.

“Live entertainment is vital to a community and to the health and well-being of its citizens,” he says.

Vaudeville at the Golden State, Thursday, February 28, 8:00 p.m.  Golden State Theatre, 417 Alvarado Street, Monterey, (831) 324-4571.  Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at the door.  Beer, wine, and freshly popped corn will be available.