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A Maturing C. Hook Offers A Little Sunshine
LA MESA -- Just a few years back, C. Hook Theater was founded to give graduates of the successful Peter Pan Jr. Theater a way to continue in community theater into their high school years.
Today, after seven successful annual shows, C. Hook has matured, both literally and figuratively. When the cast takes the stage later this month for a reprise of its original 2007 show, Little Mary Sunshine, there will be actors from La Jolla, Chula Vista, and North County mixed in with the usual heavy dose of La Mesa and East County talent.
"Word has spread among the theater crowd that this is an opportunity for a good experience,'' said Mark Arapostathis, C. Hook's director. "It has become competitive to get a part.''
And as the talent has matured and come from further afield, the quality of these shows has deepened as well. C. Hook's work is more on a par with an adult community theater than school productions.
This year's show -- Little Mary Sunshine -- also reflects the maturing of the troupe. The show operates on several levels, mixing a level of silliness with an underlying satirical send-up of the musical form itself. It is at the same time a period piece, comedic and smart.
"You have to have the chops to do a show like this,'' Arapostathis says. "These kids are up to it.''
And if you hang around a dress rehearsal, you are also apt to see veterans of the group, returning home from college and checking in to lend a hand and keep in touch with their roots. On a recent Saturday, the collegiate on-lookers included one former actor back from medical school and another heading off for a summer internship with a U.S. Senator. That, Arapostathis points out, is a message of the value of arts education.
C. Hook's shows are presented at the Kroc Center on University Avenue. You can click here for tickets for this June 25-28 run.