About a year ago, it was a very boring Friday evening. My husband and I had nothing to do. Two friends of ours asked us to go to the Great American Melodrama Theater in Oceano, California. We had not attended this sort of show before, but only lived a few miles away, and had heard great things about it. That slow Friday night turned into a monthly tradition!
If you have never attended the Great American Melodrama, located in Oceano, California, you are missing out. We have seen tons of shows there. This group of performers offers comedy, light-hearted drama, music, excellent singing, food drinks, audience participation, and a family-friendly atmosphere sure to please just about anyone. And it is only between $18.00 and $22.00. You can even purchase a seasonal pass that saves quite a bit of money.
After you park in one of the cost-free parking places located just outside of the theater, you can either purchase your tickets at the old-fashioned ticket booth, or get in line to enter with your pre-purchased ticket. Once the doors open, you will find yourself in a different world. The ushers are all dressed in costume and ready to up on stage once everyone is seated. There are a variety of different types of seating. They range from booths, small tables, and benches. You will notice while you are taking your seat, that many of the cast in that night’s play are singing merrily while getting the room ready for their performance. A wonderful atmosphere!
Once you have found your seat, and take your coat off, you can get in line to purchase lots of yummy snacks in the snack bar in back. There are nachos, sandwiches, pretzels, candy, etc. As far as drinks go, there is wine by the glass or by the carafe. There is beer by the glass or by the pitcher. And there’s plenty of soda, lemonade, milk, and water for the kiddies. The best part about purchasing your food is the manner in which it is served. The cast, in full costume, serves you, while singing the entire time and ringing a cow bell when your order is up.
Going back to your seat, you will find that the show has already begone. A gentleman comes out to ask the audience who is having birthdays and anniversaries. If you are brave enough to raise your hand or have friends or family to do it for you, (like me), then you will be sung a very old-fashioned, birthday or anniversary song.
Immediately following the birthday and anniversary celebrations, a dyeing form of entertainment ensues. Vaudeville! This is a sort of opening act for the featured play. It comes in all forms. During the holiday season, for instance, they do what they are famous for, The Reindeer Rap. Or they will do spoof on some sort of current event or political agenda. It is hard to explain. You will just have to see it for yourself. But I have yet to go to a show that has anyone NOT laughing.
Then the show begins! You look around the room, which is simple and low budget. But what these actors do is amazing. They are truly talented actors, singers, and all around great performers. The show sometimes depends on the seasons. Whether it be Summer, holiday, voting time, Easter, and or others. For the month of February, 2010, they are showing a great play called, “I Hate Hamlet”. It is a combination of current events, spoofs on Shakespearean characters, and many other fun stories. This particular play is showing from Feb 6th, to February 28th. For more information on hours and tickets, you can go to their website, at www.americanmelodram.com.
I have also included directions below:
Traveling South on Highway 101, in Arroyo Grande take the Halcyon Road exit. At the signal light continue straight onto Halcyon Road until it ends at a 3-way stop (approximately 3 miles). Turn right onto Highway 1 (a two lane road) and travel approximately 1-1/2 miles into Oceano. The Great American Melodrama will be on your right – a blue building with a red awning.
Traveling North on Highway 101, just past Nipomo take the Los Berros Road/Oceano exit. Turn left onto Los Berros Road, crossing under Highway 101. Travel on Los Berros Road approximately 5 miles until it ends at Valley Road. Turn left on Valley Road and travel a few hundred yards until it ends at Highway 1 (a two lane road). Turn right onto Highway 1 and travel approximately 2 miles into Oceano. The Great American Melodrama will be on your right – a blue building with a red awning.
Please take advantage of this wonderful and unique experience that is the Great American Melodrama!