Fourth Wall Entertainment Troupe is bouncing back from its pandemic hiatus with a production of “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” playing Aug. 13 through Sep. 12 at the Metropolitan in San Andreas.
The show will finally grace the stage, almost exactly one year since it was canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 troubles. Cyndie and Ben Klorer, who brought new life to the neglected Met just two years prior with the introduction of their theater company, were forced to let go of their business licenses and certificates last winter after holding on for nine months.
It was a difficult time, Cyndie Klorer said, but the couple never gave up hope. They promised to return at an indefinite date when pandemic restrictions allowed. By the beginning of July, they were back to rehearsing, picking up where they left off on an unfinished set that had been frozen in limbo for the past 11 months.
“Everyone was sitting on pins and needles for the go-ahead,” said director Klorer regarding their cast of 16 local volunteers. The decision to return was based on guidance for movie theatres, she added. When those opened throughout California in March, they considered it a green light to get back to work. “Everyone is super excited to be back.”
Due to the unprecedented break, some actors cast for the show in 2020 weren’t able to participate this time around, and a few roles had to be recast. Nonetheless, Klorer says picking up the scripts once more has been like “riding a bike for some” and has required a complete relearning of lines for others.
“It was a long time. I kind of forgot how to do it and got nervous,” Klorer said of her own directing experience. “(But) I jumped back in with both feet. It feels so good. … It’s a cute, funny show. The cast is knocking it out of the park.”
The first in a lineup of four Fourth Wall productions at the Met during the remainder of 2021 and 15 more scheduled for 2022, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” follows dazzling blonde Lorelei Lee (Makenzie Harman) and her sensible brunette friend Dorothy Gilbert (Jillian Zahniser) on their boisterous voyage to Europe. Set during the roaring 1920s, the ladies “improve their minds” all day, but for the evenings their main interest is dates.
The show will run Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m., and Sunday matinees will begin at 2 p.m. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online at eventbrite.com/e/gentlemen-prefer-blondes-tickets-156958285457
Audience members will have access to drinks and snacks at the bar. Due to continued COVID-19 risk, the event will require social-distancing for all and mask wearing for unvaccinated individuals.
The Metropolitan is located at 59 Main Street in San Andreas. For more information, call (209) 754-5555.