Moonlight Amphitheatre cancels rest of its summer season

The Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 summer season has been canceled at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista.
(Union-Tribune file photo)

Three of this summer’s planned shows will be postponed until 2021


Moonlight Stage Productions has canceled the rest of its planned 2020 summer theater season at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista.

The announcement today comes nearly two months after the company said it would cancel the first two shows of its five-show, 40th anniversary season, hoping that pandemic-related closures would have lifted by July. But as the stay-at-home orders continue to stretch into the summer, company officials said they were forced this week to cancel the entire season.

On a positive note, three of the shows that were scheduled for production in July through September — Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” “Ragtime” and “Kinky Boots” — will move back to join the as-yet unannounced 2021 summer season. There’s no word on whether the two previously canceled shows, “An American in Paris” and “Something’s Rotten!,” will appear in a future Moonlight season.

Steven Glaudini, Moonlight’s producing artistic director, said the trio of musicals that will move to next year had already been cast, so he will honor that commitment by extending casting offers to all of those artists in the event they can perform at Moonlight next year.

Colleen Kollar Smith, managing director for Moonlight, said it has been challenging keeping up with the rapidly changing information about COVID-19-related closures. But she said the support of Moonlight subscribers has made it easier to bear.

Season ticket-holders were offered the choice of a refund or the opportunity to donate back the price of their ticket to the Moonlight or bank their ticket money for next year. As a show of loyalty to the company, the majority of subscribers did not ask for a refund, said Fred Tracey, a marketing specialist for the city of Vista, which operates the Moonlight.

Jennifer Bradford, executive director for the Moonlight Cultural Foundation, said the city is planning to use the ticket give-backs program to honor the city’s essential health care workers. For every ticket donated back to Moonlight, the company will provide a future ticket to a worker who has served on the front lines of health care during the pandemic.

Production dates for the 2021 season have not been announced.

The state’s Resilience Roadmap reopening plan has placed live theaters and other large-gathering venues in the last tier of businesses that will be allowed to reopen. Most health experts say that may not happen until a vaccine or viable treatment is available, likely not until next year.

In the meantime, Moonlight hopes to offer a smaller season of socially distanced concerts and family movie nights at the amphitheater in the fall.

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