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SLO Rep plans grand reopening amid COVID-19 case surge

Courtesy: SLO Rep
The Marvelous Wonderettes cast in rehearsal.

After nearly two years of limited performances, the San Luis Obispo Repertory Theatre is reopening for indoor performance at full capacity with its production of The Marvelous Wonderettes.

The show is an energetic jukebox musical set in the 1950’s and 60’s. It features more than 30 classic songs from that era, like Lollipop, and follows the story of four best friends at their high school prom.

“It’s just happy, joyful, fun, bright. It could not be a better show to open up with,” said director Suzy Newman.

Newman said the last two years have been an emotional rollercoaster as SLO Rep started and canceled productions. She said the theater is hopeful that, this time, they won’t need to shut down again.

“We are just going to go all out on this production and welcome people back," Newman said. "We just want to swing the doors wide open and hopefully they’ll stay that way.”

Patty Thayer is the communications and development director for SLO Rep. She said COVID safety protocols are in place to keep people comfortable returning, even amid the current surge in cases. Thayer said, generally, people are excited to be coming back.

“We listen to the county protocols every single day," Thayer said. "We are following the best advice we have and we are actually following what other theaters are doing across the country.”

Attendees need to be fully vaccinated or show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the show. Masking will also be required throughout the performance.

In a statement to KCBX News, County Public Health Information Officer Michelle Shoresman said:

‘We support SLO Rep in their decision to open their season with all the best practice prevention measures in place, including proof of vaccination or a negative test and universal masking. By following best practices and state guidance for gatherings, they are keeping their patrons, performers and other employees as safe as possible.’

Newman said putting on this production is not without anxiety. She said the theater is preparing to be adaptable if necessary.

“[We are] going on the assumption that there is gonna be a week, maybe even two, during this run that, if somebody comes up positive that’s within our bubble, depending on who that person is, we may have to skip a few shows,” Newman said.

Newman said no matter what happens, it’s worth it to put on the production.

The Marvelous Wonderettes is expected to run February 4 to March 6, Wednesday through Saturday at the San Luis Obispo Repertory Theater. Show information and tickets are available here.

Rachel Showalter first joined KCBX as an intern from Cal Poly in 2017. During her time in college, she anchored and reported for Mustang News at Cal Poly's radio station, KCPR. After graduating, she took her first job as a Producer at KSBY-TV. She returned to the KCBX team in October 2020, reporting daily for KCBX News until she moved to the Pacific Northwest in July of 2022. Rachel spends her off-days climbing rocks, cooking artichokes and fighting crosswords with friends.
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