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Gala Celebration Planned To Recognize Author’s Contribution To The Colony Theatre And To The American Stage

Burbank, CA  –   While construction for The Colony Theatre Company’s new home at Burbank Center Stage continues, two sets of rehearsals are underway at the same time. One is for the revival of Ray Bradbury’s Dandelion Wine, with music and lyrics by Jeffrey Rockwell, and the other is for a Gala Event, an evening of musical and dramatic entertainment, in Bradbury’s honor. 

“All three events are converging on us like The Perfect Storm,” joked Colony Producing Director, Barbara Beckley. “It’s a massive undertaking, to say the least, but we’re optimistic that we will fare better than the Andrea Gail and bring this ship into port on time. The company has really pulled together to see to it that it all works out.” 

Opening Night for Dandelion Wine is scheduled for Saturday, August 26th, with rehearsals currently being held in the main auditorium, sometimes with carpenters and electricians sharing the hall as they complete their work. Meanwhile, up in the second floor multi-purpose room, Nick DeGruccio is directing company members in scenes from Bradbury’s plays and incorporating songs from Dandelion Wine for a special celebration in honor of one of The Colony’s favorite playwrights. 

DeGruccio, who directed The Colony's Ovation Award-nominated Sondheim review, Putting it Together, says, “Most people think of Ray as strictly a book and short story writer, and maybe a screenwriter. But he has contributed an extraordinary body of work to live theatre.  And The Colony is very grateful. What better way to show it than on the occasion of his 80th birthday?” 

Bradbury turns 80 on August 22nd. The Colony’s Gala in Bradbury’s honor will be held on Saturday, August 19th, with a champagne reception at 7:30, the show at 8 PM and the party afterwards. Tickets are available at $50 and $100 each.

The Colony is not the only group to be celebrating Bradbury’s natal day. As reported in the January, 1999 issue of “The Hollywood Scriptwriter,” Bradbury's influence the world over is so extensive that fans in former Soviet Georgia will also be celebrating his 80th birthday on August 22nd. In the words of writer Alexander Maypariani, "[Bradbury] is a large poet here in the Republic of Georgia, and we are having a birthday celebration on his behalf. He is admired for his lyrical books. They help us to survive in conditions that are not very good for artists."

Dandelion Wine, Bradbury's semi-autobiographical novel, has sold millions of copies since it was first published in 1946, and has never been out of print.The Colony, which produced the World Stage Premieres of Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451, as well as The World Of Ray Bradbury, first produced the hit musical version of his book in 1981.

Burbank Center Stage -- home of The Colony Theatre Company -- is located at 555 No.Third St. in Burbank, at the corner of Cypress, part of the popular Media Center Shopping District.   Call (818) 558-7000 for reservations and information about the Bradbury Gala. Fax number: (818) 558-7110. E-mail:"  Website address:

CONTACTS: Barbara Beckley/Amanda Diamond 
(818) 558-7000

JULY 26, 2000