San Marino’s Old Mill has undergone many different metamorphoses in its 200 years of existence, but as far as anyone knows the venerable structure has never hosted a live, dramatic play.
That two-century streak will come to an end on Aug. 19, when ‘The Light of Western Stars,’ an adaptation of Zane Grey’s western romance novel of the same name, will experience its world premiere on the Pomegranate Patio stage.
Can East Coast socialite Madeline Hammond tame the last corners of the Wild West when she follows in the footsteps of her runaway brother? That is the question and ‘The Light of Western Stars’ seeks to provide the answer.
Set in 1912 Arizona, ‘The Light of Western Stars’ is first and foremost a love story; a romance between the East and West Coasts, between structured society and free wilderness, and, ultimately, between an independent high-society woman and one of America’s last cowboys.
Starring Betsy Roth and Jon Snow, the two-hour production was written by Bob Colleary, a 35-year veteran of the television industry with credits as a writer and producer on familiar classics such as ‘Touched by an Angel,’ ‘Saved by the Bell,’ ‘The Golden Girls’ and ‘The Facts of Life.’ This world premiere of ‘The Light of Western Stars’ marks his eighth new play to be produced in Los Angeles. The show is developed and presented by Little Candle Productions, which has operated out of South Pasadena’s Fremont Centre Theatre since 2013.
“We knew that this grand western needed a venue to match and we are thrilled to be presenting this, our fifth original script, under the western stars at El Molino Viejo,” Little Candle co-founder and producer Allison Darby Gorjian told The Tribune.
For Roth, the production marks a welcome addition to her stage resumé.
“When Allison brought me the idea for this script, I was floored,” Roth said. “A female-driven western was a dream come true for me, both as a producer who is always trying to be mindful about the quality of roles for women in our scripts and as an actress. It is thrilling and empowering to play Madeline Hammond, a woman who is so strong and so vulnerable, who courageously and impulsively comes out West in search of something that she can’t even name, who charges head-on at every challenge in spite of overwhelming fear, yet manages to be the hero of her own story.”
‘The Light of Western Stars’ will stage at San Marino’s Old Mill on Aug. 19, 20 and 21 with all performances beginning at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 each. For more information, please go to littlecandleproductions.com or call (626) 497-8700.