Dig into music by Ahrens and Flaherty 

Here's your rare chance to see live the creators of "Ragtime," "Once On This Island" and "Seussical" in person. Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty will appear in Broadway by the Bay's world premiere presentation of "Ahrens & Flaherty: Words & Music" from Nov. 8 through Nov. 11 in San Mateo.

Broadway stars Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley will join the fun, performing the duo's songs.

Ahren and Flaherty won the 1998 Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for their score for "Ragtime." They have collaborated for 24 years.

Although Ahrens spent many years in advertising and didn't grow up on musicals, she became interested in writing in 1982 when she met Flaherty. Flaherty, meanwhile, knew from age 12 he wanted to write musicals. He completed his first score at age 14.

The songwriters' new projects also are a part of the show. "I Was Here," from their newest project "The Glorious Ones" _ debuting at New York's Lincoln Center shortly _ and two new songs from their work-in-progress "Legacy" are on the set list.

The show is at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 North Delaware St. Tickets are $17 to $42. Call (650) 579-5565 or visit www.BroadwayBytheBay.org.

Musical Comedy at Spindrift

For some romantic, old-fashioned musical comedy, check out "She Loves Me" at the Pacifica Spindrift Theater, onstage through Nov. 18.

The show is the third adaptation of the play "Parfumerie" by Hungarian playwright Miklos Lazslo. Joe Masteroff wrote the book, Sheldon Harnick, the lyrics, and Jerry Bock the music. It opened on Broadway in 1963.

Set in Budapest, Hungary in 1935, the plot reveals that two coworkers, Georg and Amalia, constantly fighting, are actually each other's secret pen pals. Having joined a Lonely Hearts column, they constantly write anonymous love letters to each other.

Director Dave Sikula says the intimate space at the theater provides the perfect setting for the show: "This is a feel good holiday show, putting yourself back in time with a crispness and preciseness to the vocal numbers. The audience will definitely see, you can't judge a book by its cover."

The theater is located at 1050 Crespi Drive, Pacifica. Call (650) 359-8002 or visit www.pacificaspindriftplayers.org.

San Mateo High’s "Horror’

San Mateo High School presents "Little Shop of Horrors," from Thursday through Nov. 4. Written by Howard Ashman and composer Alan Menken, the 1982 show became one of the longest-running off-Broadway productions.

Down-and-out skid row floral assistant Seymour becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. Dubbed "Audrey II," the plant is an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore offering Seymour fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite.

Drama instructor Brad Friedman directs. He says, "This seemed to be the perfect show with which to celebrate Halloween. It parodies bad 1960's horror/sci-fi movies and great '60s rock and soul music."

The show is onstage at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center, 600 North Delaware St. Tickets are $10 to $15. Call (650) 558-2375 or visit www.smhsdrama.org.

jgross@examiner.com  

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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