Arts & Leisure

An intoxicating return at Gem

“GUYS AND DOLLS” will return to the Gem Theater on July 8. A one-shot “Cocktail Hour” will be on stage Tuesday; June 30 (OMP Photo).

By Thom deMartino 

We all agree, it’s been a long few months, as we all readjust to the “new normal.” Putting aside our collective weariness of the words “uncertain” and “unsure”, what is certain is that people are eager, even impatient to get back to life as they’ve known it. Still, it’s encouraging to see that despite a few objections, there are stalwart efforts of local businesses to protect both their clientele and their staff during this staggered reopening.

Entertainment in these times has proved more vital than ever: and it’s in this spirit that the Gem Theater in Garden Grove throws wide its doors for its grand reopening, Tuesday (June 30), beginning with a one-night-only live performance of the popular One More Productions’ “Cocktail Hour,” which has been airing weekly on YouTube.

Featuring founding OMP members Damien Lorton and Nicole Cassesso, along with an array of weekly special guests, “Cocktail Hour” is a celebration of theater, music, and of course, cocktails! There’s a variety of special libations, and usually a weekly special drink, while the guests bring their own stories and tastes to every show.

With this being the first “Cocktail Hour” with a live audience, and trying to be sure and take the proper precautions for both the OMP staff as well as the audience, there’s only a limited number of tickets available for Tuesday’s show — 75, to be exact — but there’s still a few available from the OMP box office or website/

This live show is just the tip of the iceberg for the Gem reopening: “Guys and Dolls” returns for a limited two-week run (the first performances having been abbreviated by the shutdown in March) beginning July 8; “A Chorus Line” will be hitting the stage starting Aug. 27; and back by popular demand in October will be “Always, Patsy Cline.”

As we settle into this strange new world, there is still comfort, even a deeper appreciation, for a return to some of the normal that we have missed these last few months: and the Gem will be welcoming audiences back with open arms — and a stiff drink or two — beginning this week.

“Cocktail Hour,” featuring Damien Lorton and Nicole Cassesso, is a one night only live performance of their popular YouTube show, kicking off the return of live productions at the Gem. Playing June 30 at The Gem Theater, 12852 Main St. Call 714-741-9550 x221 or e-mail boxoffice@onemoreproductions.com for ticketing information.  

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