Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Director has Music Circus track record, and a new Broadway-bound project


Stafford Arima directs "Spring Awakening," his first production at UC Davis. However, local audiences may has seen his work before at the Music Circus. Courtesy photo

From page A9 | November 19, 2013 |

“Spring Awakening” is director Stafford Arima’s first project at UC Davis. But he has an established track record directing shows with the popular Music Circus series in Sacramento. And Arima is working on a new musical that could reach Broadway next year.

Arima directed last summer’s Music Circus production of “The King and I,” and he also directed the 2011 Music Circus production of “Miss Saigon,” the 2006 production of “A Little Night Music” (ranked by several reviewers as one of the highlights in the series during the past 10 years) and the 2003 Music Circus production of “Ragtime.”

Arima also was involved with the 2002 Music Circus production of “Paint Your Wagon” — the final show staged in the old rented circus tent, without air-conditioning.

“The King and I,” set in Siam during the 1860s, with a sunny Rodgers and Hammerstein score from the 1940s, may seem far removed from “Spring Awakening,” a much darker piece with a harder-edged rock score, and a story set in autocratic pre-war Germany in 1906.

“What is similar is the awakenings between individuals that were there throughout history, and will be there 1,000 years from now,” Arima said. “With Anna and the King of Siam, there is an awakening of spirit, intellect and friendship” between two people from entirely different backgrounds.

“In ‘Spring Awakening,’ we have flourishing love between who characters, an unstoppable natural occurrence that cannot be stopped by society or the church” — much like Romeo and Juliet, and with similar tragic results.

Arima is also working on “Allegiance,” a show about a Japanese-American family that was interned during World War II at the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. Arima, who lives in New York but comes from Canada. brings some personal background to this project — his father, a Japanese-Canadian, was interned in British Columbia.

Last year, Arima directed a tryout of “Allegiance” at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre, which generated a lot of buzz and drew so well that the show’s short run was extended.

“I was excited and surprised at how much the show touched audiences, including a surprising number of people who did not really know that the internment happened,” Arima said.

He’s hoping to mount the show on Broadway sometime next season, with George Takei (Mr. Sulu in the original “Star Trek”) and Lea Salonga (winner of a Tony Award in 1991 for her role as Kim in “Miss Saigon”) in the cast.

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055. Follow him on Twitter at @JeffHudsonDE





Davis is not immune: Are you ready for a big quake?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Planning begins for Davis Neighbors’ Night Out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

Sword-attack suspect awaiting trial in Davis

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

6 militants killed in U.S. strike in Somalia

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

San Francisco is first to test urban farming law

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Learn about RNA at Science Café

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Google Glass will be discussed, demonstrated

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Tickets still available for DHS Hall of Fame dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Cuddle up at Project Linus’ meeting

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A3

International folk dancing offered Sundays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Got bikes? Donate ‘em!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Rose garden bricks to be dedicated Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

It’s About Time plays Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park

By Anthony Siino | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Register year-round at Davis Chinese School

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8



Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

Have the facts before you judge

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Tesla has state walking a tightrope

By Tom Elias | From Page: A4

Special-needs passengers ignored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A cure for Davis’ problems

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

A good use for the MRAP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

Marriage vs. male instinct

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5



DHS boys looking to replicate a big cross country performance

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Life without MacDonald starts Friday for DHS

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Clark recalls his hole-in-one — the first at Davis Golf Course

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Fruits of their Labor Day

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD roundup: Aggies edge Quinnipiac in overtime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

Sports briefs: Hot Shots basketball tryouts coming up

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Baseball roundup: Aces end River Cats’ season

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B3

Junior Blue Devils strong in home debut, winning 3 on the field

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery









Elaine Dracia Greenberg

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5



Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

Comics: Tuesday, September 2, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7