In October 2020, The Western Stage begins rehearsal for their next main stage production, The Wizard of Oz. While LIVE theater remains "on Intermission" during these times of Covid-19, the cast and crew will be navigating rehearsals safely via zoom, with hopes of presenting the show in it's full, magical glory as soon as it is safe to do so.
The show will be directed and choreographed by mother-daughter team Ellen & Jen Brooks.
"Jen Brooks is all Theda Bara vampery in the title role!"
The Drowsy Chaperone, which has just opened a four weeks’ run at The Western Stage in Salinas, doesn’t just imitate a 1928 fun and flappers musical. It serves it up garnished with wry and informed comments on the razzle-dazzle period quirks and clichés in what’s happening on stage while it’s up there happening. -Philip Pearce | Performing Arts Monterey Bay
"The Witch is one of my favorite characters ever written for Broadway. She's so epic -- I hoped the actor playing her tonight is also epic."
I was not disappointed. Jen Brooks brought the trifecta -- great acting, adding just the right amount of zany, quirky, over-the-top, without spilling into camp. Great comedy. Smooth vocals with incredible breath support ...How do you get a witch who is terrifying, uncomfortable, lovable, and silly all at the same time? Cast Jen Brooks!
"Singin' in the Rain" offers a light-hearted satirical look at a key time in the motion-picture industry: the shift from silent films to "talkies.” In 1927, Don Lockwood (played by Ryan Blanning), is a debonair screen star with vaudeville song-and-dance-man roots. His on-screen partner and paramour is the glamorous Lina Lamont (Jen Brooks), a vain and conniving vamp whom he loathes in real life.- Karla Kane | Palo Alto Weekly
"Jen Brooks [as Billie] sings wonderfullyand doesn’t miss a beat in the plot which, true to a longstanding musical theater tradition, requires her to masquerade as a lot of other people, from a reluctant honeymooning bride to a food-wielding cockney housemaid.
It’s a show that turns the clock back to those dear dead days before the Rodgers and Hammerstein revolution when the book of a musical hit was still just a flimsy arrangement of chorus girl and top-banana gag situations strung between vocal numbers. A savvy 21st century writer named Joe DiPietro has mined who knows how many clunky old character types and plot situations and cobbled them together skillfully enough to earn a 2012 Tony nomination for this nice piece of Prohibition-era pastiche.”- Philip Pearce | Performing Arts Monterey Bay