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The Mamas and the Papas in the Camelot Spotlight

Southern California was a pop music paradise in the 1960s.

Along with bands such as The Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane and The Beatles, the musical foursome The Mamas & The Papas created the soundtrack of a generation with complex arrangements and rich harmonies.

Founded in 1965, The Mamas & The Papas were an American-Canadian folk-rock and pop-vocal group that was a defining force in the counterculture music scene. With its signature intricate harmonies and mix of male and female voices, The Mamas & The Papas bridged the folk-rock sound of the 1960s with a softer pop sound that instantly endeared the legendary foursome to audiences of all ages.

The group released five studio albums and 17 singles, six of which made the Billboard Top Ten, selling close to 40 million records worldwide, finally being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.

Camelot Theatre celebrates more than 50 years of the pop-folk-rock group that helped define that era with the Spotlight production of “The Mamas and The Papas.”

The performance includes some of the band’s most famous songs, including “California Dreamin’,” “Dedicated to the One I Love,” “Monday, Monday,” and “Words of Love,” with the cast in all the colorful hippie garb so popular at that time.

“Spotlight on The Mamas &The Papas” is directed by Kristen Calvin and Gwen Overland, with music arrangements and direction by Overland The production stars the vocal talents of Kristen Calvin as Cass Elliott, from Aug. 8-18, and then Rose Passione as Elliott from Aug. 22 through Sept. 1; Erik Connolly plays Denny Doherty; John Phillips is portrayed by Robbie Dacosta; and Mia Gaskin plays Michelle Phillips.

The performance also features guitarist Dacosta, bassist Eric Jones, drummer Tom Stamper and Scott Soltermann on keys.

Curtain is set for 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Aug. 8- 31, and 2 p.m. Sundays, Aug. 11 through Sept. 1, at the Camelot Theatre, 101 Talent Ave., Talent.

Tickets are $20 to $36 and can be purchased online at camelottheatre.org or by calling the box office at 541-535-5250; $10 student tickets are available with valid ID, and $20 rush tickets, if available, can be purchased 10 minutes before curtain time.

Who's Who in the Cast

Kristen Calvin as Cass Elliott (Aug. 8-18)

Calvin, a musical theatre graduate and classically trained vocalist, was previously seen on the Camelot stage in a variety of musicals. She has also performed in numerous Oregon Cabaret Theatre productions, including the upcoming production of “Sweeney Todd.” Calvin has also performed in “Blues in the Night” at Randall Theatre, and “Lend Me a Tenor” at Collaborative Theatre Project.

Rose Passione as Cass Elliott (8/22 – 9/1)

Passione has been keeping busy with music and theatre since she arrived to the valley in 2006. Some of her favorite theatre experiences include playing Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl,” Meg Brockie in “Brigadoon” and most recently the title character in “The Snow Queen.” She also has performed in previous Camelot Spotlights such as “Irving Berlin,” “Billy Joel,” and “Julie Andrews.”

Erik Connolly as Denny Doherty

Connolly is making his ninth Spotlight appearance at Camelot Theater. He is a regular performer at Camelot, playing roles in Spotlight productions and well as many of the theater’s fully staged musicals. Roles in other theaters include Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” Frederic in “Pirates of Penzance,” and the title role in “Candide,” among others.

Robbie Dacosta as John Phillips

Local guitarist and singer Dacosta plays everything from R&B, rockabilly and ballads to music from the 1950s through the 1970s. Dacosta began learning to play when he was 16, singing and playing with his father, and by 17, he was opening for Jerry Lee Lewis at Hot August Nights in Reno, Nev. Dacosta may be found playing locally with the Robbie Dacosta Band.

Mia Gaskin as Michelle Phillips

Gaskin moved to the Rogue Valley from Los Angeles in 2012. She received her bachelor’s in theatre from University of California San Diego and is a graduate of the Professional Conservatory at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California. Recent credits include roles in Camelot’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame,” and “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” as well as parts in Collaborative Theatre Project’s “Lend Me a Tenor,” and “Leading Ladies.” Gaskin has also played key parts in productions by Oregon Cabaret Theater and Randall Theatre.

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