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OCT announces shows for 2011 season

A musical Sherlock Holmes mystery, '50s girl-group pop music and a behind-the-scenes look at "Singin' in the Rain" highlight Oregon Cabaret Theatre's 2011 season, which starts in February.

OCT's 26th season begins with "The Daly News," a new musical written by Jonathan Gillard Daly with music by Gregg Coffin ("Five Course Love") and Larry Delinger.

Martin Daly sent four sons off to fight in World War II. His way of dealing was to create "The Daly News," a weekly chronicle of family news and events pounded out on an Underwood typewriter every Tuesday night for three years in an effort to keep his scattered family together. His grandson Jonathan has turned this document into a musical that celebrates home, family and the love and distance between fathers and sons.

"The Daly News" opens Feb. 11 and runs through March 27, with previews Feb. 9-10. Performances are 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, with brunch matinées at 1 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. A special Valentine's Day performance is planned.

OCT's spring offering is another new musical, written by local writers Jahnna Beecham and Malcolm Hillgartner ("Chaps!" "They Came From Way Out There"). It's called "Holmes & Watson Save the Empire: A Musical Mystery," and it recently premiered at Wisconsin's Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Sherlock Holmes and his faithful friend Doctor Watson find themselves trapped in a locked room. They have until the stroke of midnight to solve the fiendish Moriarty's deadly riddle and save Queen Victoria's empire.

"Holmes & Watson" opens April 8 with previews on April 6 and 7. It runs through June 5. Performances are Thursdays through Mondays at 8 p.m. with Sunday brunch matinées at 1 p.m.

Summer brings "The Marvelous Wonderettes," a look at mid-century girl-group pop music. It's created by Roger Bean ("Route 66," "Honky Tonk Laundry").

Act I takes place at the senior prom in 1958. Cindy Lou, Missy, Betty Jean and Suzy are thrilled to be performing songs such as "Mr. Sandman," "All I Have To Do Is Dream," "Stupid Cupid" and "Mr. Lee."

Act II is set in 1968 at their 10-year reunion. The girls have changed and so has the music, including songs such as "Heat Wave," "You Don't Own Me," "Leader of the Pack," "It's My Party," "Respect."

"The Marvelous Wonderettes" opens June 17 with previews on June 15 and 16 and plays through Aug. 28. Performances are Wednesdays through Mondays at 8 p.m. and Sunday brunch matinées at 1 p.m. No performance July 4.

"What A Glorious Feeling" is a new musical play that takes the audience behind the scenes of "Singin' in the Rain." We see Gene Kelly in the studio as he creates some of Hollywood's most memorable dance sequences with his collaborators Stanley Donen (co-director), Jeanne Coyne (dance captain and Donen's ex-wife), Arthur Freed (composer) and the very young Debbie Reynolds.

Inspired by true events, Jay Berkow's music and dance-filled play shows us the genius of this artistic collaboration as well as the explosive love triangle between Kelly, Donen and Coyne. It's directed and choreographed by OCT's Christopher George Patterson, recently seen in "Riffin' & Tappin'."

"What A Glorious Feeling" opens Sept. 9 with previews on Sept. 7-8 and plays through Nov. 6. Performances are Thursdays through Sundays at 8 p.m. with both Saturday and Sunday brunch matinées at 1 p.m.

OCT will celebrate the holiday season with original songs and stories about this most festive time of the year. In addition to brand-new songs and stories, "Cabaret Christmas" also will include some audience favorites from its 2001 holiday hit " 'Tis the Season," including "The Promise of New Light," "The Best Christmas Yet," "All I Got For Christmas (Was This Cold)" and an online-shopping parody of "The Twelve Days of Christmas."

"Cabaret Christmas" opens Nov. 18 with previews on Nov. 16 and 17 and plays through Dec. 31. There are performances most nights at 8 p.m. and both Saturday and Sunday brunch matinées at 1 p.m.

New this season: OCT will offer low-priced bistro seating on the main floor and balcony for $16.

Tickets are $16-$35 and can be purchased at the Box Office at First and Hargadine streets, Ashland, online at oregoncabaret.com or by calling 541-488-2902.

A gourmet dinner menu is available for evening shows and a brunch menu for Saturday and Sunday matinées (reservations required). Appetizers, desserts and beverages (including beer and wine) are also available without reservations. Ticket prices do not include food or beverage.