Saturday, January 28, 2023

“The Old Man and the Old Moon” – A Musical For All Ages

The Coronado Playhouse presents PigPen Theatre Co.’s critically acclaimed ensemble musical The Old Man and the Old Moon, which opened Friday, May 17 and plays through Sunday, June 16, 2019. With book, music, and lyrics by PigPen Theatre Co., The Old Man and the Old Moon tells the epic tale of an old man who must abandon his duties of filling up the moon with liquid light to cross the seas in search of his missing wife. The Old Man and the Old Moon is a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience for everyone featuring inventive shadow play and an indie-folk score performed, in part, by the actors.

Image: Coronado Playhouse


The Old Man has kept his post as the sole caretaker of the moon for as long as he (or his wife, the Old Woman) can remember. Each night, Old Man must fill up the moon with liquid light. He and his wife have been doing this same routine for so long, they’ve forgotten who they are and why they started filling up the moon in the first place. When his wife is drawn away by a mysterious melody sparking memories of their shared past, the Old Man must decide between duty (and routine) and love (and adventure). Luckily for audiences everywhere, he chooses the latter, and what follows is an imaginative sea-faring epic, encompassing apocalyptic storms, civil wars, leviathans of the deep, and cantankerous ghosts, as well as the fiercest obstacle of all: change.

Image: Coronado Playhouse

As first-timers to Coronado Playhouse, my guest and I didn’t know what to expect in any way, shape or form. First we had to find it – The Coronado Playhouse is at the northernmost end of the Coronado Community Center. The playhouse has dinner theater type seating which was a bit of challenge due to the very tall person sitting in front of us. After changing our seats and settling in we were treated to a very professional one-of-a-kind theatrical experience just as was promised. The eleven-person cast was most talented and delivered flawlessly. Many of the actors have performed at the Coronado Playhouse and are excited to be back. Several of the actors play more than one role, some as many as four. Much of the story is delivered in song; my favorite voice was delivered by Heather Barton Tjalma (Bartley/Boatswain/Rebel/Sailor). In a word, her voice is pure. She has previously performed at CPH in two other performances and is looking forward to her next project. In fact, only two of the actors, Emily Nuthall (acoustic guitar) and Santiago Valencia-Northrup (Cookie/Solomon/Rooster/Clerk) are making their debut appearances in this show.

Image: Coronado Playhouse

My daughter, an 11-year-old vocalist and performer, attended the show earlier in the week with friends, and like me she thoroughly enjoyed it. It is a show for all ages to enjoy. Although it may be over the heads of young children. It’s wonderful to have multiple live theater options available in our community. The Old Man and The Old Moon is a show worth checking out. It plays Thursdays through Sundays, through June 16.

Tickets range from $12.50-$28 and are available through Coronado Playhouse’s Box Office at (619) 435-4856 or online at

Image: Coronado Playhouse

There are special rates and times for this production:

  • Children 12 and Under: 50% off the full adult price for all performances
  • Adults, Seniors, Military and Students purchasing a table of 4 or 5 tickets to any one EVENING performance receive a 20% discount, per ticket
  • All Adult, Senior, Military and Students pay a flat rate of $22 for MATINEE performances. (Children 12 and under are $12.50)

Evening performances are at 7pm and matinees are at 2pm.

PigPen Theatre Co., a collective of theatre artists, actors, and musicians, began creating their distinctive style of theatre, music, and film as freshmen at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama in 2007. They have since produced original plays in New York City and have toured the country – earning them critic’s picks from The New York Times, The Boston Globe and many more. This imaginative show was performed off-Broadway in 2012 and has been a touring phenomenon since, garnering it many awards and nominations across the county.
The Old Man and the Old Moon is directed by Playhouse favorite Desha Crownover (Seussical, The 39 Steps and Macbeth). Renowned for her mastery in creative storytelling and her expertise with theatre for young audiences (as Artistic Director for San Diego Junior Theatre), Ms. Crownover is the perfect choice to bring this award-winning theatrical tale to the Coronado Playhouse stage. She is joined by music director Ian Brandon, who musical directed the last CPH production, Cabaret. Ian Brandon hails from the U.K. where his professional work as a music director includes productions in London’s West End and National #1 Tours. Ian has vast experience teaching and music directing at several of London’s most prestigious musical theatre acting conservatories and is thrilled to be working alongside Desha in this production.


Chris Kelly
Chris Kelly
Chris is a native San Diegan who has had business ties to Coronado from when the bridge still had a toll. She vowed to herself one day she would make the island her home. Chris has been an entrepreneur for over two decades as a business owner and business/life strategist and coach. Her work has been seen in magazines, blogs, The Seattle Times and The Huffington Post.Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]