Great American Melodrama offers a one-of-a-kind entertainment experience

Friday, March 24th, 2023

Great American Melodrama

Family fun with actor Interaction

—The Great American Melodrama Theatre in Oceano is a unique, one-of-a-kind evening of music and comedy that has thrilled audiences for 48 years. The theatre offers fun, interactive, family-friendly performances with top-tier professional actors who greet audiences at the door, entertain them all evening both on and off stage and deliver the best performances on the Central Coast.

“Audiences love that we take beloved and historic melodrama and vaudeville forms of storytelling, and bring them into the 21st Century with a contemporary twist. It has been described as both the preservation and evolution of a traditional art form, made fresh for a modern audience,” said artistic director Darrin Murell.

Known as the ”Melodrama” by its fans, the theatre offers fresh, funny shows with titles that you won’t see at any other theatre around. Modern musical plays or contemporary takes on familiar stories are all performed in the melodrama style, including the use of broad comedy, larger-than-life characters and audiences are encouraged to boo the villain, cheer the hero and swoon for the lovers.

A favorite experience for many audience members is interacting with the performers throughout the evening. The actors not only perform but also greet guests at the door, show them to their seats, serve them food at the snack bar and take time during intermission to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries in the crowd.

With a wide variety of food, snacks, desserts, beer, wine and sodas as well as a third-act Vaudeville Revue, an evening at the Melodrama is really three experiences in one: A great play, delicious dining and a themed cabaret full of music, parody and comedy sketches.

Great American Melodrama

Upcoming shows

Lumberjacks in Love is currently on stage until March 25: It’s 1912 in Haywire Minnesota, 200 miles from the nearest woman. Lumberjacks Slim, Muskrat, Dirty Bob, Moonlight and The Kid live their bachelor life. However, when Slim accidentally orders himself a mail-order bride named Rose, their simple shanty lives are turned upside down. Book and lyrics by Fred Allen, music by James Kaplan, story by Fred Allen and James Kaplan.

New shows for the coming months include:

  • Sherlock Holmes And the Final Problem March 31 – May 20: Sherlock Holmes’ skills are put to the test when he goes head-to-head with his intellectual equal, criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty. After repeated attempts on his life, Holmes is rejoined by his recently married friend Dr. Watson and the two attempt to thwart the professor’s plans on a continent-spanning theatrical adventure that takes the audience from the safety of Holmes’ flat at 221B Baker Street to the heights of Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland.
  • Under the Boardwalk May 26 – July 15: Back by popular demand! Get a close-up look at life under the Pismo Boardwalk. Here you meet the Clams, a gritty group of shellfish, and their life-long rivals the Gulls, the popular birds of the beach. Life in the sand is full of singing and dancing until the unthinkable happens – a clam and a gull fall in love! Can these mortal enemies make a life together in the wavy, wacky world under the boardwalk? You’ll find out when this Melodrama favorite returns.

The Great American Melodrama Theatre is located at 1863 Front St, Oceano. The box office is located at 1827 Front St. For more information or to purchase tickets visit or call the box office at (805) 489-2499.

ꟷLisa Pretty


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