Big Bear’s “Fandance” Finds Fans on the East Coast in Five-Week Run; Cast of Locals Perform in Connecticut

BBHS senior Amber Carpenter reprises her role as young Sally Rand in the musical featuring Big Band-era music. Playwright/director Misty Rowe, who plays the older Sally, based the story on her mother's interactions with the famous fan dancer.

In August of 2009, the original musical “Fandance: The Legend of Sally Rand,” written by and starring Misty Rowe of “Hee Haw” fame, made its debut on the stage of the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center, serving as a benefit for the Bear Valley Hospital Foundation, dazzling audiences and raising more than $12,000 in proceeds. The local production continues to charm audiences with the tale of famous fan dancer Sally Rand—only now “Fandance” is on the East Coast (as of last weekend), for a five-week run at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Rowe has taken over directing duties from Beth Gardner, and is joined by a cast of Big Bear favorites on the East Coast, including Big Bear High School student Amber Carpenter, who stars in the title role. Others from the Big Bear Valley in the ensemble cast include Steve Cassling, who also serves as assistant director, Robin Field, Brad Sandstrom, Paul Mitton, Suzy Carpenter and Dreama DePaiva. “Opening weekend went great,” Cassling tells KBHR, “and the cast is phenomenal. Much of the cast is from Big Bear, and we have a number of professional dancers from New York City who are very talented. It’s probably about half and half from Big Bear and the East Coast, and yet the cast is really close and we really love working and being with each other.” The show has been well received by audiences at the Downtown Cabaret Theater, which Cassling notes is a beautiful old theater with a BYOB policy, making for a fun show. “Fandance” runs through April 25 but, adds Cassling, “Misty and our producer Barry Singer are hoping to get enough interest to get funding to take this to the next level, with the ultimate goal being Broadway.”

[caption id="attachment_13940" align="alignleft" width="270" caption="BBHS senior Amber Carpenter reprises her role as young Sally Rand in the musical featuring Big Band-era music. Playwright/director Misty Rowe, who plays the older Sally, based the story on her mother's interactions with the famous fan dancer."][/caption]

In August of 2009, the original musical “Fandance: The Legend of Sally Rand,” written by and starring Misty Rowe of “Hee Haw” fame, made its debut on the stage of the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center, serving as a benefit for the Bear Valley Hospital Foundation, dazzling audiences and raising more than $12,000 in proceeds. The local production continues to charm audiences with the tale of famous fan dancer Sally Rand—only now “Fandance” is on the East Coast (as of last weekend), for a five-week run at the Downtown Cabaret Theatre in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Rowe has taken over directing duties from Beth Gardner, and is joined by a cast of Big Bear favorites on the East Coast, including Big Bear High School student Amber Carpenter, who stars in the title role. Others from the Big Bear Valley in the ensemble cast include Steve Cassling, who also serves as assistant director, Robin Field, Brad Sandstrom, Paul Mitton, Suzy Carpenter and Dreama DePaiva. “Opening weekend went great,” Cassling tells KBHR, “and the cast is phenomenal. Much of the cast is from Big Bear, and we have a number of professional dancers from New York City who are very talented. It’s probably about half and half from Big Bear and the East Coast, and yet the cast is really close and we really love working and being with each other.” The show has been well received by audiences at the Downtown Cabaret Theater, which Cassling notes is a beautiful old theater with a BYOB policy, making for a fun show. “Fandance” runs through April 25 but, adds Cassling, “Misty and our producer Barry Singer are hoping to get enough interest to get funding to take this to the next level, with the ultimate goal being Broadway.”

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  2. Burlesque Come to Big Bear: World Premiere of “Fandance” to Benefit the Hospital
  3. On-Demand Curbside Chipping Available to Big Bear Lake Residents; Neighborhood Chipping for East Valley Starts With Baldwin Lake Area Next Week