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Misty Cotton will be joining Ventura County’s Cabrillo Music Theatre for their much-anticipated spring production of Stephen Schwartz‘s Children of Eden. This is her third time starring in one of Cabrillo Music Theatre‘s beautifully produced shows having previously starred in 2011’s The Marvelous Wonderettes (as Missy) and 2010’s Happy Days (as Pinky Tuscadero).

Playing the dual role of Eve and Mama Noah, in Children of Eden, the age-old tale of parents and children and letting go, Misty Cotton was generous enough to spare a few minutes for The Joyous Living to share her love for Cabrillo Music Theatre and what she hopes you will take away from this lush production! Enjoy!

The Joyous Living: Misty, this is your third time starring in a Cabrillo Music Theatre production. What about the company inspires you to come back time and time again?

Misty Cotton: I just love working at Cabrillo. No #1, I love working with Lewis – he is amazing. The sense of community at Cabrillo, audiences are great, the talent is wonderful. In particular, I love working with these children in Children of Eden.

Misty Cotton as Missy in The Marvelous Wonderettes. Photo: Ed Krieger.

The Joyous Living:  Do you have any fond memories of playing “Missy” in CMT’s Marvelous Wonderettes? 

Misty Cotton: I have done the show in many different theatres, including Off-Broadway. I remember working with a wonderful group of girls [Darcie Roberts, Bets Malone, Beth Malone], the audience loved the show and it was just a great time.

Misty as Pinky Tuscadero in Happy Days. Photo: Ed Krieger.

The Joyous Living:  What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of your time as “Pinky Tuscadero” in CTM’s Happy Days?

Misty Cotton: I remember being in rehearsals and I had to dance a lot (loved working with John Charron). It is a fun show that is rarely done. I loved the cast and honestly there are so many kids (three people off the top of my head – Tessa Grady, Derek Klena) that have gone on to do Broadway and national tours. Opening night was great with Gerry Marshall there and Scott Baio and working with Barry Pearl, who was in the original cast.

The Joyous Living: What do you hope the audience will take away with them after seeing CMT’s Children of Eden?

Misty Cotton: You can’t help but see yourself in some of the characters and especially their life situations. It’s really a human story and the characters are made very human. When you really look at the bones of the stories that we are telling — they are timeless! I did the show over 13 years ago and things resonate differently for me just because I am at a different place in life. We still are dealing with on a daily basis the stories we deal with in the play.

The Joyous Living: What inspiration did you look to when preparing to star as CMT’s Mama Noah/Eve?

Misty Cotton: What inspiration? It’s called The Bible! (Laugh) The situations are there for you to take from, mostly from your life experience. I did look at different stories in the Bible and yet there is a wide amount of creative license taken in this show so the music inspires and prepares me.

The Joyous Living:  We live in a time when some people might “wonder If those clouds would ever break” with political drama, Brussels, etc. Are you thinking of anything specific when you sing “Ain’t It Good?”

Now our hearts begin to dance
And now our hopes are reappearing
Since we’ve been granted a second chance
And for now
We are done with fearing

Misty Cotton: Besides these big world issues people deal with, we have our own daily situations that for us are big and very real. Think about those times in your life when you imagine they’ll never get better. If you stick with it, there is hope and a light at the end of the tunnel.
The Joyous Living: As Cabrillo Music Theatre sadly prepares to shutter this summer, what words of gratitude/etc. would you like to share?*

Misty Cotton: I would absolutely love to thank Cabrillo Music Theatre and Lewis. Cabrillo Music Theatre is made up of not just staff but there’s also the audience and the Board of Directors and the community. It has been really wonderful to have been in any of the shows they put on. They don’t just do shows. They are so infiltrated in the community doing wonderful things for seniors, animals and the community. So grateful to be a storyteller on the stage with Cabrillo. Maybe there is a light at the end of the tunnel and we can someday rebuild this and put it back on their feet again.*

*What’s really exciting is that after Misty’s lovely interview, it was announced that Cabrillo Music Theatre WILL BE proceeding with their 2016-2017 season! Yay!

But for now, I hope you take the opportunity to see Stephen Schwartz’ beautiful Children of Eden starring Misty Cotton (Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Miss Saigon) as Eve/Mama Noah, Kevin McMahon (Wicked) as Adam/Noah, and Norman Large (Les Miserables) as Father during its limited two week run.

Dates: 8-17 April 2016
Tickets: $30-70 (Ticketmaster or Box Office)
Location: Fred Kavili Theatre, Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks, CA
Parking: $8 (cash only)