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Mountain Days Returns in August 2003

Willows Theatre Press Release, October, 2002

Note: Willows Theatre closed its doors in 2012. The following is posted for its historical value.

Critically acclaimed Mountain Days - the John Muir Musical makes annual return to John Muir Amphitheater August 8-31, 2003 Cited by USA Today as one of the "great places for theatre under the stars."

Imagine the thrill of the colorful sight and sound of John Muir, father of our beloved national parks, coming to life before your eyes, as you sit under a blanket of stars in an intimate amphitheater on the waterfront of a charming historic northern California town. To date tens of thousands of men, women and children, from all over the globe, have experienced this exhilarating thrill at Mountain Days ~ the John Muir Musical. Embarking on its fourth season, Mountain Days, an elaborate Broadway style musical presented at the John Muir Amphitheater located in Martinez, California's (U.S.A.) Waterfront Park, has become a much anticipated annual event "the must-see" show of the summer.

Heralded a "grand outdoor pageant" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Mountain Days has received high praise from local and regional critics alike. The musical, "stunning evening entertainment" states the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA, USA), was conceived by and is directed by Richard Elliott, Artistic Director of the award winning Willows Theatre Company. Book and lyrics, exquisitely written by Tony Award nominee Mary Bracken Phillips, and the stirring score, by internationally renowned composer Craig Bohmler, are woven to perfection and enacted by 70 shining cast members, grand horses and a scruffy goat.

Mountain Days embraces John Muir's life journey and legacy, from his boyhood in Scotland to his final days in Martinez, his home of 24 years. The story carries you across the stormy Atlantic with the Muir clan, to their farm in Wisconsin. You follow Muir from his days as an ingenious inventor to becoming an influential and famous preservationist, sharing the discoveries of his "1,000 mile walk" and catching sight of the glorious Yosemite Falls through his eyes. You will feel the passion Muir shared with his devoted and loving wife, Louie Strentzel Muir, and be equally moved by his tireless struggle to save Yosemite Valley's twin, theHetch Hetchy Valley from drowning in the clutches of politics. History, love, humor, passion, frustration and beauty abound in Mountain Days - the John Muir Musical.

The only place Mountain Days, "one mountain of a musical" the San Francisco Chronicle writes, can be experienced is at the 1,000 seat John Muir Amphitheater, created specifically to showcase the musical, in Martinez, California. Northern California visitors will find Martinez quite accessible - a mere 45 minutes from San Francisco, 30 minutes from the Napa Valley and 60 minutes from Sacramento. One can easily walk to the amphitheater from the Martinez Amtrack station and the Best Western John Muir Inn is only a 5 minute drive. The bonus is that the John Muir National Historic Site, featuring Muir's 1883 Victorian home, is within minutes, as well.

Mountain Days plays August 8 - 31, 2003. Performances are on weekends at 8:00 p.m. curtain for all performances. Check with Willows Theatre for exact dates. The amphitheater site opens at 6:00 p.m. each evening for pre-show activities and picnicking. Tickets: $10 - $20. Group and tour discounts available. Tour packages available with the Best Western John Muir Inn.

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