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An Old West Melodrama

Every March the Camino Real Playhouse in San Juan Capistrano stages its very popular old west melodrama. Why March, you ask? Well, Swallow’s Day is March 19th, and all of San Juan celebrates its history as a western frontier town. In fact, 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Swallow’s Day Parade.

The play runs from March 7th through March 28th and tickets are only $20 (except for opening night). Most performances are at 8:00 PM, but there are a couple of Sunday afternoon matinees. The whole family can Boo the villain, Cheer the handsome hero and Sigh for the beautiful heroine. The audience can even throw foam rocks at the dastardly villain. Each year they stage a different play, but it’s always over the top, and it’s always sold out. This year it’s The Broken Badge, a mystery set in the late 1920s.

While you’re in old San Juan, stop by the El Adobe Restaurant and ask to see the jail. The building that the restaurant occupies used to house the jail – and it’s still there. Even if you’re not eating there, the staff is very nice about showing visitors its little piece of Capistrano History.

Go online and buy your tickets now, because there are four things you can always count on at the Old West Melodrama. The hero is always heroic, the heroine is always beautiful, the villain is always evil, and the tickets are always scarcer than hen’s teeth!