Actor and software engineer Edward Im has branched out from his Pleasanton roots and into the South Bay where he will be performing in South Bay Musical Theatre's upcoming production of "On the Town."
Im, who attended Lydiksen Elementary, Hart Middle and Foothill High schools before studying computer science and economics at University of California, Berkeley, said he wasn't bitten by the theater bug until he started going to Cal.
"I didn't start acting until college," Im said. "There's a breadth requirement and one of those is arts and literature. For mine, I chose the intro to acting class ... and it just kind of snowballed from there. I ended up graduating with a minor in theater and performance studies."
At one point, Im said he began applying to graduate school for theater, but as a 2020 graduate, he decided to hold off as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take over and shut the performing arts down. Now that theaters are reopening and COVID-19 concerns are starting to curb, Im said he's excited to be part of his first post-graduation show.
"This has been pretty exciting because it feels like in-person theater is starting to return," Im said. "Not just with this production, but it feels like all over the Bay Area productions are happening and people are making things again, which is exciting."
In "On the Town," which is based on the ballet "Fancy Free" by Jerome Robbins, three Navy sailors -- Chip, Gabey and Ozzie -- have 24 hours to experience everything there is to see in New York before they're shipped off to fight in World War II. Im is part of the ensemble, which includes mostly singing and dancing to accompany the musical score by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
"I think the thing that stands out the most about this show to me is that it's super gorgeous musically," Im said. "It's a really fun show with a ton of variety -- all sorts of different types of genres of music and different dance sequences. I think it'll be a really fun time for anyone who comes out."
The SBMT performance has been described as a high-energy, feel-good, zany musical by its director, Janie Scott, who said she hopes audiences will fall in love with the "exuberant and dazzling" cast while enjoying the "eye-catching" sets and costumes, music and laughs.
"It's a whole lot of fun and super entertaining," Im said. "It has everything you would want in a musical. It has these really big dance numbers, ballads, nightclub scenes. It's going to be really fun for audiences to see."
"On The Town" opens next Friday (May 20) and runs through June 4 at the Saratoga Civic Theater. Tickets are available at www.southbaymt.com.