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Denair Gaslight invites patrons to walk across ‘The Lonely Bridge’
Community Conservatory to host first original play since 2019
The Lonely Bridge cast
Eric Rosales (far right) and cast members of his original musical “The Lonely Bridge” pose for a photo at a rehearsal session on Thursday night at the Denair Gaslight Community Conservatory (Photo contributed).

Plays are officially back at the Denair Gaslight Community Conservatory, and it’s thanks to a Patterson man who has written and produced his own original piece.

From June 9 to 11, there will be multiple showings of “The Lonely Bridge,” a family-friendly original play by Eric Rosales about six friends who travel back in time to 1958 Venice, Italy.

“This is such a fun and colorful piece, I’m just really excited for people to see this,” said Rosales.

The excitement Rosales has for people to see the fruits of his labor is especially high with this particular piece, as most of the script and production was completed in less than two months.

“I've written some scripts before with movie musicals and all that, so I figured it should be easy. I should get it done in like a couple of days, and of course that's not what happened,” Rosales joked. “I presented it originally to the board with Katie and Laura Overton in April, and it was simple like, ‘Oh, would you guys be interested?’ I had the story ready and the plan of the rehearsal and everything I’d need from them, and so they approved it. But after that, I then had a very short amount of time to finish everything up.”

Rosales, who is 24 years old, always found himself interested in musicals, and after graduating from Santa Teresa High in San Jose, has been looking for as many avenues as possible to put his creative mind to work.

“Since I was five, I always loved watching those kid musicals, but I didn’t realize that I wanted to do it myself, at first, which was weird. But in high school, I had a friend and she just wanted to make a musical for one of our school projects. We did that, and then we made another one, we started making Christmas musicals. From there, I just wanted to go further and further with it. But then I I was also just wondering, Could I make a stage musical?”

For his first original stage musical, Rosales wants to bring people to a classic corner of their imagination in vintage Italy.

“I want the story to take people somewhere. I didn't just want it to be a generic town in the United States. So I thought ‘Where’s a place I’ve always wanted to go that I have not gone to?’ I decided to do Venice, Italy, because why not? When you think of Venice, Italy, we all already have pictures of it in our heads. The cobblestone streets, you have the Gondolas and the water and the old Venetian architecture. I felt like it would really just get the first step into the imagination for the audience,” he explained.

Once he got his setting down, he really let his mind work, coming to the decision to make it into an R&B-heavy musical – a self-admitted not-so-classic combination.

“It sounds fun, and that’s what this is all about – having fun,” Rosales said.

In total, there are 11 individuals involved including Rosales. Nine of them are on-stage cast members.

“There's been a lot of movies and shows and other stuff, and a lot of it just feels like maybe it’s just too PG-13 or Rated R stuff out there,” he said. “I wanted to make something that everyone can go watch, whether it’s a whole family or with friends. They can just watch a bunch of people be wacky and have a fun time.”

“The Lonely Bridge” will be shown at 7 p.m. on June 9 and 10 and at 2 p.m. on June 10 and 11. Tickets are $10 for those 13 and up. Tickets for kids ages 6 to 12 are $5. Children ages 5 and under get in for free. All tickets are sold at the door, with doors opening 30 minutes prior to each show.