The Musical, the Doo-Wop Project” brings unparalleled authenticity of sound and vocal excellence to recreate — and in some cases entirely reimagine — some of the greatest music in American pop and rock history! Courtesy photo
Cities Community News Vista Vista Featured

Get ready: new season at Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheater kicks off

VISTA — If you’re looking for a place where you can enjoy new tunes, old tunes and an outdoor movie or two, you need to check out the upcoming city of Vista’s Moonlight Amphitheater’s fourth season kicking off April 12.

“We’ve got some fun exciting stuff happening as we’ve been able to get some bigger names this year,” Managing Director Colleen Kollar Smith said.

She said entertainment acts tend to be surprised by the venue itself as they have an expectation in their mind before they perform.

“ … then they are blown away by the venue itself when they get here,” she said. “Artists are often surprised by the venue because they are expecting something small.”

The theater seats 2,000 including lawn chairs and general lawn seating — and each has different price levels depending on where you choose to sit, she said.

The programming runs through December and combines a mixture of acts, performances and even outdoor movies.

“I’m most excited about the diversity of the season ahead and the fact that we are going to be bringing in such different groups of audiences,” she said. “I love our family movie nights because we always provide preshow activities — our intention was to get young people and young families into the theater for the first time — not just to watch the movies but to get them into the theater to engage in the space.

The PettyBreakers is the nation’s premiere Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band. Courtesy photo

“We always have a communal art activity they can get involved in,” she continued. “When we played Coco’ we made a community project where people could write their names on an archway. When we had a film about witches, we made a witch’s hat where they could draw and add their art to it.

“I get particularly excited when I see young people engaging in the space,” she said. “I’m hopeful that we will bring in new audiences and I’m excited to see who is going to be in our space based on this wide variety of programming. This is our biggest season yet!”

For its upcoming season of concerts and movie nights, Moonlight Presents will offer an expanded calendar of events at the Moonlight Amphitheatre, the picturesque outdoor venue located within Brengle Terrace Park.

The season is sponsored by Vista-based Dr. Bronner’s, concert packages and single tickets will go on sale Saturday, March 9 by phone at (760) 724-2110, online at, and in person at VisTix, 200 Civic Center Drive.

“Moonlight Presents was intended to expand the amphitheater’s offerings outside of our summer season of Broadway musicals,” Kollar Smith said. “Last year, we grew our audience by more than 40 percent over the previous years’ attendance. We are thrilled that our community is embracing The Moonlight as a year-round entertainment destination. With the generous underwriting from Dr. Bronner’s, we are able to offer an eclectic line-up in 2019 which to date is our largest presenting season.”

Wondering what you can look forward to? Here’s the exciting line-up:

Classic Albums Live

Friday, April 12: The Eagles’ “Hotel California”

Gates: 6 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 13: Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours”

Gates: 6 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

Ticket price range for each concert: $15 to $40

Classic Albums Live returns to The Moonlight stage with two ultimate albums, The Eagles’ “Hotel California” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours.” Go back in time with this perfect recreation of these unforgettable timeless albums. Classic Albums Live has become the ultimate destination for music lovers wanting to hear the greatest albums performed live. Some of the world’s most skilled musicians and vocalists will recreate “Hotel California” and “Rumours” live, note for note, cut for cut, followed by a second act of Greatest Hits from each band. Friday night, enjoy hit Eagles’ tracks like the Grammy-winning “New Kid in Town,” as well as deep cuts like “Wasted Time.” You’ll want to return on Saturday to enjoy the thrilling energy and genius of Fleetwood Mac’s hits “Go Your Own Way,” “The Chain,” and “Dreams.” “Hotel California” and “Rumours” will play exactly as you remember on the turntable.

May the Fourth Be With You Celebration!

Saturday, May 4

Gates: 6 p.m.

Concert: 6:30 p.m.

Show: 8 p.m.

Tickets: $10 and $15

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” on the big screen along with the hottest cantina band, The Millennial Falcons, on stage before the movie.

The Millennial Falcons. Courtesy photo

Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers

Saturday, May 11

Gates: 6 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

Ticket price range: $15 to $40

Hailed as one of the most exciting live acts on the road today, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers are musical beacons of the Southwest fueled by witty and insightful lyrics, crunching guitar riffs, a dynamic rhythm section and tequila. Bridging the gap between rock ’n roll, roadhouse Americana, and the sound of the southwest, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers have carved out their own path for more than 15 years. They’ve traveled the world, sent eight albums to the top of the Billboard Internet Sales Chart, launched an annual music festival in Mexico, started their own line of ultra-premium tequila, and built a global community of music-lovers and peacemakers — all the while remaining 100 percent independent.

The PettyBreakers

Saturday, May 25

Gates: 6 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

Ticket price range: $15 – $40

The PettyBreakers is the nation’s premiere Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers tribute band. The band accurately recreates the sights, sounds, and concert experience of a Tom Petty concert. You will hear all the classics that you know and love: “American Girl,” “Break Down,” “Free Falling,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” and more. If you are a Tom Petty fan, you will not want to miss this evening that honors the music of the legendary American musical icon.

Movie Night: ‘Back to the Future’

Friday, May 31, 2019

Gates: 6:30 p.m.

Show:  8 p.m.

Tickets: $5 and $10

Hop in your DeLorean and enjoy the quintessential 1980s movie coming to The Moonlight! 1980s-themed pre-movie fun for the family.

John Waite

Saturday, July 6, 2019

Gates: 6 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

Ticket price range: $22 to $57

1970s and 1980s Rock icon John Waite and his band will perform his catalogue of hits from his 40-year career as a solo artist and his time as lead singer of the bands The Babys and Bad English. His catalogue of hits includes the No. 1 worldwide hit “Missing You,” The Babys’ “Isn’t It Time,” and Bad English’s “When I See You Smile,” which rank amongst some of his biggest international hits and are still heard on radio today. Other songs include “Tears,” “Change,” “These Times Are Hard for Lovers,” “Every Step of the Way,” and “If Anybody Had a Heart.” Waite’s talent for power ballads and driving arena rock occasionally touched on new wave-styled power pop making him a fixture of the rock ’n roll scene. Waite continues to forge his own singularly personal path of celebrating the present while engaged by the promise of the future. The story is far from over for the Lancaster, England-born Rock star/balladeer/storyteller who was inspired onto his musical path by blues, soul and country along with a deep connection to the Celtic folk music of his homeland.

Waite continues to forge his own singularly personal path of celebrating the present while engaged by the promise of the future. Courtesy photo

Into the Woods in Concert

Saturday, Oct. 5

Gates: 6 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

Ticket price range: $10 to $45

James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim take everyone’s favorite storybook characters and bring them together for a timeless, yet relevant, piece. This one-night-only fundraising concert version of this modern classic brings to life the story of a baker and his wife, who wish to have a child; Cinderella, who wishes to attend the King’s Festival; and Jack, who wishes his cow would give milk. When the baker and his wife learn that they cannot have a child because of a witch’s curse, the two set off on a journey to break the curse. Everyone’s wish is granted, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later with disastrous results. With an all-star cast of Moonlight favorites and orchestra, this is an evening you won’t want to miss! This is a co-production between Moonlight Stage Productions and the Moonlight Cultural Foundation. Proceeds benefit the Moonlight Cultural Foundation. Please note tickets for this performance will go on sale on March 30.

Movie Night: ‘The Goonies’

Friday, Oct. 25

Gates: 5:30 p.m.

Show: 7 p.m.

Tickets: $5 and $10

Bring the family to watch a group of misfit kids who set out to find a pirates’ ancient treasure in this great 1980s classic. “Goonies” themed activities before the movie!

Sweet & Tender Hooligans: The Ultimate Tribute to Morrissey and The Smiths

Saturday, Oct. 26

Gates: 6 p.m.

Show: 7:30 p.m.

Ticket price range: $15 to $40

Los Angeles-based Sweet and Tender Hooligans, hailed as the ultimate tribute to Morrissey and The Smiths, have delivered for more than two decades a finely crafted show that pays homage to the legendary singer and British indie band. Performing to sold-out crowds throughout the U.S., Mexico and the U.K., front man Jose Maldonado channels Morrissey so convincingly that Moz himself has even jokingly taken the stage with the opening line: “Hello, we are the Sweet and Tender Hooligans and I’m Jose.” From their era-perfect style to Maldonado’s Morrissey-inspired coif, the band never fails to satisfy even the most rigorous Smiths purists.

The Doo-Wop Project

Saturday, Nov. 9

Gates: 5:30 p.m.

Show: 7 p.m.

Ticket price range: $15 to $40

Back by popular demand at The Moonlight, The Doo-Wop Project begins at the beginning: tracing the evolution of doo-wop from the classic sound of five guys singing tight harmonies on a street corner to the biggest hits on the radio today. In this epic concert, go on a musical journey from foundational tunes of groups like The Crests, The Belmonts, and The Flamingos through their influences on the sounds of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, and The Four Seasons all the way to doo-wopified versions of modern musicians like Michael Jackson, Jason Mraz and Maroon 5. Featuring stars of Broadway’s smash hits, “The Jersey Boys and Motown: The Musical, the Doo-Wop Project” brings unparalleled authenticity of sound and vocal excellence to recreate — and in some cases entirely reimagine — some of the greatest music in American pop and rock history!

Simon and Garfunkel Live in Central Park Revisited

Saturday, Nov. 30

Gates: 5:30 p.m.

Show: 7 p.m.

Ticket price range: $15 to $40

In 1981, more than 500,000 music fans gathered in Central Park to witness the legendary reunion of folk duo Simon & Garfunkel. Award-winning recording artists Lee Lessack and Johnny Rodgers recreate that magical night. With dulcet vocals harmonizing over lilting guitar, you will hear all the beloved poetic masterpieces that made Simon & Garfunkel famous: “Mrs. Robinson,” “Homeward Bound,” “Scarborough Fair,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Sound of Silence,” and many more.

Movie Night: ‘Elf’

Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019

Gates: 5:30 p.m.

Show: 7 p.m.

Tickets: $10 and $15

Experience the adventures of Buddy the Elf in this modern Christmas classic on the big screen. Arrive early for a snow play area for the kids and other holiday-themed activities for the family.

Top of the World: A Carpenters Holiday Concert

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019

Gates: 5:30 p.m.

Show: 7 p.m.

Ticket price range: $15 to $40

This Carpenters tribute band brings the most authentic versions of the original duo’s music to the stage. No doubt you will be singing along as they perform holiday hits along with Carpenters favorites like “Close To You,” “We’ve Only Just Begun,” “Rainy Days and Mondays,” “Yesterday Once More,” “Top of the World,” “Superstar” and more. Lead singer Debbie Taylor captures the warm tones and contralto range that made Karen’s voice so unique. Sit back and enjoy as Debbie and her band take you on a nostalgic journey through the Carpenters Christmas album and other hits while sharing some of the backstories behind the music.

The previously announced 39th summer season of Moonlight Stage Productions at the Moonlight Amphitheatre includes Mel Brooks’ “The Producers” (June 12 to June 29), Roald Dahl’s “Matilda The Musical” (July 17 to Aug. 3), “West Side Story” (Aug. 14 to Aug. 31), “Victor’/Victoria” (Sept. 11 to Sept. 28). Subscriptions go on sale March 9 followed by single tickets on March 30.

For more information, visit or call (760) 724-2110.

Moonlight Amphitheatre

1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista

VisTix, the Moonlight Amphitheatre’s Box Office

200 Civic Center Drive, Vista

Customer Service Hours: weekdays, noon to 5 p.m.

Phone: (760) 724-2110


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