Preview: Sonoma/Napa Holiday Theatre

For folks looking for some respite from Christmas shopping or from becoming participants in the demolition derby that is mall parking, North Bay theatre companies are providing several seasonal entertainments to help keep you in the holiday spirit.

Family-friendly musicals are the usual fare and there are several on tap. While not all would be classified as holiday-specific shows, they’ll still get the kids out of the house for a few hours and give adults some welcome relief. For adults looking for something different, there are a few interesting choices as well.

Main Stage West (mainstagewest.com) kicks things off with a Thanksgiving dinner from hell with their production of The House of Yes.

Santa Rosa Junior College Theatre Arts (theatrearts.santarosa.edu) is presenting Shrek, the Musical. Burbank Auditorium renovations continue to require them to do their shows “on the road”, so you’ll have to travel to Maria Carrillo High School to see this one.

Spreckels Theatre Company (spreckelsonline.com) is doing The Tailor of Gloucester. This original holiday musical, based on the Beatrix Potter story, was originally commissioned and produced by Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater back in 2004 and had several Youth Theatre productions there. Michael Ross directs (mostly) adults in this studio theater production.

Melody Payne, Rachel Davidson

Sonoma Arts Live (sonomaartslive.org) brings Anne of Green Gables to their Rotary stage. This musical version of the L.M. Montgomery classic is about a spunky redheaded orphan winning over her new family and an entire Canadian island.

Speaking of spunky redheaded orphans, Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse (6thstreetplayhouse.com) assures us the sun’ll come out tomorrow with Annie. It’s Daddy Warbucks versus the evil Miss Hannigan with Annie – and her little dog, too – as the objects of their attention. A second show, The 12 Dates of Christmas, will run in the 6th Street Studio Theater. It’s a single woman’s ‘holiday survival guide’.

For nostalgia fans, Healdsburg’s Redwood Theatre Company (redwoodtheatrecompany.com) will be presenting It’s a Wonderful Life in the live radio play format.

A plucky little girl – this time named Eve – takes center stage at the Cloverdale Performing Arts Center (cloverdaleperformingarts.com) in Yo Ho Ho: A Pirate’s Christmas. Can she rescue Santa and Christmas from the clutches of a gang of directionally-challenged pirates? If she doesn’t, the audience may mutiny.

Left Edge Theatre (leftedgetheatre.com) goes in a very different direction with Every Brilliant Thing. How different? Well, if a tale of depression, suicide and survival is your cup of tea… 

Over in Napa, Lucky Penny Productions (luckypennynapa.com) is presenting Scrooge in Love. This will be only the third fully staged production of this original musical after having been done twice by San Francisco’s 42 Street Moon. It musically answers all the questions you may have about what happened after the end of Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol.  Dyan McBride, the show’s original director, heads this production as well.  

Finally, for those in the mood for a big, splashy music and dance extravaganza, there’s always Transcendence Theatre Company (transcendencetheatre.org) and their Broadway Holiday Spectacular. They’ll be doing three performances at Santa Rosa’s Luther Burbank Center and two performances in Napa at the Lincoln Theatre in Yountville.

Lots of entertainment options, and I’m sure the producing companies would like to remind you that theatre tickets make GREAT stocking stuffers.

Check the NBSS Calendar page for links to specific show information.

Photos by Eric Chazankin and Miller Oberlin

This preview originally appeared in an edited version in the North Bay Bohemian.

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