Review: “The Wedding Singer” in Santa Rosa

To some in the theatre world, the sourcing of an Adam Sandler movie as the basis for a musical was the Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse. Needless to say, American musical theatre did not come to an end with the arrival of The Wedding Singer on Broadway. The show managed to snag five Tony nominations,…

Review: “Three Tall Women” in Petaluma

Playwriting is often a form of artistic exorcism. Many a play have been written to bring a form of closure to unresolved conflicts, strained relationships, or traumatic experiences and to release the hold that personal demons have on their authors. For playwright Edward Albee (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), that demon happened to be his…

Review: “Hotter Than Egypt” in Mill Valley

Mill Valley’s Marin Theatre Company has been presenting top-notch productions of often provocative plays for years, so color me a bit surprised by their latest offering. They are currently hosting the world premiere co-production (with Seattle’s ACT) of Yussef El Guindi’s Hotter Than Egypt. Selected by MTC’s new Associate Artistic Director Nakissa Etemad, the John Langs-directed…

Review: “Native Gardens” in Santa Rosa

“Good fences make good neighbors” is an aphorism whose origins are debated but whose truth is generally accepted.  Where the fence actually runs, though, can be a test of neighborly relations as it is in the Left Edge Theatre production of Karen Zacarias’ Native Gardens. The Jenny Hollingworth-directed comedy runs in Santa Rosa through April…

Review: “Almost, Maine” in Rohnert Park

Welcome to Almost, Maine. You won’t find it on a map as its citizens were never organized enough to get it declared an official town. The almost-town has a mill, a bar, a snowmobiling club, and a couple of dozen residents whose main activity is falling in (or out) of love.  That’s the premise behind…

Review: “Rent” in Novato

Every thirty years or so, musical theatre manages to produce something to which the younger members of a generation latch onto. From Hair in the 1960’s through Hamilton today, composers and lyricists’ use of the music of their time has been an effective way to entice younger audiences into theaters. The 1990’s brought Jonathan Larson’s…

Review: “Apologia” in Santa Rosa

Santa Rosa’s Roustabout Theater is best known as one of the leading theatrical training and performance programs in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a focus on youth ages 11 to 20, their Apprentice Program and Summer Theater Camp productions lean toward lighter fare, like this summer’s scheduled production of The SpongeBob Musical. Roustabout also…

Review: “The Marvelous Wonderettes” in Napa

Napa’s Lucky Penny Community Arts Center has been transformed into a high school gymnasium dolled up for the prom for their presentation of Roger Bean’s The Marvelous Wonderettes. The nostalgic jukebox musical runs through Mar. 13. It’s 1958 and Springfield High’s Songleader Squad has been asked to entertain at the Senior Prom. The four perky…

Review: “The Glass Menagerie” in Sebastopol

A “classic” is defined as something judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind. In theatre, it can be a mark of a quality script that is at the mercy of the artists producing it. I’ve seen plenty of non-classic productions of classic plays. The Glass…