Marin’s Top Torn Tickets of 2019

Compared to neighboring counties, Marin has relatively few regularly-producing theatre companies. Ah, but quantity does not equal quality as my ‘Top Torn Tickets for 2019’ list proves. Here, in alphabetical order, are the best and/or most interesting works done in the past year by that handful of Marin-based companies: A Bright New Boise (College of…

Review: “Middletown” in Kentfield

Welcome to Middletown. Population: stable. Elevation: same. The main street is called Main Street. The side streets are named after trees. Things are fairly predictable. People come; people go. That paraphrasing of some of the introductory dialogue from Middetown, running now at the College of Marin through December 8, is as much of a plot…

Review: “She Loves Me” in Ross

It’s been almost 85 years since two of Marin’s oldest theatre companies joined forces to present a full theatrical production. Apparently, it worked so well that the Mountain Play and the Ross Valley Players have decided to do it again. Their co-production of She Loves Me, the 1963 musical adaptation of the 1937 Hungarian play…

Review: “Bluff” in San Rafael

Writers have been dressing up the “boy meets girl, boy loses girl” trope for centuries now from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to every Hallmark Channel movie. Playwright Jeffrey Sweet took his shot at it twenty years ago with Bluff, running now at The Belrose in San Rafael through November 16. Sweet, long connected with Chicago…

Review: “Sweeney Todd” in Novato

Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd is an exceedingly difficult show to produce.  More opera than musical (San Francisco Opera actually did a production in 2015), the vocal demands alone create a significant casting challenge for most theatre companies. The complexities of Sondheim’s score and the requirements of the set design add to the…