Review: “Oliver!” in Santa Rosa

North Bay theatre patrons are well aware of the number of performances cancelled because of the Kincade fire and the PG&E power shutoffs. What they may not know is the impact those factors had on shows in the middle of their rehearsal process.  There’s no doubt that loss of critical time can be attributed to…

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: “Matilda the Musical” in Napa

Author Roald Dahl’s children’s stories usually feature an exceptional child living in an unexceptional world of abusive adults and oppressive institutions. Whether it’s James traveling in a giant peach or Charlie touring a chocolate factory, the young protagonists usually triumph with the help of a loving grown-up. That formula is at work again in Matilda…

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…