Review: “The Tasting Room” in Napa

Adhering to Mark Twain’s advice to “write what you know”, Napa Valley’s Barry Martin has written and directed a play based on his experiences in the wine hospitality trade. The Tasting Room, running now at the Lucky Penny Community Arts Center through August 18, is his comedic take on the individuals found on both sides…

Review: “Cabaret” in Napa

Is there a darker or more depressing Broadway musical than Cabaret? Kander and Ebb’s 1966 musical (with book by Joe Masteroff) won eight Tonys for its original run and four more for its 1998 revival. It’s become a staple of regional and community theatres, as evidenced by the umpteen productions throughout the Bay area in…

Review: “Forever Plaid” in Napa

Musical zombies rise from the dead to sing an evening of ‘50’s pop standards. Let me try that again. On February 4, 1964, The Plaids, an eastern Pennsylvania-based vocal quartet, were headed for a major gig at the Fusel-Lounge at the Harrisburg Airport Hilton when their cherry red Mercury was broadsided by a bus full…

2018’s Top Torn Tickets – The Musicals!

It’s said that musicals are the bread and butter of community theatre, so here’s a list of the North Bay productions I toasted this past year. Here are my top torn tickets of 2018:  Part Two, the Musicals (in alphabetical order): Always, Patsy Cline… – (Sonoma Arts Live) – Danielle DeBow’s Patsy was as heartbreaking…

2018’s Top Torn Tickets – The Plays!

‘Tis the time for “Best of …” lists, so in the spirit of my illustrious predecessor and with a nod to the substantial differences in mounting a musical versus a play, here are my top torn tickets of 2018 – Part One, the Plays (in alphabetical order): Blackbird – (Main Stage West) – As dark subject…