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: “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…

Review: “Scrooge in Love!” in Napa

Movies and television have long been a haven for sequels and spin-offs. Live theatre? Not so much. Which is why it’s interesting that North Bay theatres have programmed three such shows for the holiday season. Marin Theatre Company is presenting the latest installment of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s Christmas at Pemberley extensions of Pride…