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…

Curtain Going Up Again at North Bay Theatres

With the Kincade fire no longer posing an imminent threat and with PG&E enlisting a full contingent of wheel-running squirrels to power up the area, North Bay theatre companies that were forced to shutter their productions last week are looking forward to resuming their runs this weekend. Here’s the status of all Sonoma and Marin…

Review: “Legally Blonde: the Musical” in Novato

The chances of Legally Blonde showing up on anyone’s list of ‘great American musicals’ are as likely as the chances of a UCLA sorority President with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fashion Merchandising really being admitted to Harvard Law School.   Based on the 2001 novel by Amanda Brown and film starring Reese Witherspoon, it’s the…

Review: “Spring Awakening” in Novato

Totally fucked. That, dear readers, sums up the teen angst expressed via song in Spring Awakening, Marin Musical Theatre Company’s latest offering. It runs at the NTC Playhouse in Novato through March 16. Based on German playwright Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 play that dealt frankly with teenage sexuality, playwright Steven Sater and musician Duncan Sheik…

Review: “Loot” in Novato

When Joe Orton’s Loot opened in Cambridge, England in 1965 it created such a scandal that the Lord Chamberlain, England’s official theatre “censor” until 1968, ordered revisions and deletions before it could run on London’s West End. It’s running now at the Novato Theater Company through February 10. Orton’s look at the savage hypocrisy beneath…