Review: “Crimes of the Heart” in Ross

The Ross Valley Players conclude their 89th season with a production of Crimes of the Heart, running in Ross through August 11. Beth Henley’s tragicomedy won the 1981 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was followed by a film adaptation starring Sissy Spacek that nabbed three Oscar nominations. The Magrath sisters have gathered at their grandfather’s…

Review: “Scott & Zelda: The Beautiful Fools” in Ross

The venerable Ross Valley Players have a long history of presenting new works to their audiences. In 1984, they initiated the Ross Alternative Works (RAW) program, dedicated to staged readings and full productions of original works by Bay Area playwrights. This season brings Scott & Zelda: The Beautiful Fools, running now through April 28. Written…

Review: “These Shining Lives” in Ross

At a time when occupational safety regulations are being loosened and funding for the agencies responsible for their enforcement being reduced, it’s good to be reminded how those safeguards came to be and what life was like for American workers before then. The Ross Valley Players’ production of Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives does just…

Review: “Deathtrap” in Ross

Mysteries and thrillers present interesting challenges for critics. We want to give audiences enough of an idea of the plot to pique their interest without giving away any of the twists, turns and surprises audiences should discover for themselves. Well, here goes. Playwright Sidney Bruhl, once a successful writer of theatrical thrillers, is tired of…

Review: “The Odd Couple” in Ross

There’s no more proven commodity for community theatres than Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. A reliable audience-pleaser since its 1965 Broadway debut, the story of mismatched roommates has been adapted for film and television numerous times and Simon himself rewrote it for an all-female cast. The Ross Valley Players production running through December 16 is…

Reviews: “Nuncrackers” & “Polar Bears” in Ross and San Rafael

For Marin audiences seeking some live holiday-themed entertainment, local theatre companies are presenting a couple of non-traditional seasonal shows. Audiences can choose between an ecclesiastical musical and a one-man holiday reminiscence. In 1985, writer/composer Dan Goggin adapted his line of greeting cards that featured nuns saying outrageous things into a cabaret show and then an…

Preview: Marin Holiday Theatre

If you’re trying to avoid attending the umpteenth production of The Nutcracker in your lifetime, Marin theatre companies are providing several other entertainment options for this holiday season. Last year, the Marin Theatre Company (marintheatre.org) was one of the participants in the rolling world premiere of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s Miss Bennet: Christmas at…