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Theater - Performing Arts
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Theater - Performing Arts

Live theater thrives in Sonoma County with stages in every city and even small towns. From entertaining musicals to deep dramas, performers bring entertainment into our lives in intimate theaters. Harry Duke and Greg and Suzanne Angeo review performances to Gazette readers.
Murder Mystery at Curtain Call Murder Mystery at Curtain Call
March 1, 2017
This romantic comedy by John Van Druten comes just in time for the fun and frolic of the Halloween Holiday. The New York Times called it an “....impish fantasy.”
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L-R---Dan Stryker (LENNY),  Andrea Rosales-Jacinto (CLAIRE) Rumors at Cloverdale performing Arts - Reviewed by Malena Eljumaily
February 21, 2017
Cloverdale Performing Arts Center opens its 10th season with the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors. It's a good choice since Simon is so reliable. We know we're going to laugh, be entertained and not have to over think in order to enjoy the play. 
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“Buyer & Cellar” at 6th Street Playhouse Review – “Buyer & Cellar” at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa – by Harry Duke
February 20, 2017
What’s an actor to do if he’s understudied a roll for months and then have the show close without ever getting the chance to take the stage? Well, if you’re Patrick Varner – a former Santa Rosa resident and Montgomery High School grad, now based in Boston -  you contact your old home-town theatre company and offer to do the show there. That’s how Buyer & Cellar ended up at 6th Street Playhouse, where it’s about to enter its closing weekend.
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THEATER, Performing Arts  - Sonoma County CALENDAR THEATER, Performing Arts - Sonoma County CALENDAR
February 1, 2017
by Vesta Copestakes

Creativity thrives on Stage & Screen. Whether your participate or observe, there's something here for you.

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“Stage Kiss” at 6th Street Playhouse “Stage Kiss” at 6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa CA
January 26, 2017
Acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl is known for her provocative, intelligent vision laced with humor. Her 2011 play “Stage Kiss” touches on some familiar and not-so-familiar themes: does art imitate life (or vice versa); do you ever really fall out of love; is there any point in cornball melodrama; can a peanut butter and jelly sandwich bring world peace? It also provides an occasionally intriguing and often comical glimpse into the backstage world of theatre.
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Film and Theater  by Don Gibble - August 2016 Film and Theater Review by Don Gibble - January 2017
January 4, 2017
Happy New Year Sonoma County! The Golden Globe nominations came out and this month is a perfect chance to catch up on the nominated films you were too busy to see last month. If you only see one, “La La Land” is the one. 
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A Look Back at Sonoma County Theatre in 2016 A Look Back at Sonoma County Theatre in 2016
January 4, 2017
by Harry Duke
Tis that time of year again where critics post their “Best of…”, “Top Ten…”, etc. lists and give artists and audiences something to argue about. I continue to resist that urge and instead offer something a little different. It’s awards season, so I thought I’d throw a few more out there post-Marquee Journalists and Pre-SFBATCC Excellence in Theatre Awards.
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Si Kahn at Main Stage West, Sebastopol, CA HOPE by Si Kahn at Main Stage West. Sebastopol CA
December 10, 2016
The world premiere of “Hope” at Main Stage West is yet another heartfelt and rousing work by noted poet, songwriter, social activist and playwright Si Kahn. As Artist in Residence since 2011, it’s his fifth show to be presented at MSW (all directed by his long-time friend, MSW Artistic Director Elizabeth Craven). His “Mother Jones in Heaven” a few seasons back was a sensational hit with audiences and critics alike.
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Bret Palmer - Mr. Toad's Adventure The Adventures of Mr. Toad at Cloverdale Performing Arts
December 3, 2016
Yes, we're all busy this holiday season and who has time for a family outing to the theater? My advice is to make time to see The Adventures of Mr. Toad, a warm-hearted musical by Piers Chater-Robinson. Based, of course, on the 1908 classic The Wind in the Willows and playing for the next three weekends at Cloverdale Performing Arts Center
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Hedwig and the Angry Inch Film and Theater Review by Don Gibble - December 2016
November 25, 2016
The Napa Valley Film Festival was amazing as always. The highlights were “Lion” starring Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman.
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Theater Review: Run For Your Wife Marquee Theater Journalists Awards
November 24, 2016
On November 14, a gathering of Sonoma County actors, directors and designers took place at the Local Barrel taproom in Santa Rosa for the inaugural awards presentation of the newly formed Marquee Theater Journalists Association.
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A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Analy A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Analy
October 26, 2016
Ever wonder what would happen if Shakespeare met The Beatles and Led Zeppelin? You’ll just have to come see Analy Arts’ fall production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!
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Review- “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” Golden Gate Theatre – by Harry Duke Review- “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” Golden Gate Theatre – by Harry Duke
October 26, 2016
by Harry Duke
My first experience with Hedwig and the Angry Inch was in 2001, when the film adaptation of the 1998 John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask Off-Broadway rock musical was released with expectations of becoming the next Rocky Horror Picture ShowThe film flopped (much like Rocky Horror), but my friends and I were quite taken by Hedwig’s story, from her identity struggles, her relationships, her botched sex change operation, her abandonments to her personal triumph and survival, all set to a terrific rock score. 
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The cast of Zombie Town Review – “Zombie Town” at Left Edge Theatre in Santa Rosa – by Harry Duke
October 26, 2016
The citizens of Harwood, Texas have endured the unthinkable. They have made it through a zombie attack. Now they have to survive something even more terrifying - the arrival of a San Francisco-based theatre collective determined to soothe their wounds through “the transformative healing power of theatre”.
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Film and Theater  by Don Gibble - August 2016 Film and Theater Review by Don Gibble - November 2016
October 26, 2016
The Napa Valley Film Festival opens November 9th with “Lion” starring Nicole KidmanRooney Mara and Dev Patel. There will be a party after the screening.
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Sebastopol Talent Show Auditions Audition for the Sebastopol Community Center Talent Show
October 25, 2016
We are now accepting video auditions from West Sonoma County residents. Twelve semi-finalists will be chosen to perform on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at SCCC's Main Hall, in front of a live audience and a judging panel of local professionals. Participation in our talent show is FREE.  ​Audition now for a chance to win the very special "Portfolio Package," featuring performance coaching, a marketing video, still photos, and your very own Seb-town tour. Take your career to the next level! ​If you have a talent, we want to see it! All the details at sebastopoltalentshow.com
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Rohnert Park Spreckels Karen Pinomaki Review - "Titanic, the Musical" in Rohnert Park - by Harry Duke
October 22, 2016
by Harry Duke

If the title Titanic, the Musical conjures images in your head of life vest clad passengers tap dancing their way into lifeboats or a Nathan Lane-voiced singing iceberg, you’ve seen way too many Disney musicals. Thankfully, the Tony Award winning Peter Stone/Maury Yeston show takes a decidedly more serious approach in telling the tale of the world’s most infamous nautical disaster by focusing on the (mostly-true) human stories of those on board and, through them, touches on issues of class, greed, and hubris that Disney wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot trident. The end result is a highly entertaining, surprisingly emotional evening of grand musical theatre.


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Three Penny Opera - Allie Nordby Threepenny Opera at 6th Street Playhouse, Santa Rosa CA
October 9, 2016

Ol’ Mackie’s Back in Town

Teeming with delightfully seedy characters in a dark underworld, imaginative staging and a truly unique musical score, the Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill classic “Threepenny Opera” at 6th Street is a rare treat for local theatregoers who long for something different. 

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Matthew Witthaus - Tika Moon in Sweeney Todd at the Raven Review – “Sweeney Todd” at the Raven Performing Arts by Harry Duke
October 5, 2016

Attend the tale of Sweeney Todd.
His skin was pale and his eye was odd.
He shaved the faces of gentlemen
who never thereafter were heard of again.

So begins Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, perhaps Stephen Sondheim’s most operatic musical program. How operatic? Well, the last major production in the Bay Area was in 2015 by the San Francisco Opera - which is my way of saying that it’s one helluva challenge for any community theatre to take on this show. So pre-review props to the Raven Players in Healdsburg for taking their shot.

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