Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette

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 reviews live performances for Gazette readers, both in print and online. SEARCH Harry Duke for his reviews.

Sort by Date
2018-02-14Feb 14, 2018

Basking in tropical sunshine, “South Pacific” is set during World War II on an idyllic island. Restless sailors have been left to their own devices, until a marine lieutenant arrives with a daring plan to spy on the enemy fleet. Necessity brings together a diverse gathering of Americans, French, and the native population, which appear to be in harmony until romance blossoms, triggering the internalized racism simmering below the surface and ripping apart the lovers in self-imposed pain.

2017-11-25Nov 25, 2017

In 1992, a retired truck driver named Teri Horton paid five dollars for a painting from a southern California thrift store to give as a gag gift to a friend. An incomprehensible series of dots, blotches and streaks, her friend refused her gift and Horton ending up trying to unload the gangly canvas at a yard sale.

2017-11-24Nov 24, 2017

At last count, Sonoma County had over twenty active theatre companies, ranging from the nomadic Pegasus Theatre Company to the theatre departments of the two local institutions of higher learning.

2017-10-28Oct 28, 2017

The unique bonds of female friendship are at the heart of Robert Harling’sSteel Magnolias, now in the middle of its run at Santa Rosa’s6th Street Playhouse. Based on the life of Harling’s sister, the show debuted off-Broadway in 1987 and shortly thereafter was adapted into the successful film starring Sally Field, Dolly Parton, Shirley MacLaine and Julia Roberts in an early Academy Award-nominated role.

2017-10-23Oct 23, 2017

Written in the 1950’s and set in the 1930’s, modern audiences may find it tough to get past the basic plot points of N. Richard Nash’sThe Rainmaker, the Sonoma Arts Live production running now at the Sonoma Community Center.

2017-10-22Oct 22, 2017

Also marching forward in Sonoma County in “the show must go on” tradition is Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater which opened their production of Ronald Harwood’sQuartet, running now through October 29. It’s a one-set, two-act, four-scene, four-actor comedy whose setting – a retirement home – would belie the energy it generates and the amusement it delivers.

2017-10-18Oct 18, 2017

If you’re at the point where you need a break and feel safe enough to get out, go ahead and turn off your TV and radio, put your phone on silent, grab some friends who could use a laugh or two as well, and join King Arthur and his gang on their quest. You may not find the Grail, buy you’ll find some something better – a little light during these very dark days.

2017-09-16Sep 16, 2017

Back in my college days when, after the ingestion of a substantial quantity of adult beverages, the conversation topic amongst my friends inevitably steered to the meaning of life, my standard contribution was that life had no meaning, it was simply the sum of the choices we make. I then proceeded to a) throw up, b) pass out, or c) grab another beverage. See? Choices.

2017-09-15Sep 15, 2017

The second of two film-related theatrical productions running in the North Bay is Sonoma Arts Live’sThe Spitfire Grillwhose tale from screen to stage is fraught with high expectations, financial disappointment, critical recognition, and the worst of timing.


2017-09-07Sep 7, 2017

Titular roles don’t come much more challenging than those of Miguel de Cervantes, the Man of La Manchaand John Merrick, better known asThe Elephant Man, so why not cast the roles with performers whose fortés are outside of standard American theatre?

2017-09-01Sep 1, 2017

A citizen of Santa Rosa who criticizes anything Charles Schulz/ “Peanuts”- related runs the risk of being run out of town on the next SMART Train. This theatre critic took on that risk and attended the opening night performance of the  6th Street Playhouse production of You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I’m happy to report that I won’t be taking an unscheduled rail trip anytime soon.

2018-02-14Feb 14, 2018

Thinking outside the box once again, Cloverdale Performing Arts Center opens their 2018 season with David Mamet’s November, in February. But the timing couldn’t be better. With everything going on in the real White House these days, it’s fun to compare that with Mamet’s vision of a desperate man’s last-ditch effort to hold on to power even when all hope is gone.

2017-09-01Sep 1, 2017

Curtain Call Theatre proudly presents its current production of this fine play with another distinguished cast, a hallmark of CCT.

2018-02-05Feb 5, 2018

Ayad Akhtar’s chilling play ‘Disgraced’ explores the cultural identity of Muslim Americans struggling to belong in a society that inherently views them with suspicion. A diverse group of characters consider the multi-faceted issue, from an eager young man who believes in the Koran’s wisdom to a Caucasian artist accused of orientalism because she is drawing inspiration from Islamic tiling traditions in her paintings.

2018-01-22Jan 22, 2018

Vibrant country music inspires three women to give up their mediocre lives in favor of a one-way ticket to Nashville. Classic songs like “I Will Always Love You” and “9 to 5” link together to progress the story and deepen understanding of the characters, while causing laughs along the way.

2018-01-22Jan 22, 2018

What would you do if somebody offered you over half a million dollars to leave your rent controlled apartment?

2018-01-21Jan 21, 2018

‘The Dining Room’ by A.R. Gurney interweaves eighteen vignettes of family life—a daughter standing up for her independence, children prattling about politics with innocent enthusiasm, and a son struggling to accept his father’s passing. Shifting scenes overlap and flow in a collection of short stories, rather than a linear plot. The actors step into a wide range of personalities and ages; directorJoey Hoeber keeps the characters clear-cut, avoiding confusion and delayed transitions by relying on the cast, rather than elaborate set or costume adjustments.

2017-12-29Dec 29, 2017

It’s that time of year again for the usual “Best of…” lists where critics review their picks for the best (and sometimes worst) in music, movies, fashion, etc. and give people at holiday parties something to argue about.

2017-12-01Dec 1, 2017

The Holiday Season is upon us. That means not only shopping, decorations and more shopping, but also a slew of Christmas movie reruns and live shows. Cloverdale Performing Arts Center's contribution to the latter category isNutcracker . . . The Musical, a whimsical retelling of the classic ballet that's bound to entertain every member of your extended family.

2017-11-27Nov 27, 2017

Season  & Performance Tickets make great holiday gifts. Slip them inside a glass with a bottle of wine, beer, cider, a box of locally made food, a jar of popcorn kernels, wrapped around candy bars, whatever creative way you care to dress up a small package with a large experience inside.

Please support our sponsors:

Nor Cal Fire Lawyers

Community Meetings are scheduled for:
Calistoga: Feb 5 & 25,
Napa: Feb 5 & 20
Clearlake: Feb 8
Ukiah: Feb 13


ORDER BEES NOW - Take a CLASS to Learn how to raise bees in your garden!

Bike Logo

Call 855-483-3732 to find out about Folding, Cargo & BionX Bikes. Perfect for a SMART Train Ride!

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services
Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.