Not long ago, some of Sonoma County’s most beloved state parks were threatened with closure. Last year, some longstanding local theater companies were struggling to survive.

But on Saturday night (July 14), the new Sonoma-based Transcendence Theatre Company made its debut outdoors at Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen.

The company’s artistic director, Amy Miller, a recent transplant from Los Angeles, and more than a dozen of her friends, most of them with Broadway and national touring company credits, gave polished performances of both classic and current show tunes.

It’s always good to hear “Gershwin” again, and one can’t go wrong with songs from “Phantom of the Opera” and “Wicked.”

My personal favorite, though, was the witty contemporary love song, “Taylor the Latte Boy,” slyly performed by Nicole Mangi. (Written by Marcy Heisler and Zina Goldrich, the song is best known for being performed by Kristin Chenoweth, and has prompted an alleged response from the fictional Taylor, who resents being stalked.)

There were a lot of bright smiles and dusty shoes onstage in the old winery ruins next to Jack London’s cottage on the park grounds.

Granted, there were some proud stage parents in the audience, including the mom of performer and executive director Stephan Stubbins. But the place was packed, and random chats at intermission revealed people had come from all over the North Bay.

Miller and her colleagues have pledged $5 from every ticket sale to support Jack London State Park, now managed by Jack London Park Partners, a project of the nonprofit Valley of the Moon Natural History Association.

The Transcendence Theatre Company’s “Broadway Under the Stars” series continues through the rest of the summer at the park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen.

Picnicking starts at 5 p.m., with wine, beer and food gourmet truck fare available for purchases. The musical revue starts at 8 p.m.

The season:
— “Dream The Impossible Dream,” July 20-22.
— “Fantastical Family Night,” Aug. 3-4.
— “What A Wonderful World,” Aug. 16-18, 24-26.
* “Gala Celebration: One Day More,” Sept. 1.

Admission: $20-$150 Information:; (877) 424-1414.