A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

100 Thousand Poets for Change returns Sept. 27-29 to Santa Rosa

In 2011, Guerneville poet and web site editor Michael Rothenberg came up with the idea of staging poetry readings all over world on the same day, coordinated via the Internet. He called the project “100 Thousand Poets for Change.” While the idea grew that first year to include 700 events in 550 cities in 95 countries, its local presence was rather small — just a poetry reading in Santa Rosa’s Old Courthouse Square. Now, in its third year, “100 Thousand… Read More »

Talent booker Rick Bartalini to work for Green Music Center

Rick Bartalini, who booked big-name acts and other entertainment for 11 years at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts in Santa Rosa, is now working for the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. Earlier this month, Bartalini joined the staff of On Campus Presents, which promotes concerts, lectures, films, comedy shows and other events at Sonoma State University. “Rick’s background and experience is extensive in the area of popular entertainment and we are excited to have him working with… Read More »

‘Wicked’ returns to San Francisco

Almost a decade ago, the hit musical “Wicked” previewed in San Francisco, before going on to become a Broadway hit. Now, the show is returning home once again, for a four-week run opening Jan. 23 at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 5, starting at $35, at shnsf.com and (888) 746-1799. Fans of “Wicked” will want to see it again. And if you’ve never seen the show, here’s your chance to… Read More »

Wells Fargo Center ranks in world’s top 100 theaters

Wells Fargo Center for the Arts has been named among the top 100 theaters in the world, and among the top 15 for theaters with 2,000 seats or less. Santa Rosa’s non-profit community arts center received a world-wide ranking of 89 by Pollstar, a trade magazine covering the worldwide concert industry. For theaters with fewer than 2,000 seats, Wells Fargo Center ranks 14th in the world. Pollstar’s rankings are based on tickets sold for performances from Jan. 1 to Dec.… Read More »

Marin Arts Council lays off executive director

Argo Thompson of Santa Rosa, executive director of the Marin Arts Council for the past three years, was laid off Tuesday by the council’s board of directors. The board announced it was eliminating the executive director position because of budget cuts. The Arts Council plans to focus on its Marin Open Studios program, which invites the public into artists’ studios. Thompson said he was proud of moving the council’s offices into an exhibit and performance venue in downtown San Rafael… Read More »

Send us your Scrooges and Suglarplum Fairies

OK, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to compile the annual Press Democrat story listing local productions of “The Christmas Carol,” “The Nutcracker”  and other holiday season classics. We do our best to get them all, and after doing this for a long time, we already know about many of the shows. But every year, after the story runs, someone inevitably feels left out. So, this time, let’s get proactive. Send us the information NOW. We need it… Read More »

Black Cat Cabaret in Sonoma

Step up to help our furry friends when Pets Lifeline of Sonoma hosts its second annual Black Cat Cabaret benefit Thursday and Friday, Sept. 9-10, at the “Field of Dreams” (Fazio Field), 151 First St. W., Sonoma The event features performances by Las Vegas aerialists, acrobats and musicians, starting at 8 p.m. both nights. VIP receptions start at 6:30 p.m., with gates opening at 7:30 p.m., each evening. Ticket prices range from $75 to $250. All proceeds go to support… Read More »

Poetry and storytelling in Sonoma

If you roll around Sonoma County long enough, you’re likely to encounter an affable poet and storyteller named Tom J. Mariani. He has been published both online and in print, and often participates in poetry readings around the area.  Tom’s always smiling, and after you listen to him for awhile, you will be, too. The man has a lot of good stories to tell, both in poetry and prose. A fifth-generation California native, he frequently draws on family history for… Read More »

Vaudeville circus comes to Sebastopol

The New Old Time Chautauqua — a traveling troupe that combines comedy, dance, music,  juggling, acrobatics and variety acts — will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at Analy High  School,  6950 Analy Ave., Sebastopol. The company, founded in 1981, is backed by its own live band, the Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra. Tickets cost $10. Information: www.brownpapertickets.com, 874-9460. This show is presented by the Sebastopol Area Chamber of Commerce.

Katie Ketchum’s one-woman show

Katie Ketchum, who teaches voice and piano in Sebastopol, also has an interesting history as a performer. She created and performed a one-woman musical about the American painter Mary Cassatt, and her musical about Mary Magdalene played to good response in Sacramento and San Francisco. She’ll perform her new show, “An Evening with Clara Schumann; 19th Century Pianist and Composer,” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 18, at the the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 6780 Depot St., Sebastopol.  Admission: $10-$20.… Read More »