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A Press Democrat Blog

Arts

Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

Jack London Park troupe to perform at Wells Fargo Center

The popular Transcendence Theater Company, which has built a large fan base with its outdoor shows in Jack London State Historic Park, will move indoors for a new series called “Transcendence at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts.” The company, made up of musical theater performers with Broadway and national touring company credits, will present a one-night only concert, titled “Oh, What a Night,” on June 24 at Wells Fargo Center, and return Dec. 4-5 to put on its first-ever… Read More »

Gabriel Kahane performs March 29 in Sebastopol

Singer, songwriter and pianist Gabriel Kahane, who spent his teenage years in Santa Rosa and has gone on to gain national attention, will perform Sunday, March 29, in Sebastopol. He’ll perform his own material from his latest album, “The Ambassador,” released last year. The album was named “one of the year’s very best” by Rolling Stone and described as “remarkable” by the New York Times. The show, a benefit for the Main Stage West theater company in Sebastopol, starts at… Read More »

Nelson Family of Companies sponsors Transcendence Theater

The Nelson Family of Companies, a Sonoma-based staffing and recruiting corporation, will sponsor the 2015 and 2016 seasons of the Transcendence Theater Company, which performs outdoors every summer at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen. Gary and Marcia Nelson of the Nelson Family of Companies, have a long record of supporting arts, education and health programs, including a recent $3 million gift to the Sonoma Valley Hospital. Now in its fourth year, the Transcendence Theater Company is contracted… Read More »

Documentary film ‘John Brown’s Body — At San Quentin Prison’ screens in Santa Rosa

  San Francisco filmmaker Joe DeFrancesco will screen his documentary, “John Brown’s Body — At San Quentin Prison” Saturday, Jan. 17, in Santa Rosa. The film follows rehearsals for a production of the Pulitzer Prize-wining play “John Brown’s Body” by Stephen Vincent Benet at San Quentin, performed by nine inmates and directed by Joe DeFrancesco. The play deals with slavery, freedom and the Civil War. The documentary combines excerpts of the play and interviews with the inmates. DeFrancceso and former… Read More »

Santa Rosa composer up for an award

A lot of fuss is made over composers who write the musical scores for movies and stage musicals, and rightly so. But there’s a lesser-known category of compositions for theater, known as “incidental music,” primarily used in plays in the background and/or between scenes. Trained musicians write that, too. One of them is Santa Rosa native Jonathan Beard (at left in photo), now living in Los Angeles and working as a composer, mostly for movies and television. The Sierra Madre… Read More »

Wells Fargo Center partners with two additional arts groups

The Wells Fargo Center for the Arts has formed new partnerships with two local arts organizations, the North Bay Stage Company and Sonoma Latin Arts. The North Bay Stage Company was started by former members of the Raven Players, a theater company that performs at the Raven Theater in Healdsburg. (The Raven Theater is opening a second site in Windsor.) Wells Fargo Center will now have two resident companies:  North Bay Stage Company and the Roustabout Theater, a training program… Read More »

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical opens in San Francisco

As a high school student in New York, young Carol Joan Klein changed her name to Carole King. She set out to become a songwriter at age 16, but got pregnant and married her songwriting partner, lyricist Gerry Goffin at 17. And at age 18, in 1960, she had her first No. 1 hit, “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” recorded by the Shirelles. “She got a lot done” in a short time, said Douglas McGrath, author of “Beautiful: The Carole… 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 »

Toad in the Hole Pub plans fifth annual Mostly Python street party

Do you like music? Do you like BBQ? Do you like Monty Python? Do you like being silly in the street? That’s how the web site for the Toad in the Hole Pub in Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square pitches “Mostly Python,” its fifth annual block party and street fair. Running from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, in front of the pub, at 116 Fifth St., the bash includes four band, skits in the spirit of “Monty Python’s Flying… Read More »

TV actress Sutton Foster sings at Jack London Park

The Transcendence Theatre Company will present two-time Tony Award-winning acress and singer Sutton Foster in concert Thursday, Aug. 1, at Jack London Historic State Park in Glen Ellen. Foster, best-known on Broadway for her Tony Award-winning performances in “Anything Goes” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” also originated leading roles in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Little Women,” “Young Frankenstein” and “Shrek the Musical.” Currently, Foster stars in ABC Family’s new series “Bunheads.” Foster was first seen on television on “Star Search” at age… Read More »