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A Press Democrat Blog

Arts

Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

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 »

Summer Repertory Theatre adds new performances

Santa Rosa Junior College’s Summer Repertory Theatre has added three more performances of its sold-out production of “The Fox on The Fairway,” written by Ken Ludwig, author of “Lend Me a Tenor.” Extra performances of the play, a romantic farce set at a golf and country club, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 30, and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 31, at Newman Auditorium in Emeritus Hall, at the Elliot Avenue end of the Santa Rosa campus.… Read More »

6th Street Playhouse stages reading of play based on ‘Brenda Starr’ cartoonist

Laura Rohrman grew up in Sonoma County, devoted to her grandmother, so when Rohrman moved to New York in 2000 to become an actress and playwright, it was natural she’d write about her grandma. What makes the story unusual is that Rohrman’s grandmother was Dale Messick, America’s first syndicated woman cartoonist and creator of the comic strip “Brenda Starr, Reporter.” The 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa will present a staged reading of Rohrman’s play, “Reporter Girl,” directed by longtime… Read More »