A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

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 »

Cinnabar Theater extends run of sold-out ‘Carmen’ production

After selling out all performances of its current production of Georges Bizet’s opera “Carmen,” the Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma has added a performance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12. This production of “Carmen” is Cinnabar’s first  in the theater’s 40-year history. The opera follows the ill-fated love affair between a Don José, hot-tempered soldier played by Mark Kratz and Carmen, a spirited gypsy woman played by Rebecca Krouner. The opera is directed by Elly Lichenstein, with musical direction by Mary Chun.… Read More »

6th Street Playhouse wins six Critics Circle awards

The 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa has won six awards from the San Francisco/Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle for 2012. The Playhouse won for best ensemble performing in a theater with 100-300 seats for its production of “August: Osage County.” The show also won awards in that division for Jill Zimmerman, as best principal female in a play; John Browning, best featured male in a play, and Marty Pistone “best specialty,” for his fight choreography. For its Studio Theater… Read More »

Terence Keane of Berkeley Rep joins Cinnabar Theater

The Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma, celebrating its 40th season this year, has announced the appointment of a new executive director. Terence Keane, 42, of San Anselmo, who has worked with the Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the past eight and a half years, will join the Cinnabar staff May 1. Keane will work in tandem with Cinnabar’s longtime artistic director Elly Lichenstein, who has been doubling as artistic director and executive director. “I think this is a big moment in Cinnabar’s… Read More »

Local live theater win awards from online voters

Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse has won 2012 “Theatre of the Year” and four other awards from voters on the BroadwayWorld.com San Francisco web site. 6th Street’s production of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” won in the best local play category, and the show’s director, Michael Fontaine, 6th Street’s managing director, won for best direction. Craig Miller, 6th Street’s artistic director, won the best sound design award for his work on “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” Miller also… Read More »

‘A Couple of Blaguards’ extended at Cinnabar Theater

Cinnabar Theater’s “A Couple of Blaguards” opened to a sold-out house and a standing ovation on New Year’s Eve, and audience response since then has been strong enough to warrant adding two more performances to the end of the run. The Cinnabar has added performances at 8 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 27. Written by Frank McCourt, author of “Angela’s Ashes,” and his brother, Malachy McCourt, the play follows the young brothers’ early life, from Ireland… Read More »

Broadway performer stars in new Petaluma show

Singer and actor Michael McGurk, who appeared on Broadway in the 2000 revival of “The Music Man”” and the 2006 premiere of “The Wedding Singer,” stars in the premiere of new show Friday, Oct. 26, at the Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma. “So Nice to Come Home To: A World War II Musical,”  by Richard B. Evans and Kate Hancock, will run through Nov. 11 at the Cinnabar, 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. McGurk, originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., also appeared in… Read More »

Teen author and director stages new play at Cinnabar

While some high school students might aspire to become Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants, Dezi Gallegos of Petaluma would rather be John Cleese of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Gallegos, a 17-year-old senior at Marin Academy, is the author, director and star of a new two-act comedy play, titled “Quite Dead,” with a very British flavor. “In my junior year, on my drive to school, I had this idea for a British comedy, inspired by the humor of Monty… Read More »

‘Shirley Valentine’ stays over at Cinnabar

“Shirley Valentine,” the a one-woman show starring  Mary Gannon Graham as a British  housewife who dreams of freedom, is a hit. Originally scheduled to close Sunday, June 12, the show has proven so popular that it has been extended for another week. Remaining performances now include shows at 8 p.m. June 10-11 and 16-18, with a matinee at 2 p.m. June 12, at the Cinnabar Theater, 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.. Originally staged in 2008 at the former Sonoma County… Read More »

‘Shirley Valentine’ opens May 27 at Cinnabar

Director John Shillington is known locally for staging big, flashy productions like his recent run of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at the Santa Rosa Junior College. But “Shirley Valentine” is something different. It’s a one-woman show starring longtime local favorite Mary Gannon Graham as a British middle-aged, working-class housewife who dreams of freedom. Shillington and Graham previously collaborated on a sold-out run of “Shirley Valentine” in 2008 at the Sonoma County Repertory Theater in Sebastopol. The show was scheduled to return… Read More »