A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

New Freedom Jazz Choir performs in Santa Rosa

The new HJF (Healdsburg Jazz Festival) Freedom Jazz Choir, a chorus of more than 100 voices, led by jazz bassist Marcus Shelby and accompanied by his 17-piece orchestra, will perform Saturday, May 18, in Santa Rosa. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave. Admission: $20. The program will include “Soul of the Movement: Meditations on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” a jazz suite written by Shelby. Performers will include Faye Carol, and Adam Ivey’s… Read More »

10th and last ‘Twisted Christmas’ variety show at Glaser Center

Every year during the holidays, we can count on seeing some version of “The Nutcracker” and “The Christmas Carol,” but local journalist, playwright and actor David Templeton likes to do something different. This year he’ll present “Twisted Christmas Live No. 10,” his 10th annual “literary-comedy-variety show,” at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15. A fundraiser for the Redwood Empire Food Bank, the show features Bay Area actors, writers, musicians and comedians, reading… Read More »

Plan 9 gets a staged reading at Glaser Center

In 1956, shortly before “Dracula” film star Bela Lugosi died, he appeared in some odd bits of footage shot by low-budget film writer and director Edward D. Wood, Jr. Some of that film found its way into the notoriously bad movie “Plan 9 from Outer Space,”  which premiered in 1957 and was released in 1959. In 1980, authors Michael and Harry Medved dubbed “Plan 9 from Outer Space” the “worst movie ever made.”  Wood was posthumously awarded the Medveds’ Golden… Read More »

‘St. Pat’s Without the Bar’ in Santa Rosa

We tend to link St. Patrick’s Day with drinking, don’t we? Perhaps that stems from an ethnic stereotype, or maybe it’s just because a lot of the live music available is in nightclubs. But it’s not all about green beer and bars. Glaser Center in Santa Rosa hosts “St. Pat’s Without the Bar,” an evening of Irish music and dance, at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 17. Irish singer Marilyn O’Malley and fiddler Francis Small will play lively tunes and beautiful… Read More »

Kate Wolf remembered in two tribute concerts

Newcomers to Sonoma County must wonder why they hear so much about Kate Wolf. Although the folk singer and songwriter died at age 44 of leukemia in 1986, her spirit and music are still alive throughout Northern California. Those who don’t know Wolf’s work can get an easy introduction through “Unfinished Life,” Randall Keith Horton’s new musical tribute to Wolf, to be performed by the California Redwood Chorale at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 26,… Read More »

Shakepeare, Vegas-style, in Santa Rosa

A Shakespeare play set in a Las Vegas nightclub? Not such a stretch, really. After all, the Bard’s timeless comedy, “Twelfth Night,” is basically about a cross-dressing love triangle. Disguised as a boy, Viola fends off advances from Olivia (a torch singer in this version) and pines instead for Orsino (a club owner.) The Actor’s Basement theater troupe presents its “holiday gala” version of the play at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16-17, at the Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino… Read More »

Comedians gather for cancer benefit

Bay Area comedians will gather Saturday, May 21, to raise money for a Petaluma woman’s battle against brain cancer. Titled “Tumor Be Gone,” the show is designed to help Kimbell Jackson cover her medical bills. The show starts at 8 p.m. at Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. Performers will include stand-up comics Dave Pokorny and Emmy Award-winner Rick Overton of HBO’s “Dennis Miller Live,” as well as Grammy-nominated singer Perla Batallam, plus comic cabaret duos Richard and Sandy… Read More »

Glaser Center stages ‘Rachel Corrie’

“My Name is Rachel Corrie,” starring Santa Rosa actress Mandy Cimino in the title role, will be presented Sunday, Feb., 13, at Glaser Center. The performance, directed by Lois Pearlman, is part of a benefit for a Sonoma County organization that supports Palestinian human rights. Corrie, a 23-year-old activist, was crushed to death in 2004 by an Israeli bulldozer while she was defending a home in the Gaza city of Rafah, the announcement for the show says. The play had… Read More »

‘Santaland Diaries’ returns to Santa Rosa

For the past two Christmas seasons, actor David Yen has played cranky Crumpet the Elf in a one-man show based on author David Sedaris’ humorous memoir about working as a Santa’s elf at Macy’s. The show has played at various Sonoma County venues during that time. This year, Yen returns in “Santaland Diaries,” presented by the Marin Arts Council, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, at Glaser Center, 547 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa. I saw the opening in 2008, and… Read More »

Glaser performs at the Glaser

The Glaser Center in Santa Rosa will present actress, playwright and performance artist Sherry Glaser in her solo show, “Oh My Goddess,” at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 15-16. Subtitled “A One-Woman Comedy of Biblical Proportions,” the show casts Glaser as two characters: Ma, “God’s better half,” and a waiter chosen to channel Ma for her return to humankind. Now, about those identical last names: There’s no relation, according to Glaser manager David Templeton. Sherry Glaser co-wrote the one-woman… Read More »