A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

‘Shirley Valentine’ finds a home in Petaluma

Last week, the financially struggling Sonoma County Repertory Theater announced that it would close its Sebastopol theater after its final performance of “Cyrano” on Feb. 20. That means, of course, that the half-dozen shows scheduled there for the rest of the year are left without a home. Except for one. Mary Gannon Graham’s reprise of the one-woman show, “Shirley Valentine,” about a middle-aged English housewife searching for freedom, was scheduled to open in Sebastopol this spring. Instead, “Shirley Valentine” will… Read More »

To Sebastopol, to see ‘Fat Pig’

Tom, a young, handsome, successful executive, falls for Helen, a bright, funny, sexy young woman, who happens to be plus-sized. That’s the premise of “Fat Pig,” Neil LaBute’s biting romantic comedy, opening next week for a month-long run at the Sonoma County Repertory Theater. “It is a wonderfully written play about a subject that is, and has been, at the forefront of American society: our ideals of what is attractive, and how we look at heavyset people, especially women,” said… Read More »

The show goes on in Rohnert Park

As the Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park moves into its fall season, fans will notice that the programming has changed dramatically. The bad news is there will be no big, mainstage theatrical productions. The resident Pacific Alliance Stage Co. has gone on hiatus for a year, due to city budget cuts. The professional Actors Equity troupe was founded in 1990, and has been led since 2004 by Hector Correa. The good news is that Spreckels has a masterful… Read More »

“All the Great Books” opens Vol. II in Napa

Last spring, Jennifer King directed a production of “All the Great Books (Abridged)” at Sebastopol’s Sonoma County Repertory Theater that had audiences howling with laughter. If you missed it, don’t worry. You’re getting a second chance. Long a mainstay at the Rep, King is also artistic director at Napa Valley College, and she’s bringing back the show for a reprise on campus, with the same cast. The premise is a variation on a nightmare familiar to most of us: you’re… Read More »

“Wretch Like Me” opens in Sebastopol

David Templeton literally knows the lyrics of “Amazing Grace” forwards and backwards. “Me like wretch a saved that sound the sweet how grace amazing,” he recites. “That’s just the first line. The second line sounds like something Yoda would say:  See I now but blind was, found am I now but lost was once I.” That is just one of the delights to be found in his new solo show, “Wretch Like Me,” based on his adolescent years in Los… Read More »