Saturday June 26 @ 8 pm. Occidental Center for the Arts presents’ Readers Theater Revealed’. Enjoy a fine selection of theatrical readings by members of our Readers’ Theater group! This virtual event will be shared on our YouTube Channel beginning at 8 PM on June 26th, and available thereafter to view. Dramatic readings include a scene with Lady Bracknell and Jack Worthing from “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, “A Debutante at a Dance” monologue by Ruth Draper; scene from “The Lion in Winter” with Eleanor of Aquitaine and King Henry II, “I’m Still Here” from the Follies by Stephen Sondheim, and more. Readers are Andrea Van Dyke, Steve Fowler, Joan Ambrosini, Lynn Van Cleave, Jeff Sheppard, Amanda Claiborne, Noel Yates and Kathleen Hardy. Keeping the Arts in Our Hearts @ www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org. 707-874-9392. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct. Occidental, CA. 95465
Sunday, May 16th@ 4-5:30pm. Occidental Center for the Arts Virtual Literary Series presents ‘Shakespeare Everywhere’, conceived and hosted by local and beloved author Jean Hegland (Into the Forest; Still Time). Jean will join in conversation with a four-person panel of far-flung artists: a rapper, a cartoonist, a zine editor, and a Young Adult novelist who are incorporating Shakespeare into their own work in fresh, exciting, and powerful ways. These fabulous artists will share a taste of their work with us and discuss how and why Shakespeare has inspired them. This is a fundraiser for OCA: Although a free event for OCA members, we encourage all viewers to donate to OCA. OCA members can pre-register for the Zoom option; non-members can pre-register for the Zoom option by paying a $5 fee. The recording will be available on YouTube within 24 hours of the live event. For more info, go to occidentalcenterforthearts.org and click on upcoming events.
|Celebrating 10 Years of Transcendence!Announcing our 2021 season|
|A note from Artistic Director, Amy Miller:Welcome to Transcendence’s 10th Anniversary Season! It has been WAY too long since we’ve seen you and we are thrilled that all of us can FINALLY experience LIVE musical theatre again! Thank you for your support and patience during these unprecedented times. Our company exists to uplift and inspire our community and we can’t wait for you to join us for a magical summer under the stars!|
|“My Hero”A live drive-in celebration for healthcare heroes|
|At long last, LIVE musical theater is back as Transcendence Theatre Company premieres “My Hero”! Let’s celebrate the strength and courage of the heroes around us with a LIVE performance at the Drive-In. Join us under the stars for a night of laughs and music and dancing for a joyous summer kick off! This spectacular evening of musical theatre will entertain the whole family and honor our front-line healthcare workers.|
Tickets are priced per car and run from $59-129. Tickets are also be available to purchase on behalf of a healthcare worker and donated to them and their families to attend the show.June 4-6 – Sonoma/Marin Fairgrounds, PetalumaJune 11-13 – BR Cohn, Glen EllenJune 18-20 – Skyline Wilderness Park, Napa
For more information about “My Hero”, Click on the button below.
|“Road Trip!”The vacation you didn’t get to take in 2020|
|When is the last time you were in Nashville? Have you taken the kids to Orlando? Wouldn’t it be awesome to experience Hollywood’s old school charm? Or a magical night on the town in New York City? Come sing along with your Broadway tour guides as we take an epic musical tour of the great United States! “ROAD TRIP!” is the vacation you’ve been waiting for!|
Tickets are priced per person and run from $49-129. Tickets will also be available to purchase on behalf of a healthcare worker and donated to them and their families to attend the show.
August 6-8, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29
For more information about “Road Trip!”, Click on the button below.
|“The Gala”A very special Gala to pay tribute to our beloved Sonoma Community|
|Transcendence celebrates its 10th Anniversary in Sonoma and you are invited! This magical evening will feature show-stopping vocals and beloved songs from the greatest Broadway musicals. This year, we are planning a very special Gala to pay tribute to our beloved Sonoma Community that embraced us with open arms a decade ago.|
Tickets are priced per person and run from $49-129. Tickets will also be available to purchase on behalf of a healthcare worker and donated to them and their families to attend the show.
September 10-12, 17-19
For more information about “The Gala”, Click on the button below.
Virtual Variety Show/Music/Drama:Saturday, February 27 @8 pm. ‘Winter Classic’, presented by Occidental Center for the Arts.OCA is pleased to present our fifth virtual variety show, titled ‘Winter Classic’. It will emphasize early 20th century classics and standards, and features pianist Mary Watkins and members of the Santa Rosa Symphony. Other stellar musical acts to be included are Dirty Cello Band, Meredith Axelrod & Craig Ventresco, Eric Wiley, Teal Collins & Josh Zee, Barbara Higbie, Black Brothers Band, Ricky Mier, Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen, Miles McKenzie, Jazz Messengers and Black Sheep Brass Band. A bit of classic drama from Sheridan’s ‘The Rivals’ (1775) will be performed by Steve Fowler & Andrea Van Dyke. This most excellent program, produced by Tina Marchetti, will be presented at 8 pm on YouTube and FaceBook. Free; Donations appreciated. No politics, no Covid, just pure talent guaranteed to lift your spirits! Keeping the Arts in Our Hearts at www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org.
It’ll be all treats, no tricks when a lineup of Broadway and drag favorites bring the Halloween chills and thrills to the cinematically striking stream of I Put a Spell on You at 8 pm Eastern on Thursday, October 29.
Save the date now for this virtual Halloween blowout, a musical spoof of and tribute to the cult classic Hocus Pocus. I Put a Spell on You finds the Sanderson Sisters breaking the internet and diving into a world of pop culture’s favorite villains. Watch for performances from Todrick Hall, Jay Armstrong Johnson, Eva Noblezada, Will Swenson, Bob The Drag Queen, Alexis Michelle and many more.
After selling out a live, in-person show the last four years, the Sanderson Sisters won’t disappoint in this year’s digital film complete with larger-than-life performances, over-the-top costumes and makeup and a healthy dose of Broadway magic. Visit broadwaycares.org/spell to discover insider perks for sponsors and VIPs.
And though the stream is free, all donations benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Your support during this sensationally spooky evening helps individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses receive healthy meals, vital medication, housing, emergency assistance and much more. Their needs are critically heightened during the COVID-19 crisis.
The groundbreaking queer Broadway show Slave Play has achieved a Tony Awards first, racking up the most nominations for any non-musical play in its 73-year history.
With 12 nominations, Slave Play has overtaken Angels in America, which previously held the record for the most Tony Awards nominations for a non-musical.×
The three-act play was written by Jeremy O Harris, and follows three interracial couples, including a same-sex couple, on a disturbing retreat undergoing “Antebellum Sexual Performance Therapy”, as the Black characters are not getting sexual satisfaction from their white partners.
The set of the play featured a giant mirrored wall and the house lights are kept dimly on so the audience is forced to put themselves into the narrative, and confront their own reactions.
The New York Times critic Jesse Green described it as “one of the best and most provocative new works to show up on Broadway in years”.
Slave Play is in some ways a “thought experiment”, Green said, asking the questions: “If Black people in intimate partnerships with white people felt safe to say how they needed to be seen, would their white partners be able and willing to comply?
“Or are Black people forever condemned by the legacy of slavery to live ‘squarely in the blind spot’ of their non-Black partners’ ‘myopia?’”
|Before summer ends, Transcendence presents one final holiday weekend — our Gala! It’s not only our biggest fundraising event of the season — this year, it’s the best of the best from our last 8 years!|
Please join our virtual family for one last dazzling, sparkling, spectacular Summer evening. We hope you’ll want to join our family and become a supporter. And no matter what, we want you there shining and celebrating with us.
Make sure to sign up to watch! Once you reserve your ticket(s), we’ll email you a link 24 hours before your event. Be sure to register for each show you want to see — the “watch” links are different for each performance date/time. We encourage you to share your watch link with family and friends. Help us spread the magic and inspire people in their living rooms, wherever they live.
|Sign Up Here!|
|One Last Week to Help Us Meet Our Goal!Our campaign ends on September 13 at 11:59 pm PST.|
|Friends, this is the moment. For Transcendence, Keep the Dream Alive is more than just a campaign, it is our reality and the need for your support has never been greater. We’ve been gifted a huge opportunity to help us reach our goal thanks to a generous donation from a fan. Your contributions are now being matched DOLLAR for DOLLAR. You have the unique opportunity to double your impact, at a time when Transcendence’s future is reliant solely on the generosity of our faithful community. |
We are so close to meeting our goal of $575,000 before the end of our summer season. If you, our supporters and community, can dig deep and help us raise approximately $100,000 by 11:59 pm (PST) on September 13, we will meet our goal with the match! There are many ways to donate, and your donation will be matched dollar for dollar! We plan to continue making magic and uplifting and inspiring audiences around the world, but we cannot do it without you. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Ways to donate:
Check by mail: 19201 Sonoma Highway #214 Sonoma, CA 95476
|MAKE A PLEDGE|
|SET UP A RECURRING DONATION|
|Jack London State Park Sponsor SpotlightEnsuring a sustainable park that would make Jack London proud.|
|Jack London State Park has been the gorgeous backdrop for Transcendence Theatre Company’s (TTC) Broadway Under the Stars summer series since the very beginning. When TTC arrived in 2012, a state crisis threatened to shut down the Park, which gave the Transcendence founders an idea to help save the Park; by making it their stage. With six weeks and $83 in their pockets, the company put on on the show of a lifetime. Nine hundred members of the community came out to save the Park and join the magic. At the same time, Jack London Park Partners (JLPP) emerged. JLPP was the first nonprofit organization to take up management of a state park on behalf of the people of California, and it has been successfully running Jack London State Historic Park ever since. |
The Park Partners is the outgrowth of Valley of the Moon Natural History Association, a citizens’ group established nearly a half-century ago to support the interpretive needs of three parks in Sonoma County, including Jack London State Historic Park. The Association has played a vital role in recruiting and organizing the band of hundreds of volunteers, which supports all functions of the Park. It contributes funds to advance cultural and recreational programs, creates educational exhibits, displays, and signage at the Park.
Jack London Park Partners depends on the generosity of private citizens in providing programming, operating, and maintaining the land and historic structures of this treasure of natural beauty and historical significance, which is why Transcendence has teamed up with JLPP as their nonprofit partner for the Gala Celebration. Jack London Park Partners will receive 10% of all donations made during the Gala! Make sure to show your support for both Jack London Park Partners and Transcendence Theatre Company by watching and donating during the Gala!
|Reserve Your Tickets Here!|
|Community Member ShoutoutsStaying connected to our Transcendence family.|
|As we continue to find ways to strengthen our transcendent connection with you all, we asked some of our staff members to give shout outs to some phenomenal community members that have touched their hearts. Every one of you is so very important to us, we hope this finds you well and brings a smile to your heart. |
|MEGGIE CANSLER NESS:|
The Zwerling family are my PEOPLE! They volunteer for us EVERY SUMMER for EVERY SHOW. Their faces fill me with love and joy whenever I see them. We all had a lovely dinner at the MAYO reserve room years back and it bonded us for life. Beautiful, magical, people – I am so thankful you are Son-home-a family!
I would love to shout out to our Team Skittles Awesome Volunteer Judy Mahoney! Judy is always there for our team whether it is making cobbler for the office or being at the park helping the box office anytime we need to fill a spot. She always brings Skittles with her to make us happy. Some weekends she volunteers 3 nights in a row! When I moved into my new house and didn’t have very many things she brought me a bag full of kitchen pots and pans and clothes. She has given endlessly and is always there for us.
Tony Award-winning composer Jerry Herman, who wrote the cheerful, good-natured music and lyrics for such classic shows as “Mame,” “Hello, Dolly!” and “La Cage aux Folles,” died Thursday. He was 88.
His goddaughter Jane Dorian confirmed his death to The Associated Press early Friday. He died of pulmonary complications in Miami, where he had been living with his partner, real estate broker Terry Marler.
The creator of 10 Broadway shows and contributor to several more, Herman won two Tony Awards for best musical: “Hello, Dolly!” in 1964 and “La Cage aux Folles” in 1983. He also won two Grammys — for the “Mame” cast album and “Hello, Dolly!” as song of the year — and was a Kennedy Center honoree.
Herman wrote in the Rodgers and Hammerstein tradition, an optimistic composer at a time when others in his profession were exploring darker feelings and material. Just a few of his song titles revealed his depth of hope: “I’ll Be Here Tomorrow,” “The Best of Times,” “Tap Your Troubles Away,” “It’s Today,” “We Need a Little Christmas” and “Before the Parade Passes By.” Even the title song to “Hello, Dolly!” is an advertisement to enjoy life.
Herman also had a direct, simple sense of melody and his lyrics had a natural, unforced quality. Over the years, he told the AP in 1995, “critics have sort of tossed me off as the popular and not the cerebral writer, and that was fine with me. That was exactly what I aimed at.”
In accepting the Tony in 1984 for “La Cage Aux Folles,” Herman said, “This award forever shatters a myth about the musical theater. There’s been a rumor around for a couple of years that the simple, hummable show tune was no longer welcome on Broadway. Well, it’s alive and well at the Palace” Theatre.
Some saw that phrase — “the simple, hummable show tune” — as a subtle dig at Stephen Sondheim, known for challenging and complex songs and whose “Sunday in the Park with George” Herman had just bested. But Herman rejected any tension between the two musical theater giants.
“Only a small group of ‘showbiz gossips’ have constantly tried to create a feud between Mr. Sondheim and myself. I am as much of a Sondheim fan as you and everybody else in the world, and I believe that my comments upon winning the Tony for ‘La Cage’ clearly came from my delight with the show business community’s endorsement of the simple melodic showtune which had been criticized by a few hard-nosed critics as being old fashioned,” he said in a 2004 Q&A session with readers of Broadway.com.
Herman was born in New York in 1931 and raised in Jersey City. His parents ran a children’s summer camp in the Catskills and he taught himself the piano. He noted that when he was born, his mother had a view of Broadway’s Winter Garden Theatre marquee from her hospital bed.
Herman dated his intention to write musicals to the time his parents took him to “Annie Get Your Gun” and he went home and played five of Irving Berlin’s songs on the piano.
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“I thought what a gift this man has given a stranger. I wanted to give that gift to other people. That was my great inspiration, that night,” he told The Associated Press in 1996.
After graduating from the University of Miami, Herman headed back to New York, writing and playing piano in a jazz club. He made his Broadway debut in 1960 contributing songs to the review “From A to Z” — alongside material by Fred Ebb and Woody Allen — and the next year tackled the entire score to a musical about the founding of the state of Israel, “Milk and Honey.” It earned him his first Tony nomination.
“Hello, Dolly!” starring Carol Channing opened in 1964 and ran for 2,844 performances, becoming Broadway’s longest-running musical at the time. It won 10 Tonys and has been revived many times, most recently in 2017 with Bette Midler in the title role, a 19th-century widowed matchmaker who learns to live again.
“Mame” followed in 1966, starring Angela Lansbury, and went on to run for over 1,500 performances. She handed him his Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2009, saying he created songs like him: “bouncy, buoyant and optimistic.”
In 1983 he had another hit with “La Cage aux Folles,” a sweetly radical musical of its age, decades before the fight for marriage equality. It was a lavish adaptation of the successful French film about two gay men who own a splashy, drag nightclub on the Riviera. It contained the gay anthem “I Am What I Am” and ran for some 1,760 performances. Three of his shows, “Dear World,” “The Grand Tour” and “Mack and Mabel,” failed on Broadway.
Many of his songs have outlasted their vehicles: British ice skaters Torvill and Dean used the overture from “Mack and Mabel” to accompany a gold medal-winning routine in 1982. Writer-director Andrew Stanton used the Herman tunes “Put on Your Sunday Clothes” and “It Only Takes a Moment” to express the psyche of a love-starved, trash-compacting robot in the film “WALL-E.”
Later in life, Herman composed a song for “Barney’s Great Adventure,” contributed the score for the 1996 made-for-TV movie “Mrs. Santa Claus” — earning Herman an Emmy nomination — and wrote his autobiography, “Showtune,” published by Donald I. Fine.
Sunday August 25 @ 3 pm . Occidental Center for the Arts proudly presents: The Gorgon Medusa: Her Significance for Women of Our Time. Archaeomythologist Joan Marler will trace the ancient roots of the Gorgon Medusa’s multi-layered powers and explore her myths, stories, and iconography in a multi-media presentation that will reveal her timeless significance for women of our time. Drummer Barbara Borden and friends will begin and conclude this memorable event, which is a fundraiser for O.C.A!Admission $15.@ https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4295297 or at the door. Fine refreshments. Wheelchair accessible. Art Gallery open for viewing. www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org. 707-874-9293. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct. Occidental, CA. 95465
Saturday July 13 @ 7 pm. Zipline Improv at Occidental Center for the Arts. Skilled Bay Area actors led by local actress and founder Laura Wachtel present an evening of delightful improvised scenes and stories with your suggestions to inspire them. Their focus is on narrative improv both short scenes and full length. What will it be this time? Join us to see! $15 Adv/$20 at door. Fine Refreshments. Accessible to persons with disabilities. 707-874-9392. 3850 Doris Murphy Ct. Occidental, CA. 95465 www.occidentalcenterforthearts.org