Congratulations to Orinda Starlight Village Players whose opening production of the summer season, "And Then There Were None," won Goldstar's Roar of the Crowd award for receiving excellent reviews from theatergoers.
The company's next production is John Murray and Allen Boretz's "Room Service." The crazy comedy follows a stressed-out producer as he evades creditors and hides out with his actors in a Broadway hotel.
The cast includes artistic director Geotty Chapple and funny man/cartoonist Barry Hunau.
The show runs July 20—Aug. 11, at the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater, 24 Orinda Way, in Orinda. Call 925-528-9225 or go to www.ovsp.org.
If blues and jazz is more your tempo, Cal Shakes has the show for you. The company began its run of "Spunk," based on three Harlem Renaissance stories by Zora Neale Hurston, on July 4.
Featuring L. Peter Callender and Margo Hall, the show continues through July 29, at the Bruns Memorial Amphitheater in Orinda. Call 510-548-9666 or go to www.calshakes.org.
The summer lineup of entertainment includes something for the young theatergoer as well. The multitalented Samantha Samuels once again offers her "Kabaret for Kids," devised for and by kids. Full of original songs, dancing, specialty acts and audience participation, the variety
It takes place at 1 p.m. July 11 and 25, at the Firehouse Arts Center, 444 Railroad Ave., in Pleasanton. For tickets, call 925-931-4848 or go to www.firehousearts.org.
Also for youngsters, Town Hall's education program will present performances of "Brighton beach Memoirs," from July 19-22, at the Lafayette theater. The Neil Simon comedy takes place in 1937 as young Eugene Jerome deals with family problems and his own puberty-fused dilemmas. Call 925-283-1557.
The Willows Theatre Company opened a nostalgic ode to the lively world of vaudeville and the colorful life of its inhabitants in Laurence Carr's "Vaudeville" this past weekend.
The charming play with music continues through July 21, at the Campbell Cabaret in Martinez.
"The mishmash of colorful characters represents a cross-section of the last generation of hoofers, comics and novelty acts who kept America entertained before Hollywood took the country by storm with its motion pictures," says director Eric Inman. "It poses questions still relevant today with the onset of social media changing entertainment and communication."
For tickets, call 925-798-1300 or go to www.willowstheatre.org.
Local performers not involved with local venues can be found in neighboring theaters. That includes El Cerrito's Contra Costa Civic Theatre, where artistic director Derrick Silva and managing director Daren Carollo, both of whom have been involved in the local arts scene for many years, are preparing to open "West Side Story."
Not only will the production feature the company's largest orchestra in its 52-year history, but it will also include several performers from Central Contra Costa, including Greg Zema, Cassandra Guiterrez, Emilio Garcia-Sanchez, the always-wonderful Jenny Angell, and Catherine Gloria, whom you might remember from "Xanadu," recently produced at Center Rep.
"I think this production will keep you on the edge of your seat," says Carollo, who was Diablo Theatre's managing director for many years. "The show's pace is nonstop with many memorable numbers and realistic fight sequences sprinkled in between."
The show runs July 13—Aug. 12, at Contra Costa Civic Theatre, 951 Pomona Ave., El Cerrito. Call 510-524-9132 or go to www.ccct.org.
Local artists have also found their way to a poor Jewish village in Czarist Russia as Oakland's Woodminister Amphitheater presents "Fiddler on the Roof."
The production features Deborah Del Mastro, known for her role as Sister Robert Ann in the Willows Theatre productions of "Nunsense," as Golde, and Richard Vetterli as the music director.
The story of Tevye and his daughters includes such popular songs as "Sunrise, Sunset," "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Matchmaker." The musical runs July 12-22, at Woodminister Amphitheater located in Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road, Oakland. Call 510-531-9597 or go to www.woodminister.com.
Leave it to the SF Mime Troupe to tell the story of the 1 percent, the "Godzillionaires who have made this country what it is today: broke" in their latest creation, "For the Greater Good, or the Last Election."
Now in its 53rd season, the infamous Mime Troup takes the 19th century melodrama "The Poor of New York" and turns it upside down as it tells the story from the point of view of the misunderstood 1 percent.
The show opened July 4 in San Francisco, and begins East Bay performances on July 14. For details of the free performances, call 415-285-1717 or go to www.sfmt.org.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.