Theatre Alliance sets new season

The Sonoma Theatre Alliance will presents eight productions on the Rotary Stage at Andrews Hall in its Festival of Theatre 2014, which opens April 17 with “Little Shop of Horrors.” Generally, each show runs Thursday-Saturday nights, with a Sunday matinee.

A Narrow Way Stage Company production, “Little Shop of Horrors” is the story of a meek florist who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood. The plant grows into a ridiculous and raucous R&B-singing monster that offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite. With tunes by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, the team behind Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” and “Beauty and the Beast,” the quirky musical is one of the longest-running Off-Broadway shows of all time. It will run April 17 through May 4.

May 15 through 25, M & G Productions presents “Painting Churches,” a play written by Tina Howe, first produced Off-Broadway in 1983. It was a finalist for the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the award for best Off-Broadway Play for 1983. Directed by Gerrett Snedaker, the plot follows a stately Boston couple, with help from their New Yorker daughter, pack up their longtime home to move to a beach house on Cape Cod. Over the course of several days, the parent-child relationship begins to change.

Experiential Theater Company (eTc!) presents “The Fully Monty (The Musical),” June 6-29. Written by Pulitzer Prize-winner Terrence McNally, with music and lyrics by David Yazbek, “The Full Monty” is directed by Cat Austin. Based on the Oscar-winning film, the musical follows a group of unemployed steel workers who resort to a creative and soul-baring scheme to raise money. Overcoming fears, the steel workers are challenged to take risks and follow their dreams. Special benefit opening at the Sebastiani Theatre May 31, to benefit Sonoma Theatre Alliance and Sebastiani Theatre.

That will be followed by the Sonoma Stage Works production of “The Many Faces of Love – Three Classical American One-Acts.” The plays by Tennessee Williams, Susan Glaspell, and Romulus Linney are directed by directed by Joey Hoeber, Julia Holsworth and Bill Shea. The three plays – “Pretty Trap,” a romance; “Trifles,” a mystery; and “Songs of Love,” a comedy – are topped off by a short-play finale, “Can Can,” two love stories woven together. The show runs July 10-27.

“Alice: The Rebellion of Wonderland,” another production by the Narrow Way Stage Company, plays August 7-24. An original play by Tony Ginesi and Merlyn Q. Sell, and directed by Nick Christenson, finds Alice plunged into Wonderland once again. This time, however, as Alice tumbles down and down the rabbit hole, she discovers that something may be rotten in the state of Wonderland, and freedom, imagination, and love hang in the balance.

Director Cat Austin returns with the eTc! production “A Modern Encounter,” an original multimedia play by James Jandak Wood, September 4-21. A look at the world of relationships in the internet era, the play, inspired by Noel Coward’s “Still Life,” explores how a chance encounter might unfold in today’s world, where communication is instant, constant, and ubiquitous.

Spanning Halloween season with an October 16-November 2 run is “Dracula,” a Silver Moon Theatre production directed by Nellie Cravens. Though the granddaddy of all
vampire tales, the original play offers newfound chills and thrills.

The season wraps November 13-30 as Martin Productions presents “Hearts on the Line,”
A musical workshop by Sue and Tom Martin, and directed by Sue Martin. The scene is Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in the 1980s, where an ambitious songwriter crafts songs of love denied, love realized, and the adventures of a challenging mountain life.

Tickets to all shows, and season packages, go on sale March 1 at Svbo.org.


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