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The new year is barely under way, but Sonoma County’s live theater companies are off and running with a fresh lineup of stage shows opening this month and next month.
The upcoming crop covers a wide range, from comedy to drama to mystery, and from one-act plays to full musicals.
The first show of the year, Cinnabar Theater’s “A Couple of Blaguards,” opened to a sold-out house and a standing ovation on New Year’s Eve. Written by Frank McCourt, author of “Angela’s Ashes,” and his brother, Malachy McCourt, the play follows the young brothers’ early life, from Ireland to America.
Two popular longtime North Bay actors, Steven Abbott and Tim Kniffin, star as the brothers, and play all of the supporting characters as well.
“I play Frank and Tim plays Malachy,” Abbott said. “Both of us play their family members, community members, employers and girlfriends.”
“It’s a blast,” Kniffin said. “It’s a challenge to play several roles, and put on different faces and postures, especially when the only thing you’ve got to work with is a napkin to put on your head.”
The actors also sing some Irish tunes, backed by the YouKali Celtic Band.
“This piece is a series of vignettes and episodes from the McCourt Brothers’ lives, as young men in Ireland and then as immigrants in New York,” Abbott said. “It’s comedic, and it’s got a Vaudevillian flavor in parts of it, and then it’s also got some poignant and still moments.”
“A Couple of Blaguards” runs through Jan. 19 at the Cinnabar Theater, 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. $25-$35. 763-8920, cinnabartheater.org.
Here are some other highlights from the new year in Sonoma County’s live theater scene:
Friday and Saturday (Jan. 11-12) — “The Making of a Marlowe,” The Imaginists, 461 Sebastopol Ave., Santa Rosa. The theater collective’s Imaginists Teen Ensemble presents its re-imagined version of Raymond Chandler’s detective hero, Philip Marlowe. $6-$12. theimaginists.org, 528-7554.
Jan. 18-Feb. 10 — “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. The musical revue features nearly 40 classic rock ’n’ roll tunes written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, including “Charlie Brown,” “Spanish Harlem” and “There Goes My Baby.” $15-$35. 523-4185, 6thstreetplayhouse.com.
Jan. 18-Feb. 10 — Two One-Act Plays: “The Madness of Lady Bright” by Lanford Wilson and “Duck Variations” by David Mamet,” presented by the Pegasus Theater at Rio Nido Lodge, 4444 Wood Road, Guerneville. $15; $30 for Feb. 10 gala. 583-2343, pegasustheater.com.
Jan. 25-Feb. 10 — “The Odd Couple,” Raven Theater, 115 North St., Healdsburg. The Raven Players revive Neil Simon’s beloved comedy about Oscar the slob and Felix the fussbudget, which long has been phenomenally popular onstage, in films and on TV. $19-$23. 433-6335, raventheater.org.
Jan. 25-Feb. 17 — “Shirely Valentine,” Main Stage West, 104 N. Main St., Sebastopol. Mary Gannon Graham returns in encore peformances of a one-woman show about a frustrated English housewife. Graham previously starred in sold-out runs of the show during 2008 and 2011 in Sebastopol and Petaluma. $10-$25. 823-0177, mainstagewest.com.
Feb. 8-17 — “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” Spreckels Performing Arts Center, 5409 Snyder Lane, Rohnert Park. The Spreckels Theatre Company presents the classic, lusty, 1963 musical Broadway comedy, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, directed by Gene Abravaya. $20-$26. 588-3400, spreckelsonline.com.
Feb. 22-March 3 — “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. Based on the classic novel by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the play follows Sir Henry Baskerville’s efforts to battle the family curse, with a little help from Sherlock Holmes. $18. 894-2214, cloverdaleperformingarts.com.
You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or email@example.com. See his ARTS blog at arts.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.Page: 1 2
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