Familiar stories from stage to film, then back to stage
Published: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 10:27 p.m.
In its endless quest for stories to film, the movie industry uses up a lot of material from many sources, including stage plays and Broadway musicals.
True devotees of theater will argue that you really haven't seen a show until you've seen it performed live onstage.
“There are so many technical aspects of film making that can manipulate your perception of what is happening on the screen,” said Michael Ross, director the current 6th Street Playhouse production of “Victor/Victoria.”
“In live theater, there's a one-on-one connection, between the person on the stage and each person in the audience,” said Ross, in his second year as artistic director of the Napa Valley Playhouse.
Sonoma County's theater scene offers a wide range of live plays and musicals this month and next month, many of them previously adapted as films.
Here's a quick look, with some film trivia inserted here and there to jog your memory:
Opened Jan. 10 and runs through Feb. 2 —“Victor/Victoria,” book by Blake Edwards, music by Henry Mancini, adapted from the 1982 film. 6th Street Playhouse, 52 W. Sixth St., Santa Rosa. Based on the career of Parisian entertainer Victoria Grant, who posed as a man who in turn became a star female impersonator, this current production features Taylor Bartolucci DeGuilio in the role created for the screen by Julie Andrews. $15-$35. 523-4185, 6thStreetPlayhouse.com.
Opened Jan. 10 and runs through Sunday — “Taste,” by Jody Gehrman. Raven Players at Raven Theater, 115 North St., Healdsburg. A radical young New York activist inherits a California winery and clashes with its passionate head winemaker, in a new work written by Gehrman, who grew up in Healdsburg. Don't look up the movie version. You won't find one — yet. $15. 433-6335, raventheater.org.
Opened Dec. 31 and runs through Jan. 26 — “Jacques Brel Is Alive and Well and Living in Paris.” Cinnabar Theater, 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma. This musical revue paying tribute to the Belgian songwriter debuted on Off-Broadway in 1968, and a French-Canadian film version was released in 1975. The Cinnabar production has sold out its original run, and added additional performances. $25-$35. 763-8920. cinnabartheater.org.
Jan. 24-Feb. 16 — “Dr. Cook's Garden,” by Ira Levin. Pegasus Players at Rio Nido Lodge, 4444 Wood Road, Guerneville. From the author of “Rosemary's Baby,” “Stepford Wives” and “Deathtrap” comes a suspenseful drama about a beloved doctor in an idyllic small town. The 1971 film starred none other than Bing Crosby as the good doctor. Frank Ferris plays the part for Pegasus Players. $15-$30. 583-2343, pegasustheater.com.
Jan. 31-Feb 16 — “Don't Drink the Water,” by Woody Allen. The Raven Players at Raven Theater, 115 North St., Healdsburg. During the Cold War, behind the Iron Curtain, a vacationing American caterer, his wife and daughter rush into the American Embassy to escape the communist police, who suspect them of spying. There was a screen version in 1969, but Allen wrote the show for the stage. $20-$25. 433-6335, raventheater.org.
Feb. 6-16 — “Fiddler on the Roof,” music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein. Evert B. Person Theatre, Sonoma State University, 1801 E. Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park. This 50th anniversary production of the saga of Tevye the Milkman and his five daughters includes a sing-along performance Feb. 9. The 1971 film starred Israeli actor Chaim Topol as Tevye, the role Zero Mostel made famous on Broadway. John Shillington takes his turn at the role in the SSU production. $10-$17. 664-4246, sonoma.edu.
Feb. 14-23 — “Yankee Tavern” by Stephen Dietz. Main Stage West, 104 N. Main St., Sebastopol. In a New York dive bar five years after 9/11, a young couple meets a mysterious stranger in a 2009 stage thriller by a veteran playwright favored by regional theater companies all over the United States. $10-$15. 823-0177, mainstagewest.com.
Feb. 14-23 — “Annie Get Your Gun,” music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, book by Herbert and Dorothy Fields, revised by Peter Stone. Real-life sharpshooter Annie Oakley, star of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, gets the musical treatment. Busy North Bay actress Denise Elia-Yen steps into the cowgirl boots for the role played by Betty Hutton in the 1950 movie version. $22-$26. 588-3400, spreckelsonline.com.
Feb. 21-March 2 — “Marvin's Room” by Scott McPherson. Cloverdale Performing Arts Center, 209 N. Cloverdale Blvd., Cloverdale. A dutiful daughter, caring for her helpless father, discovers she has leukemia and turns to her estranged sister for help. The 1996 film starred Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep, and featured Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. $18. 894-2214, cloverdaleperformingarts.com.
You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or email@example.com. See his ARTS blog at http://arts.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.
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