Out and About in Petaluma
Concluding its summer-long “Best Night Ever Online” series, featuring all-virtual, all-streaming shows from Transcendence Theatre Company, the Sonoma-based company presents its annual “Gala Celebration,” the fourth and final, streamable “Broadway Under the Stars” show of 2020. A musical benefit featuring the “best of the best” moments from the last eight years of shows, this is, according to Transcendence Artistic Director Amy Miller, the big one. “It all comes down to this. Our worldwide, virtual family will come together for one last dazzling, sparkling, spectacular Summer evening.” The company’s Gala Celebration is its biggest and most loved fundraising event, and this year the whole world is invited, so tell your friends, wherever they happen to live. Streaming five time over the next weekend, the show runs Sept. 11, 12 and 13. The show streams Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Each show is free (donations welcome by hitting donate after your confirmation is made on line), and includes a live pre-show event designed to replicate some of the wine-and-song electricity that so many associate with a Transcendence show. Once you reserve your “ticket,” you’ll receive log-on information by email or text. Go to TranscendenceTheatre.org.
‘THE PIPER AT THE GATES OF DAWN’
The Friends of the Petaluma River present a live, word-for-word performance of “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” the magical and mysterious story that is chapter seven of Kenneth Grahame’s beloved classic “The Wind in the Willows.” It’s the lyrical tale of Rat, Mole and a late night boat journey up the river to search for a lost baby otter, and will be presented on Facebook and YouTube as a fully memorized recitation (all 3800 words) by the Argus-Courier’s community editor David Templeton, with introduction and post-performance panel discussion hosted by Daedalus Howell. Saturday, September 12, 5:30 p.m. The event is free to watch, with opportunities to contribute that will include a “Wind in the Willows”-themed gift basket. For information on how to catch the performance visit FriendsofthePetalumaRiver.org.
On Sunday, Sept. 13, as part of Petaluma’s popular Writer’s Forum, author Karen Handyside Ely will read her essay “Shavasana” (from “The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing,” and Jean Grant-Sutton will read from Marjorie Richardson’s “The Benefits of Yoga.” On the following Wednesday, Sept. 17, author Susan Hagen (“Women at Ground Zero: Stories of Courage and Compassion”) will read her essay “How Writing Turned Hate into Love” (also from “Writing as a Path toe Healing”), followed by a group writing exercise. For information on virtually attending the forum, visit TheWriteSpot.us and click on “Writers Forum.”
Petaluma realtor Barton Smith invites “the young and young at heart” to join him nightly, at 7 p.m. on his personal Facebook page for a live living room reading of a different picture book. He generally posts an announcement early in the day letting fans know which book he'll be reading.
Rivertown Poets is a weekly virtual event via Zoom. Every Monday at 6:15 p.m., log onto Aqus’ Zoom system to hear local poets reading from their own work, from the safety of their homes. This is an open mic event, so participants will be able to “sign up” to read. As ever, Sande Anfang hosts. Aqus.com/online. The Zoom link is Zoom.us/j/6508887879.
Farmer’s Markets (aka FMs), especially in the COVID-era – where social distancing is the norm and masks are generally agreed to be a good and helpful thing – are a great way to shop, wave at people we know, eat a bag of kettle corn served with a pair of very long picker-uppers, get to be outdoors and still, you know, take care of one another. Plus … there’s usually music. Three times a week, on Tuesday mornings, Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons, it all happens, at various locations around town. For those who prefer to shop for their tomatoes in the morning, Lucchesi Park on Tuesdays is the place to be, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Thursdays (formerly known as Wednesdays), downtown Petaluma’s Theater District hosts a popular FM (walk to it, if you possibly can, because it’s just easier, trust us) from 4:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.. And then on Saturday afternoons from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., in Walnut Park, the magic of FMs (in a slightly smaller version that once was the norm) continues under the trees in one of Petaluma’s most gorgeously restored historic parks. Don’t forget the kettle corn.
YOGA IN THE PARK
Yoga in the Park is becoming a real thing in Petaluma, with more than one local group sponsoring regular yoga-themed classes in public places. In association with Petaluma Parks and Recreation Department, Lacey Calvert Shelton of Petaluma Park Yoga is offering live in-person yoga classes three times a week in Wickersham Park. Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., it’s Yoga Strength and Flow, described as “a yoga class mashed with strength training.” On Thursdays at 5:30 p.m., Slow Flow focuses on mental clarity with an hour of unwinding and restorative work. On Sunday mornings at 10 a.m., join with your neighbors for an hour of Community Yoga, a family friendly class designed for all ages and experience levels. Classes are free, though a $10 donation is welcome (but “not expected”), with funds raised going to support city parks. To maintain a safe and healthy environment, please register in advance so the number of participants can remain manageable and properly distant. Register at PetalumaParkYoga.com. And over at Oak Hill Park, Park Fit Petaluma presents its own twice-a-week yoga classes for women, beginning with Sunrise Yoga on Tuesdays at 7 a.m. and Thursdays at 4 p.m. Register at ParkFitPetaluma.com/classes.
The Petaluma Arts Center might be closed to visitors, but that hasn’t stopped the nonprofit from continuing in its mission to present innovative contemporary art for the benefit of the entire Petaluma community, both artists (student and professional) and art lovers. The “Art Apart” program encourages locals to create their own pieces of public art for a kind of citywide “drive by art show.” The PAC has established an interactive map showing the various fences, yards and garage doors in town where participating artists have placed some kind of art piece. Find the map at PetalumaArtsCenter.org.
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