The Buzz: Which summertime events are canceled, which are going virtual?
Rivertown Revival, Broadway Under the Stars and more are going online: It seems like every day another beloved Sonoma County/Petaluma event is officially canceled, as hopes rapidly dwindle that the coronavirus’ impact on the North Bay’s summer events calendar will quickly run its course. Many of those happenings are now being resurrected, however, in the form of online content. Last weekend, having already declared a one-year hiatus for Petaluma’s popular Rivertown Revival, the event’s sponsor — the nonprofit Friends of the Petaluma River — announced a month-long series of live streaming shows designed to capture at least some of the wacky, fun-loving vibe that exemplifies the eclectic outdoor extravaganza.
“This homegrown, volunteer-run festival has always been about much more than a single sunny day in July,” states the accompanying press release. “The spirit of Rivertown is an ongoing effort by the community to celebrate life, support the arts, and raise awareness for environmental protection and education.” The new on-line series, titled “Living Room Live,” begins this Saturday, May 23 at 7 p.m., and runs through June 13. The first show, which will blend musical performances with other bits of artistic theatricality, will feature John Courage, Sebastian Saint James and Ismay. The show, viewable by visiting RivertownRevival.com, will be hosted by Rivertown’s music director Josh Windmiller, of The Crux.
Meanwhile, Transcendence Theatre Company, having pulled the plug on its annual Broadway Under the Stars series held each year at Jack London State Historical Park, plans to deliver the same “best night ever” razzle-dazzle with a series of online shows beginning July 10, and running through Sept. 13. The four free-of-charge “virtual concerts” will feature highlight moments from the last eight years of star-studded outdoor musical reviews. Says Transcendence Artistic Director Amy Miller, “We will work together to create the magic of the park in living rooms and backyards across the world.” As is the case with past programs, each show has a separate theme and will stream Fridays at 7:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The shows are “Don’t Stop Believin’” (10 viewings, with two on Saturdays and Sundays, July 10-July 17), “Fantastical Family Night” (five viewings, July 24-26), “I Hope You Dance” (10 viewings, Aug. 16-23) and the Gala Celebration (five screenings, Sept. 11-13). Virtual reservations are required, with an opportunity to make a donation through the company’s website at TranscendenceTheatre.org.
New Dairy Princess announced: At a “virtual crowning” that took place Saturday, May 16, Petaluma’s Olivia Poncia was named the 2020 Dairy Princess for the California Milk Advisory Board’s District 3. As Poncia takes over for 2019 Dairy Princess Amanda King, preparing for a year of representing the dairy industry across Sonoma, Solano, Laek, Marin, Mendocino and Napa counties, she’ll be assisted by First and Second Alternates Marissa Temple and Rachel Spaletta, also from Petaluma. Poncia is the daughter of Andy and Lisa Poncia, is a senior at Petaluma High School, and plans to pursue degrees in agriculture and viticulture. Temple’s parents are Matthew and Nicole Temple. Also senior at PHS, Temple plans to study accounting and environmental science. Spaletta, the daughter of Louie and Diane Spaletta, will be graduating from PHS as well, and plans to major in Agriculture Education.
Signs of the times: As the local shelter-in-place enters its third month, signs of resilience and artistic community resolve continue to pop up here and there around town. The marquee at the Phoenix theater has evolved from its hopeful initial pronouncement “See you in April, Stay Well” to a less specific “Be Back Soon” to its newly installed message: “Congratulations Class of 2020. History is Yours to Make,” appropriate enough given the significant status this class of graduates will rate in the history books of the future. Elsewhere, artists and writers are making their mark with pop-up images of masked corona goddesses wreathed in flowers, and displays of inspirational quotes, examples of the latter currently on view at downtown Petaluma’s Putnam Plaza. Some are actually funny, as with the supper-story signs overlooking American Alley that proclaim “Fear Not,” with a picture of a roll of toilet paper, and also, “Wann use less TP? Eat more cheese.”