Cinnabar’s The World Goes ‘Round and 6th Street’s Fully Committed (Aired: January 1, 2020)

North Bay theatres ring out the old and welcome in the New Year with music and comedy. The World Goes ‘Round to the beat of Broadway showtunes at Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater while Santa Rosa’s 6th Street Playhouse is Fully Committed to bringing the laughs. Both shows run through January 5.

You’re probably more familiar with the works of the songwriting team of John Kander and Fred Ebb than you think. Responsible for the lyrics and music for Broadway hits like Cabaret and Chicago, The World Goes ‘Round is a musical revue featuring most of their best-known works.

There’s no plot, just five performers (Aja Gianola-Norris, Anna Joham, Adam Niemann, Brandy Noveh, and Kevin Singer) and three musicians (musical director Mike Greensill, Steven Hoffman, and John Shebalin) performing two dozen or so Kander and Ebb songs. Each song is a story unto itself, with director/choreographer Clark Sterling bringing a light touch and inventive movement to songs that range from the amusing (“Sara Lee”) to the melancholy (“Mr. Cellophane”) to the rousing (“New York, New York”).

Delivered in an intimate, cabaret-style setting via a talented ensemble that’s fully committed to entertaining their audience, it’s a very pleasant evening of musical theatre full of delightful characterizations and terrific vocals.

Fully Committed is also the high-falutin term a toney Manhattan restaurant prefers to use when telling potential patrons they’re totally booked.  

Meet Sam (Patrick Varner), a struggling New York actor whose daytime job consists of taking reservations from the hoi polloi hoping to get a good table at a New York eatery known for its “molecular gastronomy”. It’s the type of restaurant that serves “smoked cuttlefish risotto in a cloud of dry ice infused with pipe tobacco”.

Tucked in the basement, Sam juggles the reservation lines, a staff intercom, a “hot” line to the chef, and his cell phone while he engages in conversations with the crème-de-la-crème of New York society, his absent co-worker, his demanding boss, and his father who’s hoping he can come home for Christmas. 

Varner is a whirling dervish as he takes on 40-some characters and gives them each a personality and a voice. It takes a bit of getting used to visually, but buy into it and it’s a fun 90 minutes.

‘The World Goes ‘Round’ runs through January 5 at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.

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‘Fully Committed ‘ also runs through January 5 on the Monroe Stage at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. Thursday through Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; there are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

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Summer: The Donna Summer Musical (Aired: December 25, 2019)

North Bay residents seeking refuge from a rainy and cold December might find it worth their while to head over the bridge and spend a Summer afternoon or evening in the city. Donna Summer, that is, as BroadwaySF hosts the touring company of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical.  It runs through December 29 at San Francisco’s Golden Gate Theatre.

Summer, who died at the age of 63 in 2012, was the undisputed queen of disco when that style of music dominated the charts. How she ascended to that throne and what she did when musical tastes changed is the basis for this jukebox musical that lasted eight months on Broadway in 2018.

Three incarnations of Summer tell the story. ‘Diva Donna’ (Dan’yelle Williamson) opens the show and welcomes the audience with “The Queen is Back”. ‘Duckling Donna’ (De’Ja Simone, filling in for Olivia Elease Hardy) covers Summer’s formulative years while ‘Disco Donna’ (Alex Hairston) gives us Summer in her prime.

Summer’s life is an interesting one but the devil is in the details and you don’t get many of those in the paper-thin book by Colman Domingo, Robert Cary, and director Des McAnuff (Jersey Boys).

What you do get is 100 intermission-less minutes of Summer’s greatest hits tenuously tied to the high and low moments in Summer’s life. The end of an abusive marriage is the cue for “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)”. Breaking a record company’s contract for their ‘creative accountancy’ is proof “She Works Hard for the Money”. The show ends, of course, with the Oscar and Grammy-winning “Last Dance” in a massive production number set at New York’s Studio 54 featuring what may be the world’s largest disco ball.  

No one goes to a show like Summer for gritty drama or complex characterizations. Audiences flock to jukebox musicals for the music and Summer does not disappoint in that area. The opening night audience applauded at the first notes of many tunes and the vocals by Williamson, Simone, and Hairston captured the essence and power of Donna Summer without resorting to impersonation.

Summer: The Donna Summer Musical is as cookie-cutter as musicals come these days. By no means a great show, it is an entertaining one that’s best appreciated by those who lived through the ‘70’s and for whom the thump, thump, thump, thump of a four-on-the-floor bass drum beat is met with a smile.  

‘Summer: The Donna Summer Musical’ runs Tuesday through Sunday through December 29 at the Golden Gate Theatre in San Francisco. Weekday evening performances are at 7:30 pm, weekend evening performance are at 8:00 pm, and there are weekday and weekend matinees at 2:00 pm.

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Two Musicals: A Christmas Story and Miracle on 34th Street (Aired: December 18, 2019)

Musical adaptations of Christmas movie classics close out the year with two shows running through Dec. 22. Sonoma Arts Live presents A Christmas Story, The Musical while Lucky Penny Productions brings Miracle on 34th Street, The Musical to Napa.

Bob Clark’s A Christmas Story was a moderate film success back in 1983. Based on the writings of humorist Jean Shepherd, repeated TV airings made it a holiday staple which means, of course, it had to be turned into a musical.

All young Ralphie Parker (Tuolumne Bunter) wants for Christmas is an official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot, range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. Thwarted by his mother (Morgan Harrington), his teacher (ScharyPearl Fugitt), and even Santa Claus, things don’t look promising on Christmas morn. Will his Old Man (Rick Love) come through?

The script follows the film fairly closely, with key moments converted to musical numbers by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen). The Old Man’s infamous leg lamp becomes “A Major Award”, the tongue-on-the-flag pole bit is “A Sticky Situation”, and the standard admonition to any child desirous of a BB gun is turned into the show-stopping, Michella Snider-choreographed tap dancing extravaganza “You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out”.

Turning a 90-minute film into a full-blown musical leads to padding and there’s way too much focus on the parents, but Bunter is very good as Ralphie and the show does retain a lot of the film’s charm.

The same cannot be said for Miracle on 34th Street, the Musical.

How Meredith Willson (The Music Man) managed to strip an Oscar-winning story of most of its charm and turn the leads into two very unlikeable people is something of a miracle in itself.

The tale of a little girl (Ava Reynolds, alternating with Grace Martin) who doesn’t believe in Santa Claus and the romance between her mother (Alison Quin) and a neighbor (F. James Raasche) misses on almost every count.

The cast tries hard, with Tim Setzer’s Kris Kringle and Jill Wagoner’s prosecuting attorney coming off best, but there’s zero chemistry between the leads and there’s little love evident in a show whose original title was Here’s Love.   

A Christmas Story: The Musical’ runs through December 22 at Andrews Hall in the Sonoma Community Center in Sonoma. Thursday through Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.

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‘Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical’ plays through December 22 at the Lucky Penny Community Arts Center in Napa. There are Thursday through Saturday evening performances at 7pm and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

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Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by the Spreckels Theater Company (Aired: December 11, 2019)

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s “continuation” of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, made quite a splash at the Marin Theatre Company in 2016 and since then has become a staple of holiday theatre programs. The Spreckels Theatre Company brings it to Rohnert Park with a production running through December 15.

It’s Christmas time at Pemberley Manor, where Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy (Matt Cadigan & Ilana Niernberger) are hosting a reunion of the Bennet sisters – Elizabeth’s expectant sister Jane (Alie Nordby) and her husband Charles (Evan Held), precocious and flirtatious sister Lydia (Ella Park), and their somewhat neglected sibling Mary (Karina Pugh). Mary sees little future for herself but the caretaking of her aging parents. Her chances of finding love are as limited as her chances of exploring the world outside of books.

Enter Arthur de Bourgh (Zane Walters), a somewhat nebbish neighbor who has come into his own estate. His interests align with Mary’s and there’s definite interest in Mary, but Arthur’s experience with women is severely limited.

Heeding the advice of the gentlemen of the house, Arthur writes a letter expressing his feelings which, of course, gets in the hands of the wrong person. As that misunderstanding plays out, in swoops Anne de Bourgh (Taylor Diffenderfer), Arthur’s cousin and self-declared fiancé. Will everything work out for Mary and Arthur or are they doomed to lives of spinsterhood and loveless marriage?

C’mon, it’s a Christmas play.

And a charming one at that. Director Sheri Lee Miller brings the right touch and the perfect cast to the material. The writing is so good and the characters so clearly defined that you really don’t need to know a thing about Pride and Prejudice to ‘get it’. Everything you need to know comes from the characters and the cast surely ‘gets it’ with each member delivering a strong and delightful characterization via Gunderson and Melcon’s witty dialogue. 

The show’s humor is rooted in the characters and their relationships. Pugh’s Mary is a tower of strength and vulnerability who’s met her match in Walters’ spot-on bumbling and loveable Arthur. Niernberger, Nordby, and Park’s sisters all seem like sisters and Cadigan and Held’s gentlemen lovingly exist in their world. Diffenderfer’s Anne is a great villain whose need for security leads her to say and do some awful, terrible and very amusing things.

Ah, but love conquers all and it will conquer you should you decide to spend some time at Pemberley Manor.

‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley’ runs through December 15 at the Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.

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Marin Theater Company’s “Mother of the Maid” (Aired: December 4, 2019)

What’s a mother to do when her daughter says she hears the voice of an angel instructing her to lead an army to war? ‘Love her unconditionally’ is the short answer provided by playwright Jane Anderson in Mother of the Maid, running at Marin Theatre Company through December 15.

The tale of Joan of Arc has been told by poets, authors, playwrights and filmmakers for close to six centuries now and one wouldn’t think there’s much more to say on the subject. Playwright Anderson moves the focus of the story to Joan’s family and turns what is often treated as a religious or historical treatise into part situation comedy/part medieval family drama. 

Joan (Rosie Hallett) confesses to her mother Isabelle (Sherman Fracher) that the voice of Saint Catherine has informed her that Joan is destined to lead a great French army and cast the English from her country.  When Joan’s father Jacques (Scott Coopwood) finds out, he tries to beat the effrontery out of her. Thinking a trip to the local vicar will rid Joan of the idea, the family is surprised when Father Gilbert (Robert Sicular) finds Joan’s claim credible. Under the escort of her brother Pierre (Brennan Pickman-Thoon), Joan is soon off to the palace of the Dauphin to meet her destiny.

Much of that ‘destiny’ occurs off-stage as the focus remains on the impact of Joan’s decisions on those around her. Her brother first attaches himself to Joan as a protector but soon sees the circumstances as a way out of the peasant life. Her father trusts no one and senses things will not end well, and her mother does what mothers do – she stands by her child through thick and thin and tries to keep the family together.

Anderson tackles a lot of themes here: faith, class, power, sexism, and familial relationships. The universality of these themes is expressed through the use of anachronistic dialogue which, while occasionally jarring, does make the material more accessible.

Director Jasson Minadakis and a quality cast do a fine job in bringing balance to Anderson’s sometimes odd mixture of comedy and drama. The scenic design by Sean Fanning and lighting design by Chris Lundhal is superb with breathtaking visuals. Sara Huddleston’s sound design in conjunction with Penina Biddle-Gottesman’s delivery of Chris Houston’s compositions aurally transport us between the worldly and the other-worldly.  

Yes, you know how the story ends, but remember – it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.

‘Mother of the Maid’ runs Tuesday through Sunday through December 15 at Marin Theatre Company, in Mill Valley. Tuesday through Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; there are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

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(Photo: Isabelle Arc (Sherman Fracher) and her daughter, Joan Arc (Rosie Hallett) – Kevin Berne)

Mountain Play and the Ross Valley Players Present “She Loves Me” (Aired: November 27, 2019)

It’s been almost 85 years since two of Marin’s oldest theatre companies joined forces to present a full theatrical production. Apparently, it worked so well that the Mountain Play and the Ross Valley Players have decided to do it again. Their co-production of She Loves Me, the 1963 musical adaptation of the 1937 Hungarian play Parfumerie, runs through December 22 at The Barn theatre in Ross.

The original Miklós László play is the tale of two combative co-workers who, unbeknownst to them, have been exchanging lonely-hearts letters. Does that plotline sound familiar? It’s the basis for Hollywood’s 1940 Jimmy Stewart/Margaret Sullivan film The Shop Around the Corner, 1949’s In the Good Old Summertime with Judy Garland and Van Johnson, and 1998’s You’ve Got Mail with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.  

With a book by Joe Masteroff (who did Cabaret) and music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (who did Fiddler on the Roof), She Loves Me returns to the original play’s setting of a perfumery and its staff. Chief Clerk Georg Nowack (Max Kligman) leads a staff that includes the perpetually-afraid-to-lose his-job Ladislov (Patrick Barr), the looking-for-love Ilona (Chelsey Ristaino), the shop lothario Steven (Anthony Maglio), and the wanting-to-be-more-than-a-delivery boy Arpad (Alex Cook). Soon they’re joined by Amalia Bosch (Marah Sotelo) who, much to Georg’s consternation, is hired by shop owner Mr. Maraczek (Ron Dritz) after impressing him with her salesmanship. Georg and Amalia don’t like each other very much which means, of course, they’ll be embracing by the end of the second act.

Director Nicole Helfer and her team deliver the very definition of a pleasant show. The story is uncomplicated, the cast and their characters are (mostly) charming, and the music is agreeable and pleasing – if unmemorable when compared to Fiddler.

Budgetary constraints and venue limitations were no doubt a factor in the decision to utilize a music track – under the on-stage control of vocal director Jake Gale – in place of a live orchestra. It works fine, but the richness of live music is sorely missed as was the amplification of the vocals.

The experienced cast does well with the energy and enthusiasm that young Mr. Cook brings to Arpad worthy of note.

There’s a Christmas connection to the story which is why it’s often programmed in the holiday season. Not quite a complete package, it makes for a nice theatrical stocking stuffer.

‘She Loves Me’ runs Wednesday through Sunday through December 22 at the Barn Theatre at the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. Wednesday and Thursday evening performances are at 7:30pm, the Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 8:00 pm, and the Sunday matinee is at 2:00 pm. For more information and ticketing, go to

Oliver! at the 6th Street Playhouse (Aired: November 20, 2019)

North Bay theatre patrons are well aware of the numerous performances cancelled because of the Kincade fire and PG&E power shutoffs. What they may not know is the impact those factors had on shows in the middle of their rehearsals. 

There’s no doubt that loss of critical time can be attributed to some – but not all – of the raggedness evident in the 6th Street Playhouse production of Oliver!, running through December 22. Odd directorial choices and horrible sound mixing also contributed to a less-than-satisfactory opening night performance of this classic musical.

Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist is a dark look at the underbelly of a 19th century England full of orphanages, workhouses, and crime. British writer/composer Lionel Bart managed to turn it into a somewhat family-friendly musical that had a very successful West End debut and Tony-winning Broadway run followed by a multi-Oscar-winning film adaptation.  

Orphan boy Oliver (an under-rehearsed Cecilia Brenner) is living the hard-knock life when he’s sold to a local undertaker. He runs away to London and is taken in by a young pickpocket known as the Artful Dodger (a personable Mario Herrera). The Dodger introduces him to Fagin (David Yen, strong), the “mentor” to a gang of youthful thieves who have a beer hall lass named Nancy (Brittany Law, excellent) as a mother figure. Circumstances soon find Oliver in a good home, but Nancy’s mate Bill Sikes (a sinister Zachary Hasbany) sees Oliver as threat. A violent end is in store for someone.

The show requires a large cast and while director Patrick Nims has 24 performers on stage, more than half of them are kids. Consequently, the adult actors essay multiple roles (Dwayne Stincelli as the undertaker and a curly-locked housemaid; Maureen O’Neill as the undertaker’s wife and a ridiculously mutton-chopped Mr. Bedwin, etc.) as well as inanimate objects like doors and window blinds, while the kids play street urchins, the occasional adult, and animals. This gave the show a strange tone and led to the evening’s oddest moment when the violent bludgeoning death of a character was immediately followed by the sound of the audience’s “Aw!” at the sight of a child playing a dog.

Conceptual issues aside, poor sound work off stage repeatedly undermined quality performances on stage. I’m starting to sound like a broken record here, but sound really matters in a musical.

At some point, could no one step forward and say, “Please sir, I want some more… rehearsal?”

‘Oliver!’ runs through December 15 in the GK Hardt Theatre at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; there are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

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Novato Theater Company Presents Sweeney Todd (Aired: November 13, 2019)

Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd is an exceedingly difficult show to produce.  More opera than musical (San Francisco Opera actually did a production in 2015), the vocal demands alone create a significant casting challenge for most theatre companies. The complexities of Sondheim’s score and the requirements of the set design add to the degree of difficulty for any company seeking to produce this monster of a show.

But with two roles that are ‘bucket list’ entries for many actors, the North Bay will see three productions this season of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street’s tale. Marin’s Novato Theater Company and Theatre-at-Large have joined forces to be the first with their co-production running in Novato through November 17. 

The characters of Sweeney Todd and pie shop proprietor Mrs. Lovett have been around since 1846 and have appeared in numerous stage and film adaptations. Sondheim’s 1979 Broadway production’s headliners were Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury while Tim Burton’s 2007 film starred Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

After exile and imprisonment, Benjamin Barker (Bruce Vieira) returns to London to seek vengeance on the villainous Judge Turpin (Charles Evans) whose machinations led to the death of Barker’s wife and separation from his daughter Johanna (Julianne Bretan) who is now the Judge’s ward. Under the name Sweeney Todd, he opens a tonsorial parlor above the bake shop of Mrs. Lovett (Alison Peltz) who admittedly makes “The Worst Pies in London”. Soon Todd’s need for vengeance and Lovett’s need for meat for her pies leads to an unholy partnership.

Co-directors Vieira and Kim Bromley manage to overcome most of the difficulties small theatre companies face with a production of this scope. The vocal work is excellent as is the seven-piece orchestra under the direction of Judy Weisen. The roles have been well cast, though the preference for vocal ability over performance skill is evident. The leads are first-rate as is the supporting work of Dominic Quin-Harkin as rival barber Adolfo Pirelli, Fernando Siu as Pirelli’s assistant Tobias, and Jane Harrington as a beggar woman.

The villainy level of the Judge and his foppish assistant Beadle Bamford (Mauricio Suarez) is surprisingly low while the blandness level of Johanna’s suitor Anthony (Cordell Wesselink) lamentably high. 

But they all can sing, and with songs that range from delightfully amusing ditties to impassioned love ballads to dark dirges, that’s an understandable priority.

Sweeney Todd is not a cheery show but these are not cheery times. Enjoy?

’Sweeney Todd’ runs Thursday through Sunday through November 17 at the Novato Theater Company Playhouse in Novato. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 7:30pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.

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Wait Until Dark at 6th Street & Between Riverside and Crazy at Left Edge (Aired: November 6, 2019)

Local theatres seem to be in a New York state of mind with two very different shows set in the Big Apple running on North Bay stages. 6th Street Playhouse brings the somewhat ironically titled Wait Until Dark to their Monroe Stage while Left Edge Theatre puts their audiences somewhere Between Riverside and Crazy.

Wait Until Dark playwright Frederick Knott only wrote three plays but two of the three (the other being Dial M for Murder) have become theatre standards. Film adaptations have led to increased audience familiarity with the material, robbing them of a bit of the suspense that Knott built into his scripts.

Photographer Sam Hendrix (Steve Cannon) has unwittingly transported a child’s doll full of heroin from Canada to New York and left it in the care of his sight-impaired wife Susi (convincingly played by Olivia Marie Rooney). Soon a trio of very nefarious gentlemen (portrayed by Ezra Hernandez, Matt Witthaus, Justin Thompson) arrive on the scene determined to get the doll surreptitiously by playing a deadly game of impersonation.  

Director Meghan Hakes has a good cast at work here, but the show’s MVP has to be lighting designer Vincent Mothersbaugh. Without giving too much away, lighting plays a big role in this play and Mothersbaugh delivers.  

‘Wait Until Dark’ runs through November 10 on the Monroe Stage at 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 7:30pm; there are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm.

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Playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Between Riverside and Crazy won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a stack of theater awards. It’s an odd mixture of comedy and drama that at its heart is a story of families – father/son, son/fiancé, father-figure/son, and the ‘brotherhood’ of law enforcement.   

Retired New York City police officer Walter “Pops” Washington (played by Corey Jackson) is living in a rent-controlled apartment with his recently paroled son Junior (played by Sam Ademola), his son’s fiancé Lulu (Pilar Gonzales) and their friend Oswaldo (an intense Jared Wright).

Walter’s former partner Audrey (Sandra Ish) and her fiancé Lt. Dave (Mike Schaeffer) are trying to get Walter to sign off on a settlement agreement stemming from a police shooting. The powers they represent aren’t above threatening Walter with the loss of his home to get his signature. Walter, who always seems pissed, gets really pissed.

It’s a solid production, and credit director Argo Thompson for bringing some theatrical diversity – both in casting and subject matter – to the area.    

‘Between Riverside and Crazy’ also runs through November 10 at Left Edge Theatre at the Luther Burbank Center for the Performing Arts in Santa Rosa. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 8pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.

For more information, go to

Luna Gale at the Cinnabar Theater (Aired: October 23, 2019)

The term “MacGuffin” was popularized by Alfred Hitchcock to describe objects or events that took place in his films that were necessary to begin the plot and motivate the characters but were essentially irrelevant. It may be harsh to refer to a baby as a MacGuffin, but the title character in Luna Gale, running through October 27 at Petaluma’s Cinnabar Theater, is just that.

She’s the newborn of meth-addicted parents Karlie (Miranda Jane Williams) and Peter (Zane Walters). After bringing their baby into an emergency room, they’re met by Caroline (Liz Jahren), a social worker who informs them the baby will be taken out of their custody while they receive treatment for their addiction. Faced with the choice of placing the infant in foster care or with Karlie’s mother Cindy (Gina Alvarado), Caroline recommends placement with the child’s grandmother. It’s a decision she soon regrets.

Cindy, an evangelical Christian, seeks to gain full custody of the child with the support of her influential pastor (James Pelican). Caroline thinks the mother’s move will be devastating to her daughter’s recovery, but Cindy thinks Karlie’s a lost cause. She wants to save the child (in more ways than one.)

Overworked and out of time as her tight-laced boss (John Browning) supports Cindy’s request, Caroline devises a plan to stall the custody hearing. Will this agnostic sell her soul to save three others?

Playwright Rebecca Gilman has written a devastating look at the social services world. Underfunded and frequently unavailable, our nation talks a good game when it comes to the treatment of damaged individuals but often fails to deliver.

Director Jessica Litwak brings a stylish directorial approach to the material that, while visually interesting, detracts from the text.  The show opens and closes with movement pieces and when cast members are not in a scene, they’re dressed in lab coats and act as shelves, flag poles, etc. Rather than absorb what’s being said, one ponders why there’s an arm sticking out of the refrigerator holding a banana.

When they’re not scenery, the cast is acting the hell out of the script. Liz Jahren gives a towering performance as the social worker exhaustively swimming against the tide of an entrenched bureaucracy. Williams and Walters are quite effective as the troubled parents. Pelican gives an interestingly restrained performance as the church leader.

Not as depressing as it sounds, Luna Gale is a tribute to all those fighting the good fight – professionally and personally. There’s still hope.  

‘Luna Gale’ runs through October 27 at Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma. Friday and Saturday evening performances are at 7:30pm; the Sunday matinee is at 2pm.

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