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From ‘Butterfly’ to ‘Frank,’ this is serious theater

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From ‘Butterfly’ to ‘Frank,’ this is serious theater
Monique Hafen Adams stars in “Diary of Anne Frank” in Walnut Creek through April 28. (Mello Photo)

Peet Cocke directs the explosive world premiere of “Pinned Butterfly,” which explores bisexual erasure within the LGBTQ community. Written by Adam Esquenazi Douglas, the B8 Theatre Company show runs through April 22 at the Concord Historical Society. Visit www.b8theatre.org or call 925-890-8877.

Center REPertory Company presents the Pulitzer Prize winning “The Diary of Anne Frank,” featuring an extremely talented Monique Hafen in the title role. Timothy Near directs this enduring real-life tale of hope during the Holocaust, which also features artistic director Michael Butler. It runs through April 28 in Walnut Creek. Call 925-943-SHOW or visit www.lesherartscenter.org.

Sophia Gilbert is “Matilda” in Contra Costa Musical Theatre’s musical adaptation of Roald Dahl’s beloved story. Director Jennifer Perry adds a magical touch to the show, running through May 12 in Walnut Creek. Visit www.lesherartscenter.org or call 925-943-SHOW.

 

From ‘Butterfly’ to ‘Frank,’ this is serious theater
Bobbie Barlow is the narrator and Luke Cannon plays Joseph in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” through April 21 in Pittsburg. (Royally Me Photography)

Pittsburg Community Theatre continues its successful run of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” starring an angelic-voiced Luke Cannon in the title role. Bobbie Barlow is the narrator in the reimagined Biblical story. Directed by Keith Barlow, the Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber musical runs through April 21 at the California Theatre in Pittsburg. Call 925-427-1611 or visit www.pittsburgcaliforniatheatre.com.

Witches lose their supernatural powers if they fall in love, but Gillian Holroyd (played by a sultry Anna Oglesby-Smith) can’t help herself. She weaves a spell on her unsuspecting neighbor Shepherd Henderson (Edwin Peabody), a handsome book publisher who instantly falls in love with Gillian. The two have wonderful chemistry, but who needs a magic spell to fall in love with Oglesby-Smith?

 

Bell Book and Candle
Real life couple Jennifer Brown Peabody and Edwin Peabody in “Bell, Book and Candle” at the Martinez Campbell Theatre through April 28. (Jamie Jobb photo)

John Van Druten’s 1949 comedy “Bell, Book and Candle” casts a magical spell and Director Randy Anger’s cast excels in this romantic comedy that captivates in the blink of an eye.

These witches weave a web of humor. The outstanding cast includes Jerry Motta as Sidney Redlitch, a foolish ghost-hunting author who is easily deceived.  Ian Cox is Gillian’s warlock brother Nicky, who is enticing to watch.  Jennifer Brown Peabody is delightful as hysterical eccentric Aunt Queeney who has a fondness for chocolates and jingling bells.  Outstanding technical support is provided by costume designer CC Cardin and set designer Diane McRice, who captured the 1940’s era with style.

Gillian and Shep are transformed when love, the most powerful potion of all, breaks down the boundaries dividing them. This enchanting production is sure to enchant and bewitch you with its magic. Plotline Theatre Company’s “Bell, Book and Candle” is at the Martinez Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St., through April 28.  Call 925- 350-9770 or visit www.campbelltheater.com for tickets.

 

Irma Vep
Dana Lewenthal and Alicia von Kugelgen play multiple roles in Charles Ludlam’s “The Mystery of Irma Vep” in Danville through April 28. (John Carter photo)

Dana Lewenthal and Alicia von Kugelgen are hysterical in the wickedly funny, cross dressing send-up “The Mystery of Irma Vep” by Charles Ludlam, produced by Role Players Ensemble. The actresses each play multiple roles in this satire of the gothic horror genre, directed by Mike Reynolds. The comedy runs through April 28 at Danville’s Village Theatre. Call 925-324-3400 or visit www.roleplayersensemble.com.

Diablo Ballet presents the final program of its 25th season, “Celebrated Masters” featuring Val Caniparoli’s “Tryst” and the encore presentation of the iconic “Swan Lake Suite” staged by company regisseur Joanna Berman. The final featured ballet is “Walk before Talk” by KT Nelson, co-artistic director of ODC/Dance. “Celebrated Masters” performs May 3-4 at the Del Valle Theatre in Walnut Creek. Call 925-943-SHOW or visit www.diabloballet.org.

Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble has entertained audiences for more than three decades. Now they bring us the timeless “Cinderella,” about a girl’s dream to find true love. With the audiences’ help, Cinderella’s godmother may make her dreams come true. Maybe the slipper will fit your foot. The show runs May 9-12 in Walnut Creek. Call 925-943-SHOW or visit www.lesherartscenter.org.

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