Folk takes center stage in Woody Guthrie tribute

“Woody Sez,” by Center REP, memorializes American folk icon Woody Guthrie.

Folk takes center stage in Woody Guthrie tribute

Folk takes center stage in Woody Guthrie tribute
“Woody Sez,” by Center REP, memorializes American folk icon Woody Guthrie.

It’s opening night for Center REPertory’s “Woody Sez: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie.”

You will be mesmerized by the musical talents of the cast, which received a 2018 Drama League nomination for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical.

Guthrie, America’s greatest troubadour, transformed folk music into a vehicle for social protest. David M. Lutken, who plays the title role, will lead free hootenannies after the Sunday matinees. The show plays through June 23 at the Lesher Center. Call 925-943-7469 or visit

Concord’s B8 Theatre Company artistic director JanLee Marshall spins a B8 twist, with all traditionally male roles played by females in her version of the classic comedy “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare.

Performances will be the Concord Historical Society June 13-29. Visit

You can also get your Shakespeare fix by checking check out California Shakespeare’s version of the comedy, May 22-June 22 at the Bruns Amphitheater, Orinda. Tyne Rafaeli directs. Visit


Poison Apple’s “Once Upon a Mattress."
Jordan Dusich of Concord is Prince Dauntless, with Trinity Fanelli as Princess Winifred in Poison Apple’s “Once Upon a Mattress.” (Noelle Arms photo)

Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again after seeing Poison Apple’s production of “Once Upon A Mattress.” This rollicking take on “The Princess and the Pea” is a musical with hearty, fun shenanigans. The show runs Memorial Day weekend at the Lesher Center. Call 925-943-7469 or visit

“A Murder is Announced” in a local paper, providing Miss Marple (played by the wonderful Melynda Kiring) with a host of clues in this Agatha Christie thriller. Local favorites include Sally Hogarty and Randy Anger. The Plotline Theatre show is playing through May 26 at the Martinez Campbell Theatre. Call 925-350-9770 or visit


Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” Town Hall Theatre
Patricia Pitpitan, left, and Marah Sotelo are “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” in the Town Hall Theatre production.

“Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown,” produced by Town Hall Theatre, stars Patricia Pitpitan, Sheila Viramontes and Marah Sotelo. The musical is a sexy romp about female resilience as a trio of women in 1980s Madrid serve up comedic chaos with a specially laced gazpacho, paired with an irresistible Spanish beat. It plays May 30-June 22 in Lafayette. Visit

Ghostlight Theatre celebrates its one-year anniversary with preparations for an exciting 2019-’20 season, including “The Dixie Swim Club,” “Misdeeds at Mistletoe Mine,” “Festival 10” and “Big, the Musical.” For information on auditions or volunteering, visit


“Confesso” at the Smuin Ballet
Erin Yarbrough-Powell and Ben Needham-Wood dance in “Confesso” with Smuin Ballet. (Chris Hardy photo)

Amy Seiwert, one of Smuin Ballet’s most illustrious alumni, presents a world premiere to close the company’s 25th anniversary season at the Lesher Center this weekend. Return to Smuin’s roots with highlights from Michael Smuin’s vast creative archive in “Dance Series 02.” Call 925-943-7469 or visit

Onstage Repertory Theatre Company peeks into “The Fitting Room,” a voyeuristic perspective on the search for meaning, truth and the perfect pair of jeans. I wrote the comedy, with Helen Means directing. It plays at the Martinez Campbell Theatre June 14-30. Call 925-350-9770 or visit

Kathryn G. McCarty is well-known around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments to