Local theater – from ‘It Runs in the Family’ to the ‘Addams Family’

Local theater – from ‘It Runs in the Family’ to the ‘Addams Family’

Local theater – from ‘It Runs in the Family’ to the ‘Addams Family’
Clockwise from left: “It runs in the family” from the Orinda Starlight Village Players July 21-Aug. 17. Taylor Raven performs the title role in “Carmen” Aug. 18 and 20. Solo Opera presents a family-friendly take on the Grimm’s Fairy Tale, “The Three Feathers” (Photo of Shawnette Sulker as Princess Dora by Vero Kherian Photography).

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (July 18, 2023) — The British farce “It Runs in the Family” is up next for Orinda Starlight Village Players.

Set in a hospital, the show follows Dr. Mortimore as he fends off a paternity suit, an ex-wife, a punkish son and various lunatics while rehearsing his speech for an international conference. That’s one busy doctor!

“There’s nothing quite like a good farce with a great cast to make theater the fun it should be,” said Suzan Lorraine, who shares directorial duties with Jill Gelster.

“It Runs in the Family” performs July 21-Aug.17 at the Orinda Community Center Park amphitheater, 28 Orinda Way. For more information, go to www.orsvp.com.

Local operas are in full swing readying expansive shows for local audiences. Festival Opera starts things off at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 18 with George Bizet’s powerful “Carmen.” Directed by Michael Mohammed with conductor Robert Mollicone, the story of the strong-willed Carmen also runs 2 p.m. Aug. 20.

Taylor Raven plays Carmen, a fiery woman with an appetite for love and somewhat shady business ventures. She is joined by Dane Suarez (Don Jose) and Hope Briggs (Micaela) in a tempestuous love triangle.

The Festival Opera Orchestra and Chorus and the Pacific Boychoir Academy add to the festivities.

Performances take place at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr. Call 925- 943-7469 or go to www.lesherartscenter.org for tickets.

Fairy tale

Also at the Lesher Center, Solo Opera presents its most ambitious opera to date. It’s the West Coast premiere of the full version of Lori Latiman’s “The Three Feathers,” Sept. 8 and 10. The 85-minute opera in English includes 15 in the adult cast, 20 orchestra members and a collaboration with 18-21 singers from the prestigious San Francisco Girls Chorus.

Written in 2013, “The Three Feathers” is based on a Grimm’s fairy tale. It follows Princess Dora (Shawnette Sulker) as a magic feather leads the shy princess to an enchanted underworld ruled by a giant Frog King (Kirk Eichelberger). She summons her courage and compassion to face a series of mysterious and comic adventures that change her life.

“We chose this opera not only for its beautiful music and charming libretto, but also for the important messages it shares about the power of women, believing in yourself and finding real treasure in life,” said Solo Opera executive director Sylvia Amorino.

For tickets, call 925-943-7469 or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

Related story: Solo Opera’s ‘The Three Feathers’ highlights the power of women at the Lesher Center

Spooky stuff

Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble’s youth program presents “The Addams Family” July 21 and 22 at the Theatre at Edna Hill, 140 Birch St., Brentwood. It’s a comedic romp as Wednesday Addams brings her “normal” young man and his respectable parents to dinner with her anything but normal family.

For more information, go to www.ghostlightte.org.

The Drama Factory is auditioning for “The House on Galloway Street. A Ghost Story.” The original script by John Bellesteros sounds like fun. I love being “slightly” scared by such thrillers and used to enjoy telling them around the campfire with lots of marshmallows to roast.

Auditions for ages 20+ will be Aug. 7 and 8 at the Nick Rodriguez Theatre, 213 F Street., Antioch. Be prepared to do a cold read and a little improv.

Rehearsals begin Aug. 15, with performances Oct. 13-21. The author promises a “sad, creepy, tragic, unbelievable” tale.
For details, go to www.dramafactory.org.

Send comments to sallyhogarty@gmail.com

Sally Hogarty
Sally Hogarty

Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to sallyhogarty@gmail.com