Local troupes ready to reopen with a song and a dance
CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA (Mar. 18, 2022) — As the Omicron variant recedes and hospitalizations decrease, the local theater scene comes alive – and in-person – once again.
Let’s hope this time it continues, and a new variant does not cause another rash of canceled shows.
To help us all keep a positive attitude, singer and actress Laurie Roldan brings her upbeat cabaret concert to Antioch’s El Campanil Theatre March 26-27. “Laurie Sings a Song for You” features Roldan sharing personal stories and memories as her lovely voice sings a plethora of well-known Karen Carpenter melodies.
I was fortunate to hear the concert when she first performed it at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center in November 2021, and I’m thrilled that she is now taking it to other venues.
Skillfully directed by Rachel Robison, the review includes the incredible talents of music director/pianist Brett Strader along with Dillon Vado on drums and Pat Tinling on bass. This formidable trio does more than justice to Carpenter’s music, reminding me just how much I love these tunes.
Guest vocalists include Anita Colotto, Stephanie Hill, Clarisse Nichole and Charlotte Jeffries.
“I’ve always really resonated with Karen Carpenter’s music,” said Roldan. “Her songs have a message that fits in with my life.”
Roldan thrives on using music to inspire others and has recorded the inspirational album “Even That,” created to comfort those going through difficult times as well as helping relieve stress.
The singer has been a guest artist at many special events and has appeared as a soloist with symphony orchestras throughout California.
She has often been seen on local stages such as Playhouse West, Tri-Valley Rep, the Willows Theater, Diablo Light Opera and Contra Costa Musical Theater. She and her husband, Dan Roldan, also perform concerts of best-loved show tunes and standards for senior centers and retirement communities.
In this month’s show, Roldan will weave her life story with Carpenter’s music and include audience sing-alongs and more.
“I am dedicating these two shows in loving memory of my incredibly talented friend, co-writer Don Huntington, who passed away in January,” Roldan said. A well-known figure in the Delta area, Huntington was the former editor of 110 Magazine and an active Rotarian.
A portion of the concert proceeds will be donated to the Village Community Resource Center, an organization were Huntington and his wife volunteered.
The show takes place at the newly renovated El Campanil Theatre, 602 W. 2nd St., Antioch. For tickets, call 925-757-9500 or go to www.elcampaniltheatre.com.
Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center is keeping busy with a variety of musical and dance presentations. From “The ABBA Concert Experience” (March 19) to Contra Costa Wind Symphony’s “Myths, Legends and Epic Tales” (March 20) to Performing Academy’s “The Music Man KIDS” (March 24-25) to California Symphony’s “French Impressions” (March 26-27) and Diablo Ballet’s 29th anniversary performance (April 7), there is something for everyone.
For a complete list, go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
If you love radio plays, check out Four-Eyed Jacks production March 18-20 at Martinez’s Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St. Grab some refreshments from the snack bar and enjoy the magic of old-time radio shows when sound effects were created by Foley artists with lots of strange objects Go to www.campbelltheater.com.
Or you can enjoy theater games, a poetry reading, a foreign film trailer and an improvised 10-minute play when Pan Theater Improv Comedy Show hits Lafayette’s Town Hall Theatre at 8 p.m. March 25. For more information, go to www.townhalltheatre.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more Stage Struck columns in The Pioneer.
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 email@example.com