‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ opens in Sonoma on Jan. 25

Sonoma Index Tribune January 24, 2019

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In keeping with Sonoma Arts Live’s programming theme for the year – A Salute to the Classics – the theater company this month presents its production of the Joseph Kesselring play, “Arsenic and Old Lace.”

“This play is clever, well written and includes a bit of everything — murder and mayhem, romance, family dysfunction, food & wine and wit,” said director Michael Ross.

Kesselring’s farcical dark comedy was first performed on Broadway in 1941. An instant success, the show ran for three years and more than 1,400 performances. The 1944 screen adaptation was directed by Frank Capra and starred Cary Grant. READ MORE

Sonoma Fire Survivors Find Ongoing Support In Community

Sonoma Index Tribune November 8, 2018

Sonoma fire survivors find ongoing support in community

“Three generations of the Botello-Burgi family resided in two houses side-by-side on Warm Springs Road. The children grew up there and attended local schools. It was a place of fond memories; the place they called home. On the night of Oct. 8, all of that changed.

Umberto Botello, step-mom Jacki Burgi and their three daughters Isamar, Ariana and Genesis lived in a rental house. Jacki’s mother, Cheri Burgi, lived next door in the Glen Ellen home she purchased 32 years ago.” READ MORE

‘Ruby in Love’ and ‘Harm’s Way’ on stage in Sonoma

Sonoma Index Tribune July 27, 2018

‘Ruby in Love’ and ‘Harm’s Way’ on stage in Sonoma

“Love, aging, sex and family dynamics are themes interwoven in Sonoma Arts Live’a original productions of “Harm’s Way” and “Ruby and George in Love.” Both are being staged in a unique format called readers’ theater. Without costumes, elaborate sets or memorization, actors bring the plots to life through reading their lines. Reflection, intonation and emotion drive the story.

Following the performance, audiences engage in a “talkback,” a conversation and Q&A with the playwrights and directors and an important part of the creative process.” READ MORE

Sonoma’s Homegrown Bagels turns 40

Sonoma Index Tribune June 7, 2018

Sonoma’s Homegrown Bagels turns 40

“Stuart Teitelbaum grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Forty years ago he landed in Sonoma with a New York City subway token in his pocket and a recipe for the best bagels ever. Now he wears that metal token on a chain around his neck. And with the recipe, the affable Teitelbaum started Homegrown Bagels on West Napa Street.

‘Back then there was no place north of the Golden Gate to buy a bagel. The closest was Geary Street in San Francisco,’ he says. Teitelbaum invested everything he had in the business. ‘That first day I was a bit nervous,’ he says. ‘Until a customer walked in and handed me a dollar bill. Bagels were a quarter each then. I gave him four and we were both happy.’ ” READ MORE

Theater: The butler does it in Sonoma

Sonoma Index Tribune May 10, 2018

The butler does it in Sonoma

“Opening this weekend, Sonoma Arts Live brings to the stage an evening of good old fashioned theater.

The play ‘Jeeves Intervenes,’ written by Margaret Raether, is set in 1920s London high-society and was adapted from the stories of early 20th century English writer P.G. Wodehouse.

Director James Jandak Wood says he first saw ‘Jeeves Intervenes’ performed three years ago in British Columbia.

‘I laughed all the way through,’ says Wood. ‘I thought Sonoma audiences would enjoy it.’ ” READ MORE

“Hello, Dolly!”

Sonoma Index Tribune October 4, 2018

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Sonoma Arts Live opens its 2018-2019 season with a powerhouse performance of an American musical comedy classic — “Hello, Dolly!” Set in New York in 1899, the play is based on Thornton Wilder’s farce “The Merchant of Yonkers” later revised and retitled as “The Matchmaker.”

David Merrick first produced the play, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman, on Broadway in 1964. It won a record-tying 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a record held for 37 years. READ MORE

Former Sonoma students star in ‘Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter’

Sonoma Index Tribune March 8, 2018

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“A disabled U.S. Marine returns home from the war in Iraq. Instead of reuniting with her children, she takes a detour.

The gripping play ‘Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter’ was written by Julie Marie Myatt. Wendy Wisely, an adjunct faculty member at Santa Rosa Junior College, directs the local production, opening this week.

‘I first saw the play at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival several years ago,’ said Wisely. ‘I loved it and was thrilled when the theater department selection committee picked “Welcome Home” for our current season. Though the story is serious in nature, there is much humor throughout, particularly in the dialogue.’

‘It is not anti-war or political,’ she stresses. ‘It’s about one woman’s journey, yet the broader theme is the struggle communities, friends and families have in finding ways to support and welcome vets returning home.’ ” READ MORE