Cari Lynn Pace

Curtain Up

Broadway Stars Light Up Wine Country Stage

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Transcendence Theatre Company struts their sizzle in their newest show “Shall We Dance”.  It’s the third in their Broadway summer season, and judging by the audience enthusiasm and applause, it’s definitely their best.  I think so too.

“Shall We Dance” is everything you expect of a stage full of high-caliber performers.  Can they dance?  Oh yes.  Can they sing?  You betcha.  Are they able to bring out your cheers, and tears?  You’ll find out.  Twenty musical numbers deliver the classics (Gershwin’s “The Man I Love”) to the current (Hamilton’s “The Room Where It Happens”) with a batch of favorites in between.

And what a venue!  The multi-level stage at the winery ruins in Jack London State Historic Park is ample enough for 16 performers and a full orchestra.  As the sun sets over the distant mountains, the spotlights zoom in and the dancers’ colorful skirts start to twirl.  It’s a non-stop ride of enthusiastic spinning, tapping, waltzing, hip-hopping, tango, and jazzed-up moves.  The only break is intermission, so necessary to refill one’s wine glass.

Director Leslie McDonel is a veteran – and young – star performer who knows how to push the pizzaz of each member of the Transcendence Theatre Company.  I’ve invited many of my friends to buy tickets to their exciting shows, and not one has been disappointed.  Go see for yourself!

The gate for picnics opens at 5 PM and the show beings at 7:30 PM.  “Shall We Dance” performances are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights through August 19th.  No outside alcohol allowed, but plenty of brews and bubbly for sale from many Sonoma wineries.  Gourmet food trucks and small-stage local entertainers make the picnics very social.  Info at www.BestNightEver.org or phone 877-424-1414.  Tickets are $45 to $150 for VIP tickets in the front section and include wine and pre-show snacks – worth it!  Jack London State Historic Park is located in Glen Ellen, so make a day of it and visit your choice of local Sonoma County wineries before heading to the park.

 

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