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SMUIN LIGHTS UP BAY AREA WITH ANNUAL HOLIDAY TREAT “THE CHRISTMAS BALLET”Shows in Walnut Creek, Carmel, Mountain View, and San Francisco November 17-December 24, 2017


Smuin makes the holidays sizzle with its annual yuletide celebration of dance, The Christmas Ballet. With a stunning and original array of ballet, tap, and jazz, this joyous showcase of styles offers both sugar and spice, with the surprise unwrapping of new treats every year. The 2017 edition of The Christmas Ballet features three saucy world premieres including “Christmas Concerto” from acclaimed Choreographer-in-Residence Amy Seiwert, “Christmas Tree Rock” created by Smuin dancer Rex Wheeler, and “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire),” a debut number choreographed by dancer Erica Felsch. An exuberant holiday treat that was declared “the finest toast to the season” by the San Francisco Chronicle last year, The Christmas Ballet will tour the Bay Area, beginning with shows in Walnut Creek (November 17-18), continuing in Carmel (December 1-2) and Mountain View (December 6-10), and wrapping up with its annual holiday run at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (December 14-24). Tickets ($25-$89) are available by calling the individual venues (see below for details) or visiting


Now in its 23rd season, The Christmas Ballet is a chocolate box of fan favorites and delectable new surprises. The first act, Classical Christmas, features the dancers enrobed in brilliant white costumes, performing traditional holiday favorites including Michael Smuin classics “Bach Magnificat” and “Ave Maria,” Amy Seiwert’s joyful “Sleigh Ride,” and Michael Smuin’s nod to Hanukkah, “Licht bensh’n.”


This year, the Company unveils a world premiere from Amy Seiwert in the first act—her final creation as Choreographer-in-Residence of Smuin as she moves into her new position as Artistic Director of Sacramento Ballet. This classic piece will be set to the joyful opening section of the Christmas Concerto by Antonio Vivaldi, Concerto for 2 trumpets, RV 537. Seiwert, called “one of the country’s most exciting young dance makers” by the San Francisco Chronicle, has created many dances for Smuin, four of which will be featured in this year’s edition of The Christmas Ballet.


The second act of The Christmas Ballet kicks off with a red-hot costume change. In Cool Christmas, the dancers perform a lively medley of modern festive numbers including the flirty Smuin favorite “Santa Baby,” featuring the world’s longest feather boa, and a swinging “Jingle Bells Mambo” by Val Caniparoli. Also on the bill are “Christmas in New Orleans,” a fun and light-hearted “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and the return of the delightful tap-dancing Christmas trees featured in the tongue-in-cheek “Droopy Little Christmas Tree.”


Smuin dancer Erica Felsch will make her debut as a choreographer in Act II, presenting the world premiere of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).” As a dancer with Smuin since the 2012/2013 season, Felsch’s most recent solo as “The Rose” in the West Coast premiere of Annabelle Lopez Ochoa’s “Requiem for a Rose” earned her rave reviews in the Company’s fall 2017 program. In the 2017 edition of The Christmas Ballet, Felsch will not only make her choreographic debut on the snow-covered stage, but also stars in Smuin’s signature number “Santa Baby,” featuring the world’s longest, show-stopping feather boa. Cool Christmas will also unwrap “Christmas Tree Rock,” a rollicking new piece by Smuin dancer Rex Wheeler. Now in his third season at Smuin, Wheeler has choreographed numerous, highly-acclaimed works for the Company. “This one’s definitely a keeper,” raved The Mercury News, on his premiere of the joyful “We Three Kings” last holiday season, which returns to the stage in this year’s edition of The Christmas Ballet.




November 17-18, 2017 8:00 pm Friday 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm Saturday Lesher Center for the Arts 1601 Civic Drive (at Locust), Walnut Creek (925) 943-7469 or Tickets ($25-$82)*

CARMEL: December 1-2, 2017 8:00 pm Friday 2:00 pm Saturday Sunset Center San Carlos Street (between 8th and 10th), Carmel (831) 620-2048 or Tickets ($63-$79)*


MOUNTAIN VIEW: December 6-10, 2017 8:00 pm Wednesday – Friday 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm Saturday 2:00 pm Sunday Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts 500 Castro Street (at Mercy), Mountain View(650) 903-6000 or www.smuinballet.orgTickets ($25-84)*


SAN FRANCISCO: December 14-24, 2017 8:00 pm Thursday, December 14 8:00 pm Friday, December 15 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm Saturday, December 16 2:00 pm & 7:00 pm Sunday, December 17 2:00 pm Wednesday, December 20 8:00 pm Thursday, December 21 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm Friday, December 22 2:00 pm & 8:00 pm Saturday, December 23 2:00 pm Sunday, December 24 Yerba Buena Center for the Arts YBCA Theater700 Howard Street (at Third) (415) 912-1899 or Tickets ($25-$89)**

*All prices are listed without fees – box office and order fees may apply. ** San Francisco prices include all fees.Discounts are available for students and groups of 10 or more.








– Due to popular demand, Don Reed’s acclaimed autobiographical hit and 2017 Theatre Bay Area nominee for Outstanding Solo Performance, The Kipling Hotel: The 80s concluding its run in Berkeley on October 22, will transfer to The Marsh San Francisco beginning November 4. Called a “comic genius, flat out remarkable, and wildly funny” by The Mercury News, and “very touching… Reed inhabit[s] people of every race, age and gender” by the San Francisco Chronicle, The Kipling Hotel invites audiences to 1980s Los Angeles, as Reed recounts the awkward adventures of the son of an Oakland pimp, awarded a partial scholarship to UCLA. The under-funded Reed scrambles to stay afloat with a variety of schemes, from serial party-hopping to stripping, before finally earning room and board by serving breakfast at an unforgettable retirement home on the rough side of town. Recently hailed as “a Bay Area treasure” by The Bay Area Reporter, which noted it is “a pleasure to see human comedy come alive in his confident caricatures,” this riotous show follows Reed’s hair-raising misadventures, and brings to vivid life the hotel’s exotic elderly denizens who impart their own brand of wisdom, as well as the earnest students, aspiring actors, and drug dealers, who are recruited to wait on them. Named a Theatre Bay Area recommended production, The Kipling Hotel plays from November 4 – December 17, with performances 8:30pm Saturdays, 5:30pm Sundays at The Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia Street, San Francisco. For tickets ($20-$35 sliding scale, $55-$100 reserved), the public may visit or call 415-282-3055 (between 1:00pm and 4:00pm, Monday through Friday).




Donations from two organizations distributed amongst three causes


—Berkeley Repertory Theatre announced today that two arts organizations raised a total of $45,000 for hurricane relief efforts. Berkeley Rep and Shotgun Players raised the money through audience donations during two weeks of performances. The donations collected at Berkeley Rep will be divided between the Red Cross and the Alley Theatre in Houston, while the proceeds collected at Shotgun Players will go toward Direct Relief.


On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey hit the Texas Gulf Coast. The Alley Theatre in Houston sustained significant damage, as did the homes of many of its employees. Hurricanes Irma and Maria arrived shortly thereafter, creating destruction in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.

“We so appreciate the generosity of our audiences,” says Susan Medak, managing director at Berkeley Rep. “We are proud to be able to do our part to help those who are suffering at this time.”

All the collected funds will be distributed between the three causes to help their relief efforts.

The Alley Theatre, one of America’s leading not-for-profit theatres, is a nationally recognized performing arts company lead by Artistic Director Gregory Boyd and Managing Director Dean R. Gladden. Home to a Resident Company of actors, the Alley creates a wide-ranging repertoire and innovative productions of classics, neglected modern plays, and premieres.  Alley All New, the initiative to commission and develop new work year round, features the Alley All New Festival each season presenting workshops and readings of new plays and musicals in process. A recipient of the Special Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, the Alley has brought productions to Broadway, 40 American cities including New York’s Lincoln Center and internationally to Berlin, Paris, and St. Petersburg throughout its 70 year history.


The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. As the nation’s premier emergency preparedness and response organization, the Red Cross is there to help and comfort people through devastating crises—from house fires to earthquakes. With nearly 600 chapters across the U.S; alongside their global Red Cross partners, the organization is part of the largest humanitarian network in the world. For more than 130 years, the American Red Cross has been helping neighbors down the street, across

the country and around the world.

Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization active in all 50 states and more than 80 countries, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies.



THE RAINMAKER Regretfully Postpones Opening Weekend Moira McGovern Special Announcement!Opening Weekend Postponed

Isn’t it crazy how things can change in an instant?

Our prayers and thoughts have been with our community, our fellow artists and our audiences as we struggled to decide whether or not to delay the opening performances of THE RAINMAKER, directed by Patrick Nims.

As of yesterday, our plan was to open our doors this weekend to all, free of charge, and provide a respite from the fires. But given today’s red flag warnings and the general escalating threat, we must close our doors for the safety of all and until news is better.

No doubt we all could use a RAINMAKER in our lives right about now:  the larger-than-life drifter who comes to town with bold promises and changes the fate of the Curry family.  We look forward to sharing this beautiful story with you starting Thursday, October 19th at 7:30pm.

Stay safe, everyone!  We continue to hold faith that “dark


Phantom of the Opera Haunts the California Theatre

The California Theatre returns to its roots with a silent film accompanied by the recently restored Robert Morton pipe organ.

PITTSBURG — Phantom of the Opera, the 1925 silent film featuring Lon Chaney, will be presented Saturday, October 21st at 8 PM at the California Theater, Pittsburg.


This 1925 Lon Chaney film will have live musical accompaniment on the California Theatre’s magnificent Robert Morton pipe organ played by Dave Moreno and joined by Opera singer Linda Small. Matias A. Bombal, Film Critic/ will serve as Master of Ceremonies of this special event. The beautifully restored Robert Morton organ is going to haunt the house in full glory against this Lon Chaney classic silent  film.


The organ made its debut at the California Theatre in 1928, the year before “talkies” came along and killed the silent movies. It stayed in the theater until 1948, when it was sold to an Oakland church. Four years ago, it was purchased and returned to its home with restoration work completed by Dave Moreno, of Sacramento. Theatre organs are rare these days and the only ones in our area are at the Paramount in Oakland the Grand Lake, Oakland and the Berkeley Community Center. Now Pittsburg’s California Theatre has rejoined this exclusive list.


Theatre organs make a variety of orchestral sounds through its pipes, have real percussions and sound effects such as a galloping horse, a train, a Model T car horn, sleigh bells, castanets and others, all controlled by one organist using keys on the console and working the foot pedals.

Proceeds and donations from this event will help fund the final phase of the restoration effort, which will install a lift under the stage so the original console can be reunited to the organ.


When: Saturday – October 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm Where: California Theatre – 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg, CABox Office: Call 925-427-1611 or online Tickets: $15.00 per person



Fall Miracles and beyond!

Despite the ongoing turmoil of the earth as shepherds we must continue to seek and nurture hope and love.  Envisioning and creating a community of mutual respect based on the interconnectedness of all living beings. Alas life is messy and surrendering to anything less than hope diminishes the human spirit. Now is when character is needed more than ever.

Shine shepherds shine! Step up and lead.

Greatness is the willingness and ability to serve and any and all can be of service.

Fill yourself up with the joy of living again. Join us. Never too late to live again.

Now the news:


1)   Julie Dimas-Lockfeld and all of our “A Streetcar Named Desire” Team have much to celebrate as the production was nominated by TBA for 5 awards for excellence. Ensemble, Set Design, Costumes, Best Female Lead, and Sound. Although we all know Julie was the genius behind it all. CONGRATULATIONS  everyone. Especially our fearless Director Julie Dimas-Lockfeld!!!


2)  Richard Connema  our esteemed gentle and graceful colleague turns 91 and we are throwing him a B-Day party at the theater on Tuesday night  Oct. 17th 7-10PM. Come honor this extraordinary man who has given so much to the theater community.


3) Joe Ortiz is our playwright in residence this month and he is killing it with 3 amazing shows.  Bread the musical!  Smoke the Cabaret and his two act masterpiece ESCAPING QUEENS.  Final two weekends to witness his stunning musicals.  So many of us worked on these pieces including the amazing Madison Worthington who continues to inspire.  Check the website for details. Nobody turned away for lack of funds. Pay what you can. These are all uplifting and positive pieces for a weary world. Art prepares the soul for Travel (Chekhov).


4) Burlesque tonight 7-10PM. Need I say more. Hex in the City brings spooky Halloween themed burlesque to the stage. Always thrilling. Dress up and come by! That’s October 11th.


5) Richard Ciccarone will be presenting a show in December about Facebook attacks and pitch forks. Surprise. Come laugh at his outrageous take on a culture gone mad.  Funny But Mean pulls no punches. Check web soon.


6) Left Coast Theater Company will be coming in November with their short LGBTQ skits called The Morning After.  Funny and relevant. Get here.


7) Neo Futurists will be coming in November to continue to push the envelope on what is theatre and storytelling. Always fresh, hip, outrageous and fun. Yes.


8) Saturnalia a circus holiday show in December starring our own Madison Worthington will be a treat for the holidays. Stay tuned.


9) Ongoing Stand Up Comedy and Improv every weekend!  10pm. Get here.




10) Acting with Margery Fairchild this Saturday from 11AM-2PM. Come study with this extraordinary teacher, director, writer, actress. An artist in full form.



Here’s what’s happenning at the Theater! Also check out our new website!

Shelton Studios: Acting Class Schedule

Shelton Studios’ Acting Intensive this Saturday!


We are currently enrolling for a  5 sessions Saturday class. Starts this week.  Oct. 14th 11am-2pm  Register online today. Auditing is always welcomed. For more information or to schedule an appointment: Call (415) 882-9100 or email us at


Escaping Queens

Escaping Queens by Joe Ortiz

Escaping Queens by Capitola composer Joe Ortiz will be presented as part of Shelton Theater’s Artist Residency for October in five concert-reading performances.

A musical memoir, Escaping Queens takes place in the shadow of the Queensboro Bridge. This funny, edgy, ultimately hopeful story, centers around an Italian/Puerto Rican family trying to escape the chaos and poverty of New York housing-project life.

Music & Lyrics by Joe Ortiz; Directed by Greg Fritsch; Book by Greg Fritsch & Joe Ortiz.  Musical Direction by Max Bennett-Parker.

Plays Wed-Sat 7PM & Sun 3PM October 25, 26, 27, 28, 29


Bread! The Musical

Bread! The Musical by Joe Ortiz

The Shelton Theater is excited to announce their production of local writer Joe Ortiz’ culinary magical tale, BREAD! The Musical, featuring 24 original songs. The production forms a sparkling tale of homegrown hubris, potential peril and –naturally-rye bread as the baker’s obsession tries to replicate his father’s lost recipe at the expense of everyone and most certainly his wife.

Directed by Greg Fritsch, this funny and wacky musical is fun for the entire family.

Plays Thursdays – Saturdays at 7pm from 9/14 -10/21!


Smoke – The Cabaret

Smoke – The Cabaret by Joe Ortiz

The Shelton Theater is excited to announce the production of SMOKE – The Cabaret. A One-Woman Show, starring Lori Rivera.

Love!  It’s not for the faint of heart.  The incomparable Lori Rivera brings to life two endearing characters– the innocent Celeste, looking for Mr. Right with a dangerously open heart, and the worldly Francesca, master of erotic strategy.

Prepare to fall–hard.

Music & Lyrics: Joe Ortiz

Chef du Libretto: Kathryn Chetkovich

Director: Greg Frisch

Plays Thursdays – Saturdays at 8:30pm from 9/14 – 10/21!


Ongoing Shows at the Shelton  Theater

Cheaper than Therapy Stand up Comedy plays Thurs/Fri/Sat at 10pm & Sundaimes are followed by the

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