SiriusXM Broadway host Seth Rudetsky and husband James Wesley are proud to announce additional performers for the sixth edition of CONCERT FOR AMERICA: STAND UP, SING OUT! at San Francisco’s Curran (445 Geary Street) on Saturday, June 24th at 7:00pm, during the annual San Francisco Pride weekend festivities. “Queer as Folk” mother/son co-stars, Emmy and Golden Globe Award winner Sharon Gless and Hal Sparks; Tony Award nominee and Hamilton star Rory O’Malley (The Book of Mormon), writer Armistead Maupin (“Tales of the City”); and Bay Area favorites including comedian Marga Gomez, Italian tenor Pasquale Esposito, and American jazz singer Paula West have joined the lineup for the sixth edition of CONCERT FOR AMERICA.

As previously announced, the concert will also star Tony Award winner Alan Cumming (Cabaret, “The Good Wife”), Emmy Award winner Jane Lynch (“Glee”), Screen Actors Guild Award winner Kate Flannery (“The Office”), Tony Award winner Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls), Tony Award nominee Kevin Chamberlin (Disney’s “Jessie,” The Addams Family), and the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus.

A concert of songs, comedy, and commentary, CONCERT FOR AMERICA has been hailed by the New York Times as “striking for its emphasis on the importance of faith in the United States and optimism about its future.” Created and hosted by SiriusXM’s Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley (who also organized the “Broadway For Orlando/What the World Needs Now is Love” recording in the wake of the PULSE nightclub shooting in Orlando) debuted its monthly series to universal acclaim at The Town Hall, which serves as its New York home. Following this San Francisco engagement, CONCERT FOR AMERICA will be in Seattle at the 5th Avenue Theatre on July 6th.

Proceeds from CONCERT FOR AMERICA: STAND UP, SING OUT! will benefit five national organizations working to protect human rights: Sierra Club Foundation, Southern Poverty Law Center, National Immigration Law Center, NAACP and National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Tickets start at $20 and are now available at A limited number of $250 VIP tickets, including a post-show reception with cast members are available by emailing Participating performers are subject to change.

For those unable to attend CONCERT FOR AMERICA in person, it will be broadcast via Facebook Live and at, beginning at 7pm PT/10pm ET on Saturday, June 24.

CONCERT FOR AMERICA: STAND UP, SING OUT! is created and organized by married couple Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley, in association with Your Kids, Our Kids, as well as the generous support of The Actors Fund and Playbill. The event is co-produced by Joey Monda and Frankie Dailey.

For more information, to purchase tickets, or to make a donation, visit:


Up next, the Curran will present California native Taylor Mac’s groundbreaking performance art concert A 24-DECADE HISTORY OF POPULAR MUSIC, finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in its entirety for the first time since the historic 24-hour marathon performance, on Friday, September 15, at 5pm; Sunday, September 17, at 2pm; Friday September 22, at 5pm; and Sunday, September 24, at 2pm. For more information, and to be the first to know when tickets go on sale, please visit





Center REP’s 2017-2018 season includes two Broadway hit musicals, a David Ives comedy adaptation, an acclaimed holiday favorite, a sharp and stylish look at Olympic sports, and a heartwarming story of renewal


– Chevron, The Diablo Regional Arts Association, The Lesher Foundation, and the City of Walnut Creek are once again proud sponsors of Center REPertory Company, the resident professional theatre company of the Lesher Center for the Arts, as it announces the lineup for its celebratory 50th Anniversary Season. Running from September 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, the 2017-2018 season will feature six productions starting with the boys who pioneered rock and roll – Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash – and closing with a smash-hit Broadway musical (title to be announced in fall 2017). In between, the company will present David Ives’ comedic take on the most lovable liar on the planet, a taut new drama (2016 Obie winner) about the pressures of Olympic swimming trials, a magical holiday production, and a legacy revival of the one and only Shirley Valentine starring Kerri Shawn.

“A 50th Anniversary is an extraordinary achievement for any arts organization,” said Artistic Director Michael Butler. “For 50 years, Center REP has been a part of this community, enhancing lives with entertainment and insight, from the very first production of Season 1, The Skin of Our Teeth, to our current production of Philip Kan Gotanda’s Sisters Matsumoto.” Center REP has grown exponentially over the past 50 years, from its earliest shows produced in the Civic Arts Theatre & Gallery (known affectionately nicknamed “The Nuthouse” based on its prior history as a walnut warehouse) to its current position as the resident professional theatre of the Lesher Center for the Arts. Says Butler, “The goal has never changed: to produce a vibrant, enlightening, and entertaining theatre experience for our audience. Center REP’s mission is to celebrate the power of the human imagination.  We bring people – artists and audience alike – together in this celebration.  We are a place where people gather for the shared stories of human experience. I can’t wait to see what the REP looks like in another 50 years!”

All shows are presented at the Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. A variety of subscription packages, ranging from $150 to $316, can be purchased by calling 925-943-SHOW. Additional information is available at


Million Dollar Quartet September 1 – October 6, 2017


Center REP brings Broadway actor/director Hunter Foster to direct the hit musical, Million Dollar Quartet, a wild-ride that joyously captures one of the most exciting jam sessions in rock and roll history – the night Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins got together in Sam Phillips’ legendary Sun Studios in Memphis.  Featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” “Who Do You Love?,” “Matchbox,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and more, this high octane celebration of fuel-injected rock and roll was described as “Bouyant. Explosive. Four great musicians express the riotous joy, beauty and sadness of life in songs that shoot straight for the soul” by The New York Times. In addition to directing and playwriting, Hunter Foster originated the role of Sam Phillips in Million Dollar Quartet on Broadway, where he also starred in hits including Urinetown (Tony nomination), The Producers, Little Shop of Horrors, and The Bridges of Madison County. BOOK BY: Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux DIRECTED BY: Hunter Foster


The Liar October 20 – November 18, 2017


David Ives’ extremely cheeky adaptation of the 17th century French rhyming-couplet-comedy has an irresistible premise: a young man looking for love in Paris who cannot tell the truth and his sidekick, a servant who cannot lie.  This very modern retake by the author of All In The Timing  creates a fast-paced rollicking ride through 17th century Paris, era of the Three Musketeers. Alternative facts have never been so hilarious. BY: David Ives DIRECTED BY: Michael Butler


A Christmas Carol December 7 – 17, 2017

Center REP heralds the holidays with its signature production, brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts. Described as “Magical. The most Scrooge among us would crack a smile at Center REP’s A Christmas Carol,’ by Broadway World¸ this theatrical event has become an annual yuletide tradition for thousands. BY: Charles Dickens ADAPTED BY: Cynthia Caywood & Richard L. James DIRECTED BY: Scott Denison CHOREOGRAPHED BY: Jennifer Perry


Red Speedo January 28 – February 24, 2018


This sharp and savvy new play by Lucas Hnath, which captured the 2016 Obie Award for Playwriting, follows an ambitious swimmer on the eve of Olympic trials. Pressure builds as the lure of a deal with mega-sponsor Speedo collides with family ties, and the unforgiving weight of success. A brilliant and compelling play about survival of the fittest, and the American dream of a level playing field―or leveling the field, Red Speedo was hailed as, “Ingenious. Taut, incisive. Remarkable,” by The New York Times when it premiered last April Off-Broadway. BY: Lucas Hnath DIRECTED BY: Markus Potter


Shirley Valentine March 30 – April 29, 2018

Kerri Shawn stars as the delightful Shirley Valentine, a housewife from Liverpool who desperately needs a change before she has another conversation with the walls.  This West End and Broadway hit was declared, “The funniest and most heartwarming play,” by London’s Daily Mirror, and “A joyful, captivating piece of theatre,” by the New York Daily News. Shawn, known to Center REP audiences for her tour-de-force performance as Eppie Lederer (aka Ann Landers) in The Lady with All the Answers, returns to portray the irrepressible Shirley.BY: Willy Russell DIRECTED BY: George Maguire


Center REP presents a new production of a Broadway hit musical May 25 – June 30, 2018“Mmm’s” the word on this hit Broadway musical, whose title will be revealed in Fall 2017. DIRECTED BY: Jeff Collister CHOREOGRAPHY BY: Jennifer Perry MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Daniel Feyer





Pear Theatre is proud to announce its 2017-2018 season, an intriguing mix of new works, classics, and even a musical revue. In addition, this season will be the first in the Pear’s 16-year history to be under the guidance of a new Artistic Director, Betsy Kruse Craig. All performances are held at the Pear Theatre’s performance space at 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. Each show offers a preview performance on the first Thursday, followed by Press/Opening Night on Friday. For subscriptions and individual tickets the public may visit or call (650) 254-1148.


The season opens in September with IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR, THE VIBRATOR PLAY by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Caroline Clark. This insightful and provocative play examines a slice of history in which physicians treated various female (and male) ailments by use of an electric vibrator, applied to private parts by a doctor or nurse in a treatment room. It’s a fascinating and often funny glimpse into a patriarchal society, where women’s concerns are regularly dismissed or misdiagnosed by men, as well as by the women themselves, because their society has not given them the words or concepts to articulate their various griefs and grievances. The New Yorker called Ruhl’s play “her best to date.”


Following is Henrik Ibsen’s AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE. Written in 1882, Ibsen’s story of a altruistic man undermined by people concerned with profit still rings disturbingly true. Dr. Stockmann has discovered serious contamination in the town’s new bathing complex, an enterprise which had promised to revitalize the town economy. Unwilling to undertake the expense of remediation, however, the town mayor — his own brother — accuses Stockmann of fabricating the story to enrich himself, and manages to turn most of the town’s population against the doctor and his family. Ibsen examines the moral dilemmas inherent in whistleblowing, as well as the sometimes ephemeral nature of truth itself. Ray Renati directs.


Once more catering to a less-than-traditional holiday crowd, the Pear celebrates the holidays with THE MILLIONTH PRODUCTION OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL written and directed by James Kopp. In the show, a small black box theater in Northern California is in fear of closing its doors after spending too much money on shows that had poor ticket sales. In an effort to appeal to a larger audience, the Artistic Director decides to put up Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol.” Though coming through with signature James Kopp humor (GEEKS VS ZOMBIES, SUPER VILLAIN!!), the show also offers serious consideration of the compromises between art that pays and art for art’s sake; the delicate balance between the desires of the people that do theater and the desires of the people that pay to see it.


The new year begins with THE ROAD TO MECCA by Athol Fugard, directed by Betsy Kruse Craig. Inspired by the story of Helen Martins of New Bethesda, MECCA follows Miss Helen, a reclusive widow, who harbors an odd but prolific artistic impulse. Her life becomes caught between her stern friend, the reverend who urges her to move to a senior home and away from the ridicule of neighbors, and a young schoolteacher who encourages her to follow her heart. In 1990, Time magazine included the play in its “Theatre: Best of the Decade” list, saying “South Africa’s conscience, Athol Fugard, proved his compassion is universal in this Ibsenesque conflict between a fiercely independent artist and a society justly yearning for order.” A 1991 film adaptation included Fugard himself as the Rev. Marius Byleveld, Kathy Bates as Elsa Barlow, and Yvonne Bryceland — the woman for whom Fugard wrote the part — as Helen.


March brings Michael Golamco’s COWBOY VS. SAMURAI, a romantic comedy loosely based on CYRANO DE BERGERAC, directed by Jeffrey Lo. Travis Park is a high school English teacher and the only Korean American man living in a dusty cowboy town known as Breakneck, Wyoming. And when a gorgeous, whip-smart Asian American woman moves into town, he immediately falls for her; the only problem is that she only dates white men — such as the ruggedly handsome but fairly dim P.E. teacher that is Travis’ colleague. Savagely mirthful and often moving, COWBOY VS. SAMURAI was called “funny, sharply written, and tackles the topic of race head-on, with both barrels blazing” by the Calgary Herald.


As always, spring means PEAR SLICES – a collection of original, short plays from the members of the Pear Playwrights Guild, directed by Troy Johnson and Robyn Ginsburg Braverman. In fifteen-minute vignettes, a stunning variety of stories, settings, and plot twists occupy the Pear Theatre stage, penned by local playwrights and brought to life with a single cast of highly versatile, local actors. This annual short play showcase has become a favorite among Pear audiences and never fails to amuse, intrigue, and inspire.


Pear Theatre’s 16th season concludes with a rare foray into musical theatre, Noël Coward’s OH, COWARD! During its history, the Pear has only ever staged a Kander and Ebb musical (in the Pear’s second season), and Sharmon Hilfinger’s musical plays on Emily Dickinson and Georgia O’Keeffe. OH, COWARD! is a musical review in two acts, featuring three performers accompanied on piano. Devised by Roderick Cook and containing music and lyrics by Noël Coward, the revue consists of songs and sketches about England, relatives, travel, theatre, love, and women. The revue ran Off-Broadway in 1972, and was one of the last Noël Coward shows staged during his lifetime. It was revived in London in 1975 and on Broadway in 1986, with the latter production receiving two Tony Award nominations. The Pear production will be co-directed by Betsy Kruse Craig and Diane Tasca.


Pear Theatre moved in 2015 from its original 40-seat warehouse space to a new, state-of-the-art black box theatre close by, with capacity of 75-99 seats depending on the configuration of the production. This exciting move allows The Pear to continue its tradition of intimate theatre while taking on new challenges and opportunities. In 2017, the theatre welcomed its second Artistic Director, Betsy Kruse Craig, who comes to the Pear after serving as a theatre arts instructor, actor, and director here and in Arizona.




Audiences award local artists $5,000 in largest, audience-judged theater competition in the country, PianoFight’s ShortLived VI

– Five thousand dollars are at stake in the largest audience-judged theater competition in the country, PianoFight’s ShortLived VI. Thirty six plays from Bay Area writers, theater companies, sketch groups, and dance troupes vie for the audience’s affection over the seven week competition to crown the Bay Area’s best and win $5,000. The regular season of ShortLived runs June 15 through July 22, with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm on PianoFight’s Main Stage. The ShortLived Finals happen August 3 through August 5, with performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7pm and an additional 9:30pm performance on Friday, August 4. The winner of each performance, each round, and The Finals, will be announced in the PianoFight bar shortly following the evening’s performance. All performances happen at PianoFight, 144 Taylor Street in SF. Tickets are $18-$40 and available at


“It’s the sixth time we’ve produced this mega-competition, and it’s pretty cool to look back at the talent that’s competed in past years and see artists who are just kicking ass,” says PianoFight Artistic Director Rob Ready. “Bennett Fisher’s latest, The Speakeasy, just opened to big fanfare in SF. Megan Cohen has had plays on three continents and just had a piece workshopped by Berkeley Rep. Jamie King and Nicole Sun are writing television in LA for Jessica Jones and Dr. Ken respectively. There’s an insane pool of talent in the Bay Area, and ShortLived has consistently been a vehicle for that talent to strut their stuff. Beyond all that, audiences love it because unlike most other festivals or competitions, where there are panels of judges or committees, in ShortLived the audience’s opinion is the one that counts. They get to decide which local artists are awarded $5,000 and we know they take that seriously, and appreciate it. ShortLived is populist theater at its finest.”


Each of the first six weeks of competition are Regular Season Rounds, featuring six short plays per week, that range from dramatic plays, comedic sketches, devised work, musicals, movement-based pieces or solo acts. The audience scores each piece on a scale of 1-10. The piece that scores highest in each round clinches a spot in The Finals (August 3-5). The group that wins The Finals is awarded $5,000.

Thousands of audience members scoring over one hundred performers in thirty six plays over seven weeks to crown one champion – PianoFight’s ShortLived VI is the largest audience audience-judged theater competition in the country, and only you can decide the winner.

What could be better for bright summer days than an underwater adventure, complete with singing sea creatures in resplendent attire?



That’s what will bubble up for young audiences when the Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) presents The Rainbow Fish Musical, opening Friday evening, June 30, at Children’s Fairyland, 699 Belleview Avenue, Oakland, CA 94610.

Oakland Dates and Times: The Rainbow Fish Musical will play Oakland on Fridays at 6 p.m., Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Sunday’s at 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., June 30 – August 6.

San Francisco Dates and Times: After its Oakland swim, er, run, the production moves to the Children’s Creativity Museum Theatre, 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94103, where it will play Fridays at 6:30 p.m. and weekends at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., August 11 – 27.

Pizza and Performance

For the first time this season, BACT is piloting Friday night performances of its shows, complete with a slice of pizza included in the Friday night ticket price.


“We’re including a slice of pizza so families can enjoy an evening of live theatre together without extra stress,” said BACT Executive Director Nina Meehan. “We know that life is hectic, and, as a mom, I find that Friday night dinners are always a challenge. We’re hoping Pizza and Performance will become a new tradition for Bay Area families.”

The Rainbow Fish Musical has been adapted for the stage by local Playwright, Composer, and Lyricist Austin Zumbro, with music inspired by classic rock.  (See Zumbro’s bio, below.) Directed by Hannah Dworkin (bio below), the production is recommended for all ages.

For ticket information visit  or call (510) 296-4433.

Tickets for Children’s Fairyland show include all day admission to the park:  General admission (1 and up need a ticket) – $18; Children’s Fairyland member – $14; Group (minimum of 15) – $13






OSF to celebrate Juneteenth Annual celebration of joy and resiliency will be held June 19


Ashland, Ore.— The Oregon Shakespeare Festival will host its annual Juneteenth celebration on Monday, June 19 at noon on the Courtyard Stage. The event is free, though donations will be accepted for the Juneteenth Scholarship Fund.


This year’s theme is “For Us, By Us.” The approximately hour-long program is a celebration of joy and resiliency as expressed through spoken word, dance, music, hip hop, visual art and theatre excerpts—including the sounds of local celebrity and the official DJ for the Oregon Ducks football and men’s basketball teams, DJ Gemineye from 107.5 KISS-FM in Medford, Ore. and 104.7 KDUK in Eugene, Ore. ASL interpreters will be provided for the event.


Juneteenth is the oldest-known commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, Major-General Gordon Granger led his Union soldiers into Galveston, Texas with the news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were now free. This was 2½ years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation became official January 1, 1863. Today, Juneteenth commemorates African-American freedom and emphasizes education and achievement. In cities across the country, people of all races, nationalities and religions come together to acknowledge a period that shaped our history and continues to influence our society.

The 2017 event is co-curated by members of the OSF company: Nemuna Ceesay, Roberta Inscho-Cox, JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell and Sam White.


“It’s been an incredible experience, collaborating with members of our OSF family in creating our Juneteenth event,” Ceesay said. “We couldn’t be more thrilled to share in such an important, yet relatively unknown, American holiday with our community, while raising funds to provide this once in a lifetime opportunity for students of color!”


OSF Community Producer Claudia Alick shared the urgency for the celebration this year. “It is important, now more than ever, for our community to explicitly reaffirm our values in the public,” Alick said. “We are anti-racist and pro-Black in Ashland, and we must state this loud, proud, and with joy.”


OSF has celebrated Juneteenth since 1998, when actor Aldo Billingslea, originally from Texas, hosted a fundraising barbecue to help African-American students attend the OSF Institute’s annual Summer Seminar for High School Juniors. The Juneteenth Scholarship Fund was created for that purpose.

This year’s hashtag is #OSFJuneteenth2017. Tag @osfashland and share what Juneteenth means to you and your photos and video from this year’s performance.



Festival Noons series returns June 20

Offerings include conversations, demonstrations, a listening party and a participatory ‘read-aloud’ project


—The Oregon Shakespeare Festival has unveiled its June/July Summer Festival Noons schedule, which features a wide variety of opportunities to engage on a deeper level with the OSF company and the works on our stages, six days a week.


The Festival Noons series’ wide range of engagement offerings is on full display in the first week of summer programming, with a free Park Talk in Bill Patton Garden on June 20 featuring Nicole M. Smith, company management housing coordinator; a panel discussion with cast members of Luis Alfaro’s Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles on June 21 titled “The Journey Here” and facilitated by Audience Development Manager Carolina Morones; an informative Preface for Jiehae Park’s Hannah and the Dread Gazebo June 22; “Gown in 60 Seconds,” a demonstration of the costume and wig quick changes of Shakespeare in Love on June 23; “Be Our Guest,” a conversation with the “Beauty” (Jennie Greenberry) and the “Beast” (Jordan Barbour) of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on June 24; and a free Park Talk June 25 with actor Jamie Ann Romero (Shakespeare in Love, The Merry Wives of Windsor).


Director of Literary Development & Dramaturgy Amrita Ramanan will lead a handful of Festival Noons engagements, including “It’s a Mystery! How the 2017 Season Came Together” June 30; “They Look Up to Me: Prince Hal’s Playlist,” a July 7 listening party exploring the music of Henry IV, Part One; “The Humors of Sir John Falstaff” with Merry Wives director Dawn Monique Williams; and “Friends, Romans, Countrymen and Me: Julius Caesar in the Now” with Education & Engagement Manager Russell Zook July 12.

Members of the casts and creative teams of Julius Caesar (June 28), Shakespeare in Love (July 5), Henry IV, Part One (July 15) and Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (July 19) will visit Festival Noons to share stories or demonstrate techniques for the creation and performance of their productions.


Other highlights include: “Shakespeare in Love: From Screenplay to Stage” with Southern Oregon University Professor of Digital Film Andrew Kenneth Gay July 1; “Shakespeare and the Tradition of Radical Adaptation” with Merry Wives director Dawn Monique Williams July 14; Konaway Nika Tillicum Camp, the culminating performance of this week-long program for Native students throughout Oregon, July 21 at noon on the Green Show stage; “Translating Shakespeare into American Sign Language,” a July 22 panel discussion with Access Services Coordinator Julie Simon, actor Howie Seago  and Crom Saunders, ASL Master: Performance; “What’s Past is Dialogue: Exploring Texts that Challenge Standard Historical Narratives,” a Must Read Aloud participatory event July 26; “Epic Voyages and the Search for Home in Mary Zimmerman’s Ingenious The Odyssey” July 28 with UC Irvine Professor of Drama Ketu H. Katrak; and “Standing Rock: More than a Pipeline,” July 29 with James Davis, development director of The Language Conservancy.


On Thursdays, OSF Education continues its popular Preface series with 45-minute in-depth introductions to the world of a play. Preface topics include Hannah and the Dread Gazebo (June 22, July 20), Mojada: A Medea in Los Angeles (June 29, July 6), UniSon (July 13) and Henry IV, Parts One and Two (July 27).

Free Park Talks are held every Sunday and Tuesday, except for the 4th of July holiday, in the Bill Patton Garden outside Gate 1 of the Allen Elizabethan Theatre. Unless otherwise indicated, all other Festival Noons events take place in Carpenter Hall.

There will be no Festival Noons event on Friday, July 21 to allow patrons and OSF company members to attend the culminating performance of Konaway Nika Tillicum Camp’s week-long program for Native American students throughout Oregon. The performance will take place at noon on the Green Show stage.


Tickets for Festival Noons are $12 for adults, $10 for OSF members, and $8 for youth ages 6-17. Visit, call (800) 219-8161 or stop by the OSF box office at 15 S. Pioneer Street in Ashland to purchase tickets. The June/July Festival Noons schedule may be viewed online at

The series continues August 1-September 3; the schedule and details for those dates will be available in July.