Pregnancy of all kinds -- wanted, unwanted, old, young, easy, difficult, single, married -- has always been a fertile, so to speak, topic for stage, TV and movie comedies.
It's also a great source of humor for playwrights and audiences; most who can either recall or are going through the tribulations of getting pregnant and eventually greeting a baby into the family.
And, like everything else from tweets to tofu, pregnancy is getting increasingly complicated, especially for those facing difficulty getting pregnant. And that is the source of Lisa Loomer's comedy, "Expecting Isabel," which opens Jan. 18 at Danville's Village Theatre
"I had a positive experience with Loomer's work, but I wasn't familiar with this play," said Eric Fraisher Hayes, the artistic director for Role Players Ensemble. "But after being here in Danville for the last eight years, 'Expecting Isabel' really spoke to me when I was looking for a topical play.
"And I think it's a perfect play for this area, where so many people are going through everything involved in becoming pregnant -- either themselves, friends, sisters, brothers-in-law. It's just a good choice for people living in the San Ramon Valley."
The play, he says, is about a thirty-something couple trying to conceive and, realizing this is much more difficult than they thought, getting involved with all the new methods -- fertility specialists, self-help books, support groups and even families who have their own idiosyncrasies.
Doin' what comes naturally is only the first resort in a long, expensive and often experimental expedition along the outer frontier of fertility -- and something that is very funny as is told by Loomer (or friends, after successfully enduring the complex journey to parenthood).
"It's a very funny play, but also very theatrical, with a cast of eight playing about 30 roles," said Hayes. "A couple will be talking about something, and as they speak about a doctor's visit, set pieces will roll onstage to act out what is being talked about; the entire set is built on casters."
"Expecting Isabel" will be directed by Katja Rivera, who will also appear at a special behind-the-scenes free preview of the show at 7 p.m. Jan. 10 in the Danville Library. Hayes has started hosting these presentations to give audiences an early look at the upcoming show and talk about the creative process that goes into productions.
The play will run from Jan. 18 through Feb. 9 in the Village Theatre at 233 Front St. in Danville. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays.
Tickets, at $20 to $28, may be reserved at 925-314-3400 or http://www.villagetheatreshows.com.
A VERI JERI CHRISTMAS: Singer Jeri Sager, who performed in "Cats," "Evita" and "Les Miserables" on Broadway, will bring her holiday show to Pleasanton's Firehouse Arts Center at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Her show will include Christmas tunes, some holiday tales, and a few Broadway showstoppers in the mix as well. The Firehouse Arts Center is at 4444 Railroad Ave. in Pleasanton. Tickets to the show cost $18 to $28 for adults, $12 for children and $25 for seniors and may be reserved at 925-931-4848 or www.firehousearts.org.
Contact Pat Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.