Playwright James Sherman takes on the age-old problem of how to make your parents happy and still live the way you want in his romantic comedy "Beau Jest."
If you've never seen Sherman's funny yet insightful take on this universal conundrum, now's your chance. Onstage Theatre presents "Beau Jest" Aug. 22-Sept. 7 at the Martinez Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward St. in Martinez.
Helen Means directs the touching story of Sarah Goldman, a mildly neurotic 30-something with a serious problem -- at least for her mother, who dreams of Sarah marrying a nice Jewish doctor. Unfortunately for mom, Sarah's current relationship is with a rather whiny, WASP-y account executive named (to make matters worse) Chris Kringle.
Determined to mollify her mother, Sarah hires an actor to impersonate the man of her mother's dreams. Will Sarah succeed in fooling her parents? Will she fall in love with the "dream" boyfriend she has invented? And, what happens to old Chris Kringle? There's only one way to find out! For tickets, Call 925-518-3277.
All things O'Neill will soon be upon us as the 15th annual Eugene O'Neill Festival commences on Aug. 28.
Running through Sept. 28, "The Art of the Escape" features a monthlong array of plays, walking tours, panel discussions, sneak previews and more. Many of the events take place at Tao House, O'Neill's Danville home and now part of the national parks.
This year's festival features "The Iceman Cometh," an O'Neill masterpiece written at Tao House and appropriately performed at the old barn on O'Neill's former estate (Sept. 19-28). Directed by Role Players Ensemble artistic director and O'Neil Foundation program director Eric Fraisher Hayes, the play features Randy Anger, Joe Fitzgerald, Craig Eychner and Charles Woodson Parker (who just opened in the Altarena Playhouse's "Boeing Boeing").
Many of the cast also appear in Role Players' production of Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (Sept. 5-20 at Danville's Village Theatre). Influenced by O'Neill, Williams' play adds an interesting dimension to the festival. Another aspect of this year's festival is a showcase of short scenes by local theater companies who explore the theme of coping with life by escaping or creating alternate realities and illusions.
Favorite local actors Ryan Drummond, Tim Homsley, Jerry Lee and Sharon Rietkerk return to the Lesher stage for Center Rep's "Life Could Be A Dream." The doo-wop musical about Denny and the Dreamers stars Derek Keeling as the singing sensation and heartthrob. Although new to local audiences, Keeling has been seen on NBC's "You're the One that I want" and on Broadway in "Grease."
Directed by Roger Bean with music direction by Brandon Adams and choreography by Lee Martino, the show features such '60s hits as "Fools Fall in Love," "Tears On My Pillow," "Earth Angel" and many more. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
OMG Productions presents a more serious love story will its production of "Dogfight," running Sept. 5-21 at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts.
Based on the 1991 film of the same name, which starred River Phoenix and Lili Taylor, "Dogfight" carries the audience through a musical journey of love, loss and brotherhood as three young Marines prepare to deploy to Vietnam. But first they plan one last night of debauchery in San Francisco.
When Corporal Eddie Birdlace meet Rose, however, all bets are off. Directed by Jasen Jeffrey, the cast features Jordon Bridges as Birdlace and Elizabeth Curtis as Rose. Jeffrey, who began as an actor, has amassed an impressive array of directorial credits, including "Tarzan," "Rent" and "Little Show of Horrors" at the Lesher. Sean Kana is musical director, with the innovative Nicole Helfer as choreographer.
For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org