Theater Critic New to Danville

I'm looking for live threatre "this side of the tunnel."

Hi everybody!

Let me introduce myself to all you "Patchers."  I've been invited to be the new critic/consumer/general all-around theater "know it all" in Danville and the surrounding areas, but I need your help! 

I "get" theatre (degree from Cal, and over 25 years experience in various forms), but my family and I are completely new to Danville!  Live theatre is my passion, and my family is starting to appreciate it in the East Bay, too, so I'm always on the lookout for great things to see - for adults and kids alike.

Through this blog, I want to let you in on what's going on, what's child-friendly (and what's not), and what's a must see (and what's not!).  You'll quickly find out I'm not short of opinions, but I'd like to start a conversation about live theatre in this area. And so if you're aware of some theatre happening, please let me know. 

I know there are plenty of "events" going on, whether it be in the local high school, rented space somewhere, or, as summer comes, in the open air.  I want to know about it all (and I'll see a lot of it, for review).  My reviews will be honest and "real" - not just a synopsis of the story itself, but more about the directors' choice, the acting, the set design... an insider's viewpoint, and whether I think it's worth seeing or not. 

In this economy, you want to spend your leisure budget wisely!  You might not agree with my critiques, and that's completely OK.  Tell me why, so we can provide context for our readers from different viewpoints.

My first review follows:

Last week I saw Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune (at the Diablo Actors Ensemble).  This show only has the two actors, so it requires a lot from them, the majority of it on stage, together. 

L. Peter Callender, who played Johnny, was fabulous as usual.  I always enjoy seeing him at CalShakes, where he "does Shakespeare" well.  Frankie & Johnny is quite different, but he pulled it off.  Sondra Putnam, who played Frankie, seemed less experienced, and there were several lines delivered by her that didn't seem believable to me, or particularly convincing relating to the age of Frankie. 

DAE is a little "hole in the wall" theatre in Walnut Creek, and they do the best they can with the limited space, and I presume budget.  There was a small whiteboard hanging above the set, centerstage.  I thought maybe there would be projection utilized, or something would appear on that board at some point; alas, it was as if it was a piece of wood they forgot to take down. 

The direction was not innovative or creative in anyway, relying more on overt sexual representations rather than subtleties. BUT... if there's nothing on TV, it's a "nice" way to spend 2 hours on a Sunday afternoon.  Purchase your tickets through Goldstar and it's an even better deal!

So that's how it's going to go... if you don't agree, let's discuss it.  And if you want me to check out something you're curious about, let me know.  I am determined to find good live theatre "this side of the tunnel."

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kathy Noel February 25, 2012 at 05:28 PM
"Reel Blondes" opened this weekend at the Danville Theater on Front Street (across from the Danville Library). Check it out!
Kathy Noel February 25, 2012 at 05:35 PM
Correction: It's called the Village Theatre. "Reel Blondes" is a long running original musical comedy that has returned to Danville!
rosemarie hyatt February 25, 2012 at 09:45 PM
Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" is coming to Danville at the Village Theatre from April 13- May 5. Meet Artistic Director Eric Fraisher Hayes and enjoy the opening night champagne reception hosted by Role Players Ensemble's board member Gary DeAtley and his wife Loucy.
Christina Richards February 27, 2012 at 05:08 AM
I do plan on attending Reel Blondes, along with Pinkalicious (for the kids) and Toy Story on Ice (for us all!). I'm not so sure about seeing The Mikado - The Gondoliers was last month at Dean Lesher) ... will have to think about that one. Although I would LOVE to meet the AD and - natch - have some champagne, is there anyone in the Bay Area that compares to the Lamplighters for G&S?


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