It was surprising to read the negative comment posted by Reality Check. Those comments were so, so negative and so against the efforts which the SOTAs make to bring the community together, if for one single evening during the year. All great projects begin as a small seed with an idea. To criticize the criteria for membership or anything else at this time is ridiculous because all of those things are things that develop with time and with the help of people who unite to the project to make it better. I should remind you that this is but the fifth year of the SOTAs. To celebrate and recognize, what is during the year, hard, exhausting work and dedication by so many wonderful artists in Sonoma County, is not something to be criticized but supported. Briano has the right idea here and the spirit and I wholeheartedly support him in his efforts. Rather than criticize the SOTAs, united in mediocracy should do a reality check on himself and his attitude. If you don't like what you see, involve yourself and help fix it, help make it better rather then to sit behind a computer and cover the project with a dark cloud.
You sound like someone who is guilty that they actually didn't make it to see much theater outside of SSU last year. Craven said that she doubted that "MANY SSU students" made it out after acknowledging that schedules make it difficult to for local theater artists to see others work. Frankly the rest of your post is ridiculous - to attack Mrs. Lichenstein and Mrs. Craven, and say that they are what is wrong with North Bay Theater shows your ignorance and your lack of respect for two women who are frankly responsible for 2 theaters remaining open in Sonoma County - theaters that constantly put on work that is completely "legitimate" in the eyes of the Bay Area theater. But I'm sure that you give up much of your time for free to keep a non-profit open, right TheaterGoer?
And finally, it would be good to point out that an awards ceremony does little to "unite" people. Especially this morning, the local community is awash with how ridiculous this years nominees are... The SOTA's are not leading to unity, they are leading to another forum, like the complete bullshit "Broadway Bay Area Awards", where there is no criteria for membership - just a scorecard of how many of your friends can send Briano an email and get a ballot.
United in mediocrity. Bravo indeed.
As a SOTA Academy member myself, I can personally say that in just five years, the awards have grown incredibly and are steadily working toward a more professional arena. Even the first year, it wasn't exclusively SSU shows nominated. By year 4, more than 8 theatre companies comprised the nominees. While it's still a growing organization, the hard-working people behind are SOTA including its president are doing a great job, I think of continuing to build and make the show better. The show itself is a piece of theatre and wonderfully honors and recognizes everyone's hard work. There will always be people with something opposing to say about it- that's their opinions and that's perfectly fine. I do hope that the public or other theatre artists can come to show and see what they think about it. It's always a fun night where people from all circles of theatre can meet, greet, share, and share a nice experience.
Curious as to why Craven would doubt that SSU students would see shows outside of SSU. Young actors in Sonoma County make up an incredibly huge part of the theatre scene outside of scholastic environments. It's hers and Lichtenstein's self centered, exclusive and closed mindset that's keeping the North Bay theatre community shut out from the world of legitimate Bay Area theatre. Even though it might not be a perfect model for an awards group, Briano's efforts to be inclusive and celebrate the community are inspiring. And it's not surprising that it's a young person championing unity in our arts community. Much of the most exciting, effective and daring theatre being produced in the North Bay comes from companies that are largely run by folks under 40. I say Bravo.
Bohemian: Stupid article to write up because they now, have been ripped off. FaceBook photo of thief, burglarized of a $10 K dollar Yamaha mixer and other sound techie gear. But you had to get it out there....Loose lips create rip-offs...
Steve Pile is not only extremely talented, he is a committed teacher, sharing his many gifts. Glad to see this article about him.
Amen to that Dawn.
-Another friend and admirer of Erma and Daniel. (Ric)
I know Erma Murphy personally and she is just such a delight to work with that it is no wonder she has arisen to such a level of measurable success in the industry.I am sooo proud to know her and call her my friend.She is a true treasure to this community.
Frank & Ernie's is evolving into a cool little joint. Very intimate place to see a performer. Props to KC for keeping the live music scene going!
"And for fuck's sake, turn your cell phone off."
Grow up and read "The New Yorker."
Perhaps you might understand being stupid with your writing and regretting your worded opinion.
That is not writing.
First and foremost, I think it is important to remember that this article was written by a person offering his *opinion*. While this person gets paid to offer his opinion, and many readers put stock in it because of this, I think we can all agree that the arts are a VERY subjective field. What's sauce for the goose may be poison for the gander. Second, even if Mr. Templeton's voice were law--and I am sure that even he would agree it is not--I have not seen all ten shows on this list. And even if I had, I was also on stage as an 'intrepid member' of August: Osage County, and could not offer a truly objective opinion of the show. Regarding the craft itself, I would have to agree with theatrgoer37 re: DTA's opening comment. I don't think it is good form to down-talk my fellow storytellers. Our work is rewarding, certainly--but it is also difficult and challenging for all who aspire to it whole-heartedly. There is nothing more hurtful or infuriating than hearing an audience member--or, especially, a fellow artist--make a comment that trivializes that effort. In that vein, I will also respectfully disagree with the assessment of others on the comment thread that a show like BATB should be appreciated for its 'effort.' The idea that a show is good "especially when you consider [it was produced] primarily by students" is also, in my opinion, demeaning. I have met more than my fair share of people in theater who are union members and aren't worth the title, and those who have 'day jobs' who are the pinnacle of professionalism and hard work. But, ultimately, the work we do is for the audience's benefit, and if they leave the theater richer people, we have done our job. If we step onto that stage for anything less--especially something selfish like accolades or awards--we are doing a disservice to ourself, our production mates, and the audience.
The Beauty and the Beast cast did amazing! Not only is the music difficult to live up to but it has held an amazing record on Broadway, maybe I am biased by being a SRJC student but I also saw the original broadway cast of Beauty and the Beast. I know this show very well and I must remark I have never seen a performance of this musical by a non-professional production that put more energy and enjoyment into the play. Normally I bored with school Beauty and the Beast but thankfully this production team as well as the cast created something fresh not simply copy cating the original. The acting was not flat, in fact I felt it was rather strong. This production has been nominated for American Conseveratory Theatre Festival as well as being one of only ten plays or musicals nominated to perform a scene there. Simply put I think it is better to look at the positive rather than the negative, and there is tons. And I know that the set and costumes were all made by the SRJC students during the show. It's about time I think the bohemian recognize a musical and a SRJC production
I have seen every show on this list including Osage County, and speaking only as a patron I am disgusted with the comments I see here. Yes Osage County was a great performance, but BATB was hardly "amateur." The vocals were precise and the level of talent, not only from the leads but from the supportive cast was astounding (babette, wardrobe, lefu etc). That show is iconic and to attempt it is risky at best. The costumes were astounding especially when you consider the fact that they were made primarily by students. It was the only show last year I wanted to see twice. It was on par with most professional theater. The top comment from the "member of that intrepid cast" its distasteful at best. If you have a problem with this list perhaps you should question some of the other choices, not attack a show purely because it was performed by a college......don't be THAT actor, your audience doesn't appreciate it.
Totally agree with the Beauty & the Beast vs. Osage County review. Osage County was really well done, and Beauty & the Beast was rather flat in the acting category, though it was beautiful, (except for Belle's "yellow-peep's have exploded" dress.)
I am thrilled to see an SRJC on the list, but would argue that "Our Town" was significantly more compelling than "Beauty and the Beast". Technically smart and impeccably directed, there were outstanding performances throughout the cast, not only from George Gibbs and Emily Webb. The real connections I observed onstage, combined with genuine emotion, oozed charm and brought the old themes to life in our modern times.
Really? An amateur production of Beauty and Beast makes the grade but not the 6th Street Playhouse staging of August-Osage County? I may be biased, having been a member of that intrepid cast but I'm of the opinion our production easily deserves the top spot on that list.
Come see the show
JaJerz, Thanks for your insight. The piece was never meant to disrespect Snoop as a talented rapper. He is an icon of West Coast music and known all over the world as a representative of the hip hop/rap era. Anyone would give him mad props for all his accomplishments.
The piece is actually a reflection on his questionable behavior over the past year. When Snoop went to Jamaica to record an album with Diplo, the Philadelphia-based EDM DJ, he was seen by many in the media and entertainment world as going through a mid-life identity crisis; his past few albums not cutting the commercial profit margin and his image strained by dippy reality TV shows.
Most, however, tried to view the image change as a conscience decision to transform his flamboyantly excessive, drug- and gun-toting lifestyle into a more spiritually enlightened leadership position in the music world; to bring attention to the sacred path of Rastafari while acting as a role model for commercially and materialistically seduced young hip hop artists. Throughout the past year, though, Snoop has done everything to solicit attention and nothing to demonstrate awareness.
Artists are free to change their image and we as fans continue to be fascinated by their choices. But to take such a major leap, professing allegiance to a religious practice with such brevity and arrogance, I believe there should be a higher level of respect shown for those who came before. Putting out pop ragga songs and donning red, gold and green does not qualify you as a Rasta. Neither does shouting Jah Rastafari on stage with a blunt in your hand.
All doubt and criticism aside, Snoop has ample time to prove his weight in gold. Whether that gold is measured in coinage or in enlightenment has yet to be seen.
Kind of disrespectful don't you think? Snoop is one of our great enduring rappers. Then he has a spiritual awakening as a Rastafarian and you make fun of him! Where is the tolerance? He is a prolific artist of our time and I think he should be taken seriously and should be respected.
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