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Comment Archives: stories: Music, Arts & Culture: Theater

Re: “Heavy Load

After reading (trusting?) David's reviews for some time now, I must say this scathing commentary shows little to do with reality. I saw this production this past weekend and found it to be totally wonderful. The Circus pre-show was totally unique (and fun) and I was fascinated to see this small 'experimental' theatrical space so easily transformed into many diverse locations - "three to four minute scene changes" is also fictitious. The characters were real and the acting was engaging and there wasn't one person in the audience with me that did not appear to be emotionally touched. My hat goes off to Mr. van der Horst and his marvelous cast for taking something cinematic and bringing it to life for a grateful audience. From now on I'll take David Templeton's reviews with a block of salt.

15 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Erma on 10/08/2012 at 2:20 PM

Re: “Heavy Load

With all due respect to the Bohemian, I also had the absolute incredible fortune of attending The Elephant Man at Spreckles this Sunday afternoon and was nothing short of impressed. I found the performance excellent, and thought it honored John Merrick's legacy beautifully. Not an easy play to pull off, and not light fare, granted. Excellent acting, great scenery (no three or four minute scene changes, nor any actors who took an accidental misstep only to find it publicly written about(!)), took risks that paid off, and excellent costuming. BRAVO! Apparently my sentiments weren't alone given the standing ovation from every audience member. I'm kind of hard on plays too, admittedly. I have spent time onstage myself, teach children's theater, grew up attending theater (thanks, mom!!) and most likely have higher expectations than the average attendee. The play affected me emotionally afterwards, as this play should. I highly recommended it if you appreciated the film by the same name. The experimental side show at the beginning was the risk that paid off! We were instantly transformed into Merrick's world upon entering the space, and walked through an old fashioned carnival freak show just to get to our seats! I feel strongly about putting in a good word here after the obvious dedication of the cast, crew and director has largely gone unacknowledged, or worse, ruined. The one thing I do, however, agree on is David Templeton's take on Peter Warden's performance. ABSOLUTELY STELLAR! Really and truly. What talent! Everyone involved should be proud, proud, proud. All I can think is perhaps this review is strangely akin to Merrick's misunderstood life. Catch it while you can!!!

13 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Caroline on 10/08/2012 at 3:44 PM

Re: “Naughty and Nice

This review of Blithe Spirit is diplomatically written but translates as overall negative to any intelligent reader.

So it's disturbing (and more than a little offensive) that 6th Street Playhouse manages to twist it into a positive review by taking some of the more diplomatic words out of context. Hours after the Bohemian hit stands, the theater sent a promotional email to its distribution list that included this blatantly edited version of the review:
".....the Rocky Horror of drawing-room comedies......delightfully engaging performances by David Yen as optimistic author Charles, Gina Alvarado as the ghostly femme fatale Elvira and Lennie Dean as the well-meaning medium Madam Arcati..... visually magical."---David Templeton, The Bohemian

This is a mockery of the original. As a former theater critic, I cry foul.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Serena Goldsmith on 10/29/2015 at 9:51 AM

Re: “Top Torn Tix 2012

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.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by theatrgoer37 on 01/03/2013 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Barn Raising

BIG things are happening with Lucky Penny. Barry and Taylor have put their all into creating a permanent home for theatre in Napa and the North Bay. Support it in whatever way you can.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lucas Sherman on 01/21/2015 at 1:01 PM

Re: “Art of Survival

Amazing story & lady ! Thanks David .. great to see your still writing !
Glenneth Lambert ( past Fulton Barrics artist )

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Glenneth Lambert on 07/20/2017 at 8:11 AM

Re: “Show Times

North Bay Stage Company lost it's theater space in the East Auditorium as well as their storage room which contained set pieces, props, costumes, lights, sound equipment, concessions, & more. Monster Bash & 1940's Radio Hour have been cancelled. We're sad for this loss, but the show must go on for other theater companies in the area that are able to carry on. Sonoma Strong!

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Emily on 10/18/2017 at 8:19 PM

Re: “Art of Survival

Finally, a true story about lyme and what it does to people. I left a prestigious radio career due to Lyme an I was forced to move to Maine where I thougt it more affordable, only to realize they refuse to recognize it. The author is correct... I came here with almost half-a-million dollars...gone in four years. I live in a house with NO water or indoor plumbing and have to travel 13 miles into the woods to get my water...and I have lowered myself to begging the state, the federal government, anyone for help. Nothing. So yes, Final Exit is an option for many of us because I can barely move, nevermind having to fend off bobcat, bears, and coyote, just to get water. All the while fighting neurological and physical pain on a 24/7--365 days of the year. Thank you for being a voice that most is us can no longer be. Blessings. Shantiann

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Shantiann Daya on 07/20/2017 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Naughty and Nice

Hard to call it a "solitary boo" when a comment gets 7 likes.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Andrew Cronin on 11/01/2015 at 4:31 PM

Re: “Top Torn Tix 2012

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.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by NorthBayActor on 01/04/2013 at 10:27 PM

Re: “Hello? Dolly?

*Authors Note: I have been in contact with individuals involved with the production and with audience members who attended subsequent performances and have been assured by them all that the technical issues have been resolved.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by mrhjduke on 10/10/2018 at 12:42 PM

Re: “Show Times

You seem to have left out a theater company that suffered great loss in the fire: The North Bay Stage Company, which is housed in the East Auditorium of the Luther Burbank Center. We know that this portion of the Luther Burbank was destroyed. This theater company lost lighting and sound equipment - everything. They have had to cancel all upcoming shows. This is a great theater company; I have attended several of their productions. They should not be forgotten.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by The Grammar Diva on 10/21/2017 at 9:26 AM

Re: “Final Curtains

I watched Bonnie and Clyde last Friday and loved it! Great cast and the music is awesome and gets in your head in a good way. Congrats to 6th Street Playhouse!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by leesamunger on 02/25/2015 at 11:36 AM

Re: “Pease Porridge

This is a great play! Corrections : The director is also the playwright, Thomas Patrick Devon Chapman, and the show time is just under 2 hours.

Helen Moran

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Helen Moran on 07/25/2012 at 12:25 AM

Re: “Sex Ed

I thought the Spreckels Spring Awakening was one of the best musicals I've seen in Sonoma County, closely followed by the Raven production of Rent a a couple of summers ago. Both were relentlessly modern in music and style, with highly committed actors and great bands. Spring Awakening has better leads.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Alexander on 01/26/2012 at 1:02 AM

Re: “Top Torn Tickets Take 2

That was last week's column and yes, it was...

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by mrhjduke on 01/10/2020 at 8:23 AM

Re: “Changing Tones

I don't know enough about theater to know what makes it all work, but I do know what I do and don't like. I was disappointed in the 6th Street production of Gypsy last month and questioned if I would return to this theater again. There was one excellent performer, and while there wasn't anyone who was noticeably bad, it lacked something that I can't describe. I am not surprised by this review of their Oliver. I have been looking for good theater here in Sonoma County and mostly I am still looking, but I have to say that we have a real treasure here in The Imaginists. I saw them in the park this summer, and while they did go a little too far off the edge a couple of times, I could not recommend them more! Having just seen Hamilton my standards have just gotten even higher so hopefully 6th Street will improve and that The Imaginists will have many more productions.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pati on 11/22/2019 at 1:23 AM

Re: “Let the Sun Shine

That Hande Gokbas has always been a scene stealer. For free? How can one stay away?

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nan Ayers on 08/09/2019 at 7:19 AM

Re: “Musical Monsters

A real reviewer reviews sets, costumes, orchestra, and lighting.. perhaps the reviewer who reviewed this amazing play needs to be reviewed..

2 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Princess Jazzabel on 07/03/2019 at 7:18 PM

Re: “Exit Stage Left

David Templeton will be sorely missed. The Press Democrat failed miserably by ignoring theatre and its importance to readers in its community. Thanks to Davids fair and intelligently written reviews in the Bohemian culture in the North Bay was alive. Well done, Mr. Templeton. Thank you and break a leg.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bob Canning on 01/10/2018 at 1:31 PM

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