The Transcendence Theatre Company, returning for its seventh annual "Broadway Under the Stars" outdoor concert series in Glen Ellen, continually aims to make its newest season the best ever.
“We always mix it up. We always throw in some surprises,” said Stephan Stubbins, the theater company’s co-executive director, “and this is going to be a fun summer.”
The first of the four shows to be presented this summer is titled “Stairway to Paradise.” The song and dance revue opens Friday and it literally has “Everything.”
That’s the name of a new song featured in the show, written by Mark Beynon of Santa Rosa and Joe Label of Novato, and inspired by the story of Beynon’s daughter, Jordin Cirner, and her family, who lost their Santa Rosa home in last October’s wildfires. The songwriters and the Cirners will attend the red carpet opening at Jack London State Historic Park.
The song “Everything” will be featured throughout out the run of “Stairway to Paradise,” which will also include Broadway hits and other favorites.
The season opener is directed and choreographed by the company’s new creative director, Tony Gonzalez of New York City.
“Tony is a Broadway veteran,” Stubbins said. “He was the dance captain with ‘Mamma Mia’ on Broadway for a long while. He has directed some of our shows before, but now he will be working with Amy Miller, our artistic director, to enhance all of the things we’re doing creatively.”
The season runs through Sept. 9 and includes three more shows — “Fantastical Family Night,” “Shall We Dance” and “Gala Celebration.”
Transcendence was founded in 2008 by Stubbins, Miller and her husband, Brad Surosky, all seasoned performers with experience in Broadway shows and national touring company productions.
The first Broadway Under the Stars season opened in 2012. Since then, Transcendence Theatre Company productions have brought in a total 127,000 patrons and raised more than $367,000 for Jack London State Historic Park.
The company continues to fill its casts each summer with performers who have credits in Broadway productions including “Wicked,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Mary Poppins,” “42nd Street” and “Mamma Mia.”
Part of the "Broadway Under the Stars" experience is picnicking at the park, which starts at 5 p.m., followed at 7:30 p.m. by a live, open-air performance in the winery ruins on the park grounds.
You can reach staff writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or email@example.com. On Twitter @danarts.
When: 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 23
Where: Green Music Center, Sonoma State University, 1801 East Cotati Ave., Rohnert Park
Tickets: $25 to $75, discounts for SSU students and children
Information: 866-9550-6040, firstname.lastname@example.org, gmc.sonoma.edu
Punch Brothers: “Three Dots and a Dash”
Punch Brothers: “It’s All Part of the Plan”
Noam Pikelny: “The Making of Universal Favorite”