On Stage - July/AugustJul 12, 2016 04:41PM ● By Cale Finta
By Sally Hogarty
MUSICAL Long before she was Carole King, a chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, a Brooklyn girl with passion and chutzpah. As a teenager, she fought her way into the record business, and in her twenties, had a flourishing career writing hits for the biggest acts in rock n’ roll. But it wasn’t until her personal life began to crack that she found her true voice. Beautiful – The Carole King Musical tells the true story of King’s remarkable rise to stardom with a stunning array of her music. DETAILS: August 9 – September 18, SHN Orpheum Theatre, San Francisco, shnsf.com.
DRAMA Set in an inner city soup kitchen, Shotgun Players performance of Grand Concourse tells the story of a basketball playing nun who has her life turned upside down when a vibrant young woman volunteers at the center. The play raises serious questions about accountability and forgiveness. DETAILS: July 13 – August 21, The Ashby Stage, Berkeley, shotgunplayers.org.
MUSICAL Leslie Odom, Jr., star of the blockbuster hit musical “Hamilton,” comes to the Bay Area for a concert debut. He’ll perform songs from his new solo album plus selections from his celebrated career. Since his debut in “Rent” at the age of 17, Odom has performed in many Broadway musicals as well as in television and film, including a reoccurring role on “Law & Order: SVU.” DETAILS: July 23, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, lesherartscenter.org.
DRAMA An ordinary afternoon in 1950’s South Africa turns into a life-changing experience for a white teenager and his family’s two black servants in Athol Fugard’s powerful work Master Harold . . . and the boys.” A scathing indictment of inequality, Fugard’s play is also a searing coming of age story that will resonant long after the curtain goes down. Timothy Near directs a powerhouse cast that includes L. Peter Callender, Adrian Roberts and Andrew Humann. DETAILS: Through July 17, Aurora Theatre, Berkeley, auroratheatre.org.
MUSICAL Veteran entertainer Chris Gardner brings back the legendary “King of Cool” Dean Martin to stage in a world premiere musical event That’s Amore! This fast-paced musical features classic hits, a 16-piece orchestra and special guest stars. Performing as Dean Martin for over a decade, Gardner has starred in award-winning Las Vegas Rat Pack shows. A complimentary champagne reception follows the show. DETAILS: July 22, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, lesherartscenter.org.
DRAMA Enjoy the outdoor beauty of Cal Shakes’ Bruns Amphitheatre at August Wilson’s poignant drama Fences. This award-winning work is part of Wilson’s 10-part “Pittsburgh Cycle,” which explores the evolving African-American experience. In “Fences,” a former charismatic baseball player in the Negro league, finds himself bitterly employed as a sanitation worker, after being denied a career in the major league due to his skin color. DETAILS: July 9 – 31, Bruns Amphitheatre, Orinda, calshakes.org.
MUSICAL Bringing a “spoonful of sugar” and so much more, Mary Poppins the Musical comes to the beautiful Bankhead Theater in Livermore. Expect fun magical illusions as Mary pops into the Banks household to care for their young children and brings her very special brand of entertainment to all. DETAILS: July 16 – 31, Bankhead Theater, Livermore, trivalleyrep.org.
MUSICAL The popular character in Shrek The Musical sings and dances his way into your heart on a life-changing journey with his wisecracking donkey friend and a feisty princess. It’s family fun in a gorgeous outdoor setting in the Oakland Hills with breathtaking views of the Bay Area. Free admission for kids 16 and under when accompanied by a paying adult. DETAILS: July 8 – 17, Woodminster Amphitheater, Oakland, woodminster.com.
MUSICAL If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, here’s a show for you. The national tour of Waist Watchers The Musical helps you laugh off a few pounds with four women struggling through the relentless search for a positive self-image. This lighthearted musical tackles dieting, exercise, plastic surgery, and sex over forty. Infectious musical numbers and crazy workout choreography will have you coming back for more! DETAILS: August 3-28, Del Valle Theatre, Walnut Creek, lesherartscenter.org.