THIS WEEK IN THEATRE – Dirty Little Showtunes, Shrek, The Nutcracker, A Christmas Carol, and Lisa Vroman

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES
New Conservatory Theatre Center
Directed by F. Allen Sawyer and musical direction by Scrumbly Koldewyn. The show runs through January 16th: Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm. All performances will take place at The New Conservatory Theatre Center (Decker Theatre), located at 25 Van Ness Ave. near Market Street in San Francisco.

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DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES — Cameron Cummings, Alpha Mulugeta,
Tom Orr, David Bicha, Eric Brizee and Joe Wicht. Photo, Lois Tema

As an off-color, adults-only antidote to the sugarplum saturation of the holidays, Dirty Little Showtunes! is back and naughtier than ever. In 1997, lyricist and performer Tom Orr seduced San Francisco with his bawdy Broadway bastardizations in “perhaps the gayest show ever,” Dirty Little Showtunes! This six-man sweet, smart, sassy, sexy, and satirical revue finally returns with all of your old favorites plus new parodies from Wicked, The Producers, Hairspray, Grey Gardens and more!
Click here to order tickets on-line: DIRTY LITTLE SHOWTUNES

SHREK THE MUSICAL
At the Orpheum Theatre

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ERIC PETERSEN — ALAN MINGO, Jr.
Production photos by Joan Marcus

It’s an entertaining refuge for the Holidays. Eric Petersen as the ogre, “Shrek”, is the perfect choice for a role that demands great comic timing, a boisterous and hugely imposing manner, and a bizarre and gruffish exterior that embraces a heart of gold. Petersen is also equipped with hulking vocal chops for the rock-type solo, “Build A Wall”. Alan Mingo, Jr. as “Donkey” – the ass that just can’t seem to shut-up – is high-voltage and totally unstoppable. As the innocent Princess Fiona, Haven Burton (Legally Blonde, Rent), delivers a superb performance of the score by award winning composer and arranger Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning). Carrie Compere as the voice of “Dragon” – the very best monster puppet ever created for the Broadway stage – stopped the show. And bringing the house down as the diminutive four and-a-half foot “Lord Farquaad”, David F.M. Vaughn has all the pizzazz and showmanship of a headliner Vaudeville great.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: SHREK THE MUSICAL

AT A.C.T.A CHRISTMAS CAROL

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Bob Cratchit (Gregory Wallace) and Scrooge (James Carpenter).
Photo, Kevin Berne

Adapted by Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh and directed by acclaimed Bay Area director and actor Domenique Lozano. A music-infused celebration of goodwill, A.C.T.’s A Christmas Carol stars Bay Area favorite James Carpenter, returning for his fifth year in the iconic role of “Scrooge”. A.C.T. core acting company member Jack Willis reprises his audience favorite turn as the Ghost of “Jacob Marley”, Scrooge’s nightmarish late-night visitor, alongside many Bay Area favorites: Steven Anthony Jones, Sharon Lockwood, Delia MacDougall, Jarion Monroe, Nicholas Pelczar, and Howard Swain. A Christmas Carol runs December 2nd through 24th.
Click here to order tickets on-line: A CHRISTMAS CAROL

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET presentsTHE NUTCRACKER

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TARAS DOMITRO and VANESSA ZAHORIAN
Photo, Erik Tomasson

The vision of this Once-upon-a-time has been created by scenic designer Michael Yeargan, costume designer Martin Pakledinaz, and lighting designer James F. Ingalis. Projection designer Wendall K. Harrington’s slideshow of San Francisco 1915 during the Nutcracker’s Overture is the perfect theatrical touch. In this for-real magical atmosphere, the story of “Clara” (Elise Gillum) and her dream journey into a wonderland of snow (tons of it!) – along with the Family’s favorite Uncle (the one in the cape) who seems to know what’s in store around his present to Clara – the solider nutcracker – is the Classiest show in town.
Click here to purchase tickets on-line: NUTCRACKER

AT SF SYMPHONY – ’TWAS THE NIGHT
December 22nd – 23rd at 7:30 pm
December 24th at 2:00 pm

 
This special Christmas concert, new this year, offers conductor and SF Symphony Chorus Director Ragnar Bohlin leading soprano Lisa Vroman, organist Robert Huw, members of the San Francisco Symphony brass section, and members of the SFS Chorus in favorite Christmas carols and songs, plus an audience sing-along. Ms. Vroman’s repertoire stretches from Stravinsky to Weill to Broadway. She is a frequent guest soloist with Theatre/Opera companies and Orchestras including San Francisco, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, National, Hong Kong, Cleveland, Pacific, Utah, Dallas, and the Boston Pops (Keith Lockhart) and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops. Miss Vroman made her debut at The Hollywood Bowl singing with Dick Van Dyke in a medley from Mary Poppins, John Mauceri conducting a Disney 75th celebration. She guest starred with SONY artist Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis in his NYC debut concert at City Center; and has performed in Stephen Blier’s New York Festival of Song, in a tribute to Broadway director Harold Prince.

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LISA VROMAN

Miss Vroman has sung in concert with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, composer Stephen Schwartz, Organist David Higgs, and the Empire Brass Quintet. Her solo CD Broadway Classic features Metropolitan Opera Mezzo-Soprano Stephanie Blythe and 47 of San Francisco’s finest orchestral players. Miss Vroman had the honor of singing at the Profiles in Courage Award dinner in Boston at the JFK Library, as a guest of the Kennedy family. She has also sung  on separate occasions for Queen Elizabeth, former President Bill Clinton, and former Vice President Al Gore. This coming season Lisa will star as “Lili/Kate” in Kiss Me Kate with the Glimmerglass Opera Festival, as Birdie in Blitzstein’s “Regina” with Utah Opera and the premiere of two Comic Operas (Musto/ Bolcum) with NYFOS in NYC.

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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