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Local theater provides Holiday joy and rivals the best off-off-off-Broadway has to offer

Saturday, November 24th, 2012 | Posted by

Live Local Theater is a precious commodity and the West County is lucky to  have it

Jacob Marley confronts his old pal


Besides the plane fare and having to remove your shoes at the airport, there are many reasons to enjoy local theater instead of schlepping all the way to New York City.
Among these are true quality performances, originality, watching local thespians doing their skilled and attention-grabbing thing, accessibility, the price of admission and the good feeling that comes with shopping locally.

A River Family Christmas produced by Kit Mariah presents the 2012 edition of this continuing saga at Curtain Call Theater in Monte Rio. Gaining in popularity with good cause and swelling its ranks every year, this joyous production delivers upbeat holiday fun suitable for the entire family with outstanding musical performances, audience sing-a-longs and a few

Noel Yates, Beth Freeman and Jannell Parr catch the spirit

surprises. This is an all-new original production and since you’ll likely know many of the players you’ll feel connected and a measure of good will that will not only give you a warm fuzzy feeling, but will help you sleep better and feel more refreshed when you arise the morning after.

With as many as eighteen people on stage at one time, the show includes among its talent Andrea Van Dyke, Noel Yates, members of the Pocket Canyon Ramblers, Beth Freeman, Sadie Damascus and Jannell Parr, all of whom perform with a degree of regularity at local bistros and/or in choirs. Maple Profant’s piano expertise provides a solid foundation throughout the production, and Gretchen Belgrave’s violin lends another dimension to many of the musical numbers

One of the show’s unexpected highlights and something rarely heard in Christmas holiday plays is a tune sung a capella in Egyptian by theater manager and operator, Michael Tabib. The set is homey and inviting and the participants seem to be genuinely enjoying themselves, a feeling which is contagious. Refreshments are available in the lobby and the chubby guy in the red suit makes a HoHoHo appearance as well.

Adults: $15, Children under 12,  $5
Evening performances at  8 p.m. on November 24 and 30, matinees at 3 p.m. on November 30, December 1 and December 2.
For reservations call: 524-8739

Where: Curtain Call Theater at Russian River Hall, 20347 Hwy 116, Monte Rio

Charlie Dickens


Pegasus Theater Company presents Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, written by Tom Mula and directed by Mark Gregory. As Charles Dickens tells us in A Christmas Carol, the unsavory and despicable Jacob Marley  “was dead, to begin with”, but what is this spirit, with a personality sour enough to make an iguana pucker, doing now? As Pegasus theater and author Mula tell us, Marley is “living” an incendiary existence where “He’s been assigned his own personal tormentor: a malicious little hell-sprite who thoroughly enjoys his work. Desperate, Marley accepts his one chance to free himself: To escape his chains, he must first redeem Scrooge.”
We’re dying to find out how the Hell  he does that, and the diabolical answers are revealed in this unique production.
All Saturday and Sunday performances are $15 general admission. The public is invited to celebrate opening night, Friday, November 30, with complimentary champagne and hors d’oeuvres for the regular price of a general admission ticket.
This holiday offering runs for four weekends from November 30 through December 23 at the Rio Nido Lodge.
The following three Fridays are pay-what-you- can. Friday and Saturday evening

Veronica Saunders and Natasha Gutierrez

performances begin at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees begin at 2:00 p.m.

Where: Pegasus Theater, Canyon Two Road, just south of the Rio Nido Roadhouse, Rio Nido

  • http://www.pillowish.com kristin thurman

    Yes, Stephen, we are indeed rich in live entertainment ‘way out here’. Thanks for this, I was just looking for the times of the Christmas Show for this evening.

  • Stephen Gross

    So glad I could help out. Hope you enjoy it even more than you think you will!
    I may see you there.

  • Noel Yates

    Thanks for the lovely write up on The River Family Christmas! If the audience has half as much fun at the show as we have onstage, their time will have been well spent.
    I can’t wait to catch “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol,” at Pegasus.

    • Stephen Gross

      Thank you for checking out my posting and more so, for being the great performer you are!
      You’re one of the brightest stars in our “neighborhood”. The trio you performed with Beth and Jannell was terrific.

  • Bill Young

    Great article on the show. You really captured the River Family’s sense of enjoyment on stage. All the cast members really ARE having fun! Kudos to Kit for putting this together once again

    • Stephen Gross

      Thanks Bill. It was obvious you all put your hearts into it (in the TRUE spirit of the holidays). Hope you have a full house for the balance of the performances.

  • Megan Hope

    Thank you for your article. It is so wonderful to see people having a good time during the show. I heard songs I have never heard before and I am very impressed with the vocal performances of everyone in the cast. It is a delightful show and really gets me in the mood to start celebrating Christmas.

    • Stephen Gross

      Thanks for connecting and for your positive comments. I agree- it was uplifting and a lot of fun. It’s amazing how many really talented people we have in the West County.

  • Kit Mariah

    Hi – thanks for the article – just want to correct your info about next weekend’s shows. There will be a show at 8 pm Friday, 3 pm Saturday, and 3 pm Sunday. What a wonderful group of performers I’ve had the joy of working with over the last couple of months – hope everyone will come out to see the show this weekend.

    • Stephen Gross

      You’re welcome – you put an excellent show together (and I corrected the time for Saturday).

  • Michael Tabib

    Hi Stephen,

    It was a joy to see you at the River Family Christmas Show this year. Our offerings are always unique and genuine and we intend to continue in this vein for as long as we have this small theater for our very unique community. Thank you for your support always. I hope you enjoy your holidays this year as well.
    Michael Tabib.

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