All stories by Joanne Engelhardt on BroadwayStars

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Noteworthy performance, contest honor Beethoven’s 250th birthday by Joanne Engelhardt

Audiences who log on July 12 to a livestream benefit performance of Hershey Felder as Beethoven will also have the chance to vote for their favorite artistic interpretation of the composer…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:00AM
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

‘This Street’ makes sharp turns in tone, subject matter by Joanne Engelhardt

An eccentric, sometimes unsettling, series of digital video productions make up Pear Theatre’s new hodgepodge of vignettes called “This Street and the Next.” Directed by the company’…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 09:57AM
Tuesday, June 23, 2020

EnActe series spotlights women performers, playwrights by Joanne Engelhardt

EnActe is turning the spotlight on women performers and playwrights in a new series of virtual events, plays, readings and more. Women EnActe for Themselves, or WEFT, launches June 27 with a…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:03AM
Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Pear Theatre hosts virtual season announcement party by Joanne Engelhardt

Pear Theatre in Mountain View is moving ahead in today’s virtual world with a season announcement/subscription kick-off party June 12. Pear Artistic Director Sinjin Jones will host the Pea…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 02:37PM
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Kids can get virtual theater experience this summer by Joanne Engelhardt

Any other year, June would be the month when students start looking forward to that last school day and a lazy summer of fun ahead. This year, it’s definitely dicey whether some families w…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:13AM
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Foothill stages Virtual Play Reading Festival by Joanne Engelhardt

Foothill College’s Theatre Arts Department found itself in the same unenviable muddle as most local theater companies these days: What to do now that it can’t stage its spring production…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 09:53AM
Monday, May 18, 2020

Short-play program offers digital ‘Pear Slices’ by Joanne Engelhardt

Mountain View’s Pear Theatre came up with a creative way of presenting its annual short-play program despite the current pandemic—“Pear Slices 2020: Digital Edition.” The Pear is pre…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 08:04PM
Thursday, May 14, 2020

Digital PlayGround Festival features local talent by Joanne Engelhardt

The annual PlayGround Festival of New Works, which features two Peninsula residents and one San Jose world premiere, has gone digital this year and is streaming most of its events free of ch…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 01:17PM
Friday, May 8, 2020

TheatreWorks reimagines next season with later start date by Joanne Engelhardt

A “reimagined” 2020-21 season is in store for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, with the next production now not scheduled to open until next October. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced substan…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 09:53AM
Thursday, April 30, 2020

South Bay theaters ‘keep the lights on’ virtually during SIP by Joanne Engelhardt

South Bay theaters have found some innovative ways to “keep the lights on” virtually even as their physical spaces remain shuttered while the “shelter in place” order is in effect. L…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 09:59AM
Friday, April 17, 2020

Peninsula theaters create virtual play spaces during SIP by Joanne Engelhardt

Necessity is the mother of virtual classes, which is what many Peninsula theater companies are ramping up right now. Los Alto Stage Company introduced several unusual virtual classes earlier…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:00AM
Friday, April 3, 2020

Bay Area nonprofit theaters weather ‘shelter in place’ order by Joanne Engelhardt

That old expression “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” has never been more apt for theater companies throughout the Bay Area, which are dark until the “shelter in place” ord…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:24AM
Tuesday, March 24, 2020

TheatreWorks costume crew sews remotely while sheltered in place by Joanne Engelhardt

With Bay Area theaters on a hard stop during the coronavirus “shelter-in-place” era, some theaters have devised innovative ways to stay relevant. TheatreWorks Silicon Valley followed the…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:17AM
Friday, March 13, 2020

Peninsula theater companies large and small cancel shows due to COVID-19 by Joanne Engelhardt

To close or not to close. That is the question facing local theater companies in the face of COVID-19. It’s not an easy decision to make because shuttering a theater production—either fo…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 04:36PM
Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Actress stands out as female aviator in TheatreWorks’ ‘Moon’ by Joanne Engelhardt

A tiny wisp of a girl—never more than 100 pounds even as a grown-up—is wrapping TheatreWorks Silicon Valley audiences around her finger at performances of “They Promised Her the Moon…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:24AM

‘Confession,’ ‘Waltz’ make for edgy repertory at Dragon by Joanne Engelhardt

Two plays, “Confession” by Barry Slater and “The Baltimore Waltz” by Paula Vogel, are in rotating repertory through April 5 at Dragon Theatre in Redwood City. Each is relatively shor…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 09:33AM
Friday, March 6, 2020

‘Drood’ has some good moments and some missteps by Joanne Engelhardt

What do you get when you combine an unfinished Charles Dickens novel, a music hall of the 1890s, a play within a play, broad (very broad) humor, a number of rather bland songs and a “myste…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:27AM
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Review: Marie stands out in long, complicated, but relevant ‘Oslo’ by Joanne Engelhardt

There’s a whole lot of testosterone on stage in Los Altos Stage Company’s production of “Oslo,” which runs through Feb. 16 at Bus Barn Theater in Los Altos. Despite the fact that thi…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 01:38AM
Monday, January 27, 2020

Review: Hillbarn’s new twist on ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ won’t connect with everyone by Joanne Engelhardt

After such a standout production of “Newsies” in December, it’s unfortunate that Hillbarn Theatre in Foster City has come up with what is, essentially, a somewhat lackluster version of…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 06:26PM
Saturday, January 25, 2020

Review: Tachis and Wright deliver comedic antics in ‘Taking Steps’ by Joanne Engelhardt

British playwright Alan Ayckbourn has written more than 70 plays, most of them comedies and quite a number of which could rightly be called farces. “Taking Steps” is one of those, though…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 01:15AM
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Review: Get ready for some clever mind play in Haley’s ‘Nether’ by Joanne Engelhardt

In the rather other-worldly place of “The Nether,” a somewhat disturbing play by Jennifer Haley now at Dragon Productions Theatre in Redwood City, the world – at least the world in the…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 02:37AM

Review: Costumes and cast stand out in ‘A Doll’s House, Part 2’ by Joanne Engelhardt

Palo Alto Players is currently offering “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” a bit of a hard sell in this day and age when it’s likely not everyone is familiar with Henrik Ibsen’s original cl…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 02:29AM
Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Review: Redd literally owns the stage in ‘You/Emma’ by Joanne Engelhardt

“You/Emma” running through Sunday, Dec. 15 at Pear Theatre in Mountain View appears, at first glance, to be a trifling play. It’s a one-woman show that’s written by a woman and is ab…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 12:44AM
Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Review: Los Altos Stage Company’s ‘Miracle’ much different than silver screen classic by Joanne Engelhardt

The first “Miracle on 34th Street” told the story of a little girl who didn’t believe in Santa Claus and the man who came into her life and helped her believe. That’s the plot of the…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 12:38AM
Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Review: Palo Alto Players’ ‘Christmas Story’ falls short on stage by Joanne Engelhardt

There’s so much squeaky-clean goodness, corny juvenile fun and quite a few excellent performances in the Palo Alto Players’ production of “A Christmas Story, the Musical” that it’s…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 09:23PM
Monday, November 11, 2019

Review: Strong acting and singing performances make ‘Into the Woods’ worthwhile by Joanne Engelhardt

Strong vocal and acting performances make the current Broadway by the Bay production of the Stephen Sondheim- James Levine musical of reconstructed fairy tales, “Into the Woods,” pleasur…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 05:44PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Review: Dragon’s ‘Anne of the Thousand Days’ is a lot to digest by Joanne Engelhardt

King Henry VIII of England, who had six wives and way more than that many mistresses, apparently only spent 1,000 days with one of them, Anne Boleyn. Then he had her beheaded. British histor…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 10:39AM
Thursday, October 24, 2019

Demise of factories, strong unions play out in Pear Theatre’s ‘Sweat’ by Joanne Engelhardt

A scrappy little play called “Sweat” – which just happened to win the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for drama for its playwright, Lynn Nottage, is getting a pretty decent, rough-and-tumble produ…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 09:23AM
Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Review: ‘It’s Only a Play’ falls flat on many levels by Joanne Engelhardt

The big question is why Hillbarn Theatre would want to squander its hard-earned dollars on such an outdated (despite its updates), unfunny, mostly uninteresting play as “It’s Only a Play…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 02:01AM
Monday, September 16, 2019

Review: Palo Alto Players’ ‘Bright Star’ connects on many levels by Joanne Engelhardt

Lyrical, enigmatic, lively, maudlin, affecting and, ultimately heart-tugging. That’s a capsule description of Palo Alto Players’ beautifully conceived production of “Bright Star,” th…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 04:13PM

Review: What makes everyone’s mortal clock tick in ‘Hickorydickory’ by Joanne Engelhardt

It’s all about time – or the lack of it – in Marisa Wegrzyn’s quirky surrealist comedy “Hickorydickory” that runs through September 29 at Dragon Productions Theatre in Redwood Ci…

Linked From San Jose Mercury News at 03:28PM

All that Chat

Oct 06: Slave Play
Feb 01: The Minutes
TBA: Blue