“I’m picturing a theatre outdoors.
Stars. Lights. One with nature. One with brilliance.
I am picturing creating magic under the stars with all my friends.
Transcendence Theatre Company Artistic Director Amy Miller read the above quote from her journal, an entry dated back from 2008. As you know, Amy’s patience paid off.
Check out the summer preview video!
Although it was an extremely tight timeline, it all came together. July 14, 2012 marked a day to remember for Transcendence Theatre Company as the first performance of Broadway Under the Stars became a reality. With a sold-out crowd of excited guests, family, friends and local supporters of this theatre company, performances took place in the historical winery ruins of Jack London State Park. This incredible outdoor theatre set on the Sonoma Mountain, surrounded by vineyards was the ideal place for Transcendence Theatre Company to call home. “On our way back to LA we made our way through Sonoma and after a day in Sonoma we knew we had found our home,” says Amy Miller.
“It feels like magic here,” says Carrie Manolakos, who is positioned in the top 100 of the iTunes pop charts and also appeared in Mamma Mia! and Wicked on Broadway. “It’s so nice to be out here and so cool to be thinking about this as a space to do art, and to create shows and music and share that with people, and this is such a special place.”
After an around-the-country tour in RV’s to find the perfect place to start their company and fundraising in Mexico, Transcendence Theatre Company settled on Sonoma and from there, things came into place rather suddenly. Opening weekend started with pre-show picnicking at 5:00 after being greeted by the artists themselves at the ticket counters, wine booths and around the park grounds. On the way down to the picnic area, folks could read some of the history of Jack London and the park, passing by a sign that reads “Jack London had a dream.” The perfect way to enter into a night of unforgettable Broadway performances and songs.
Food trucks, lined the edges of a field in Jack London State Park for those who did not bring a picnic offering cupcakes, crepes, chicken, fries, Thai and more. Folks began lining up for prime seating around 7 p.m. to secure their spot in the front. Transcendence Theatre provided blankets to the VIP ticket holders for a little extra warmth on the cold nights.
Once the shows started, it was magic. Performers belted out Broadway tunes most would recognize, clap and sing along with and enjoy. Spotlights shined on the stage at the front of the ruins, but the archway in the middle provided a view of the surrounding vineyards and the entrance for each performance. Songs including “Dream the Impossible Dream,” the theme of the first set of performances, “This is the Moment,” “Defying Gravity,” “Corner of the Sky,” “Broadway Baby,” “Moondance,” “What I did for love,” and other hits showcased the talents of the performers.
“I live in New York City, been dancing since I was six years old. I sing, dance, act I do it all,” says Nicolas Dromard, whose credentials include Hairspray, Wicked, Mamma Mia, Oklahoma, Mary Poppins and more. All of the performers flooding Sonoma are multi-talented and share their talents with all in attendance. “The audience was with us the whole time. They loved every number, they were cheering, they were applauding during numbers and clapping along, it was really magical. It was like the Valley of the Moon was there supporting us and the spirit of Jack London helped us do this.”
Dromard says guests can continue to look forward to amazing talent, more great numbers and the same energy and connection that this amazing series brings all summer long. Dream the Impossible Dream continues this weekend July 20, 21 and 22.
Last weekends show ‘Fantastical Family Night’ on August 3 and 4, featured music from Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid and more. Guests shared a joyful and inspiring night together as a family.
Television star Anneliese van der Pol, “Chelsea Daniels” from Disney Channel’s That’s so Raven, and Brooke Tansley, Broadway’s “Belle” from Beauty and the Beast, as well as 15 additional Broadway and Hollywood performers. The concerts featured an appearance by local kids, teens and young adults who participated in the Broadway Under The Stars Kids Camp this summer!
The next shows include ‘What a Wonderful World’ August 16-18 and 24-26 and finally ‘Gala Celebration: One Day More!’ September 1. Transcendence Theatre Company will also be performing at venues across Sonoma County and the Bay Area. View the website for more information.