Broadway Under the Stars Brings Music and Hope to Jack London State Historic Park.

As massive budget cuts threaten the future of Jack London State Historical Park, help looms in the wings – of Broadway that is.

Need a creative solution to raise some funds? Why not look to Broadway to strike up the band and put on a show.

That's the gist behind the Los Angeles-based Transcendence Theatre Company's upcoming show this Saturday, at the Kohler and Rohling Winery ruins located in Jack London State Historic Park, in Glen Ellen.

Once home to, and now a memorial for, the famous writer and adventurer Jack London, who is best remembered for his novel: Call of the Wild, is one of 70 California state parks set to permanently close by July 2012 due to state budget cuts.

London left behind more than 50 books and a ranch he described as heaven on earth, where he championed many of his cutting-edge sustainability techniques.

The parks on the state's hit-list already charge user fees to enter, and draw nearly 6 million visitors a year. Nearly 50 percent of California’s historic parks are on the closure list.

The concert will feature music from some of Broadway’s greatest musicals as well as popular standards from the Great American Songbook. Poceeds of the event will benefit the , a non-profit volunteer organization that supports Jack London, Sugarloaf Ridge, and Annadel State Parks.

Performers include Broadway’s Stephen Stubbins (Mary Poppins), Amy Miller and Melissa Giattino (42nd Street), Brooke Tansely (Hairspray), Eric Jackson (Young Frankenstein), and Jared Bradshaw (Jersey Boys).

Amy Miller began researching outdoor theatre companies across America in May and discovered that many began in state parks.

“Ironically,” said Miller, “I started researching Sonoma parks the same week the park closures were announced.”

When the company's founding artists visited the venue, Miller said they were “blown away” and pitched the idea for a show to District Superintendent, Steve Bachman.

“We’re in talks with California State Parks, Valley of the Moon Natural History Association, and the Parks Alliance of Sonoma,” said Miller. “We’re hoping to produce a season of musicals starting the summer of 2012.”

If the park remains open and Miller and Co. is given a contract, she said they plan to  move to Sonoma permanently and begin building a theatre company that will produce Broadway musicals under the stars, engage in community service, and offer educational programs.

Not surprisingly, the company has never performed in winery ruins. “The first time we walked into the gorgeous venue,” said Miller, “we knew it was the most remarkable space for theatre.”

Catch the show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1 at the Kohler and Frohling Winery ruins located in Jack London State Historic PArk.  Tickets are available by advance purchase for $35, $40 at the door, and a $25 student rate (under 18). Park Advocate “VIP” reserve seating is available for $100.

There will be pre-show picnicking in the park at 5:00 and a reception will follow the 7:30 show. ctober 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Melissa Horton September 30, 2011 at 04:29 PM
So excited!!!
Alexis Fitts September 30, 2011 at 07:00 PM
Thanks for the comment Melissa!


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