Broadway Under the Stars Summer 2018
Outdoor concerts and music festivals are a highlight when enjoying the Sonoma Wine Country region of the San Francisco Bay Area, as guests gather at parks and wineries for world-class performances.
The annual Broadway Under the Stars series by Transcendence Theatre Company combines the best of them all, with top talent strutting their stuff all summer long at the spectacular Kohler & Frohling winery ruins in Jack London State Historic Park.
While concerts start when the sun begins to set at 7:30 p.m., guests converge on the park lawn at 5 p.m., for festive picnics. Just a few of the food truck bites available for purchase include Glen Ellen Star ice cream, FigRig (the girl & the fig) sliders and wood fired pizza, and juicy steak from TIPS Tri-Tip Trolley. You can also bring in your own feast. Live music on the lawn gets the party started.
And it is a party. Local wineries like Benziger Family Winery, Chateau St. Jean, GlenLyon Winery, and Two Amigos sell glasses of wine, while if you purchase a VIP ticket, your admission includes two complimentary glasses per person.
Here are some highlights I enjoyed at the June opening series, Stairway to Paradise. Keep these tips in mind for your own enjoyment of summer’s three other series, too — Fantastical Family Night (July 13 and 14), Shall We Dance (Aug. 3-5), and the Gala Celebration season-closing showstopper (Sept. 7-9).
Feel Good While Having Fun: Event proceeds benefit the park preservation, helping maintain “Beauty Ranch” and its gorgeous historic buildings. Options ($35-$149) include VIP, Premium, Select, general admission or youth (under 18), and all seats in the intimate garden winery setting offer excellent stage views. All seats, too, including general admission, are reserved, which means the concerts are great for groups of any size.
Buy a Bottle: You can continue to sip wines throughout the shows.
Tap Your Toes: Music is high energy. Stairway to Paradise brought near-gymnast moves from the talented troupe, performing hits like Shaleah Adkisson’s joyous take on "Get Happy" and "Air Conditioner," plus Luis Figeuroa’s snappy take on "Le Jazz Hot."
Sing Along: The Stairway to Paradise crowd filled the night air, crooning along with “Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard,” “Can’t Stop The Feeling,” and “American Pie.”
Bring a Wrap: With the open-air setting and Sonoma Valley’s cool nights, you’ll want to have a sweater or jacket.
Cheer: These community-oriented events really celebrate Sonoma County. The full company of Broadway Under the Stars — Stairway to Paradise performed a delightful, Sonoma inspired version of the title song from the Broadway musical "Oklahoma" (sing it loud: We're only sayin'… You're doin' fine, Sonoma! Sonoma, C-A!)
Last three photos by Ray Mabry.