Peninsula theater companies return to live performances – The Mercury News

Live theater takes place across the peninsula with both Palo Alto Players and Hillbarn Theater announcing their upcoming seasons of major musicals, comedies, Shakespeare and historical fiction.

Before that happens, Foothill College is performing “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at the Smithwick Theater in Los Altos Hills from July 23 through August. 1.

“Charlie Brown” is based on the famous comic book “Peanuts” by Charles Schultz and includes musical numbers written by Clark Gesner and Andrew Lippa. The playful show explores life through the eyes of Charlie Brown and the entire “Peanuts” gang.

Foothill’s version is directed by Milissa Carey, with Dolores Duran-Cefalu in charge of musical direction. The theater observes social distancing in the seats, with mandatory masks for all spectators.

The July 25 performance is the annual Foothill Theater Arts Foundation gala, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Theater Department.

Tickets are $ 10 to $ 40. For more information call the box office at 650-949-7360 or visit

Palo Alto players have scheduled a “special show” to wrap up their current season before the news opens in mid-September. This is the one-man show created by actor Fred Pitts titled “Are you not…?” Pitts, who has performed several times at the Lucie Stern Theater, will be on stage again August 20-29. On-demand streaming will also be available from August 27 to September 7. 5.

The Players’ 91st season, which they call “Reconnections”, opens with a new version of the musical “Working” from September 17 to October 17. 3. The show, based on the book Studs Terkel, was first adapted by Stephen Schwartz and Nina Faso, but this production includes new songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda and several others.

The new version also updates occupations to match today’s jobs and focuses primarily on essential workers. Another big change: the production uses a cast of just six actors to play the 25 characters of “Working”.

Artistic Director Patrick Klein, who runs “Working,” says the company “seeks a strong representation of BIPOC artists as well as artists of other under-represented identities in all of its productions.” We consider diversity in the cast and production staff (colorful and identity-conscious) as the key to real fairness, ”Klein adds.

The four other productions of the season of PAP are:

“The Revolutionaries” by Lauren Gunderson, November 5-21. Four formidable women try not to lose their heads in this irreverent and rebellious comedy which takes place during the French Revolution;

“Men on Boats” by Jaclyn Backhaus, January 14-30. Imagine 10 men, all represented by women, four boats and two mighty rivers;

“Allegiance” by Marc Acito, Jay Kuo and Lorenzo Thione, from April 22 to May 8. The play tells the story of the Kimura family, who were forced to leave their home in Salinas following the bombing of Pearl Harbor;

“Twelfth Night” by William Shakespeare, June 10-26. The boys dress up as girls, the girls as boys and a lot of hilarious confusion as only the bard creates.

For more information on tickets, visit or call the box office at 650-329-0891.

Foster City’s Hillbarn Theater opens its 81st season with the Fats Waller musical “Ain’t Misbehavin ‘” from October 8-24.

“After waiting backstage for over 16 months, now is the time for each of us to return to our respective places in the theater and bring our collective energy and joy back to our common place of empathy,” said Hillbarn Executive Artistic Director Dan Demers. .

The rest of the season is a quartet of diverse shows:

“The 1940s Radio Hour” reproduces a music radio show from the Astor Algonquin Room Hotel in New York City and features WWII songs like “Strike Up the Band” and “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”. It takes place from December 3 to 19;

“Clue On Stage,” based on the Hasbro board game and a 1985 film, runs February 25 through March 13;

“I love you, you are perfect, now change”, a musical review that traces the arc of a romantic relationship, from April 22 to May 8;

“The Four Gifts” runs from June 3-12. According to the memoir of Father Joe Bradley, this is the play that was due to open shortly after the theater was closed by COVID-19 almost two years ago.

For more information on tickets, visit or dial 650-349-6411, extension 2.

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