Celebrating culture in Glen Ellen
This weekend’s performance of “The Magic Toy Shop,” Nov. 19 and 20, at 1 p.m. in Sonoma’s beloved historic movie house, the Sebastiani Theatre, features some very talented and dedicated dancers from Glen Ellen and Kenwood. Among those girls are two former Dunbar students, now at Sonoma Valley High School. Elizabeth Eagles dances as the jack-in-the-box, while her friend Isabel Falls is the shopkeeper. Current Dunbar student Lailie Weiss performs as the goat.
Jocelin Garcia dances as the dragon while Violet Heffernan from Woodland Star dances the Tarantella. Another Sonoma Valley High student, Jamie Melendy, is the Cossack. Natalie Palmgren takes the part of one of the spoiled daughters who sets the toyshop’s rebellion into action and creates the story for the ballet.
The original ballet “La Boutique Fantasque,” with memorable music by Ottorino Resphighi, is the inspiration for this local performance. Sonoma Ballet Conservatory’s Director Patty O’Reilly working with Brooke Byrne of San Francisco’s Khadra International Dance Theatre has created this adaptation especially for the Sonoma Valley dancers. Along with Resphighi’s rousing dance music, they have incorporated music from Josef Bayer’s ballet, “The Fairy Doll.”
While parents, siblings and other assorted relatives of the dancers heavily populate the audience, it’s also a show that can be thoroughly enjoyed by folks like me. It’s simply a lovely venue and occasion to enjoy some of our local kids in a beautiful and timeless story. Hint: this is the perfect afternoon excursion for some of our Dunbar mentors and their mentees.
Tickets may be available on the day of the performance but to avoid disappointment, I suggest calling Sonoma Ballet Conservatory office at 938-1424 or the Sebastiani Theatre office at 996-9756 to reserve yours.
This performance reminds me how fortunate (many would proclaim, blessed) we are in this Valley with so many fantastic cultural events. Last week following our Vox Pop choir practice all up buzz was about two recent plays: “Romeo and Juliet” at the Community Center and Narrow Way Stage Company’s “Bug.” The enthusiastic endorsements of these two shows (already past, so if you missed them you’ll just have to wait for the next rounds of these talented companies) were lively. As soon as I can figure out a way to incorporate Narrow Way’s upcoming season into a mostly (though not strictly) Glen Ellen column, I’ll tell you about their upcoming season. Trust me (and a dedicated cadre of other theater lovers), you will find their shows provocative, challenging and, always, entertaining.
For now, I want to remind you about this weekend’s Glen Ellen Historical Society meeting. It’s a community “Show and Tell” where local folks are encouraged to share photos and swap stories of their visions of Glen Ellen’s past. If you’ve lived here for years, but don’t think you can remember any stories, join the group and soon your own memories will surface. New to our village? This community forum provides an easy avenue to feel like a long time local. Join your friends and neighbors this Saturday, Nov. 19, 2 to 4 p.m., at Mayflower Hall next to the O’Donnell Lane Community Church. There’s no charge so Jim Shere, the Glen Ellen Historical Society’s director warns, “it’s wise to come early because the hall fills up really fast.” See you there.
Last week I offered up grateful thanks to our Glen Ellen Historical Society’s dynamic board members, yet failed to provide their names. Along with executive director Jim, the board includes Anne Teller, Marge Everidge, Dorothy Johnson, Angela Nardo-Morgan, Archie Horton, Steven Lee and Arthur Dawson. They use a charming and lively photo of “Merrymakers at the Chauvet Winery a century ago,” as a sort of icon/logo. We remind them to snap a similar shot of themselves for society members to enjoy in the next century.
Share your good news with friends and neighbors in Glen Ellen. Call me at 996-5995; write me at Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me @ Creekbottom@earthlink.net. Glen Ellen chatter rarely requires timeliness; however, if your news does, please be sure to contact me at least two weeks before the run date.