Buried in the lyrics of “Being Alive,” Stephen Sondheim’s classic from the Broadway musical “Company,” is the encrypted password to the creative riddle of the Transcendence Theatre Company, which opened its 2014 season at Jack London State Historic Park – the third in its young and meteoric life – last Friday.
If you don’t know about the Transcendence Theatre Company and their “Broadway Under the Stars” summer concert series – performed inside the old open-air winery ruins, at the park that was almost closed in the state budget crisis – then perhaps you don’t often read this newspaper.
We have fawned over Transcendence since their first, tentative test run in October of 2011, when they spent money they didn’t have to produced one performance on a night when it was supposed to rain and some locals warned them not to expect more then a couple hundred people.
The rain never arrived but 900 people showed up to see a stunningly professional, vastly entertaining and equally inspiring night of song and dance while a full moon chased a gallery of clouds across the spine of Sonoma Mountain. It was musical magic.
Since then, support for Transcendence, and for the public-private partnership between California State Parks and the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association that makes the concerts possible, has expanded exponentially. In the first two years, Transcendence contributed more than $72,000 to Jack London State Park and helped build a devout following for the successful effort to keep it open.