Bill Lynch: Our ‘transcendent’ company

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If you haven’t yet seen Transcendence Theatre Company’s Broadway Under the Stars show yet this season, you have one last chance coming up on Friday, Saturday or Sunday, Sept. 7, 8 or 9.

It is the annual “Gala Celebration,” the grand finale of another successful series of Transcendence shows at Jack London State Park.

I will admit to considerable favorable bias regarding Transcendence, its founders Amy Miller, Brad Surosky and Stephan Stubbins, their staff, and the incredibly talented guest Broadway artists they bring in ever year.

That’s because some have been our houseguests. Dottie and I just can’t help ourselves; we sort of adopt them.

They come here, usually from New York, stay with us for a five or six weeks while rehearsing and performing in the shows at Jack London State Historic Park. Then they return to the “Great White Way” to continue the pursuit of their dreams. Some even choose to come back to Sonoma Valley for a second, third or even fourth season, which is how we sometimes have three of four of our “adoptees” in a cast.

Having raised our own four kids, it seems natural for us to open our hearts as well as our home to these sweet, wonderful and talented young actors, whose love of musical theater compels them to give up so much to perform before an appreciative audience.

Most recently, we had the great pleasure of hosting Stephanie Jae Park, one of the featured artists of the August show, “Shall We Dance.”

She has a beautiful voice and marvelous stage presence. Her performances moved us to tears of joy and pride.

Stephanie, like all the other Transcendence guest artists who have stayed with us over the last six years, is not only a great talent, she is also smart, considerate, and delightful company.

When she told us her mother, Haewon, and older sister, Natalie, were flying for the last weekend of the show, we immediately invited them to be our guests, too, which they graciously accepted.

What a treat. We learned immediately from where Stephanie inherited her grace, charm and great wit.

All of us fortunate enough to live in the Valley of the Moon can have a familial and proprietary connection to Transcendence Theatre Company. Amy, Brad and Stephan and most of their full-time staff are now members of our community. Many of their artists have returned for three or more seasons.

For fans of musical theater, there is simply nothing comparable anywhere else. We can get involved if we choose, and get to know the cast and crew. Many are now our neighbors and friends.

I submit that this fact alone makes every Transcendence show we see, “The best night ever.”

This year’s gala is a great show with a great cast. It is a wonderful way to spend a perfect evening in our own Valley of the Moon.

Seats are still available. Go to / to buy some now.

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