Articles by Susan Rife

About Susan Rife
Lover of arts & books; ukulele learner; therapeutic knitter; long-distance runner. Former Arts and Books Editor at Herald-Tribune.

‘Four Immigrants’: A Review

A rollicking turn-of-the-century San Francisco provides the backdrop to an exciting new musical that shows America simultaneously as a land of opportunity and a sometimes cruel, unwelcoming host to immigrants. In “The Four Immigrants: An American Musical Manga,” the [...]

Feel the love

Rafiki, Mumfasa, Simba and other denizens of the African savanna will arrive on the stage at Gilroy High School this weekend for the Gilroy Parks and Recreation Department’s annual summer show. Disney’s The Lion King Jr., a condensed version designed specifically for cast [...]

Wild Willy Wonka

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka is just the sort of light trifle that will amuse adults and children alike on a hot summer evening—as refreshing as an ice cream cone. Directed by Carol Harris with choreography by Jyovonne Montosa at Morgan Hill’s South Valley Civic Theatre, the [...]

Chocolate with a twist

It’s hard to imagine a more perfect show for community theater groups than Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, with a cast that can be expanded to accommodate any number of aspiring and experienced actors, and of all ages from little kids to grandparents. And imagination is the key [...]

Three sibling circus

A charming production of Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning family comedy, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike brings together three siblings and the younger lover of one at South Valley Civic Theatre for a production billed as “three siblings. One hot mess.” [...]

Cabaret performances

Limelight Actors Theater had a perfect plan for its spring show: Souvenir, a 2006 play by Stephen Temperley that featured the relationship between New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins, who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, and her accompanist, Cosme McMoon. A movie [...]

Dancing Feet

My experience with community theater musicals is that the top of the cast list is pretty strong, and diminishes once you’re past the leads. Not so with the South Valley Civic Theatre (SVCT) production of ‘Footloose, the Musical,’ Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie’s [...]

Outlandish in the Ozarks

Farce is one of the theatrical forms well suited to the community theater, what with its over-the-top characters, zany plots and wild action. Gilroy’s Pintello Comedy Theater is making the most of its six-play collaboration with playwrights Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and [...]

Longing for stardom

A theatrical family plus some wish-they-were-famous folks get together for a summer theater festival in Massachusetts a year after a key family member’s death with the expected range of emotional responses in Donald Margulies’ comic drama The Country House. The [...]
1 2 3 4