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Review: Transcendence Theatre's 'BROADWAY IN SONOMA' in the Magical Field of Dreams - If You Dream It, They Will Come

BWW Review: Transcendence Theatre’s ‘Broadway in Sonoma’ in the Magical Field of Dreams - If You Dream It, They Will Come

By: Jun. 24, 2024
Review: Transcendence Theatre's 'BROADWAY IN SONOMA' in the Magical Field of Dreams - If You Dream It, They Will Come  Image
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The Transcendence Theatre Company kicked off its 2024 summer season with ‘Summertime!’ in an actual field of dreams at Fazio Field baseball park in the heart of downtown Sonoma.  Now in its (lucky) 13th year, this company has certainly transcended nearly impossible obstacles to keep its vision alive.  What started as a dream and a truck on a cross country RV road trip in 2010 has now evolved into a state-of-the-art full Broadway-style production year after glorious year, regardless of location.  Dreams have no boundaries, and powerhouse couple Amy Miller (Creative Vision Director) and Brad Surosky (Executive Director) are certainly a testament to that.  Quoting Vincent van Gogh on opening night, Miller proudly exclaims, “I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.”  And dream big they do.

Review: Transcendence Theatre's 'BROADWAY IN SONOMA' in the Magical Field of Dreams - If You Dream It, They Will Come  Image
Photo Credit: Rob Martel

With litigation still pending between the California Park Rangers Association and the California Department of Parks and Recreation (State Parks), Transcendence Theatre was forced once again to find a new location to host its coveted summer shows.  Sonoma Mayor John Gurney spoke on opening night and acknowledged, “It was a rough road getting here, but we’re here.”  While the road has indeed been difficult, one thing has always remained consistent – the talent driven by passion that emerges is truly a thing to behold.  Kicking off the program with an appropriate “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in honor of the late Willie Mays, the audience was amped up and ready to get the ball rolling for ‘Summertime!’ 

There is a special energy when the sun begins to set and a uniquely talented group of artists assemble together on stage to share their brilliance and create magic.  The opening medley kicked off in classic yacht rock style with songs like “Summerbreeze,” “Take Me Away,” “Summer Nights” from Grease, and “The Heat is On,” all sung mostly in ensemble format.  Sharone Sayegh then led a poignant “Colors of the Wind” and Aaron LaVigne showed off his style singing Bob Marley’s “One Love.”  Keyboardist Caitlyn Bogart joined Michael Schimmele in a profound rendition of “True Colors,” which was a beautiful tribute to Pride Month.  We also heard an eclectic mix of songs ranging from “Free Ride,” “I Can See Clearly Now (led by talented Andy Saehan Shin),” “Muddy Waters,” and more.

During intermission, performer Michael Schimmele (posed as a butler) walked around to audience members and poured wine to guests to kick off the first song of the second act, "Be Our Guest."

Review: Transcendence Theatre's 'BROADWAY IN SONOMA' in the Magical Field of Dreams - If You Dream It, They Will Come  Image
Photo Credit: Rob Martel

At the top of Act 2, Miller and Surosky acknowledged the many sponsors who continue to support Transcendence and all the incredible work they do each year.  We were then swept away as the talented cast continued with a delightful and inviting “Be Our Guest” from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, “Red, Red Wine,” and a fun twist on “Rodgers & Hammerstein's OKLAHOMA!” swapping lyrics to “Oh, Sonoma!”  A highlight during this Act was bringing a couple of volunteers on stage and hosting “Matchmaker, Matchmaker” in the form of a hilarious unscripted game show.  And a standout performance was Aaron LaVigne who brought chills singing a powerful and spellbinding “Dare You to Move.”

The cast is made up of diverse and exceptional talent from all across the country, featuring Broadway, Off-Broadway, Regional and National Tour performers, as well as television and film stars.  Each and every artist had the opportunity to showcase their talents, whether through voice or dance or a combination of both.  

Throughout the two-Act show, Monica Kapoor’s choreography was energetic and moving and showcased some of the best talent in the country, including Allyson Carr who danced back-up with Arianna Grande, Pink, and Britney Spears, and Shiloh Goodin who starred in A CHORUS LINE and now choreographs shows all over the country.  The seven-piece band led by Musical Director Matt Smart positioned themselves toward the back of the stage for the duration of the performance, which allowed the bright sounds to freeflow directly into the audience.  Jeffrey Porter created a visually stunning stage with his lighting design to highlight the performers and the magical setting of the field of dreams.

This season, instead of food trucks on site, guests were encouraged to enjoy dinner, shopping, and wine-tasting prior to the show in the many restaurants around the historic Sonoma Plaza.  Gold level patrons had the opportunity to arrive two hours prior to the performance for entrance to the RBC Wealth Management Gold Lounge, while other ticket holders received entrance one hour before showtime.  All were welcome to purchase wine, beer, and other beverages on site.

For a sneak peek of this season, check out the video:

Transcendence Theatre’s ‘Broadway in Sonoma’ series continues with the following upcoming performances:

July 25-28: Don’t Stop Us Now

August 15-18: Dancing in the Street

September 19-22: The Gala: A Sentimental Journey

Make Transcendence Theatre part of your summer tradition by attending one of their fabulous shows and supporting this incredibly talented group of artists.  Wherever they land, you'll know they'll be home and will fill your heart with love and admiration.  When you support Transcendence, every donation ensures that they can continue their mission to fund their rich variety of programming, including arts education, community outreach, and celebrated productions.  Transcendence is a non-profit organization.  Donations account for more than half of their annual budget.

For tickets and more information, visit

Photo Credit: Rob Martel


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