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Musical Chairs

Raven Players expand, NB Stage debuts, NVP hits the road

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STRANGE HABITS The Raven Players take 'Nunsense' to their theater in Windsor.
  • STRANGE HABITS The Raven Players take 'Nunsense' to their theater in Windsor.

'Nunsense . . . is habit forming," sings a chorus of slightly risqué sisters in Dan Goggin's popular musical Nunsense, currently playing in Windsor at the brand-new Raven Players Windsor theater. That remark about "habits" could also apply to a recent habit among North Bay theater companies: changing locations.

In the case of the Raven Players, they haven't abandoned their home base in Healdsburg; they've merely added to their fiefdom, acquiring a cinderblock building (formerly a church) right off the Windsor Town Green, where they will be presenting the same kind of musicals and classics that have made the Raven a local institution. Between the two Raven theaters, the next few months will be packed with shows like Noises Off (opening April 25) and Les Misérables.

Yes, there have been recent performances of those shows at other companies in the area. As to the question of how many repetitions of the same shows the North Bay needs, well, we're about to learn the answer.

Adding to the fun is the brand-new North Bay Stage Company, a split-off from the Raven, which will hold a gala this month, whipping up enthusiasm for its first season of shows, beginning in July with Kander and Ebb's Cabaret and continuing with A. R. Gurney's Sylvia. The new company will make its home at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, a deliberately central move for the performers who, as members of the Raven Players, often coveted the audiences of companies a bit less far from Santa Rosa.

Meanwhile, the Napa Valley Players are winding up their final season at their longtime home, a charmingly eccentric theater space tucked into a corner of a Napa strip mall. Facing the necessity of expensive renovations, NVP has decided to hit the road, performing in a number of spots around the Napa area. Their final musical will be a show as unstoppable as Nunsense. The Marvelous Wonderettes will signal the end of an era for NVP, as the North Bay theater scene continues its ongoing game of musical chairs.

'Nunsense' runs Thursday–Sunday, through April 19 at Raven Theater Windsor. 195 Windsor River Road, Windsor. Thursday–Saturday at 8pm; 2pm matinees on Sundays. $10–$35. 707.433.6335. North Bay Stage Company's Grand Gala is Thursday, April 24, at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts. 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa. 8pm. $26. 707.546.3600. 'The Marvelous Wonderettes' runs Friday–Sunday, May 16–June 8 at the Napa Valley Playhouse. 1637 Imola Ave., Napa. Friday–Saturday at 8pm; 2pm matinees on Sundays. $10–$22. 707.255.5483.

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