WVLO’s “Once Upon a Mattress” is coming to Saratoga in March/April 2020

By Ande Jacobson

West Valley Light Opera (affectionately known as WVLO) is working hard to open its next production, Once Upon a Mattress, with music by Mary Rodgers (yes, the daughter of that Rodgers), lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Deal Fuller, and Marshall Barer. This little theatre staple has been around since 1959. The show, running 7 March – 4 April 2020 in Saratoga, brings Hans Christian Anderson’s tale of “The Princess and the Pea” to the stage with a lively score, vivid staging, and lots of wit and humor. The story follows a hapless prince and an unconventional princess (originally played by Carol Burnett) trying to overcome an evil queen’s cunning and hilarious attempts to keep them apart. There’s a second love story in the mix as that couple deals with an urgent (and emergent) situation. Through it all, audiences will enjoy the many colorful characters in the kingdom. This is a happy, fairy-tale show guaranteed to have audiences smiling and fighting the urge to hum along with the many familiar songs such as In a Little While, Happily Ever After, Sensitivity, and Normandy. Continue reading


‘The Will Rogers Follies’ pit chronicles in getting to opening

By Ande Jacobson

West Valley Light Opera (affectionately known as WVLO) is presenting a spectacle chronicling the life and times of Will Rogers in its production of The Will Rogers Follies. The show opens on 22 June 2019 and runs through 20 July 2019 at the Saratoga Civic Theater. Will Rogers’ personality comes through in this stage adaptation highlighting the more memorable aspects of his life. Rogers was known for offering his observations from his many travels, and while he poked fun at various controversial topics along the way, he did so gently, offending no one and appealing to people from all walks of life. This production is full of folksy charm, the color and glitz of The Ziegfeld Follies, and of course a smattering of rope tricks. Continue reading

WVLO’s “Irene”, where 9th Avenue meets 5th Avenue

wvlo-irene-1By Ande Jacobson

WVLO closes its Golden Anniversary season with Irene. Enjoy this fun-filled musical featuring a good old-fashioned love story between a working class girl and a high society boy. Here, the music industry collides with the fashion industry, or if you prefer, 9th Avenue meets 5th Avenue. The show first debuted on Broadway in 1919 and enjoyed two subsequent revivals in 1923 and 1973 – the latter revival being the basis for WVLO’s production. Continue reading

Join WVLO for an Oklahoma hello!

wvlo-ok-eller-curleyBy Ande Jacobson

WVLO’s fall production of Oklahoma! enters its fourth week this holiday weekend. Fear not though. The show runs through December 6th, so there’s still time to enjoy the folksy warmth that will engulf you when you come to Saratoga to catch this classic Rodgers and Hammerstein show. Even if you don’t know the story, you’ve likely heard some of the music such as “Oh What a Beautiful Mornin’” and the title tune “Oklahoma!” Continue reading

WVLO is “Crazy For You” to join them for some summer musical fun

Crazy4U_3163_5x7c_300dpiBy Ande Jacobson

West Valley Light Opera is finishing off its 49th season with Crazy For You, a rollicking, all-Gershwin musical with a story based on their 1930 collaboration, Girl Crazy. Crazy For You, which debuted in 1992, not only has music from the original show, it adds several hit songs from other Gershwin musicals. Some familiar favorites include: “K-ra-zy for You,” “I Can’t Be Bothered Now,” “Shall We Dance?,” “Slap That Bass,” “I Got Rhythm,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” and a snippet from “Concerto In F.” Continue reading

Join WVLO for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF opening on 9 November


By Ande Jacobson

The village of Anatevka has taken over the stage at the Saratoga Civic Theater as final preparations are under way for West Valley Light Opera’s FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. The excitement continues to build as opening night nears. The show is full of familiar songs such as “Tradition”, “If I Were a Rich Man”, “Sunrise, Sunset”, “To Life!”, and “Sabbath Prayer”. Come see dances such as the “Bottle Dance”. Enjoy the gentle humor and rousing celebrations by the exuberant villagers and be touched by their hope and spirit in the face of tragedy. Tickets are selling well, but WVLO would love to see a full house for the gala opening night on 9 November 2013. Please call 408-268-3777 or visit the WVLO website at http://www.wvlo.org to order your tickets now. You’ll be glad you did. Continue reading

WVLO’s “Fiddler on the Roof” opens in November

brook-michelbergBy Ande Jacobson

“A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof, trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck…how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in a word – tradition!”

West Valley Light Opera is proud to present its production of Fiddler on the Roof this November and December in Saratoga, CA. Continue reading

Switching perspectives – A Good Reed Review takes a summer hiatus playing instead of writing

By Ande Jacobson

While there’s no shortage of theatre to see in the SF Bay Area this summer, A Good Reed Review will be short on reviews until September as this writer is once again moving back into a musician’s role for a time playing a stretch of performances in Saratoga and San Jose. Continue reading