Like any proud parent, the, Inna Bayer of the Bayer Ballet Company wants her children — or, more precisely, her students — to have the chance to shine. As such, the Mountain View-based ballet company and school is inviting the public to its "Springtime Novelettes" recital this weekend, so that the community might see just what the young Bayer dancers are capable of achieving.
On June 7 and 8, Bayer student dancers, age 6 and up, will perform in a program featuring variations on some of the most celebrated ballets of all time — including Flames of Paris, Le Corsaire, Swan Lake and Sleeping Beauty.
These are "masterpieces of classical ballet and unique character dances," Bayer says through a thick Ukrainian accent.
Bayer says that inviting the community is important. The students could practice all their lives and never demonstrate what they've worked so hard to learn except for their parents and close friends. But what would be the point of that?
Performing before a live audience is part of ballet — and all of the performing arts for that matter — Bayer explains. "This is why we perform. It is good for the students. It makes them happy. It makes them proud."
It is good for the community, as well, Bayer reasons. It turns other children on to the possibility that they, too, could be ballet dancers, she says. Plus ballet can be inspiring to people of all ages — no matter the age of the performers. "It's always a good thing to see dancing youth on stage in beautiful costumes," Bayer says.
Springtime Novelettes will show twice — on June 7 at 5:30 p.m. and June 8 at 2:30 p.m. — at the Menlo-Atherton Center for the Performing Arts, at 555 Middlefield Road in Atherton. Tickets are $25. For more information, visit bayerballetacademy.com or call Brown Paper Tickets at 1-800-838-3006.
TheatreWorks does Sondheim
TheatreWorks is closing out its 2013-14 season with the Stephen Sondheim musical, "Marry Me A Little."
The musical, directed by TheatreWorks' artistic director Robert Kelley, follows two lonely New Yorkers — a man and a woman — as they while away their days in separate apartments, thinking about each other. The two have no idea they live just a floor away. Sharon Rietkerk and A.J. Shively play the lead characters, who are only ever identified by the pronouns "her" and "him."
Rietkerk has appeared in musicals with TheatreWorks and other theater companies, like the San
Jose Repertory Theatre and Berkeley Playhouse. Some of her past plays include "Little Women" and "Mrs. Hughes." She worked alongside Shively in TheatreWorks' 2012 production of "Triangle."
Shively made his Broadway debut in 2010, when he starred as Jean-Michel in "La Cage Aux Folles." He has also appeared in several movies, including "Hairbrained," "Syrup" and "Le Poison.
The Arts Council of the Silicon Valley presented Kelley, who founded TheatreWorks, with the Legacy Laureate award in 2012 for his lifetime of artistic achievement. The Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle presented him with both their Paine Knickerbocker award for lifetime achievement and for his direction of TheatreWorks' productions of four different performances. After 44 years, Kelley has directed over 150 TheatreWorks productions.
Craig Lucas, the playwright behind "Marry Me A Little," collaborated with director and producer Norman René in 1981 to create the musical. The two created many more theater productions together, including "Blue Window" and "Prelude to a Kiss." For the latter production, Lucas was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in drama and René won the Obie Award (which recognizes Off-Broadway productions) for best director.
The show's musical director, William Liberatore, is a music and choir teacher at Gunn High School.
"Marry Me A Little," began previews at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, on June 4. The play runs every day of the week, except Mondays, through June 29. For tickets and information, call (650) 463-1960 or visit www.TheatreWorks.org.