If you have been following Transcendence Theatre Company for the past few years, you know, every summer, they come out to Jack London State Park and create incredible magic. Amy Miller, artistic director of Transcendence Theatre Company, and the team has officially coined this special place, “Their Field of Dreams.” And if you have never been, there is no time like the present. As each performer has been apart of Broadway Shows throughout their career, and each summer, they put that on hold, to come to Sonoma to perform Broadway Under the Stars. They do this, because, they truly believe in what is happening here, but also, because, they truly love it.
When Amy Miller first thought of the idea in 2007, it was just the beginning. In 2009 with a group of aspiring performers and artists down in Mexico, it was there, under an experiment where the fundamentals of the idea bloomed. And from there, they went on a cross country journey to find WHERE this magic and dream could happen. That’s when they discovered Sonoma County, but more so, the beauty of Jack London State Park.
If anyone knows the history of Jack London State Park, you may also know that the combination of Transcendence Theatre Company and this park was Serendipity. And to this day, their partnership with the park has helped to keep the park open for many to enjoy year round!
2019 marks Transcendence Theatre Company’s 8th Season in Sonoma County, and performances at Jack London State Park. Whenever I think of Broadway Under the Stars, I consider it, a night of magic, but for Amy Miller, as she begins every show with the phrase, “Are you Ready for the Best Night Ever?” Because truly, it is always a night worth remembering.
You begin the evening pre-picnicking in the park before the show begins. Yes, you can bring food inside the park to enjoy. But, just in case you forget, there’s plenty of food trucks around the park to take away those hunger pangs. There’s also a featured winery of the night with other wine vendors available for pouring drinks!
New this year for those that have purchased VIP Tickets, Girl and the Fig, with Fig Catering, has put together custom Dinner in the Box sets for you to enjoy preshow. They will automatically deliver for you to the VIP Lounge, and it’ll be there as you enjoy the night with family and friends. The Dinner Boxes are just 50 dollars and serve 2 people with a variety of combinations to choose from. For those with VIP Tickets, keep an eye out for an email showcasing this promotion, and for your opportunity to order. Trust me, it’s worth it! VIP Tickets also include access to the VIP Bubble Lounge where specialty wines are poured each evening of the show, and 2 drink tickets are given complimentary for the evening.
But, as 7pm draws near, volunteers of Transcendence Theatre Company begin ushering those to the show, as each show begins promptly at 7:30pm, and once the show begins, no one is allowed to enter.
For this season is pretty special, as it’s their inaugral performance of a Broadway Musical at Broadway Under the Stars, and that happens to be, “A Chorus Line.” As Amy Miller explained at the beginning of the show, it’s her absolute favorite Broadway Musical, as it’s about real people with real stories. And of course, it was about to be captured in a way that only Transcendence Theatre Company could.
And that they have. Throughout the evening I was drawn into the stories, and into the characters, and at times, laughed out loud numerous times throughout the show. There’s not only magic as the sun sets behind the performers, but in what these performers do in bringing out their characters. It was great to see Kristen Piro, as Cassie, Alicia L Albright, as Val Clark, and Natalie Gallo as Diana Morales. Performers who have continually come back to Broadway Under the Stars, but also seeing some newcomers a part of this year’s Broadway Musical such as Royzell D. Walker, who performed as Richie Walters.
A Chorus Line will be performing at Jack London State Park every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening through June 30.
Other Broadway Under the Stars Summer Performances Include:
So, I know I said one of my first posts would be the Hidden Gems found in Lake County. Trust me, that’s coming! However, it’s summer, and I will be the first to admit I’m usually one to find out about an event as its happening! I’ve missed a lot of AWESOME events this way so I decided to do the research for you this summer!
If I missed anything, please feel free to reach out to me and I will update this list as the summer continues along. I tried to research as many wineries as I could about some of the BEST events happening this summer so you could make the most of your summer in Sonoma County, or at least plan accordingly during your visit here this summer:
So, here we go:
7th: Delorimier Summer Music Series: Partnering with other Wilson Artisan Wineries, each Friday during the summer, a band will come out and play at some of the amazing Wilson Artisan properties with a local food pairing. This is an event you do not want to miss. I found out about this last Friday night, as it was happening, and missed out on a good time so here’s the schedule below: Each Friday night through September 6 from 6 to 8:30pm!
Plan your Friday’s accordingly to the Bands playing or perhaps the food they’re pairing.
Gundlach Bundshu Winery in Sonoma: Huichica Summer Music Festival kicks off! This annual music festival is a blast EVERY year and draws great crowds. Spend the weekend enjoying up and coming artists as you sip on wine and eats throughout the weekend while enjoying great music. Tickets are still left for this weekend’s festivities: Tickets can be found here.
Cline Cellars: Food Truck Sundays: Enjoy a wine tasting at Cline Cellars and get your Food Truck Cravings taken care of. Every Sunday throughout the summer, Cline Cellars will be bringing in a food truck to pair with their wines.
If you’re still looking for something to do this weekend, head over to Rohnert Park for the North Coast Food and Wine Festival! General Admission Tickets are still available at this festival that will bring over 90 wines together under 1 roof along with food from some extraordinary chefs. A great event if you ask me. For Tickets, purchase here.
For some Friday night fun this Summer, head on over to Roth Winery in Alexander Valley for their Adult at Play Series! Every 1st Friday of the Month they’re letting the doors stay open on Friday nights for their Adults at Play series. Enjoy Wine, Food, and a little Game Play! Get your friends together for a night to let loose from the long work week!
Fridays included are: June 7, July 5, August 2, and September 6.
Sbragia Family Vineyards is also getting on the Friday Fun Series with their Foodie Fridays series where each Friday during the summer they’ll have a specially paired food to go with their wines. If there’s a day to visit this winery, Friday has to be it! Every Friday from 11am to 3:30pm.
La Crema Vineyards is joining in on the Food Truck Sundays fun this summer through the month of June a different food truck will appear at the winery on Sundays from 12pm to 3pm while live music is playing at the winery, as well.
Also joining in on the Sunday fun lineup is St. Francis Winery with their Music on the Lawn series. Every Sunday from 2 to 4pm throughout the summer!
Kendall Jackson’s Farm to Table Dinner Series Kicks off this Saturday, June 8th and will continue once a month through October. $175 per wine guest or $125 per wine club member! These dinners are worth it as Kendall Jackson pulls out ALL THE STOPS with their food and wine pairings!
Dinner Series dates are: July 13, August 10, September 14 and October 5. For more details please visit their site and learn the menu.
Trentadue Winery: Happy Hour Thursdays!
tI don’t know about you, but by Thursdays I need to let loose, and this is where Trentadue Winery comes into place. Every Thursday during the summer you’re invited to join them at the winery beginning at 5pm for a night of wine, food trucks and wine sales with live music playing! Don’t miss out this summer. I’m marking it down on my calendar!
Banshee Wines in Downtown Healdsburg has their Tuesday events to bring a little joy into your life:
Tuesday, June 11th with their Plant your Pot event where you’re welcome to bring in extra succulents or you can purchase theirs for a night of creativity.
Also, on Tuesday, July 9th, you’re invited back for another Tuesday for a night of Board Games from 5 to 8pm!
Geyser Peak begins their Summer Concert Series on Saturday, June 15th from 12:30 to 3pm. Enjoy your wine tasting while listening to some great music on the lawn!
Foley Sonoma will be kicking off their Art & Wine Series on June 14th and going through September 13th. Every 2nd Friday of the month from 5:30pm to 7:30pm you’re welcome to the winery to enjoy some wine and GREAT art showcased throughout the property!
Petaluma is hosting their Petaluma Drinks Event on Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16th. For just $65 dollars you’re invited throughout Petaluma to explore the GREAT producers of Petaluma throughout the weekend! From Beer to Wine to Cider and Farms! An event not to miss and something a little different to put on your radar! For more details, head to Petaluma Drinks.
Speaking of Petaluma, be sure to head to Petaluma on Thursday evenings for a night of Trivia at Adobe Road Winery in Petaluma!!! Get your teams together and test your knowledge! Every Thursday from 5 to 7pm!
For us locals who happen to be looking for something to do after work on a Wednesday there’s 2 great options! The first is at Simi winery for their once a month local nights from 5:30 to 7:30pm.
Dates included are June 19, July 17, Aug 14 and Sept. 18 through the summer! $10 pp.
Paradise Ridge is back at it this summer with their annual Wines & Sunsets events! The first will take place on Wednesday, June 19th. Great wine, great music, and each night, ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery will be available! July 3rd is their Red, White and Bubbles Night while August 21 is their Hot Havana Nights! Goes through September 18th.
Keep your eyes and ears open as Paradise Ridge will celebrate their official Grand Opening in Fall 2019!
Rodney Strong Vineyards Summer Concerts at the Winery will officially kick off on Saturday, June 22 with Alanis Morisette, in an intimate setting as she performs acoustic the entire evening!
Other performers coming to Rodney Strong this summer include:
Rick Springfield on July 14
Beach Boys on September 7
Jay Leno on September 8
Experience Alexander Valley is an incredible event in just its 2nd year! Will take place June 22-23, 2019! This weekend event invites guests to experience all that Alexander Valley has to offer through intimate events hosted at area wineries. Learn how to make Ravioli from Zialena Vineyards or learn how to put a Cheese Board together at White Oak Winery.
Take in a morning vineyard hike at a few wineries or learn how Barrel Making is done at Hawkes Winery! There is an event for everyone, and WORTH every penny. For more information about Experience Alexander Valley, please visit their site and hurry up and get your tickets, they’re selling out fast!
Iron Horse Vineyards is hosting their Summer Solstice Party on Saturday, June 22 from 5 to 7pm. This event is limited to just 200 guests so be sure to get your tickets fast, if interested.
Simi Winery is having their Summer Soirree Celebration on Saturday, June 22, as well. Wine, Food, Good Times for just 45pp.
Dry Creek Vineyard is having their Summer of Zin event on Saturday, June 22, as well from 12pm to 4pm for 40pp.
Deloach Vineyards is having their Summer Solstice Dinner at 6pm on June 21! It’ll be worth it. Dinners are $125pp.
June 29: Join The Taste Route 116 Wineries for a day of Grilling Fun! Visit the Taste 116 Wineries in their own grilling competition as you pair the yummy food with their delicious wines. Tickets are 50 pp or 40 for wine club members! An event not to miss this summer! Tickets can be purchased here.
On Friday, June 28th, head to Virginia Dare Winery after work for a fun Scavenger Hunt from 5 to 7pm. Tickets are just 15pp plus tax! Then enjoy Happy Hour Treats from Wero Restaurant. Opened every Friday through Sunday throughout the summer with great Happy Hour Deals every Friday evening!!
June 29: Trione’s Summer concert series kicks off with great music happening on the lawn. Get together some friends to play a round of bocce, some wine, and great music from 3 to 6pm!
Other Summer Concert events include:
July 20th 3-6pm
August 3: 8am to 5pm
Lambert Bridge has a GREAT Summer Chef’s Table Series once a month from June through October. For more information about these great events, head to Lambert Bridge.
Landmark Vineyards: Summer Food Truck Series:
Periodic days throughout the summer, Landmark Vineyards is inviting some of their food truck friends over for a day of food and wine from 12 to 3pm!
June 29: the Farmer’s Daughter
July 27: Out on a Limb
August 31: Jam’s Joy
September 28: Fuel
JULY: Ya’ll, all that and we finally reached JULY!! Told you the summer is packed with events!!
St. Francis Winery kicks off their Outdoor Film Festival in July. Every Tuesday in July beginning July 9 at 7pm!
July 9, 2019 – The Italian Job (1969) Starring Michael Cane, Noël Coward, Benny Hill. …
July 16, 2019 -National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) …
July 23, 2019 – La La Land (2016) …
July 30, 2019 – The Goonies (1985)
Russian River Vineyards: Summer Celebration: July 7 from 5 to 9pm; 40pp.
July 13: Alexander Valley Vineyards: Garden Brunch. Just $55pp. BEST SUMMER DEAL, if you ask me! Brunch begins at 10am!
Gloria Ferrer: La Fiesta De La Paella: July 13th from 6:30 to 8:30pm. General admission is 100pp. For tickets and information head here.
July 13: Cline Cellars: Dixieland Jazz Festival: 11am to 6pm: 45pp.
Buena Vista Winery has GREAT summer events throughout July including:
July 14: Midsummer Mozart Festival Concert: 6:30pm. Tickets: 65pp
July 27: Living History Faire from 2 to 6pm. Free Admission.
August 14-25: Every Wednesday through Sunday: Shakespeare Under the Stars. RSVP is needed for this event. For more information about the events happening at Buena Vista Winery, head here.
Taste of Bennett Valley: Matanzas Creek Winery: July 20 from 12 to 4pm! This is the BEST way to take in Matanzas Creek Winery and their lavendar fields. Although, during the summer, you can visit their lavendar fields daily without the crowds!
July 20: Landmark Vineyards: Pigs, Pizza and Pinot Event! Their most popular event of the year at the winery! from 12 to 3pm.
July 20: Seghesio Family Vineyards: Zin & BBQ Festival: County Fair. Tickets: 75pp from 4 to 7pm.
July 20: Simi Winery: Vino E Cibo- Festa Del Estate: Summer Festival at 6pm. $125pp.
August: We made it to August! Just a few more!
August 3rd: La Crema’s Pinot & Paella Event from 5 to 8pm: 45pp.
Francis Ford Coppola: August 10: Splish Splash Summer Pool Party: The pool is officially open and is open for your summer fun daily throughout the summer, however, this nightly pool party is WORTH going too! The only time the pool is open during the evening at the winery. Tickets can be found here. Tickets are 75pp plus tax!
Also, every Tuesday throughout the summer at the Restaurant Rustic is their A Tavola night where characters dress in character and you’re served family style throughout the night! Reservations are recommended, as it does fill up!
August 17: La Crema’s 40 Years of Winemaking Celebration! 12 to 4pm. 25pp.
August 30: Russian River Paulee Dinner: This annual dinner is a huge, coveted event each summer! Join 30+ Russian River wineries together for an evening of Food, wine, and good times! Tickets can be found here.
And the last EVENT to close out the summer season is the annual TASTE OF SONOMA. This summer closer is a not miss event at The Green Center in Rohnert Park at Sonoma State University! For tickets and information. August 31st, 2019.
So, now that it’s all said and done, which events are you looking forward to the most this summer???