Curtain Calls: Songs by The Go-Go’s inspire musical ‘Head Over Heels’ at Berkeley Playhouse

Fans of the 1980s all-female rock band The Go-Go’s can still hear the songs of their idols with Berkeley Playhouse’s production of the musical “Head Over Heels” during a quartet of performances this weekend.

This renaissance romantic comedy takes place in the mythical kingdom of Arcadia where lives are governed by a mysterious “beat.”

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The royal family, however, is forced to flee its home to thwart a dire prophecy from the new oracle. During the journey, the protagonists deal with mistaken identities, desire, heroism, love and lots of humor — all intricately woven against a backdrop of The Go-Go’s hit songs.

Directed by Mel Martinez with music direction by Michael Patrick Wiles and choreography by Kevin Gruwell, the musical features DC Scarpelli as the king, B Noel Thomas as the oracle Pythio, Jas Cook as the king’s older daughter Pamela, Jacqueline Dennis as the king’s youngest daughter Philoclea, and Milo Boland as Philoclea’s inappropriate love, the shepherd Musidorus.

For tickets to performances on Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., call 510-845-8542 x351 or go to

Also in Berkeley: Have you ever experienced the “thrill” of waiting in line at the DMV? Such fun! Now, you can experience that same “excitement” without leaving your comfortable theater seat as Don Reed presents his hilarious one-man show “The DMV.”

Running at The Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston Way, through July 19, “The DMV” features eight characters who deal with presumptions based on age, class, race, physical abilities and more at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Reed is known for his impersonations and characterizations, and his solo show makes the most of his many talents.

For tickets, go to

Orinda: Starlight Village Players moves from Agatha Christie mysteries to Shakespeare for its second offering of the summer. The intrepid players will present “Much Ado About Nothing” July 19 through Aug. 10 at the outdoor amphitheater in Orinda Community Center Park.

Shakespeare’s crazy comedy turns into complete chaos as Beatrice (a confirmed spinster) and Benedict (an eternal bachelor) are duped into believing the other is in love with them. Then there is the malicious plot to prevent Count Claudio from marrying Hero. Lots of witty dialogue and misdirection ensues before all the lovers manage to find one another making this comedy the perfect summer entertainment complete with a happy ending.

Be sure and dress in layers with plenty of warm clothing as the nights can become chilly.

For tickets, call 925-528-9225 or email

Martinez: Onstage Repertory Theatre presents its annual One-Act Festival July 12-28 at The Campbell Theater, 636 Ward St., Martinez.

For tickets, go to

Oakland Hills: The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons takes center stage at the beautiful Woodminster Amphitheater high in the Oakland Hills in July.

Running July 12-21, the musical biography follows the rise, obstacles and personal clashes as a group of friends follow their dreams to become singing sensations. Although the show includes popular numbers from the Four Seasons songbook, it also dives deep into the heart of the relationships within the group with special focus on Frankie Vallie, the small kid with the big falsetto.

For tickets, call 510-531-9597 or go to

Vallejo: The award-winning creators of “Spring Awakening” reunited for “Alice by Heart.” Inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the story takes place in London during World War II. Here, teenager Alice Spencer and her best friend Alfred are forced to take shelter in an underground tube station. Alfred is diagnosed with tuberculosis, while Alice encourages him to escape with her into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Presented by Bay Area Stage, the musical runs through July 14 at 515 Broadway St., Vallejo. Call 707-649-1053 or go to

S.F.: Berkeley resident Andrea Gordon has a busy summer directing new works at “Rainbow Zebra/Magic Theatre’s Reading Extravaganza.” The well-known producer/director/playwright will be directing Laurel Ollstein’s “Pandora,” Julie Hebert’s “Entangled” and Lynne Kaufmann’s “The Next Andy Warhol” to name just a few.

“I want to highlight the work of some playwrights I admire by presenting new works by them in readings done by our brilliant crew of local actors,” Gordon said. “It should be a real treat for the audience, and it is free!”

The readings continue through Dec. 9 at Magic Theatre, Fort Mason, Building D, 3rd floor, San Francisco. For information on specific nights for the various plays, go to

Lafayette and Livermore: “Phantom of the Opera” star Franc D’Ambrosio joins Pacific Chamber Orchestra for their summer pops concerts on Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church and Sunday, 3 p.m., at Livermore’s Bankhead Theater.

In addition to the orchestra, the company’s 50-voice chorus will accompany D’Ambrosio for a selection of Broadway and pop hits.

For more information, go to

Reach Sally Hogarty at, and read more of her reviews online at

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