Archive for Announcements

Drum roll, please. Announcing our 2018-2019 season!

The puzzle is solved! After five weeks of Facebook teasers and lots of playful guesses by our devoted fans, on Tuesday, Jan. 30 at our semi-annual members’ meeting, South Bay Musical Theatre finally unveiled the shows that will anchor our 2018-2019 season. Without further ado, they are: Mame, Big River, and Thoroughly Modern Millie.

All three of these shows are well-known, perennial staples in community theater circles, and consistently attract sell-out crowds when they are performed well. But for those of you who want more details, here’s a quick summary…

  • Mame, which opened on Broadway in 1966 starring Angela Lansbury, with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman (Hello Dolly, La Cage aux Folles) is set in New York City and spans the Great Depression and World War II. This bubbly musical focuses on eccentric bohemian Mame Dennis, whose fabulous life with her wealthy friends is interrupted when her orphaned nephew arrives to live with her. They cope with adversity in a series of hilarious madcap adventures and leave the audience feeling happy and optimistic, humming tunes such as “We Need a Little Christmas” and “Bosom Buddies.” SBMT has enlisted Diane Milo to serve as Director, following her successful oversight of last fall’s acclaimed The Bridges of Madison County, SBMT’s first TBA-Recommended production. Walter Mayes will serve as producer.
  • Big River, based on Mark Twain’s classic 1884 novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, features bluegrass-infused music by country superstar Roger Miller. This show ran on Broadway in the eighties for more than 1,000 performances, and is viewed as one of very few successful American musicals during a decade that was dominated by British imports. The themes of prejudice, greed, freedom, and personal salvation are as appropriate today as they were 134 years ago. Songs like “Gov’ment” and “Worlds Apart” offer satirical and poignant commentary on today’s highly divided political environment. The show will be directed by community theater veteran Doug Brook, and produced by Jay Steele.
  • Thoroughly Modern Millie, based on the 1967 film of the same name starring Julie Andrews, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing. This show hit Broadway in 2000 after several workshops starring Kristin Chenoweth, but it was understudy Sutton Foster who got her big break when Kristin left the role to do a TV sitcom. Millie is the age-old tale of the small-town girl who comes to New York—this time to marry for money. She gets caught up in the flapper lifestyle, meets some deliciously dangerous characters, and engages in a lot of song and dance. Because the show is so dance-intensive, in fact, SBMT has recruited multi-talented director and choreographer Lee Ann Payne to helm the production.

Our fall survey of members revealed that while many of you enjoy newer productions like those in our current season, there is still a deep nostalgia for the classics of Broadway’s golden age. These three selections cover a wide gamut of the Broadway canon, with one from the sixties (Mame), one from the eighties (Big River), and a third that was adapted for the Broadway stage in 2000 (Thoroughly Modern Millie). All were highly acclaimed, netting a total of 17 Tony Awards and 13 other Tony nominations!

In addition to our season announcement, the SBMT Board honored the following persons with service awards:

  • Carol Srigley “Heart of SBMT” Award: House Manager Diane Hughes
  • Fred Hassett “Future Growth” Award: Production Manager Sara Dean
  • Silver Jacket Awards: Diane Milo, Richard Cartwright, Braden Taylor, Marty McHan, Sam Cisneros, and Mae Matos

Entertainment was handled by SBMT newbies and veterans, with Matthew Hall and James Creer opening the evening with a medley from Big River. Seph Ariel and Jenni Chandler performed a scene from Peter and the Starcatcher, then Juanita Harris wowed the crowd with her rendition of “If He Walked Into My Life” from Mame—accompanied by Bob Sunshine on the piano. Michael Saenz and Lee Ann Payne performed a lively, high-kicking tap number from Thoroughly Modern Millie. And Walter Mayes and David Mister closed the presentations with a hilarious rendition of “Bosom Buddies” from Mame. SBMT Chairperson Barbara Heninger and Walter Mayes (who leads the season selection subcommittee) were the evening’s “emcees.”

Congratulations to those of you who correctly guessed one or more of the shows from the clues we’ve been sharing—especially if you were eagle-eyed enough to notice that the jigsaw puzzle pieces illustrating our last clue were taken from the show’s posters, pictured above in their glorious entirety!

Matthew Hall and James Creer perform a medley from Big River to open the evening.


New winners of SBMT’s traditional “Silver Jacket” pose with past winners in attendance at the Jan. 30, 2018 members’ meeting.


Janet Miller and Kathy Switky, two previous silver jacket winners, minus jackets.


Diane Milo shows off her new silver jacket with previous winner Barbara Reynolds


Silver Jacket winner Marty McHan with Carole Srigley award winner Diane Hughes




Michael Saenz and Lee Ann Payne perform an energetic tap from “Millie.”


Juanita Harris sings “If He Walked Into My Life” from Mame. 

Sasha Motalygo and Dave Leon, assistant director and director of our upcoming production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

Walter Mayes and David Mister perform “Bosom Buddies.”








SBMT unveils its new season on Jan. 30!

It’s #SBMTeaser Tuesday! Our next season of shows will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 30, but for the past five weeks, we’ve been posting hints on Facebook. Since we’re down to the home stretch, here’s a summary of all the clues published so far. Put on your deerstalker caps and see if you can guess!

Hint #1 (published Dec. 26): Of our three shows, one has a one-word title, another has a two-word title, and the third has a three-word title—in that order. (So that means you can rule out any shows with longer titles like Sunday in the Park with George, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, or A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum!)

Hint #2 (published Jan. 2): All three of the shows were huge hits on Broadway, with a combined total of 3,453 performances (not counting revivals), and a combined haul of 17 Tony Awards and 13 other Tony nominations.

Hint #3 (published Jan. 9): All three musicals come from different eras in the Broadway canon: one from the sixties, one from the eighties, and one from this millennium.

Hint #4 (published Jan. 16): As we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., it’s appropriate to reaffirm that SBMT is a proud proponent of diversity. At least one of next season’s shows will enjoy a multi-racial cast. And two of the shows—featuring strong female leads—will also employ female directors!

Hint #5 (published Jan. 23): One show’s characters reside in the 19th century, another show’s characters live in the early part of the 20th century, and the third show spans the Great Depression and World War II.

REMINDER: The General Membership Meeting, where all of this mystery will be put to rest, takes place:

Tuesday, January 30, 7:00 p.m.
at the Saratoga Civic Theatre
13777 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070

In addition to the new season announcement, you’ll also see an excerpt from Peter and the Starcatcher, which will have just opened a few days earlier, and you’ll enjoy an informal reception afterward!




So what is this show, “Peter and the Starcatcher”?

Even if you’re a musical theater fan, you may not know much about South Bay Musical Theatre’s winter production, “Peter and the Starcatcher,” playing Jan. 27 through Feb. 17, 2018.

So, what exactly is the show about? And why should you see it?

“Peter and the Starcatcher” is the prequel to “Peter Pan.” It tells the back story of the iconic boy who would not grow up, along with his familiar friends and adversaries who are portrayed so memorably in the classic tale. It’s a sprawling, swashbuckling adventure that will take you from the shores of Victorian England to the deck of a speeding pirate ship to an exotic desert island. The story is funny, fast-paced, song-filled, and wildly creative.

But the creativity goes well beyond the inventive script. In this show, scenes change in an instant, and a small troupe of actors transform from character to character and leap from locale to locate. Surprises, enchantment, and delightful twists or wait at every turn.

And although there is much silliness and revelry, the story has a heart and the characters a real soul. You’ll find yourself rooting for the heroes, hissing the villains, and perhaps a shedding a tear at a tender parting of ways – we hope to make you feel like the kid you were when you first experienced “Peter Pan.”

The New York Times said, “With grown-up theatrical savvy and a child’s wonder at what it can achieve, ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’ floats right through the ceiling of the physical limits imposed by a three-dimensional stage.”

Please don’t miss this unique, clever, tuneful, rollicking, masterpiece of stagecraft. It’s a theatrical experience you will treasure for years to come. And if that doesn’t convince you: come and see it just to find out why Peter Pan can fly!

Peter and the Starcatcher is a play by Rick Elice, with music by Wayne Barker, and based on the novel by Dave Barry (yes, THAT Dave Barry) and Ridley Pearson. Buy your tickets now; great seats are still available!

SBMT announces cast of The Hunchback of Notre Dame

SBMT is proud to announce the cast for its upcoming production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. This show not only has a wide variety of characters but also a full choir to give voice to the beautiful, soaring score and lyrics by Broadway legends Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz.

With a cast this large and a story this beloved, the demand for tickets is sure to be high. Reserve your seats now by going to


Quasimodo: Seph Ariel
Frollo: Jay Steele
Esmeralda: Jen Maggio
Phoebus: Steve Alhoff
Clopin: Alea Selburn

Sarah Bylsma
Francesca Cipponeri
Daniel Dominguez
Jessica Ellithorpe
Cami Jackson
David Murphy
Christine Ormseth
Smita Patibanda
Will Perez
Michael Rhone
Steve Roma
Michael Stahl
Tori Stamm
Braden Taylor

The Choir:

Vanessa Alvarez
Jennifer Medeiros
Janet Miller
Barbara Reynolds
Jennifer Seguin
Christy Wait
Jaime Walker

Barbara Heninger
Natasha Medeiros
Mary Melnick
Libby Moore
Jennifer Packard
Megan Pittman
Molly Thornton

Daniel Burns
Derek DeMarco
Andy Gipson
Johnny Moniz
Chris Nasser
TJ Paganini
Kaeo Tiwanak

Dallas Carter
Jason Herrera
Michael Johnson
Walter Mayes
Ron Packard
Keith Pennings
Steve Sammonds

Choir Alternates:
Puukani Tiwanak
Diane Milo


Director: Dave Leon
Assistant Director: Sasha Motalygo
Musical Director: Joe Kelly
Vocal Director: Diane Milo
Choreographer: Libby Cox
Producers: Howie Miller and Jen Young
Stage Management: Carla McCreight, Kim Beals, and Shelby Kahn
Sound Designer: Dan Singletary
Lighting Designer: Mike Munoz
Set Designer: Stephen Wathen

Five Reasons We Offer Thanks

It’s Thanksgiving weekend, and we want to pause amid all the feasting and festivities to express our heartfelt gratitude to the people in our organization and our community that make it possible for us to continue bringing quality musical entertainment to the South Bay.

Our blessings are many, but in the interest of brevity, let’s talk about five that have touched our hearts in 2017:

The recognition of our peers

Our most recent production of The Bridges of Madison County was endorsed by Theatre Bay Area with their “TBA Recommended” seal of approval. We take great pride in the quality of our shows, and it was gratifying to be recognized in a region where there are so many other amateur and professional theater groups competing for attention.

The dedication of our staff

For the past year, we have been especially fortunate to enlist the services of Sara Dean as our paid Production Manager. Sara has been an invaluable addition to our team, providing a smiling face to the community while offloading countless tasks from our shows’ producers.

Sadly, Sara is leaving us for a job with the YMCA. She made such a positive impact in her short time with us, however, that our Board of Directors unanimously voted to maintain Sara’s momentum by looking for another professional to whom she can pass the baton.

Are you Interested in the job or do you know someone who might be? See information here.

The talent of our volunteers

Like most non-equity theater groups, our cast, crews, and Board of Directors put in countless hours of rehearsal, performance, and outreach. We know how precious their time is, and value each person’s contribution. Our volunteers are the backbone of SBMT; without them we would cease to exist.

The generosity of our patrons

In addition to money you spend for tickets, many of you help us financially in a variety of ways: by donating back unused tickets so they can be resold, by responding to our fundraisers, and (we hope) considering us among the beneficiaries you remember this week on #GivingTuesday.

The loyalty of our audiences

Finally, we are grateful to all of you who come to our shows, join the applause, tell their friends, and renew their subscriptions year after year. To that end, we remind you to save the date—Tuesday, January 30—for our membership meeting and 2018-2019 season announcement. You are the best, and we thank you for supporting us year after year. Not many theater companies are still around after half a century of service, but as long as you keep coming back for more, we promise to deliver.

Happy holidays to each and every one of you!


January Membership Meeting to unveil new season


It’s time to mark your calendars for SBMT’s next General Membership Meeting. At this meeting we celebrate our members, share SBMT news, and … drumroll … announce the shows lined up for the coming 2018-19 season! Thank you, by the way, for your wonderful response to our recent survey. It’s great to see such keen interest in the type and quality of shows we produce. We think you’ll be very pleased with the announcements we will be making.

The General Membership Meeting will take place:

Tuesday, January 30, 7:00 p.m.
at the Saratoga Civic Theatre
13777 Fruitvale Ave, Saratoga, CA 95070

You’ll also see an excerpt from Peter and the Starcatcher, which will have just opened a few days earlier, and enjoy an informal reception afterward! Join us at the theater!

Next year’s shows: Tell us what you’d love to see!

As South Bay Musical Theatre starts the selection process for our 2018-1019 season, we want to hear from you, so we have just released a brief survey that we’d love you to fill out! Here is your chance to let us know your likes and dislikes so we can bring you the kind of shows you will find most entertaining.

Just tell us a little about yourself, and what you prefer. You can suggest some of your favorite shows, or let us know what TYPE of shows you like. We’ve provided several categories for you to choose from in the survey. Maybe you like all of these categories, or maybe you lean emphatically toward one or two. Here are some examples of the categories we are considering:

Family Friendly – Shows like Annie, Beauty and the Beast, Big River, Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz

Mature Themes – Shows like Assassins, Avenue Q, Cabaret, Chicago, La Cage Aux Folles,

Newer Shows – Shows like Big Fish, Legally Blonde, Motown the Musical, The Wedding Singer

Golden Age Classics – Includes well-known shows like Hello Dolly, Mame, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, and West Side Story as well as lesser-known treasures like Finian’s Rainbow, Pal Joey, Silk Stockings

Dance Shows – Shows like 42nd Street, Grand Hotel, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Rock Score – Shows like American Idiot, Jesus Christ Superstar, Rent, The Who’s Tommy

So… what type of shows (or specific shows) get you humming as you leave the theater, inspire you to tell all your friends, and motivate you to come back again? Are they… brand new, or tried-and-true? Edgy theme, or more mainstream? Well-known fare, or something rare? Let us know and we’ll make it worth your while!

Our thank you for your time

As an incentive for your time, at the completion of the survey you will receive a coupon code valid for a $10 per ticket discount to any remaining Adult or Senior price tickets to Peter and The Starcatcher (Winter 2018), and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Spring 2018). Additionally, you will have the opportunity to enter a drawing to win a pair of 2018-19 Season Tickets.

Please click here to take the SBMT “Voice of the Audience” Survey.  This survey should only take 5 minutes, and your voice is very important to us.

Thank you!

Love a Matinee? Join Us This Weekend!

There are just three more performances of SBMT’s Theatre Bay Area recommended production of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. And for those of you who love matinees, we want to remind you that Saturday, October 14 is a MATINEE. That’s right, Saturday’s performance is at 2:30 pm.

So if you thought you missed your chance for a matinee, you haven’t! And if you thought you missed your chance to see BRIDGES … well, you’re getting pretty close. Order tickets today before they – and this production – are gone! Final shows:

  • Thursday, October 12 at 8:00 pm
  • Friday, October 13, at 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 14, at 2:30 pm

And remember to use the code WONDERING for a $10 discount!


We hope you’ve purchased your tickets for THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, our Theater Bay Area Recommended production! Performances continue October 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, and 14. You can even use the discount code, WONDERING, to get a $10 DISCOUNT on your ticket!

Our story revolves around Francesca Johnson, a young woman born in Naples, Italy, who met her American-soldier husband at the end of World War II and came to the US as a ‘war bride.’ Of course, there have been many such war brides over the years. The company of “Bridges” was happy to meet the son of a real war bride from Naples – Francesca Sorvillo Stewart! Sarah Miller (who plays “Carolyn” in our production) met Francesca’s son Richard Stewart at a members meeting of the Italian American federation this summer. One thing led to another, and Richard attended our September 25 Sunday matinee, bringing photos of his mother and father, Clarence “Stefano” Stewart.

Follow this link to read their lovely story:

And then … follow this link to buy tickets to OUR lovely story!  We hope to see you at the theater very soon!

Photos of a real Francesca, and her American soldier, Clarence “Stefano”

Francesca Sorvillo Stewart

Clarence “Stefano” Stewart


BRIDGES is a TBA Recommended Production

South Bay Musical Theatre is proud to announce that our production of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is a Theatre Bay Area RECOMMENDED production. TBA adjudicators agreed that our production is exceptional.

We’re thrilled that “Bridges” is our first TBA Recommended production. Even more than that, we excited that our audiences are raving about this very special show. “A really exceptional production.” “Thrilled by the music.” “A truly memorable night of theater … kudos to all involved.”

Make sure you see the show that everyone is talking about!


Bridges of Madison County to debut this month!

South Bay Musical Theatre is hard at work getting ready for the first production of our 2017-2018 season, The Bridges of Madison County. The show opens Saturday, September 23 and runs through October 14 at the Saratoga Civic Theater.


Most people know the story of Bridges of Madison County because of the best-selling 1992 novel by Robert James Waller or the Oscar-nominated 1995 movie adaptation starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. Two decades later, it was transformed into a musical in 2014 that won a Tony Award for Best Score and Orchestrations and garnered the Drama Desk Award for Best Musical. South Bay Musical Theatre is proud to introduce this soaring work to our Bay Area audience.

Helpful tip

For years, SBMT has enjoyed sellout crowds for its Sunday matinee performances. Due to the popularity of the afternoon time slot, we will be adding an extra matinee for the upcoming season, on the final performance of each show. For Bridges, that will be Saturday, October 14. That means, if you act quickly, you have a rare opportunity to reserve some prime seats that are not already allocated to long-time season ticket holders. To subscribe, you can download a subscription order form by clicking here. If you’d like a brochure with more information, please call our box office at 408-266-4734. And if you simply want tickets for Bridges of Madison County, you can buy them online.

For more about the show, refer back to our October 16, 2016 blog post, in which we first announced our acquisition of the performance rights. See you at the theater!

Volunteer Appreciation Event / SBMT Board and Staff Announcements

Volunteer Appreciation Event – YOU Are Invited!

Summer is here, and South Bay Musical Theatre is already preparing for our exciting 2017-18 season. As part of that, we would like to take a moment to celebrate YOU – our wonderful supporters, members, and volunteers! We will hold our semi-annual membership event on

Sunday, August 27
2pm – 5pm
1611 Corte Via, Los Altos (the home of Barbara Heninger, Board Chair)

Join us for snacks, conversation, and a quick membership meeting. Chat with our newest Board members, introduce yourself to Production Manager Sara Dean, meet fellow volunteers and SBMT supporters, and contribute your ideas to our plans for 2017-18 and beyond!  Mark your calendars now. We’ll send an email invitation to members with maps and more details. We hope to see you there!

SBMT Board and Staff Announcements

Speaking of new Board Members, the SBMT Board election results are in, and the following members were elected/re-elected to 2-year terms on the Board:

  • Kimberly Kay (returning)
  • Howard Miller (returning)
  • Braden Taylor (returning)
  • Doug Hughes (joining)
  • Steve Sammonds (joining)
  • Molly Thornton (joining)

Thank you to our active SBMT membership for their votes! Other members remaining on the Board are: Ron Bowman, Barbara Heninger, Walter Mayes, Jordan Selburn, Dan Singletary, and Jennifer Young.

We thank retiring members Jay Steele, Jeffrey Henson, and Diane Milo for their years of service on the Board! We truly would not be where we are without your tireless efforts. We’re especially glad that Jay will continue his efforts as our Marketing Director, and Jeffrey as our Facilities Director.

In addition to welcoming new members to the Board, we are excited to introduce our new Bookkeeper (formerly called Treasurer), Tammy Foley. Tammy is an experienced professional accountant, licensed and bonded, who is also a strong SBMT supporter. You can contact her at* We are very pleased to have her on board!

We also take this time to thank Michael Saenz for his service as our Treasurer during the 2016-2017 season. Thank you, Michael, for your work supporting SBMT!

–Barbara Heninger
for the SBMT Board of Directors

*SBMT volunteers who have expenses and receipts to report can submit them to or mail them to SBMT at PO Box 700215, San Jose, 95170.

MY FAIR LADY Opens Saturday – CHESS Follows!

My Fair Lady

SBMT’s production of MY FAIR LADY opens this Saturday, May 20! Opening night features a complimentary catered champagne reception following the show – don’t miss this chance to mingle with the cast, staff, orchestra, and crew. We’ve got a stellar cast for you, plus a terrific orchestra, beautiful production, and even some surprises — make sure you get there early enough to see our “flower-bots” during the pre-show!


Lerner and Loewe’s score is packed with so many hits that it’s difficult to select the highlights: “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” Join us for this crowd-pleasing classic, and you’re sure to fall in love with My Fair Lady all over again.


Then, on Sunday, May 28 and Saturday, June 3, enjoy CHESS IN CONCERT. The creators of Chess are giants of rock music and rock musicals, and Time Magazine called their collaboration on this dynamic show “one of the best rock scores ever produced.” Here the ancient game becomes a metaphor for romantic rivalries, human competition, power politics, and international intrigue. The pawns in this drama form a love triangle: the loutish American chess star, the earnest Russian champion, and the Hungarian-American female assistant who arrives at the international chess match with the American but falls for the Russian. Presented in concert with orchestra.


BRIDGES Cast Announced


South Bay Musical Theatre is proud to announce the cast for its first show of the 2017-18 season, BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Opening September 23, 2017 and running through October 14, BRIDGES is based on the best-selling novel and captures the lyrical expanse of America’s heartland along with the yearning in the eternal question “What if…?”

Alicia Teeter – Francesca
Chris Janssen – Robert
Michael Hirsch – Bud
RuthE Stein – Marge
Michael Johnson – Charlie
Sarah Miller – Carolyn
Derek DeMarco – Michael
Cami Jackson – Marian/Chiara
Gwyneth Price – State Fair Singer/Ensemble
Barbara Heninger – Ensemble
Rebecca Brownson – Ensemble
Dina Jacobson – Ensemble
Beth Anne Wells – Ensemble
Beverly Hansberry – Ensemble
Mike Cuddy – Ensemble
Jeff Tuttle – Ensemble
Tyler Pardini – Ensemble

Director & Vocal Director: Diane Milo
Music Director: Dan Singletary
Producer: Janet Miller

Congratulations to our cast!

And don’t forget our next shows coming up:

MY FAIR LADY – May 20 to June 10, 2017

CHESS IN CONCERT – May 28 and June 3, 2017 (two performances only)

Cast for PETER and the STARCATCHER

South Bay Musical Theatre is delighted to announce the cast for our Winter 2017-8 show, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER. Opening in January, 2018, PETER upends the century-old story of how an unhappy orphan comes to be The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up (a.k.a. Peter Pan).

Boy / Peter – Paul Joseph Estioko
Prentiss – Braden Taylor
Ted – David Mister
Lord Aster – Steven Knight
Molly – Jenni Chapman
Mrs. Bumbrake / Teacher – Chuck Manthe
Capt. Scott – Steve Sammonds
Grempkin / Fighting Prawn / Sanchez – Michael Cuddy
Slank / Hawking Clam – Brett Carlson
Alf – Thomas Times
Black Stache – Michael Champlin
Smee – Derek DeMarco
Mack – Jeff Tuttle

Produced by Howie Miller
Directed by Walter M. Mayes
Choreography by Kayvon Kordestani-Thompson
Music by Bob Sunshine & Bradford Wetmore
Sets by Brett Carlson
Costumes by Michael Johnson

Congratulations to our cast!

And don’t forget … the next SBMT shows open in MAY:


MY FAIR LADY:  Opens Saturday, May 20, through Saturday, June 10



CHESS IN CONCERT: Two shows only, Sunday, May 28 and Saturday, June 3


Get Involved – with “Hunchback” and More!

000479_heroSouth Bay Musical Theatre is excited to announce our spring 2018 production, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” which will complete our 2017-2018 season. It follows our fall 2017 show, “The Bridges of Madison County,” and winter 2018 show, “Peter and the Star Catcher,” which were previously announced.

Based on the Victor Hugo novel and songs from the Disney animated film, it features a score by the award-winning team of Alan Menken (music) and Stephen Schwartz (lyrics), and a new book by Peter Parnell. The cast includes a diverse ensemble as well as a full vocal choir, who underscore much of the show.

This exciting new production offers many opportunities for artistic staff, performers, technical staff, and musicians. The SBMT Board of Directors is now accepting applications for producers and directors for this production.

If you’d like to apply to produce or direct, please contact SBMT chairperson Barbara Heninger at If you’re interested in any of the other technical or artistic positions, please contact production manager Sara Dean at

Get Involved!

Besides looking for artistic and technical staff for our final production of 2017-18, we’re also looking for performing talent. Auditions for our first two shows of the season will be held in just two weeks.

All auditions will be held at the SBMT Rehearsal Studio, 761 Mabury Road, San Jose, CA 95133

Peter and the Starcatcher Auditions

  • Saturday March 4, 2017  12pm – 4pm
  • Sunday March 5, 2017  1pm – 4pm
  • Callbacks held on March 11
  • SIGN UP:

The Bridges of Madison County Auditions




1776 is a Hit! Awards List

SBMT’s 1776 opened on January 28 to raves from our audiences and local critics. From the Talkin’ Broadway review:

There is much to enjoy in South Bay Musical Theatre’s 1776, and there are several lasting memories to be gained from the more serious numbers that are quite outstanding in their direction and implementation.

Reviewer Eddie Reynolds joins our audience members in praise of the complete production: “[Tim] Reynolds’ Adams commands the stage;” Terri Weitze “delightfully portrays” Benjamin Franklin; singing is “outstanding;” and the entire ensemble “create[s] idiosyncratic personalities of the congressional delegates.” We could go on and on, but the best way for you to experience what this reviewer describes is to get your tickets now before our triumphant celebration of the American spirit is sold out! Go to for tickets and more information.

Sasha Motalygo (Abigail Adams), Samantha Hildebrandt (Martha Jefferson) celebrate on opening night with Director Walter Mayes and Producer Dave Leon.

Sasha Motalygo (Abigail Adams), Samantha Hildebrandt (Martha Jefferson) celebrate on opening night with Director Walter Mayes and Producer Dave Leon.

As is SBMT tradition, on preview night, January 27, we honored members of cast, orchestra, and staff for their contributions:

  • Harriette Hill Technical Award: Gwyneth Price (Wig and Hair Design)
  • Bobo Reardon Newcomer’s Award: Sasha Motalygo (Abigail)
  • Orchestra Award: Madeleine Graham (Cello)
  • Producer’s Award: Barbara Heninger (Assistant Director)
  • Gypsy Robe Award: Ashley Faus (Leather Apron)
David Mister (Richard Henry Lee) and the 1776 cast congratulate Ashley Faus (Leather Apron) for winning the Gypsy Robe Award.

David Mister (Richard Henry Lee) and the 1776 cast congratulate Ashley Faus (Leather Apron) for winning the Gypsy Robe Award.

General Meeting Awards

In addition to the awards announced at the 1776 Preview, the Board also honored various members of the South Bay Musical Theatre organization at our General Meeting on January 5. Members cited:

  • Silver Jacket Awards: Walter Mayes, David Mister, and Kathy Switky
  • Carol Srigley Heartbeat Award: Braden Taylor
  • Fred Hassett Award: Diane Milo
  • “Golden Earmuffs” Award: Jeffrey Henson

The last was a one-time award given by Board Chair Barbara Heninger to thank Jeffrey for his work in improving the sound-proofing at SBMT’s rehearsal studio. The studio will be under construction during the month of February as Jeffrey installs a sound wall.

Thank you to all of our hard-working volunteers, and congratulations on their achievements!

1776 Opens January 28

SBMT’s production of 1776 opens TOMORROW, January 28. There are still a few seats left for our gala opening – and now our SBMT friends can get them for just $20, a $19 discount off the regular price. Use the code 1776GALA for the remaining seats, at or by calling our box office at 408-266-4734.

Come and enjoy our fresh take on this classic show, featuring both men and women as members of the Continental Congress. And enjoy complimentary champagne and snacks at the gala immediately after the performance, as you mingle with SBMT friends from the cast, orchestra, staff, and audience.

David Murphy (Thomas Jefferson), Benjamin Franklin (Terri Weitze), and John Adams (Tim Reynolds) hope America will burst forth from its shell

Thomas Jefferson (David Murphy), Benjamin Franklin (Terri Weitze), and John Adams (Tim Reynolds) hope America will burst forth from its shell. (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

Members of the Continental Congress debate the contents of the Declaration of Independence.

Members of the Continental Congress debate the contents of the Declaration of Independence. (Photo by Barbara Heninger)

Sasha Motalygo as Abigail Adams. (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

Sasha Motalygo as Abigail Adams. (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

John Adams (Tim Reynolds) and Ben Franklin (Terri Weitze) meet Martha Jefferson (Samantha Hildebrandt). (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

John Adams (Tim Reynolds) and Ben Franklin (Terri Weitze) meet Martha Jefferson (Samantha Hildebrandt). (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

The Cool, Considerate men deliberate. (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

The Cool, Considerate men deliberate. (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

John Adams (Tim Reynolds) watches as Caesar Rodney (Tim Harris) signs the Declaration, with help from John Hancock (Olivia Haas).

John Adams (Tim Reynolds) watches as Caesar Rodney (Tim Harris) signs the Declaration, with help from John Hancock (Olivia Haas). (Photo by Barbara Heninger)

The full cast takes a bow. (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

The full cast takes a bow. (Photo by Steve Stubbs)

Happy Holidays! See you at the General Meeting


South Bay Musical Theatre wishes you and your friends and family a wonderful holiday season! We’re looking forward to seeing members at our General Meeting on

  • Thursday, January 5, 2017, 7:00 pm, at the Saratoga Civic Theatre

At this meeting we celebrate our members, share SBMT news, and announce the shows lined up for the coming 2017-18 season. Listen to members of the 1776 cast perform an excerpt from the show, and enjoy an informal reception with snacks and desserts afterward!


We’ve installed the software on our dedicated costume management laptop, we’ve got volunteers willing to help catalog costumes – but we’re still looking for a volunteer costume coordinator. Duties include keeping track of costume inventory as it is rented out and returned, and working with other volunteers to continue cataloging costumes. Interested? Email for more information.

Broadway By the Decade Cast / 1776 Coming Soon


We are delighted to announce the cast of our upcoming event, BROADWAY BY THE DECADE: MUSICALS OF THE 1980s! This ONE NIGHT ONLY event takes place February 12, 2017 at 7:30pm. Tickets are available at 

Nicholas Adams
Stephane Alwyn
Afton Bolz
Jason Brittsan
James Creer
Morgan Dayley
Karen DeHart
Adrien Gleason
Matthew Hall
Carly Honfi
Walter M. Mayes
Mary Melnick
Corey Miller
Shawn Miller
Diane Milo
Glenna Murillo
Nick Nakashima
Brian Palac
Barbara Reynolds
Tim Reynolds
Michael Rhone
Minna Rogers
Sheila Savage
Kereli Sengstack
Katherine Stein
Alicia Teeter
Molly Thornton
Marisol Urbano
Christine Wait
Paula Warren

with Ted Kopulos, host

Purchase your tickets now for an event filled with song from musicals such as “Nine,” “Dreamgirls,” “La Cage aux Folles,” “Into the Woods,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Les Miserables.” Buy your tickets now, as our ‘decade’ shows routinely sell out well in advance of the show date!

“1776” is Under Construction!

Back row, from left: Grady Sanders, Tim Harris, Stephen Wathen, Kelly Lotz, Bev Hansberry. Front row, from left: Gwendolyne Wagner,  Ashley Faus, Terri Weitz

Back row, from left: Grady Sanders (crew), Tim Harris (Caesar Rodney), Stephen Wathen (Set Designer), Kelly Lotz (Joseph Hewes), Bev Hansberry (Thomas McKean). Front row, from left: Gwendolyne Wagner (Andrew McNair), Ashley Faus (Leather Apron), Terri Weitz (Benjamin Franklin)

Members of the cast of 1776 rest during a break while building Independence Hall, Philadelphia — the site of the Second Congressional Congress and of our upcoming musical production. 1776 puts a human face on the pages of history as we see the men and women behind the national icons: proud, frightened, uncertain, witty, charming, and ultimately noble figures determined to do the right thing for a fledgling nation. Note that our production features gender-blind casting, all the better to bring you the best talents from around the Bay Area.

For tickets and information, go to

Doubled in December!

At this generous time of year, South Bay Musical Theatre is excited to share a special opportunity. Two generous donors have offered to match up to $8,000 in donations made from now until December 31, 2016. Donate now, and double the value of your gift!

As you know, ticket prices cover only about 85% of the costs of our quality productions. Your gifts make up the difference. If SBMT has brightened your life with the magic of live theatre, please consider contributing to the magic!


Thank you for being part of the community in our community theatre. Feel like spreading the joy? Share your donation story on our Facebook page. We’ll see you at the next show!*

–Barbara Heninger
Chair, South Bay Musical Theatre Board of Directors

*1776, opening January 28, 2017!


Our thanks to YOU!

On this Thanksgiving Day, 2016, we at South Bay Musical Theatre would like to take a moment to thank YOU.


We thank our tireless volunteers for hours of work producing, directing, rehearsing, and performing in shows. This includes the many hours spent designing and building sets, hanging lights and building light cues, designing and running sound, creating and maintaining costumes and wigs, managing the ‘organized craziness’ behind the curtains, overseeing tickets sales and the front of the house, choreographing dances, rehearsing vocals, performing in orchestras, singing, dancing, acting, and all the countless tasks that go into creating a live theatrical performance. THANK YOU!

We thank our audiences for their enthusiastic support in cheering on these efforts and joining us to create the magic of live theater. THANK YOU!

We thank our donors — volunteers, audience members, foundations, and corporations — for their generous support and belief in South Bay Musical Theatre. THANK YOU!

It takes a village to create theatrical art. We are proud to be part of the South Bay ‘village,’ and hope that you are, too. THANK YOU for your creativity, energy, and commitment.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Barbara Heninger
Chair, South Bay Musical Theatre Board of Directors

SBMT Announces: The Bridges of Madison County

South Bay Musical Theatre is excited to announce our opening show for the 2017-2018 season, “The Bridges of Madison County.” (Book by Marsha Norman. Music and Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown. Based on the novel by Robert James Waller). The show runs in September and October 2017.


Based on the best-selling novel, and developed by the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, Songs for a New World) and Marsha Norman, The Bridges of Madison County captures the lyrical expanse of America’s heartland along with the yearning in the eternal question “What if…?” Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Score and Orchestrations, this sweeping romance about the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross will leave audiences breathless.

Francesca Johnson, a beautiful Italian woman who married an American soldier to flee war-ravaged Italy, looks forward to a rare four days alone on her Iowa farm when her family heads to the 1965 State Fair. When ruggedly handsome National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid pulls into her driveway seeking directions, though, what happens in those four days may very well alter the course of Francesca’s life.

With a soaring score and a heartbreaking story, The Bridges of Madison County is a touching and powerful piece of American theatre. The tour de force roles of Francesca and Robert are a dream come true for any actor, while the ensemble is rich with characters who tell their own individual stories and receive plenty of focus on stage.

SBMT will soon be interviewing for producers and directors for this production. If you are interested in these positions, please contact chairperson Barbara Heninger at (The selected producer will be looking to fill other artistic and technical positions in early 2017).

We are thrilled to be presenting this exciting new musical, and will announce the other shows in our season in January.

-Jay Steele,
 Marketing Director,
 South Bay Musical Theatre

Our TBA Nominee, and Your Next Audition!

SBMT extends congratulations to all of the recent nominees for Theatre Bay Area Awards, 2016. The full list of nominees is published on the TBA Awards site. And SBMT is proud to say that one of our own productions, this spring’s GYPSY, was honored with a nomination for “Outstanding Female Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical (Tier III theatre).” We agree that Karen DeHart‘s performance as Tessie Tura, the stripper with the “artistic” bump, was a showstopper! We wish her all the best at the awards announcements on December 5!

Kayvon Kordestani as Miss Mazeppa, left, watches Karen DeHart perform as Tessie Tura in SBMT' Gypsy, May-June 2016

Karen DeHart (right) performs as Tessie Tura in SBMT’s Gypsy, while Kayvon Kordestani (left) as Miss Mazeppa looks on. Photo by Steve Stubbs.

Want YOUR chance at performing your own showstopper number? Then make sure you sign up for an audition slot for SBMT’s production of MY FAIR LADY!

Auditions will be held Sunday, November 6 and Monday, November 7 at the SBMT Rehearsal Hall on 761 Mabury Rd in San Jose. Callbacks will be held November 13. MY FAIR LADY runs May 20 to June 10, 2017.

Sign up at:

There are still a FEW audition slots available, but they are going fast. Sign up now and join us for something “loverly!”


Coming up Soon: CITY, PATSY, and SBMT Board Meeting

Lots of activity for SBMT in the next few weeks!

Saturday, September 17: CITY OF ANGELS

CITY OF ANGELS opens at 8pm on Saturday, Sep. 17 at the Saratoga Civic Theatre. Join us for a gala opening, complete with bubbly champagne and delicious treats! And of course, the terrific cast, orchestra, and crew will dazzle you with this movie-within-the-show. Move from the black-and-white film noir world to the color of Hollywood in the 1940s … and see what happens when those worlds collide! It’s a a hilariously creative combination of film noire detective story and an all-too-real writer’s battle for his integrity, both set to Cy Coleman’s sparklingly jazzy score. Got tickets??

Stephane Alwyn as Detective Stone and Molly Thornton as femme fatale Alaura Kingsley. (Marlene Berner is also playing Alaura Kingsley; the two will alternate in the role.)

Stephane Alwyn as Detective Stone and Molly Thornton as femme fatale Alaura Kingsley in CITY OF ANGELS. (Marlene Berner is also playing Alaura Kingsley; the two will alternate in the role.)

Sunday, September 25: ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE

The first of two performances of ALWAYS, PATSY CLINE takes place at 7:30pm Sunday, September 25, at the Saratoga Civic Theatre. It’s a touching, humorous, and insightful tale about an unlikely friendship between the star and her biggest fan. The show is based on a true story about Cline’s relationship with a devotee from Houston named Louise Seger, who befriended the singer in a Texas honky-tonk in l961, and continued a correspondence with Cline until her untimely death. This production is imported from Limelight Actors’ Theatre in Gilroy, where it sold out – so get tickets now!

Wednesday, September 21: Board Meeting

Per discussion by the Board in the August meeting, SBMT will post a brief summary of each month’s Board meeting and a reminder of the next meeting in this blog. The next monthly meeting of the SBMT Board takes place next Wednesday evening, September 21, at 7pm. If you are interested in the meeting, contact Board Chair Barbara Heninger by mailing

Summary of August Board Meeting:

  • Agreed to purchase wireless in-ear monitor system with four receivers, first use in CITY OF ANGELS.
  • Lobby Volunteers will be added to the Active Members list. A system will be created to track different groups of volunteers for the organization.
  • Scheduling a separate ‘retreat’ meeting to discuss future plans for the organization.
  • Chair will contact potential Board Members to fill the current open position.
  • Board reviewing 2017-18 season repertoire provided by Season Selection committee.