SBMT audiences are invited by email to provide feedback after each performance, and they are consistently lavish with their praise. Here are the rave reviews we received after some of our recent productions, along with a sampling of unsolicited testimonials posted to Yelp.
“Thoroughly enjoyed Big River. The singing was outstanding! The sketches—the King (or Dolphin) and the Duke of Bilgewater—were hilarious. Loved the Arkansas song and dance—delightful. Best of all were Ben Hatch as Huck Finn and Anthone Jackson as Jim. Ben captured the free, naïve character of Huck so well in this coming-of-age story. Through Huck, Mark Twain shows the wrenching moral dilemma slavery presented to pre-Civil War America. When Huck decides he’d rather go to hell than turn runaway slave Jim—his truest friend—in to the authorities, he speaks with deep moral conviction. Hatch convincingly portrays this. Anthone Jackson gave a moving performance as Jim, maintaining his dignity as well as his very human side. Both men sang beautifully—the duet ‘Muddy Water’ made me want to join in and sing along. I loved this performance and highly recommend it. Sorry, Mr. Twain, but I found your plot moving, as relevant today as when it was first published. So shoot me!” — Susan C.
“A really enjoyable performance of Big River. Fabulous singing, choreography and acting. I live in the UK just outside London and this performance would have been worthy of the West End stage in London. A really great show.” — Patricia S.
“It was FANTASTIC. WILL COME AGAIN.” — Anne D.
“Wonderful enthusiasm of the cast! Great music!!!! Great choreography! Can’t wait to see the next play.” — Barbara S.
“Big River was wonderful—one of your best! What great voices!!”— Dorothy F.
“Big River was the best show so far this year. Incredible voices, crisply combined to provide a riveting and spellbinding performance.” — Steve K.
“My granddaughter (19) and I attended and totally enjoyed the performance, particularly the wonderful music. Thank you for all you do.” — Mary S.
“Big River was outstanding!!!! Clever set, great costumes and like Hunchback, the voices of the chorus were over the top. As I told my husband, if it had been a bare stage and the cast just sang the songs (concert style) it would have been worth the price of the ticket. I am recommending this one highly.” — Carol Knouf
“The play kept moving at a fast pace and was well choreographed. It didn’t seem long and was over before I knew it. I thought the set design was clever with the adjustable size river and the map showing the progress of the play.” — John Christ
“Just saw this screen’s performance. As good as any New York production. I’m very impressed with this theatre company as a former New York City resident who attended hundreds of Broadway productions. This was an excellent cast. Thank you for these productions. Looking forward to Thoroughly Modern Millie. — Irwin Z.
“The presentation of Big River was outstanding. The voices were excellent, strong and with feeling. It appeared to be flawless. It was very well rehearsed and beautifully presented. Thank you all. We have been attending performances for many years and each presentation seems to surpass the last.” — Janice K.
“This was our first show at this theater. It was a great production. What a talented cast. Great voices, choreography, costumes, stage set, lights, sound and musicians. All four of us enjoyed the show very much. We will be back.” — Irene J.
“Great show and all were perfect in cast! — Arlene K.
“A phenomenal production: Big River. The entire cast was the star. No one outshone anyone—rare in this type of show. Huck and Jim were a perfect pair. Anthone’s powerful voice and wide range blended beautifully with Ben’s, never overpowering him. Of course, Anthone’s solos moved me to tears. Speaking of overpowering, which could happen, but didn’t with this duo, Walter and Michael (Hirsch) played off each other and complemented each other with every word, move and glance. Thank you for a most enjoyable experience. — Caroll W.
“I had a terrific time at the Big River matinee last Sunday. It’s definitely a must see.” — Roberta S., via Facebook
“Excellent performance. The entire cast was outstanding.” — Kevin D., via Facebook
“My friend and I could not say enough good things about your production of Big River! Such a strong cast of talented actors! Live music. Humor, drama, and social commentary that is as relevant today as it was when it was written in the 1800s. Bravo!! Thanks for making our Sunday afternoon a SUPER PLAY day!” — A.M.R.
“Hope to see more of Ben Hatch & Anthone Jackson. Wonderful performers. Great show as always.” — Shirley C.
“This was a wonderful performance. Well worth the 4 hour drive each way.” — Stan K.
“Hi – We enjoyed the show last night. I just wanted to compliment you on the healthy snacks that you offer. Most places do not offer that and I think a lot of thought was put into it and we appreciated it very much! You have a great lineup for next season and we will be back! Thank you for not turning on the cold air in the theatre!” — Monica S.
“Loved your Big River production. Spectacular group of performers. Loved the music.” — JoAnn S.
“We very much enjoyed your production of Big River last evening. Music was great, along with the story line and variety of actors involved in the performance. This was our first visit to your theater, but for sure will come again. Thanks.” — Dick and Lynn A.
“We totally enjoyed the musical last night. We are anxiously looking forward to the next one.” —Sterling and Judy H. and other guests
“Incredible casting. Performers well suited for the character played. High energy. Good projection of lines. Easily understood. Simple but effective stage props. Clever hanging banners need to stay up a bit longer in order to be read by the audience. Very enjoyable performance. Thank you.” — E.F.S.
“This was my first time attending an event at the South Bay Musical Theatre. I thoroughly enjoyed it! The play was fantastic—actors, orchestra and technical staff! I will definitely come back.” — Judy H.
“Big River was my first SBMT performance, but it won’t be my last. Friends who had seen the Broadway show recommended it because they know I’m a fan of Roger Miller. Access was easy, my seat in row K was good, and the production was terrific. And did I mention it’s a 10-minute drive from my home in Saratoga? Can’t decide if my next event will be Thoroughly Modern Millie or South Pacific. And I may even let my husband join me this time. He thinks going out is usually a hassle so seeing a SBMT show will be an eye-opener for him too. Kudos to everyone involved in this production.” — Sandra R.
“I have shared the excitement of this event among family and friends. I loved the experience of the orchestra’s coordination with the performers. This along with the props and lighting. All came together to give the audience the feeling of big theater! What a wonderful performance and delivery by all. Thank you so much! Bravo! Bravo!” — Jacqueline F.
“Enjoyed the production. Disappointed Jim did not do more solo singing. Had problem understanding Tom, but Huck was very clear—even with my hearing aids. Thank you for the blankets for the second half! You do a great job and it takes a lot of work, which I appreciate.” — Marge B.
“We enjoyed Big River immensely. We felt bad for all the empty seats next to us from our party. For one reason or another various ones were unable to make the show, which has never happened before. They chose to go on other nights or not use their tickets at all. It was their loss.” — Catherine R
“We appreciated the Big River performance and we saw the New York Broadway performance. Very well done.” — Cliff M.
“Wonderful show and what a marvelous singer ‘Jim’ was!” — Sandi P.
“This was our first SBMT event and we were a group of 10. We were all incredibly impressed with the production, music, live orchestra, singing choreography and set. Will definitely come to more shows in the future!” — Kate K.
“My wife and I … very much enjoyed the show. We are impressed that a small theater troupe can mobilize several dozen performers and musicians for such an effort.” — Andrew F.
“I have nothing but praise for your productions, and this one was wonderful and I know not easy to produce… So many fast elements… And wonderful chorus… Bravo!” — Jacqueline C.
“We thoroughly enjoyed Big River!” — Bob & Julie
“AMAZING! FABULOUS! OFF-THE-CHARTS! We L.O.V.E.D. it!” — Cindy and Mary-Anne from Napa… (Yes, we drove all the way to San Jose. I think there’s a song in there somewhere.)
“Outstanding show. Fabulous voices. We loved it, as did our almost 14-year-old grandson. The younger boys liked it quite a lot. Thank you for such a great job. A special thanks to Diane who secured TIX for us at last moment. It was terrific.” — Dorothy D.
“We loved Big River. The music and singing were fantastic.” — William B.
“Always enjoy the musicals and the great customer service Diane has afforded our ladies group on Saturday at 12:30. Love this theater.” — Cheryl H.
“Big River is one of the very best that I have seen put on by SBMT. We have been season ticket holders for at least three years now. Huck Finn was unbelievably good and on stage almost all of the time. Jim likewise was awesome and had an unbelievable voice. We missed the first show of this year due to Mom’s illness, but were glad we could make it yesterday. Looking forward to the last performance of the year.” — Beth C.
“We saw Big River yesterday. We took our grandson and all of us thoroughly enjoyed the play. The acting and musical voices were outstanding.” — Eileen & Bill L.
“We have been going to your performances for quite some time now, and we rank Mame right up there at the top.” — Tom and Teddy L.
“The wife and I were so impressed with the Broadway level of talent we witnessed and enjoyed at last Friday’s Mame. This was our first SBMT experience, and we will return for future shows.” — Steve I.
“Our group had been looking forward to the SBMT production of Mame for quite a while. We were not disappointed, as your production was fantastic—one of the best SBMT has done in the 10 years we have been coming.” — Jim H.
“Mame was terrific. Mary Melnick and her bosom buddy Karen DeHart were energetic and enthusiastic and have marvelous voices that meshed together beautifully. And Kama Belloni is a comedic wonderwoman with a great voice of her own.” — Susan F.
“Loved the show, Mame! Such great songs and story! I’ve told several people already … and I’m still humming the tunes!” — Joan
“Mame was an exuberant fun fest! Mary Melnick was an absolute delight, with a marvelously rich voice that resonated throughout the theater. Brilliant casting. We look forward to the next production!” — Rita R.
“Mame was excellent! We absolutely loved it! Top notch entertainment!” — Robert & Clare L.
“The show was fabulous!” — Beverly P.
“The show was outstanding! What a very talented cast! We enjoyed it to the max!” — Cynthia A.
“Outstanding quality performers who shared joy tonight. Thanks.” — Debby F.
“The play Mame was great. We really enjoyed it.” — Ken and Carol L.
“Mame was another great show to be seen at the SBMT… Great performances by all—like real professionals! “ — Arleen K.
“Thoroughly enjoyed tonight’s performance. Very well done! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Melody M. (via Google)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
“We have been attending productions at the Saratoga Theater for several years with SBMT. Last night’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame was our favorite show at that theater…ever! It was such a full, strong show. The music, choir, set design, actors. choreography, costuming, voices, etc. were perfection. Thank you so much for another enjoyable performance.” — Patt & Andy F.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame at South Bay Musical Theatre was easily the best theatrical production I’ve seen in the longest time. Stunning and amazing. All y’all should be proud of the magic you made on that stage.” — John R.
“When everyone was singing together it gave everyone in my group chills—in a good way. Because the show was so amazing we have decided to get season tickets!” — Hunchback of Notre Dame audience member
“The production was seamless. Every one of (the) characters…came to life on the stage. The singers enunciated their lyrics well. All their performances were realistic.” — Iride A., Cultural World Bilingual
“Hunchback of Notre Dame was fantastic! Marvelous! Amazing! So much talent on that stage! Wow! Could easily perform this show in big city theaters! Costumes and scenery SUPERB! Thank you to all who worked hard to present a stellar musical to us, your grateful audience! Thanks again for the wonderful entertainment South Bay Music Theater provides for our community! I have purchased my next year’s season ticket!”
— Sandra T.
“This was my first experience with SBMT but it won’t be my last. It was an amazing experience from the beginning to the end….easy access, great parking, and a fabulous play. I will be back for more of the quality you produce!” — Pamela M.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame was probably the best production ever! I’ve seen many of your productions, all outstanding, but this one was truly extraordinary! I’d turn around and see it again!” — Adelaide M.
“Your production was wonderful—powerful and vocally dazzling. Especially loved Quasimodo and Esmeralda and their heartfelt portrayals. Bravo!” — Nancy G.
“Spectacular! No difference with NY Broadway show – Wow! Thank you for all the incredible amount of work that must have gone into this performance.” — Rich and Connie W.
“We very much enjoyed The Hunchback of Notre Dame this evening. David Mister was exceptional (even more than usual, which is saying something). The choir was magnificent, as is the wonderful score. The production was well done, especially considering the small space. We saw it at La Jolla Playhouse before Broadway and a bigger space does suit this production more, but you did well with the space you had. We had a great time following the story, enjoyed m
any featured performances (Sarah Bylsma and Braden Taylor). The costumes for the gypsies were amazing! Our favorite show this season is still Peter and the Starcatcher as it was quite a different production and the ability of the entire cast to ‘put on’ that show was fascinating and so fun to see over and over again. Looking forward to next season too!” — Cheri C.
“We felt the production was outstanding. Everything about it was top-notch. Even surpassed My Fair Lady.” — Paul and Pat W.
“We’ve been coming for years and feel that The Hunchback of Notre Dame was one of the greatest. Thanks to the entire cast and organization.” — Rosemary C.
“My first show here, but won’t be my last! Absolutely fantastic! Bravo!” — Crystal W.
“Awesome show! Thank you so much for an unforgettable evening!” — Julie D.
“I am a ‘regular’ theater goer. I went to this production with low expectations: an impossibly ambitious undertaking for a community theater group; I was prepared to walk out at intermission. That said, Hunchback was one of the finest performances I have ever seen. OUTSTANDING! And there was not one weak performer. (At the end of the show, I was the guy in the fifth row who stood up immediately and started clapping. *:) happy) Please congratulate everyone for me. (Including the set designer.)” — Ron G.
“Roger and I are long-time subscribers (not only to what is now South Bay Musical Theatre, but to West Valley Light Opera as well). After attending The Hunchback of Notre Dame on Friday night, we left the theater feeling like we’d seen one of the best musicals we’ve ever seen on that stage. The entire production was so professional, from the acting and singing on stage, to the scenery, costumes, etc., created behind the scenes. Just imagining what it had to be like for the choreographer alone was mind-boggling. With this level of theatre available locally, there is no urge to go elsewhere. Everyone involved with this production must be so proud. They have every right to be.” — Kathleen & Roger A.
“I very much enjoyed the performance of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. One of the best performances I have seen with your company. I actually have invited friends to go and am going a second time to see it.” — Patricia C.
“We enjoyed this production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame—one of your best yet. Casting, vocalization, orchestra, chorus costumes, sets…all top notch! Cast gave their all and it was tremendously received. We have season tix for Broadway San Jose and have not been to shows in Saratoga for a while—but this might bring us back… great community theatre. We like the fact that the orchestra was not right in front of the front row… still good sound.” — Barbara and Duane G.
“I have been seeing shows with you since the Saratoga Federated days and this was one of the strongest I have ever seen.” — Dale B.
“This was the best yet! The voices SO GOOD. Also, they enunciated each phrase so clearly, I could understand every word. Costumes were great, too. I felt like each one gave their all! Thank you SO MUCH!” — Maureen Thrush and Howard F.
The Bridges of Madison County
“OMG! This [The Bridges of Madison County] is one of the best shows ever! It is brilliantly constructed, and exquisitely performed. I came completely unaware of the book, the movie, and the Broadway score, and was immediately drawn into the true-life dilemmas which we all meet on this journey we call life, and how we choose which crossroad to travel. We may always have that ‘if only I had taken the other road’, but that is reality!” — Bill E.
“I was at the opening night performance of The Bridges of Madison County at South Bay Musical Theater last night, and it is a SPECTACULAR production. Alicia Teeter and Chris Janssen are giving amazing performances in the lead roles, supported by a very, very strong cast. Gorgeous lighting and scenic design, as well.” — Mike R.
“Last night I attended the opening night of SBMT’s production of The Bridges of Madison County. Wow! Just wow. I was completely blown away. It is not a happy show, but what a gorgeous production and a beautiful and tear-jerking story. The orchestra led by Dan Singletary is just stunning. The entire cast is so committed and dedicated to telling this story with an intense level of sincerity and purpose. Alicia Teeter is perfection, plain and simple. She was born to play this part and she takes what is an extremely difficult score and makes it look effortless. Chris Janssen’s Robert is soul achingly beautiful. Ruth E Stein and Michael Johnson are comedic geniuses. There are so many great shows out there, but this one makes you feel all the feels. I felt sad, regret, turmoil, longing, passion, fear, and even uncomfortable watching what is a very intimate story. Most of all I felt the love on that stage and in the show. I loved feeling all of those feelings. I love when art moves me and this is art and the entire audience was moved. There were several numbers where the number would end and the audience collectively paused because they wanted to applaud but they didn’t want the moment to end. Pure and amazing magic. Thank you to the entire company of Bridges for putting on one of the best shows I have seen in this theater.” — Braden T.
“Just returned from opening night of The Bridges of Madison County at South Bay Musical Theatre. Oh my! If you live anywhere close enough to Saratoga, GO SEE THIS SHOW. All the elements work so well, and the score is beautiful and glorious. Top-notch performances all around from the entire cast and orchestra. The show runs the next three weekends.” — Steve S.
“Folks, I have no dog in this hunt, so believe me when I tell you that you MUST get a ticket to see The Bridges of Madison County at South Bay Musical Theatre. It is easily one of the best productions this group has ever done and contains performances that rival anything I have seen onstage all year.” — Walter M.
“My wife and I went to two productions so far. They are great! The whole company puts so much into it. They are well coordinated, (with) great music, and the sets really puts you right in the scene. Great talent and no flubs at all. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Jeff L., San Jose (on Yelp)
“In case you were on the fence about seeing Bridges of Madison County, let this post serve as your impetus to buy your tickets right away before the inevitable word of mouth renders it impossible. It’s a compelling (albeit sad) story with gorgeous, gorgeous music. Chris Janssen [Robert] and Alicia Teeter [Francesca] sing exquisitely. The timbre of Janssen’s voice melded right into the texture of the orchestra… and Teeter is magical.” — Adrien G.
My Fair Lady
“I’ve been taking my son to shows here for the past several years. The talent is amazing, and we’ve enjoyed every production! The relatively small theater means that every seat is good. We just saw My Fair Lady, and it was outstanding!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Katie J., San Jose (on Yelp)
“Saw 1776 there tonight. WOW! It was terrific!!! Great voices, costuming, acting & staging. I think probably one of their best productions!⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Pat R., Santa Clara (on Yelp)
“We went to the preview night of Funny Girl last night. We were not sure what to expect but what we saw was an amazing, talented group of actors + a top-notch orchestra and conductor! We kept having to remind ourselves we were not in New York … really it was just that good. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Kay, Morgan Hill (on Yelp)
“Last evening I attended Les Misérables at the South Bay Musical Theatre in Saratoga. The production was completely professional with a cast that measures up to Broadway! Their voices were incredible—as good as any I have seen in New York. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Susan H., San Jose (on Yelp)
“This is a wonderful local community theatre company that takes on some ambitious stage and musical projects and does wonderfully at engaging the community. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Rob G., San Jose (on Yelp)
“Due to highly unusual circumstances I found myself in Saratoga Saturday night looking for something fun to do. I found it at the South Bay Musical Theatre for the opening night of Hairspray. It was a wonderful production with high energy and star talent. The sights, sounds and atmosphere were simply electric. Gifted singers and dancers filled the intimate stage and the orchestra didn’t miss a note. Highly recommended. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Eric E., Lakeside (on Yelp)
“Productions are always very professional, with actors that are seriously talented, a well-synced orchestra, and topped off with brilliant costumes, lighting, and set. Even the lobby design you observe before entering the theater and during intermission has been well thought-out. I’ve enjoyed every musical I’ve seen here—at least 10 shows over the past few years! My favorite part of attending SBMT’s shows is the level of commitment by the actors to their characters, no matter how large or how small. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐” — Denise L., Sunnyvale (on Yelp, reviewing Anything Goes)