It’s a summer tradition for my family and friends: Transcendence Theater Company’s annual Broadway Under the Stars series at the mountaintop Jack London State Park in Glen Ellen. With a stage set on the spectacular Kohler & Frohling winery ruins, the historic space transforms into a concert festival that keeps guests of all ages singing along.
The upcoming line-up includes Fantastical Family Night (July 13-14), Shall We Dance (Aug. 3-19), and the Gala Celebration season-closing showstopper (Sept. 7-9). Performances begin at 7:30 p.m., but the party actually begins at 5 p.m., for picnics and live music on the lawn next to the historic Shire barn. You can bring your own (my group often gets sandwiches from Glen Ellen Market at the bottom of the hill), or purchase feasts from food truck like FigRig (Girl & the Fig) sliders and wood fired pizza, and juicy steak from Tips Tri-Tip Trolley.
You can also buy wine from local wineries like Benziger Family Winery, Chateau St. Jean, GlenLyon Winery and Two Amigos. In a friendly Wine Country touch, you can continue to sip throughout the performances.
For Fantastical Family Night, this year’s theme is Big Top. Music and dance salutes Broadway, Disney, and general silliness with lots of colorful, creative costumes. The evenings include special performances by the young talent of Transcendence Kids Camp, too.
Shall We Dance is another salute to Broadway, with magical vocals and dance, including songs orchestrated especially for the show. The Gala Celebration, meanwhile, offers fresh takes on more favorite Broadway tunes and popular songs.
Here’s a bonus: You can feel good while having fun. Event proceeds benefit the park preservation, helping maintain “Beauty Ranch” and its gorgeous historic buildings. Options ($45-$150) include VIP, Premium, Select, general admission or youth (under 18), and all seats in the intimate garden winery setting offer excellent stage views. All seats, too, including general admission, are reserved, which means the concerts are great for groups of any size.
Details: Jack London State Historic Park, 2400 London Ranch Road, Glen Ellen, transcendencetheatre.org.