‘Anton in Show Business’: Funny, tragic and thought-provoking

Napa Valley Register Review, Dan Monez, May 18, 2017

An estimated 80 percent of the roles in American theater are men. Even more astounding is that of the 20 percent of roles that are female, 95 percent of those are women under 40.

There lies the impetus for the formation of the Napa Valley’s newest theater company, Valley Players and their recent production, “Anton in Show Business.”

Formed by several Dreamweavers alumni, three of whom are in this cast, (June Alane Reif, Debbie Baumann, and Patt Quinn), Valley Players’ mission is to produce quality live theater featuring significant roles for women over 40. The president of the company, Reif, said, “We are not excluding men or younger women but want to select plays that can feature women our age.” It makes perfect sense since women over 40 make up the majority of theater audiences today.

Jane Martin’s “Anton in Show Business” pokes fun, sometimes harshly, at theater in America. It is a comedy and there are good laughs throughout, but it is also brutally honest at exposing the reasons for the opening line, “The American Theatre’s in a s—tload of trouble.”

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