News & Reviews


“Director Christian Haines and his superb cast take a thrilling leap of faith with a sharp and heartwarming comedy that sticks the landing.  [The] skirmishes escalate to insane heights, making the “The Odd Couple” look like child’s play.  ….high stakes thrills and hilarious comedy.”  – Jordan Freed,  Theatrius

“…a laugh-a-minute production of this often dark, but always uproarious comedy. ..with embarrassing incidents and revelations galore. Belly laughs abound….”  – Victor Cordell, For All Events

“Lindsay-Abaire takes this reality to a whole new level and finds not only the pathos but the humor and dignity in growing older….The dynamite duo of Ellen Brooks (Marilyn) and Michele Delattre (Abby) in the main roles…these talented actresses bring a lovely balance to their characters, giving each a more well-rounded persona.” – Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times

Picasso at the Lapin Agile

“Director Timothy Beagley deserves great credit for assembling an extremely well-suited cast and ensuring high energy performances from all.”

Victor Cordell, For all Events, October 8, 2019.

“Director Timothy Beagley has found the perfect cast to bring these entertaining personalities to life with Peter Marietta as a slightly nerdy yet charming Einstein and Asher Krohn the perfect egotistical Picasso.”

Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times, October 14, 2019

The Clean House

“While all the actors do a good job with their eccentric characters, Janelle Aguirre as the Brazilian maid is especially fun to watch.

Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times, August 19, 2019

“Bravo for an hilarious and loving comedy to Sarah Ruhl, to all the fine actors, to director Jacqui Herrera!”

Evelyn Arevalo,, August 26, 2019

“Full of compassion with beautifully realized characters, and some emotion that is gentle enough to bring you from tears to laughter within just a few lines.

Vince Vmediaa, VMedia Arts, August 14, 2019

“This story is a clever puzzlement… You will have to see this very askew play in order to grasp how its author suggests that adversity may eventually change our lives for the better.”

Charlie Jarrett, Martinez News-Gazette, August 14, 2019



If we are indeed defined by the company we keep, then you will enjoy the best “Company” at Altarena Playhouse.”

Cynthia Lopez, Theatrius, April 5, 2019


Hand to God

“[director Patrick] Nims’ cast does not disappoint as they easily handle the sexual and comedic aspects of the show.”

Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times, January 20, 2019

“The human and puppet characters spring to life in this Bible Belt, bonified sex romp!”

Tyler Jeffreys, Theatrius, January 15, 2019


Clybourne Park

Actor, Champagne Hughes, makes appearance on Wanda’s Picks. Listen to the interview here

“…there is not a moment when this drama drags.”

Vince Vmediaa,, October 23, 2018

“…a finely tuned, sumptuously acted production of ‘Clybourne Park'”

Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times, October 8, 2018


Rachel Norby, Theatrius, October 9, 2018


Altarena earned 14 finalists for the 2018 TBA Awards


One Man, Two Guvnors

“… a lively staging with a pleasingly strong cast…”

Sam Hurwitt, The Mercury News, August 18, 2018


“fast-paced comedy has a storyline that will have you shaking your head trying to keep all the relationships straight while at the same time laughing uncontrollably…”

Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times, August 5, 2018

The Miracle Worker

“One of the best compliments she [Emma Curtin as Helen Keller] received was when we had women who teach the deaf and the blind come to a rehearsal and say that Emma really ‘nailed’ it.” John Tranchitella, director as quoted in press (linked below)

Sally Hogarty East Bay Times, May 23, 2018

“…the success of the production relies heavily on the actors’ abilities to portray these two central characters.”

Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times, June 3, 2018

Guys and Dolls

“[director, Stewart]  Lyle and his cast of 12 are looking beneath the glitz to find the grit of each character.”

Sally Hogarty, East Bay Times, March 20, 2018

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike

“By the end I wanted keep on watching their antics. I nearly choked on my laughter, but I was also touched by this theatrical family treasure.”

Reilly Marstan-Chakan|Theatrius|January 28, 2018

Alameda Magazine

Best of 2017

Read Best of 2017:  Theatrical Mainstay

“As a community theater, it presents a mix of heartwarming dramas and comedies, small-scale musicals, and occasionally more audacious offerings.”

The First Supper

Review: Comical ‘First Supper’ mirrors schism in GOP
San Jose Mercury News | June 22, 2016
“Directed by Michael Sally, it’s a strong, lively and well-performed production, and it’s an engaging play with some very funny moments. ”

Curtain Calls by Sally Hogarty
Alameda Journal | June 21, 2016
“A very timely satire, Karen Schiff’s “The First Supper” features two very different families forced together when their teenage college students find themselves expecting a child.”

The Light in the Piazza

Local reviewer really enjoyed Altarena performance
Jeffrey R. Smith | June 2, 2016
“To preclude any ambiguity, The Light in the Piazza is best thing to happen to High Street since they put in the bridge.”

Review of The Light in the Piazza
Steve Murray | May 25, 2016
“You can feel the charming, romantic wonderment of the developmentally challenged Clara and the handsome and naïve Fabrizio in this wonderfully staged adaptation of this Tony Award -winning Broadway hit.”

Altarena’s ‘Light in the Piazza’ is worth seeing
Bay Area News Group | May 15, 2016
“A lovely play about interesting people. It is well worth the time it takes to see this production.”

Curtain Calls by Sally Hogarty
Alameda Journal | May 11, 2016
“A lush, well-paced production. I applaud the talented musicians and accomplished singers.”

Review: Sigh! Bright, romantic ‘Light in the Piazza’ plays in Alameda
San Jose Mercury News | May 11, 2016
“Altarena’s production is bright and upbeat. The score is particularly effective.”

The Gin Game

Theater Review: “The Gin Game” Has Two Dynamic Actors, and “Wicked” Has Wonderful Music
Rossmoor News | Mar 16, 2016
“There’s lots of good stuff taking place at local theaters these days. I saw two shows that should please all theater-goers.”

Alameda: Altarena’s ‘Gin Game’ beautifully orchestrated
Alameda Journal | Mar 16, 2016
“I knew nothing about old people, nursing homes or card games when I first saw The Gin Game.”