The winter wave of COVID-19 and the new omicron variant plunged us back into limited indoor activities, wearing masks (preferably N-95) and plenty of hand washing and sanitizing. Just as we were starting to enjoy a little measure of freedom, omicron won out.

Unfortunately, this is also true for our theater community. Scheduled to open Jan. 14 at the Campbell Theater in Martinez, “Incorruptible” has been postponed from Feb.25 to March 13 due to two cast members, both fully vaccinated, testing positive for COVID.

“The new program, unfortunately, doesn’t work for one of our cast members, so we have to recast the role of Brother Olf,” said Randy Anger, Founder of Plotline Theater.

Although neither the cast nor the crew of Patrick Barlow’s “The 39 Steps” tested positive, the Altarena Playhouse has canceled the show, which was scheduled to open on January 21.

“We had to make the difficult decision to cancel our series of ‘The 39 Steps’. People seem to feel uncomfortable coming together, and we have to respect that, ”said artistic director Katina Letheule. “Unfortunately, we were unable to integrate the game into another niche during our 2022 season. Our next two plays have already been performed and two of the performers from ‘The 39 Steps’ had other commitments.”

Director John Maio and cast Damion Clark, Kim Donovan, Benjamin Garcia and Erin Gould will now open this quick tribute to the Alfred Hitchcock films in early 2023.

If Omicron allows it, the Altarena Playhouse will now open its 2022 season with “La Cage Aux Folles” by Harvey Fierstein and Jerry Herman on March 25 followed by “The Quality of Life” by Jane Anderson on May 27, “It’s Only a Play “by Terence McNally on August 12 and” A Nice Family Gathering “by Phil Olson on October 21. Having a play in the season called “The Quality of Life” certainly seems appropriate as our quality of life fluctuates with the number of COVID cases in our various bays. Communities in the region.

According to director Lexie Lazear, the play “forces us to look at unspeakable loss and the fractured, shattered way we communicate when we take for granted that everyone is just trying to get through the day.” When you are faced with a long road, the best thing you can do is take a step back and have a different perspective.

For more information on the Altarena Playhouse or to purchase individual tickets or subscriptions, visit altarena.org.

San Francisco: 42nd Street Moon also had to postpone a production. “Fun House,” which includes Keenan Moran, a fourth-grader at Lafayette and McKenna Rose, a sixth-grader at Orinda, was originally scheduled for early February. Now, the five-time Tony Award-winning musical by Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori is set to premiere on April 21 at the Gateway Theater in San Francisco at 215 Jackson St. Based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic memoir, the show is narrated in a series. of non-linear vignettes. connected by the adult character of Alison.

“It’s so exciting to be in my first professional theater role,” said Rose, who previously performed at her elementary school in Orinda as well as Lafayette’s Performing Academy and the Peter Pan Foundation.

Moran agrees and can’t wait to rehearse the opening number of “Fun House”, in which he sings atop a coffin! For more information on the show, visit 42stmoon.org.

Also in SF: The San Francisco Playhouse will present the Bay Area premiere of “Heroes of the Fourth Turning” by Will Arbery from January 26 to March 5 at 450 Post St. in San Francisco.

Directed by Bill English, the play is set in a Wyoming backyard where a nighttime after-party takes place. Here, four old friends toast their mentor, the recently appointed president of their alma mater, a small conservative Catholic college. As the party stretches into the night, they grapple with their beliefs and their place in the world as the conversation escalates into furious debate. The cast includes Susi Damilano, Ash Malloy, Johnny Moreno, Josh Schell and Wera von Wulfen.

“Will Arbery has brilliantly crafted a play that allows us to explore the rift that divides our country and better understand our common humanity,” said English.

For more information and tickets, call 415-677-9596 or visit sfplayhouse.org.

And starting January 7, the American Conservatory Theater will kick off its 2022 season with the West Coast premiere of “Freestyle Love Supreme”. The improvisational sensation created by Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Anthony Veneziale will run from January 21 to February 13 at 415 Geary St. in San Francisco. For tickets, call 415-749-2228 or go to act-sf.org.

Novato: In North Bay, the Novato Theater Company has postponed the opening of “The Who’s’ Tommy” for a week. Now, the Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical concerts will take place from January 20 to February 6 at 5420 Nave Drive in Novato. Call 855-682-8491 for tickets.

Sally Hogarty can be reached at [email protected] Read more of his reviews online at eastbaytimes.com/author/sally-hogarty.