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A theater like nun other


Courtesy of Willows Theatre

THERE'S NOTHING like a group of singing nuns to get a party started. Or to get a new theater venue started, for that matter.

On May 11, the city of Martinez will open a 176-seat cabaret theater with a 25th anniversary performance of Nunsense. It’s fitting that the musical comedy opens the new venue, as Nunsense has been a local smash since its first East Bay run in 1990. Writer-director Dan Goggin premiered five new versions of the original play at Concord’s Willows Theatre before taking the show across the nation and around the world.

“It’s so perfect for Nunsense to finally get a proper home,” says Richard Elliott, who serves as the artistic director at Willows Theatre and is also campaign manager for the soon-to-be cabaret theater. “Danny has so much memorabilia from his 25 years; we’re going to put together a little museum in the lobby.”

The new Willows Cabaret at the Campbell Theater will feature table-and-chairs seating where drinks and snacks will be served and will showcase smaller, family-friendly entertainment than the larger Willows in Concord. The $600,000 project is part of a greater effort to bring new life to downtown Martinez.

“As soon as we’re open, we foresee a great change,” says Elliott. “This will bring upwards of a thousand people a week to Martinez.”

The gala opening of the Campbell Theater (636 Ward St., Martinez) is May 11 at 6:30 p.m. For information, visit www.muirfest.org and www.willowstheatre.org .

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