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The arts return: Lucky Penny's 'Little Mermaid' and events at di Rosa

The arts return: Lucky Penny's 'Little Mermaid' and events at di Rosa


There's more good news for the arts in Napa Valley: Lucky Penny Productions has announced its first live, in-person show is scheduled for September when they will present Disney's "Little Mermaid" in the amphitheater at the CIA at Copia.

This comes on top of BottleRock's decision to present its festival on Labor Day weekend; Blue Notes outdoor concerts begin at Charles Krug this month and Festival Napa Valley is selling out its tickets for its outdoors summer concerts. There is music in the offing, if not in the air. 

Lucky Penny's "Little Mermaid," their first in-person show since February runs Sept. 17-26.

“We are beyond excited to make this announcement,” said artistic director Taylor Bartolucci. “We chose this show not only because it is family-friendly but because it is a beloved, fun, heart-warming story, and we think it’s the ideal show to welcome everyone back.”

And — remembering from the many times I watched the movie with my kids when they were small — isn't there a song in which Ariel the mermaid wistfully wishes she could be part of the world of humans? How many of us will be singing along with that one?

During the pandemic shutdown, Lucky Penny has continued to present entertainment online, including their "Play-Demic Festival" of short original works, a holiday show and most recently, "In the Mood," featuring four women who would have been performing in "The Marvelous Wonderettes" if COVID hadn't postponed that show. (It is on the bill for next year.)

While some might laud the valiant theater troupe's imagination, inspiration, and will to live, the Lucky Penny people say it's the community support that has kept them going through what might have been an arts-empty year.

Tickets for "The Little Mermaid" go on sale June 3. All seats will be $30, with discounts for family packs to be announced soon.

Lucky Penny season ticket holders who have patiently waited through the last 14 months have credits toward seating for this production and will be contacted before tickets go on sale.

Additional details about the other shows in the 2021-22 season will be released next week.

For more information contact Lucky Penny by email at or call 707-266-6305.

Programs at di Rosa

While you are waiting for the shows to begin, one place that is open and entirely worth a visit is the di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art in Carneros. 

Whether you go for a hike through the sculpture park in the 217-acre  preserve or view one of the two exhibits, "The Incorrect Museum, Vignettes from the di Rosa Collection," and "Ceramic Interventions: Nicki Green, Sahar Khoury, & Maria Paz," it's a great excursion in our own backyard. 

Upcoming programs include:

Art + Nature Hikes

Offered the second Sunday of each month, (the next one is June 13), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the hike is free with admission and free for members. 

It goes through the Sculpture Meadow and up the northern side of the property and doubles back past "Wind House" by Ned Kahn. This moderate hike is approximately 2.5 miles round trip with a slight elevation gain and sweeping vistas.

Children younger than 16 must be accompanied by an adult. After your hike, stay for a picnic in the olive grove or explore di Rosa’s galleries. Space is limited; advance tickets are required at

In Conversation: Nicki Green, Sahar Khoury, & Maria Paz, with Twyla Ruby

Saturday, May 22,  4 to 6 p.m., $10, general admission, free for members and with admission to the museum

Join the artists of "Ceramic Interventions" for a socially distanced, in-person conversation with exhibition curator Twyla Ruby at di Rosa.

Artist Walkthrough: Nicki Green

Saturday, June 5, 2 to 3 p.m.

Free for members and with admission. Green will speak to the concepts and process behind her sculptures presented in "Ceramic Interventions"  as you walk through her installation. Space is first-come, first-served and limited due to COVID capacity restrictions. 

Cocktails with a Curator

Thursdays, June 10, 17, 24 | 6 to 6:20 p.m. Free,  RSVP online for this at-home program

Join di Rosa curatorial associate Twyla Ruby for a spirited happy hour program. For three Thursdays in June, a cocktail will be selected to pair with an artwork from the “Residence Rehang” section of The Incorrect Museum: Vignettes from the di Rosa Collection." Artwork and cocktail pairings, along with recipes for how to make them at home will be announced soon.

In Conversation: Sahar Khoury and Squeak Carnwath

Saturday, June 26, 4 to 6 p.m., $10 general, free with admission, free for members

Join "Ceramic Interventions" artist Sahar Khoury in conversation with di Rosa Collection artist Squeak Carnwath. Space is limited. Reserve your tickets in advance to ensure your spot. Please refer to “before your visit” for information regarding di Rosa’s COVID health and safety protocols.

Camp di Rosa: Art + Nature

July 19 to 30, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., $850, including supplies and fun for ages 5 to 13

A new summer camp merges fine art with nature at di Rosa. The last Friday of camp includes a family reception and open house, along with an exhibition of favorite artworks made by participants.

Campers will learn about the diverse flora, fauna, animals, and geology at di Rosa as their group explores the 217-acre nature preserve. Your child will hike, do archery, and play field games. Campers will make art during studio time and learn about the many sculptures and artworks that can be found outdoors and inside di Rosa’s spacious galleries.

No art experience is needed, just a readiness to have fun and get messy. Campers will learn how to hand-build objects with clay, screenprint, make paper, create natural dyes from plants and more.

Your registration fee includes a Camp di Rosa artist smock, an art kit to take home at the end of camp, and all materials. Scholarships are available.

Artist-led Workshop with Maria Paz and Sonoma Ceramics, Sonoma Community Center

Saturday, July 24, 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., $125, includes materials and firing, 10% discount for di Rosa and Sonoma Community Center members, for ages 14 and up

Experience "Ceramic Interventions" through the eyes of artist Maria Paz! The artist will walk you through her works in the exhibition, Ceramic Interventions: Nicki Green, Sahar Khoury, & Maria Paz, and then invite you to join her for a lunchtime talk and studio session.

During this half-day workshop, Paz will explore the technical process of coil-building a personal vessel and painting it with slip and underglazes, and will talk about the conceptual process of incorporating a personal narrative into your work of art.

All art materials and firing will be provided by collaborative partner Sonoma Community Center (SCC). Completed vessels will be taken to SCC to be fired, and will be available for pick-up at a later date. No experience is necessary.

Space is limited and advance registration is required.

Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, at 5200 Sonoma Highway, Napa, is open to the public Friday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit

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Features Editor

Sasha Paulsen has been features editor at the Napa Valley Register since 1999. A graduate of Napa High School, she studied English at UC Berkeley and St. Mary's College and earned a Masters in Journalism from the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.

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