Friday, February 6, 2009

Treasure of the Sierra Madre comes to California Stage

Mitch Arguss and Derek Byrne

Sixty years after John Huston directed the classic film version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, California Stage presents the story on Stage. Actor/writer Herb Robins adapted the novel keeping in the oft-quoted line: "Badges? We don't have to show you no stinking badges!"

At the center of this intense drama is Fred C. Dobbs, a down-on-his-luck American with a lust for gold, who hooks up with some prospectors to find the Mexican Mother Lode. Guided by greed and mistrust, Dobbs and company learn the hard way that the Sierra Madre is not going to give up her treasure without a fight.

When California Stage Company presents the play, Mich Agruss, local TV host for 30 years, will play Howard, the old prospector. "I met Walter Huston when I was a young actor in New York," Arguss said, "I never expected to play any of the great roles he created." Rounding out a cast of local veteran actors is Equity actor Tom Maguire to play Fred C. Dobbs. Dobbs starts out with two other prospectors on a hopeful search for gold and gradually sinks to a kind of depravity beneath the forces of greed. Fred Goraieb plays the Bandido, Gold Hat, while Diana Mandujano plays the mayor's daughter, "Melinda."

Director Mike Yazzolino believes that Robins' adaptation reaches beyond the 1948 film. "While this play is a story about three miners, it also echoes the looting of the oil-rich Mexican lands in the early 20th century and the violent misuse of Mexican native populations."

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is a California Stage Company production. It plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. February 21 to March 22. Tickets: $20 general; $15 students, seniors, and SARTA-League members; (Note: professional organizations may apply as a group, and tickets do not have to be for the same performance.) For reservations or information about group prices, contact California Stage at 916-451-5822 or go to . The play will be held at California Stage Theater, 2509 R Street in Midtown Sacramento. Seating is limited.

California Stage Company is a partner of Duende Drama and Literature, a California non-profit organization with offices in Columbia and Sacramento, California:
PO Box 189056, Sacramento, California 95818
PO Box 1848, Columbia, California, 95310

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