Thursday, April 30, 2009

Joni Morris comes to Placerville in June

Joni Morris
Imagination Theater photo

Announcement from Imagination Theater (Placerville):

Joni Morris, well-known for her own special tribute to country music queen Patsy Cline, has been playing to sold out crowds across the country for over 15 years. On Friday, June 26, at 8:00 p.m., Joni returns to Imagination Theater with her tribute show entitled “Legendary Ladies of Country Music.”

Joni and her band, “After Midnight,” will perform unforgettable hit songs by Kitty Wells (“Honky Tonk Angels”), Loretta Lynn (“You Ain’t Woman Enough To Take My Man”), Patsy Montana (“Cowboy’s Sweetheart”), Tammy Wynette (“Stand By Your Man”) and many more classic hits. You can also expect to hear a few of Joni’s own original songs in every show. She adds comedy, eye-catching costumes, and audience interaction to each performance.

The critics love Joni, love her voice and love her shows. “A double-barreled voice that can belt, sob, exult… We’re transported back into the Golden Years of the late 50’s and 60’s,” says Holly Johnson of the Sacramento Bee.

“A loving portrait… a polished, rollicking and often soulful country-western music show,” states Peter Stack of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Joni Morris has traveled nationally performing with her talented “Jordanaires-singing-style” band. She is accompanied by Kevin Jachetta, keyboard, bass and vocals, Keith McKee, drums and vocals, and Fred Treece, lead guitar and vocals.

This is a show no country music fan should miss! All seats are $25. Tickets can be purchased with a Visa or Mastercard by phone. Contact Imagination Theater now to get the best seats:
Imagination Theater on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds Box Office: T - F, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 530-642-0404

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Frida Kahlo extened at Cal Stage

Announcement from California Stage


Due to sold out houses we will extend this intriguing play about the great artist and her husband, Diego Rivera, in The Wilkerson Theater The extension will be in English on May 7 and 8 (9 is already sold out), 10, 14, 15, 16 and 17. TICKETS: $20, $15; Groups (6 or more): $12.

Call for reservations: 916-451-5822. For more information and news, go to

A famous hypocrite comes to Carmichael

Rodger Hoopman, Richanne Baldridge
Chautauqua Playhouse photo
The 17th century’s Moliere is France’s most enduring comedy playwright. And his play “Tartuffe,” a.k.a. “The Hypocrite,” is probably his most popular play. Tartuffe is a pious fraud, faking religiosity to bamboozle a house run by suckers. And we get loads of laughs as we see how he works his spell and finally gets his comeuppance.

The version now at Carmichael’s Chautauqua Playhouse was commissioned 30 years ago by Rodger Hoopman, Chautauqua’s artistic director, and adds contemporary gags to liven up the action, though they take away from some of the play’s dark side. Yet the script still follows the plot closely.

“Tartuffe” continues through May 3 at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road at the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $17 general and $15 for students, seniors, children and SARTA members. Call (916) 489-7529 (PLAY). See also

For a detailed review of “Tartuffe” see this week’s Village Life of El Dorado Hills or go to

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

“Big Boys” takes swipe at corporate corruption

l to r: David Pierini, Howard Swain
photo: Jennifer Freyer

To close its current season, B Street Theatre brings audiences a timely farce that helps purge the venom of our resentment about the folly and greed that got us into today’s economic mess. “Big Boys” is a two-character satire by Rich Orloff, “one of the most popular unknown playwrights in the country.” It pits a modest, competent and principled business employee against his lunatic and self-serving boss,

A timid Norman Waterbury undergoes a job interview with the flamboyant and morally questionable Victor Burlington, who starts off with a test: rolling two metal balls into the eye sockets of a clown in a child’s toy, something Victor himself can’t do. Norm’s success, though, turns into a strike against him. Victor is flagrantly corrupt. “I never hold a grudge unless it’s financially agreeable,” he declares. As for capable employees, his policy is to “give them a bonus and deduct it from their salaries.”

But the exchanges don’t depend only on witty zingers. Instead the arguments come off like vaudeville routines, reminiscent of Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on first?” classic. And along with the ingenious perversity there’s the acid of satire.

Victor claims he can “ferret meaning as well as, well, better than a ferret” and calls on his secretary to fetch him a ferret. He then commands Norm’s opinion on how well he badgers, squirrels and beavers. Victor is also a fountain of contradictions. He presents Norm with an idiotic business plan, then demands Norm’s approval.

Obviously unimpressed, Norm asks if Victor wants him to lie. To this Victor explains, “I want you to believe you’re telling the truth whether you are or not.”

The play’s movement evolves through Victor’s efforts to corrupt Norm, using impertinent questions about his sex life plus attempted invasions of his social activities. The tension increases as Norm hesitates between resistance and concession, even to the point of trying to quit his job. The play ends with an ambiguous irony.

Contributing to the play’s success is a fine cast, with B Street veteran David Pierini as Norm, this time playing straight man to newcomer Howard Swain, a Bay Area import with a long resume that includes experience on film, TV and stage, including off Broadway. We identify with Norm while Swain, as Victor, steals focus with outrageous behavior, long white hair, and long shiny teeth specially created for the show.

Director Buck Busfield deserves special mention for his canny treatment of theater in the round on B Street’s Mainstage. The largest piece of furniture is Victor’s huge desk. It partly obscures the scene from a section of the audience, especially when Victor drapes himself over it. So Busfield rotates the revolving stage a quarter of a turn during scene changes, allowing the entire audience to share the varying perspectives. Busfield also compensates nicely for the opening and closing of invisible doors by using sound effects.

“Big Boys” runs through June 7 at 2727 B Street, Sacramento, behind the Stanford Park Baseball Field. Performances are Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 5 and 9 p.m., with matinees Wednesday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$30. Call (916) 443-5300. See also

Monday, April 27, 2009

Children of Light at California Stage

Announcement from California Stage

Janis Stevens directs "Children of Light" by Rick Foster

"Children of Light" brings timeless conflicts of Greek tragedy to bear on the issues of today. Seven years ago, Princess Elektra’s father was murdered by her mother to avenge his sacrifice of their older daughter ---which the Gods demanded before they would let him go to fight the Trojan War.

Last year Elektra was thrown out of the palace and forcefully married to a Ditch Digger. She is half-crazy in her longing for revenge. She prays that her brother, Orestes, will return and kill their mother, along with the mother’s lover.

This is the background as presented by Euripides in his play called "The Elektra." Of all the writers in ancient Athens, Euripides was most sensitive to the suffering of women under brutal male rule. But even he could not imagine that Elektra might fight through the sickness of her condition to discover and follow a calling that was entirely out of bounds for a woman of that era.

"Children of Light" dramatizes the struggle of a young woman who was born to be a leader, who has a natural political genius, but who is stifled in every way by the culture she inherits. Think of such a woman today ruled by the Taliban, or a daughter of Osama bin Laden.

Janis Stevens, who directs, is coming off two huge hits at Capital Stage – least year’s "Fool for Love" and the recent "American Buffalo." A year ago her direction of Foster’s "Love, Isadora" at California Stage won her an Elly Award for Best Direction, Drama. She and Foster have teamed up numerous times over the years, most famously for their "Vivien," in which Stevens’ acting has won honors in San Francisco and New York and which was a sold-out hit at Sacramento Theatre Company in 2007-2008.

Stevens will also play the role of Klytemnestra, alternating with Mary Beth Barber.

"Children of Light" will be at California Stage, 2509 R Street (25th and R), in midtown Sacramento from May 15 to June 14, Fridays/Saturdays 8 pm, Sundays 2 pm. Get reservations at 916-451-5822 or Regular admission: $20. Students, Seniors, SARTA: $15. Groups of 6 or more: $12.

The Ditch Digger………………….…....Eric Baldwin
Achillea............................................ ….Lauren Nardozzi
Daphne……………………………….…Acacia Fisher
Irene.................................................................... Sara Sells
Elektra....................................... Brittaleigha Baskerville
Orestes....................................................... Jammy Bulaya
Pylades.......................................................... Eric Baldwin
Klytemnestra.............. Janis Stevens/Mary Beth Barber

Friday, April 24, 2009

Capital Stage makes (or unmakes) history

Received from Capital Stage in Sacramento

The Complete History of America (abridged): May 9 - June 21, 2009

"What the 'Daily Show' might be like if it were hosted by the Marx Brothers." Boston Herald

Sacramento, CA -April 23, 2009 - Capital Stage will bring 600 years of American history to the stage when "The Complete History of America (abridged)" opens on Friday, May 15, 2009.

Cast members Eric Wheeler, Gary Martinez and Jonathan Rhys Williams return to Capital Stage to take audiences on a rollercoaster ride through the glorious quagmire that is American History. Who really discovered America? Why did Abe Lincoln free the slaves? How many Democrats does it take to screw in a light bulb? History has never been this much fun. Or as delightfully, ridiculously mutilated as in the hands of Eric, Gary and Jonathan, covering 600 years of our nation's history in under two hours in this irreverent send-up!

Performances will begin with three previews on Saturday, May 9, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, May 10, at 2 p.m.; and Thursday, May 14, at 8 p.m. Opening day is Friday, May 15, at 8 p.m., and the show continues through June 21.

Showtimes will be Thursdays through Sundays: Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets prices are $24-$32. Discount tickets are available as follows: preview tickets $15, Thursday student tickets $12, Sunday matinees senior tickets $18. Group rates available for groups of 15 or more. Tickets are currently on sale at the Capital Stage Box Office, 916-995-5464, or online at

The Pilothouse Restaurant offers a specially priced menu for theatre patrons. Reservations can be made through the box office.

The Complete History of America (abridged) is directed by Stephanie Gularte and is sponsored by The Davidsen Group and Wells Fargo.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another Extension at Thistle Dew

Announcement from Thistle Dew

"Last Resort Trailer Park," by local playwright Laura Sheperd has been once again extended, this time until May 16. Performances are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

This show must offer something special. It may continue until everybody in California has seen it! Shepard won an Elly Award for her drama "Annie's Story."

ALL TICKETS ARE $20 (includes dessert, coffee and tea).

Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 1901 P Street; (916) 444-8209; Reservations are required. Local playwright Laura Sheperd, winner of an Elly Award for her drama Annie’s Story, has written a comedy. “Combine a handful of talented local character actors with a light, character-based comedy and the result is this laughfest full of, well, character,” says Kel Munger, Sacramento News & Review.

Directed by Julie Greene, the cast includes Keith Letl as ‘Buk,’ Noemi C. Rios, as ‘Nadine,’ Gloria Jones as ‘Rhonda,' Paula Campanella as ‘Charline’ and Charley Cross as ‘Hank.'

NEW PERFORMANCE DATES: Fri 4/24, Sat 4/25, Sun 4/26, Fri 5/1, Sat 5/2, Sun 5/3, Fri 5/8, Sat 5/9, Sun 5/10, Fri 5/15, and closes (?) 5/16.

COMING UP: The Thistle Dew Playwrights group requests submission of your 5-7 minute monologues for production in September, 2009.

A Funny Thing Happened to Folsom

Stage Nine photo

Even if you've seen "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," you can't afford to miss the production now at Stage Nine in Folsom. With bold yet disciplined performances all around, it has a feshness and zing to it that complements Stephen Sondheim's memorable songs and a script inspired by ancient Roman comedy.

“Forum” plays on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through May 24. For tickets and reservations, call (916) 353-1001. Admission is $22 General, $20 Seniors & SARTA, $15 Children. Group rates are available. Performances are at the Stage Nine Theatre, 717 Sutter Street in Historic Folsom.

For a detailed review check this week's Village Life of El Dorado Hills at

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Celebration Arts extends "Having Our Say"

Announcement from Celebration Arts

Because of the success of its current production, Emily Mann's "Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters' First 100 Years," Celebration Arts has added five performances: April 26 at 7 p.m., May 3 at 2 p.m. and May 7, 8, and 9 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15 general, $13 students and seniors. On Thursday nights all seats are $8. For information and reservations call (916) 455-2787. Also see

Celebration Arts is located at 4469 D Street, Sacramento, CA 95819.

"Pinocchio" Opens May 2 at Stage Nine

l-r Ben Helms, Ireland Bonds
Photographer: Allen Schmeltz Productions

“Pinocchio,” the story of the wooden boy puppet that turned into a real boy, opens at Stage Nine Theatre, 717 Sutter Street, Historic Folsom on May 2 and will run through June 14.

Directed by Elly award winning director Allen Schmeltz, with choreography and movement by award winning choreographer Connie Mockenhaupt, this production features a carefully selected cast of young people and adults. The show runs through June 14 on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 pm. Additional performances may be added on Saturdays at 4:00 pm beginning May 17.

Tickets: $15 general, $130 seniors & SARTA, $12 children (Group Rates Available)
Reservations: (916) 353-1001. See also

Stage Nine Theatre is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"HATS" auditions at Stage Nine

AUDITION FOR "Hats - the Musical"

HATS! The Musical by Marcia Milgrom Dodge & Anthony Dodge; Songs by various artists.

AUDITION DATES Sunday, May 3 and Monday, May 4.

DATES SHOW REHEARSES Sunday through Wednesday evenings, 7 to 10 pm during June and July 30.

PERFORMANCES July 31 to September 13.

CONTACT INFORMATION Stage Nine Theatre and Entertainment Store, 916-353-1001.


CHOREOGRAPHER - Connie Mockenhaupt.

PLOT SUMMARY Hats! concerns a 49.999-year-old woman, MaryAnne, who reluctantly faces the inevitable 50th birthday. In the production, MaryAnne warms up to her 50th once she meets several remarkable women who show her about fun and friendship after 50. Hats! is based on the ideas of The Red Hat Society.

WHAT TO BRING Head shot and resume. A song from a musical with sheet music for accompanist (an accompanist will be provided) or bring your own accompaniment CD. No monologue; we will do readings from the script.

SPECIAL SKILLS Part singing, some dancing including some tap


LADY - Mid-to-late 70s., MARYANNE's mother. Widow & loving grandmother.
BARONESS - Age 52. Divorcee. Corporate success. Affluent. From Texas.
CONTESSA - Late 50s. Hispanic. Packed with attitude with a tendency to exaggerate. Married.DAME - Mid-50s. An empty-nester. Wife & mother of 3.
DUCHESS - 65. African-American. A lady with sass and ego. Great marriage.
PRINCESS - Late 50s-to-early 60s. Breast cancer survivor. Divorcee. Absentminded and forever optimistic.
MARYANNE: 49.999. Teacher. Married. Struggling with her impending 50th birthday.

Stage Nine extends Carsino show

The Stage Nine Theatre in Historic Folsom has extended the popular “Carsino Show” through June 4 on Thursday evenings at 6:00 pm. For details about the show, search our review for Carsino, in the upper left corner of this blog. Call (916) 353-1001 for reservations.

News and Discounts from B Street


$15 TICKETS AVAILABLE FOR LOVE SONG! Limited! Call today to reserve your seats.

$12 PREVIEW DATES FOR BIG BOYS: Saturday, April 25th @ 5pm & Sunday April 26th @ 2pm

ABOUT LOVE SONG by John Kolvenbach. A 2007 Oliver Award nominee for Best New Comedy, Love Song follows a week in the life of oddball Beane-an exile from life. Following a burglary at Beane's apartment, Beane's sister Joan is baffled to find her brother blissfully happy and tries to unravel the story behind his mysterious new love, Molly. Funny, enchanting and wonderfully touching, John Kolvenbach's offbeat comedy is a rhapsody to the power of love in all its forms.

"A madcap comedy loaded with shock and awe."-Village Life

PLEASE NOTE: This show contains mature themes.

ABOUT BIG BOYS, by Rich Orloff: BIG BOYS is a two-character comedy about the relationship between a self-satisfied, grandiose, amoral and very successful boss, and his insecure, moral, eager-to-please and very unhappy assistant. Influenced by the surreal energy and comic rhythms of vaudeville and sketch comedy, BIG BOYS is an over-the-top comic fable about what men value and what they'll do to get it.

"Rip-roaringly funny... Big Boys proves a winner."-New York Times.

PLEASE NOTE: This show contains mature themes.

NOW PLAYING! B3 Series - LOVE SONG by John Kolvenbach: CLOSES 5/2.

Family Series - GOLDEN HARP by Greg Alexander: 4/18 - 5/31

LOVE SONGSCHEDULE: SHOWTIMES: Tuesday @ 7pm, Wednesday @ 7pm, Thursday @ 2pm & 7pm, Friday @ 7pm, Saturday @ 8pm.

BIG BOYSSCHEDULE: Apr. 25th - June 7. PREVIEWS: Sat. 4/25 @ 5pm, Sun. 4/26 @ 2pm, OPENING: Sun. 4/26 @ 7pm. SHOWTIMES: Tuesday @ 6:30 pm, Wednesday @ 2 pm & 6:30pm,Thursday @ 8pm, Friday @ 8pm, Saturday @ 5pm & 9pm, Sunday @ 2pm. BOX OFFICE: (916) 443-5300.

B Street Theatre 2711 B Street Sacramento CA 95816

Monday, April 20, 2009

Auditions at Big Idea Theatre

Notice from Big Idea Theater


When: Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m. Call Backs: Sunday, April 26 at 6 p.m.

What to Bring: Headshot, resume and 1 minute monologue. Roles: We are looking for males and females, ages ranging from 20 to 65. CLOSER: Dan - A man from the suburbs. Larry - A man from the city.

Location: Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815. If you have questions please email Wade Lucas at or call 916-960-3036.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

“All My Sons”: still valid and powerful

Andee Saenz and Dan Featherston. Photo credit: River Stage

Moral ambiguity seems to be the trend in theater today, as exemplified by John Patrick Shanley’s “Doubt,” which endorses withholding judgment as a virtue. So it’s a bracing change to find a theater, like River Stage, that revives older American classics, plays that take forthright stands on moral issues. A case in point is Arthur Miller’s 1947 “All My Sons,” an indictment of some entrenched priorities, such as placing business success ahead of citizenship, as long as tainted money contributes to support for a family.

During World War II, according to the story, a company dependent on the government knowingly shipped 121 defective cylinder heads to the war zone for use in P-40 fighter planes. As a result 21 crashed, killing the pilots. The two partners in the company, also neighbors in an unnamed Midwestern town, were Joe Keller and Steve Deever, and Steve’s daughter, Ann, was engaged to Larry, Keller’s older son.

Joe was imprisoned briefly for the crime but exonerated after pleading an illness (a lie) that happened at the time the faulty parts were shipped. Thus Steve alone ended up in prison, creating a rift between what had been two friendly families.

The action takes place in front of the Keller home on Kale Braden’s convincing set. The Devers have moved away after selling their home to Dr. Jim Baylis (Earl Victorine) and his wife Sue (Shana Sperry). The Keller house is flanked on the other side by a well-adjusted younger couple, Frank and Lydia Lubey (Blain Newport, Shannon Carroll).

The action begins early on an August morning, with conversation about a tree felled by lightning during the night. It was called “Larry’s Tree,” in honor of the Keller son who disappeared in action as a pilot during the war. Chris (Dan Featherston), the Kellers’ younger son, has invited Ann (Andee Saenz) for a visit. Because Larry has been missing for three years, Chris feels that it’s time to conclude that Larry is no longer alive, so he intends to marry Ann, who has been dutifully awaiting Larry’s return but is ready to acknowledge her love for Chris.

Standing in their way is the brothers’ mother, Kate Keller (Claire Lipschultz), who refuses to give up on Larry and demands that Ann continue her patient vigil. Joe Keller (Blair Leatherwood) seems complacently balanced, having saved his business and reconciled with the neighborhood. He even plays an ironic police game with Bert (Campbell Salmon), a small boy, where they put people in jail.

But tension mounts in the second act, with the arrival of George Deever (Dan Morin), Ann’s brother, who’s convinced of his father’s innocence of the wartime crime and opposes his sister’s marriage into the Keller family. Evidence emerges of a love-hate relationship between George and the Kellers, who were like a second family to him. The complications are as entangled as a soap opera, although the characters are more real.

Under Director Frank Condon’s deft hand, the cast offer compelling and convincing performances. Because of the acoustical limits of the performance space, though, some lines came through muffled.

“All My Sons” is Miller’s first successful production and has a ring of truth for today, as scandals keep emerging about defense contractors bilking the government, even supplying defective equipment that adds risks to the lives of our troops abroad. Time Magazine recently reported that “the U.S. Army has ordered a recall of more than 16,000 sets of body armor” because “they failed tests to meet Army specifications.”

In the play Miller blends the realism of Ibsen with the lofty power of Greek tragedy.
It rises to an epiphany when Joe at last realizes that the pilots who died because of his greed and carelessness were “all my sons.” It also laid the groundwork for Miller’s masterpiece, “Death of a Salesman,” which two years later dramatized our culture’s shallow values of “success,” such as getting rich and winning ball games.

“All My Sons” continues through May 17 at Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento. Tickets are $10-$18, with special discounts. Performances are Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Call 916-691-7138. For more information or go to

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Carnival Cruise with EDMT

Join EDMT for a group sailing to the Mexican Riveria August 2, 2009!

If you haven't planned your summer vacation yet, this could be it. Cruising is always more fun with a group! This 7-day cruise on Carnival's new ship, Carnival Splendor, leaves out of Long Beach, California, and stops in Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas, and Mazatlan. EDMT's new High Voltage Touring Company will be performing Evolution of Rock and we'd like to bring some of our own audience along!

The cost of the cruise is approximately $800-$900 per passenger for inside cabins (less for the third and fourth passenger per cabin, and less for bunk arrangements). Fun for the whole family is in store! The young people will take over the teen disco and have fun participating in the cruise's talent show. We will all plan to caravan down to Southern California together. If you're interested, please email for more information.

For a virtual tour of the ship, click here:

“Frost/Nixon,” showcase for Stacy Keach

Alan Cox as David Frost and Stacy Keach as Richard Nixon
Photo: Carol Rosegg

Though the Broadway production was nominated for a Tony Award in 2007, the traveling company version of “Frost/Nixon,” sponsored here by California Stage, is something of a letdown except for a bravura performance by Stacy Keach as Richard Nixon. Part of the problem has to do with the gigantic Community Center Theater.

The stage is ideal for lavish musicals offering spectacular sets and big sound. But “Frost/Nixon” calls for an intimate space for the famous interview. The spare set consists mainly of a latticed projection screen hanging above the stage, plus a couple of armchairs. The current cast of 13 (including ensemble), and some supporting actors in multiple roles, makes it sometimes hard to recognize who’s who, and to hear some lines, even when you occupy choice orchestra seats.

Peter Morgan’s script is based loosely on a 1977 set of four televised interviews of a retired and disgraced Richard Nixon, the only American president ever to resign from office. Nixon (Keach) was hard-pressed for money and accepted an offer of $600,000 from David Frost (Alan Cox), an English television personality trying to resurrect his own faltering career.

The agreement stipulated that only a fourth of the interview time would be devoted to the Watergate scandal, which brought down Nixon’s presidency. “Watergate” became short for the burglary of The Democratic National Committee headquarters in 1972 by five of Nixon’s staff. It led up to a call for Nixon’s impeachment.

Though the interviews actually took place, Morgan’s story is only loosely based on the facts. For plot purposes, for instance, the interviews take the form of a battle between Nixon, trying to resurrect his good name, and Frost, aiming to cut him down. It even includes an imaginary midnight telephone call from Nixon to Frost. Through most of the interviews Nixon adroitly fends off Frost’s innuendoes.

At last, armed with information about a conversation between Nixon and Charles Colson, a Nixon aide, Frost finally puts his prey on the defensive. Unfortunately, the account of that critical interview has no basis in fact. There are also other flat contradictions between fact and fancy. As writer Elizabeth Drew points out, the play has Nixon admitting that he was involved in the Watergate “cover up.” What Nixon actually said was “You're wanting me to say that I participated in an illegal cover-up. No!”

Morgan could have avoided the clash between fact and fiction by writing a play about an imaginary president driven from office, then allowing the audience to recognize the parallel with Nixon. This would also have allowed the playwright to reduce the number of minor characters and develop them more distinctively.

In fairness we must note that we encountered some sophisticated theatergoers who expressed unequivical enthusiasm for the current production. Just why, though, eludes our understanding.
One final note: “Frost/Nixon” is a full-length play that runs without intermission. Be prepared.

“Frost/Nixon” continues through April 26 at Sacramento’s Community Center Theatre, 1301 L Street. Performances are Tuesday through Saturday, with matinees on Thursday and Saturday at 2 p.m. Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m. on April 19 and 1 p.m. on April 26. On April 19 an additional performance will take place at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $16.50 to $61.50. Special bargain tickets at $25 were recently announced. Tickets are available at the Community Center Theater box office and the Well Fargo Pavilion box office, 1419 H Street. They are also available at or at (916) 808-5181 or (808) 225-2277. For group orders (12 or more) call (916) 557-1198.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

EDMT Announces Summer Show Auditions

El Dorado Hills: El Dorado Musical Theatre will be holding auditions for two exciting summer musical productions, “Les Miserables” and “Disney’s Mulan”, beginning at 9:00 am on Saturday, May 2nd. Online registration at will open on Monday, April 20th at 8:00 pm and close on Wednesday, April 29th at 8:00 pm or when casts are full.

The summer Mainstage show “Les Miserables” is open to performers ages 13-20. This epic story recounts the struggle against adversity in 19th century France. Imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread, petty thief Jean Valjean is released from his 19-year term and not only becomes and honest man, but the mayor of a prosperous town and a loving adoptive father - violating his parole in the process. The relentless Inspector Javert, who makes a decent life for Valjean impossible, consequently pursues him. Only years later, after Valjean proves his mettle during a bloody student uprising and saves the life of a young man hopelessly in love with Valjean’s adopted daughter, does the ex-convict finally feel fully redeemed.

EDMT’s Rising Stars (performers aged 6-13) will perform“Disney’s Mulan”, based on the 1998 Disney movie. Travel back to the legendary, story-telling days of ancient China. The Huns have invaded, and it is up to the misfit Mulan and her mischievous sidekick Mushu to save the Emperor! “Mulan”, will be directed by Stephanie Hudson and choreographed by Best of Broadway’s Kat Bahry, is a heartwarming celebration of culture, honor and a fighting spirit. The score includes favorites like “Reflection,” “Honor to Us All” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” as well as new songs that will get the audience up on its feet!

All who audition should dress to dance and be prepared to sing a song of up to one minute in length to either a background CD, acapella or with the accompanist. More information about registration, roles, and fees can be found online at or by calling (916) 941-SING.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

High school unveiled by EDMT

“High School Musical 2,” like its predecessor, “High School Musical,” is a wow that appeals to youngsters from grade-school age to high-school graduating classes. The current El Dorado Musical Theatre production gives a rather thin plot, about rivalries between members of a senior class as they work at a country club during a summer vacation.

A dual cast of nearly 100 is subdivided (with some overlap) into the Lava and Springs groups. As usual with EDMT, the production values are spectacular as the young performers jam the stage with complex choreography and dazzling song, amid some eye-popping scenery and costumes.

“High School Musical 2” continues through April 26 in the Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theatre at Folsom High School, 1655 Iron Point Road in Folsom. From Hwy. 50 take the Prairie City Rd. exit (Exit 25) north and turn right directly across from the Intel facility. Performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 7 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Closing performance is at 6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for children and seniors, with group discounts available. For tickets and more information see or call (916) 941-SING.

See the full review in El Dorado Hills’ Village Life or visit

New Performance Dates, auditions

From Thistle Dew re "Last Resort Trailer Park"

Fri 4/3, Sat 4/4, Sun 4/5, Fri 4/10, Sat 4/11, Sun 4/12, Fri 4/17, Sat 4/18, Sun 4/19, Fri 4/24, Sat 4/25, Sun 4/26, Fri 5/1, Sat 5/2, Sun 5/3, Fri 5/8, Sat 5/9, Sun 5/10, Fri 5/15, Closes (?) 5/16

The Thistle Dew Playwrights group requests submission of your 5-7 minute monologues for production in September, 2009.

See earlier post re "Last Resort Trailer Park."

Auditions for Mary, Mary Are On April 19

Message from Allen Schmeltz (Allen Schmeltz Productions):

THE MOSAIC ACTING THEATRE ENSEMBLE and STAGE NINE THEATRE are seeking the following roles for the production MARY, MARY, which I'll be directing. (Actors familiar with the Mosaic Acting System preferred, but others are welcome to submit.)

Mary McKellway: Lead - to play mid-twenties to mid-thirties. Bob McKellaway's former wife, divorced within the year, and now living and working on her own. Mary is attractive but doesn't believe it. She covers her vulnerability with sarcasm. Good comedic timing a must.

Tiffany Richards: Supporting - to play early twenties. Bob McKellaway's current fiancee. Independently wealthy bright young health addict, in good shape.

Auditions by appointment only and will be held at Stage Nine, 705 Sutter Street, Old Folsom (Folsom 95630) on Sunday, April 19th, 7:00 p.m. Call 916-353-1001.

For an appointment time please email your headshot and resume, with MARY, MARY on the subject line, to

Rehearsals will start May 10th.

Performances will be at Stage Nine in Historic Old Folsom, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 4:00 p.m., June 26th - July 26th.

Stage Nine Theatre

Friday, April 10, 2009

"All My Sons" Comes to Riverstage

photo courtesy River Stage

Winner of the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best New American Play in 1947, "All My Sons" deals with decisions that result in dire consequences and the question: "Are we able to make moral choices?" What happens when lies are exposed and the business/consumer society is laid bare?

All My Sons first introduced the themes that run through Miller’s work as a whole: the relationship between fathers and sons and the conflict between business ethics and personal morality.

Helping people get more for less, River Stage Theater will offer “Pay What You Can” every Thursday of the performance run. Patrons may reserve tickets or just come to the box office and pay whatever they can for a riveting night of theater.

"All My Sons" is presented by River Stage under the direction of Frank Condon. Preview performances start Wednesday, April 15 with opening night Saturday, April 18. The show closes May 17.

Box Office 916-691-7364
Previews Wednesday, Thursday at 7:30 P.M., Friday at 8:00 P.M. General $7 Student $5

General Admission:
Thursdays at 7:30 P.M., Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 P.M.
General $18 Seniors, Students, SARTA, LRCCD. $2 off Group $10 Subscriber Guest $10
Sundays at 2:00 P.M. General $16 No Discounts Group $10

Thursday 7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 8 p.m.
Sunday 2 p.m.
David Czarnecki
Managing Director 916-691-7138

For more detail, click the title of this post.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

See's Candy Invades EDMT

Order Your Easter/Spring See's Candy from EDMT and Benefit High Voltage Mexico Trip

The High Voltage Cast Members will be selling See's Candies this weekend at High School Musical 2 shows in the lobby at the Folsom High Theater. Friday, April 10th 10:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. shows. (All show tickets to the 10:00 a.m. preview performance are only $10!)

Items Available at Saturday, April 11th 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. shows: : Foil Wrapped Chocolate Bunny $5.00 - Bordeaux Egg $5.00 - Peanut Butter Decorated Egg $5.00 - 1 pound Assorted Chocolates $16.00 (in spring wrap) - 1 pound Nuts and Chews $16.00 (in spring wrap).
To pre-order, email Delivery can be arranged for orders over $30. Items may also be picked up at High School Musical 2 performances this weekend.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

photo by Jennifer Freyer
Sacramento’s B Street Theatre concludes its B3 season with “Love Song,” an odd and oddly touching tribute to love, whether real or imaginary. The play, by John Kolvenbach, involves two couples, one with a relationship in the real world, the other in a not-so-real one. Joan (Elisabeth Nunziato) is a tough and practical businesswoman who appalls her tender hearted husband, Henry (Kurt Johnson), with her ruthlessness.

But her soft side embraces her mentally challenged brother, Beane (Jason Kuykendall), who shares a sparsely furnished apartment with a strange and lovely young woman, Molly (Brooke Adams) who arrived on the premises as a burglar. Theirs is an ambiguous relationship tinged with potential danger. The play winds down to an ethereal finish, much of it in mime.

“Love Song” runs through May 10 at 2711 B Street, behind the Stanford Park Baseball Field. Performances are Tuesday through Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday, at 1 p.m. (April 5 and 12). Matinees are at 2 p.m. on Thursday. (No show on April 14) Tickets are $22-$30, with student and senior discounts. Call (916) 443-5300.

For a detailed review go to El Dorado Hills’ Village Life on line at For free copies of the paper in print, see

Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre Closing

To Mark and Andrea:

We wish you all the best and look forward to your reopening in a new and better location!

David and Pat Jacobson

SENT BY: Mark Ferreira, CEO, Garbeau’s
DATE: April 7, 2009
CONTACT: Mark Ferreira, 916-985-6361

After launching a two-month campaign to try to save Garbeau's Dinner Theatre and twice believing they might have succeeded, owners of the 27-year old community landmark have announced they will be closing their doors on May 31st. "We obviously misinterpreted our landlord," said Mark Ferreira, CEO and co-owner of Garbeau's.

The owners had believed that after meeting a well-publicized financial deadline on March 16th, they would be able to negotiate rent with their Washington-based landlord, Andy Lakha of Lakha Investments, Inc., headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Instead, they were told the negotiations would be dependent on a new April 1st deadline, which was met with help from the offices of Senator Dave Cox, Senator Darrel Steinberg, and Board of Equalization Member Bill Leonard. "When we opened, we made a disproportionately large sales tax deposit," Ferreira explained, "and their offices moved with incredible speed to reassess the deposit and refund a substantial portion."

While declining to negotiate the rent, Lakha did offer to waive all past and future monies owed in exchange for a clean walk away. "We appreciate his allowing us to operate through May 31st and we hope the best for his future tenant," Ferreira said.

Garbeau’s is continuing plans for their Easter brunch, comedy nights, Thursday evening karaoke, their current weekend production There’s a Little Bit of Broadway in Everyone, and closing parties through May. Until then, the owners are asking everyone who has a memory at Garbeau's to come as a patron or visitor and sign a wall in their theater. "Even though it will be eventually painted over, we want Garbeau's to have a permanent presence here," said co-owner Andrea Castel.

Though reopening Garbeau’s in the future is a possibility, Ferreira says discussing it is premature. “For now, we would simply like to celebrate our last production surrounded by friends.” He concluded, “We did the best we could with what we had and we will be forever grateful for the community support we’ve received.”

Garbeau's website is posting information regarding which theaters have pledged to honor Garbeau's season passes through 2009. More information can be found at or by calling Garbeau’s box office at (916) 985-6361.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Roman Comedy Comes to Folsom's Stage Nine

l-r: Cassie March, Nick Adorno, Tony Wichowski. Photographer: Allen Schmeltz Productions
Folsom, CA, April 6, 2009: The popular and funny musical comedy “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To the Forum” opens April 17 at Stage Nine Theatre in Historic Folsom. Directed by Susan Mason with Choreography by Connie Mockenhaupt and Ashley Mason, the musical is by Stephen Sondheim, with book by Burt Shevelove and Larry Gelbart.

It tells a story inspired by the farces of the ancient Roman playwright Plautus (251–183 BC) — with traditional Roman characters. the musical weaves the bawdy yarn of a slave named Pseudolus and his attempts to win his freedom by helping his young master woo the girl next door. The plot displays many classic elements of farce, including puns, cases of mistaken identity (frequently involving characters disguising themselves as one another), and satirical comments on social class.

“Forum” plays on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. through May 24. For tickets and reservations, call (916) 353-1001. Admission is $22 General, $20 Seniors & SARTA, $15 Children. Group rates are available. Performances are at the Stage Nine Theatre, 717 Sutter Street in Historic Folsom.

Stage Nine Theatre is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Audition notices

We're always delighted to publish audition notices, but some notices we have to reject. Here's an example:

"Auditions: Seeking a young man who is at least 28 but not over 28 years old."

(a classified ad from the Hartford Courant newspaper of Hartford, Connecticut)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update from Thistle Dew

Add this website, , to your list of sources for theatre.

"Last Resort Trailer Park" by Laura Sheperd has been extended until May 16.

Last Resort Trailer Park,
7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and
2 p.m. Sundays.
(includes dessert, coffee and tea). Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre,
1901 P Street;
(916) 444-8209;
Reservations required.
Extended through May 16

Local playwright Laura Sheperd, winner of an Elly Award for her drama "Annie’s Story,"
has ’written a comedy--and it is hilarious.

“Combine a handful of talented local character actors with a light, character-based comedy and the result is this laughfest full of, well, character,” says Kel Munger, Sacramento News & Review

Our Director, Julie Greene
Our Cast:
Keith Letl as ‘Buk’,
Noemi C. Rios, as ‘Nadine’', Gloria Jones as ‘Rhonda’,
Paula Campanella, as ‘Charline’ and
Charley Cross as ‘Hank.


Fri 4/3, Sat 4/4, Sun 4/5, Fri 4/10, Sat 4/11, Sun 4/12, Fri 4/17, Sat 4/18,
Sun 4/19, Fri 4/24, Sat 4/25, Sun 4/26, Fri 5/1, Sat 5/2, Sun 5/3, Fri 5/8, Sat 5/9, Sun 5/10, Fri 5/15, Closes (?) 5/16

The Thistle Dew Playwrights group requests submission of your 5-7 minute monologues for production in September, 2009.