Sunday, May 31, 2009

Variations on Betrayal at Proscenium

From Ally Krumm, Beyond the Proscenium Productions

Have you ever wondered what it would take to drive a man to betray his country? or a woman to betray her company? Ever laughed at Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, or Lily Tomlin? Ever wondered what it would be like to have Robin Williams or Steve Martin as your history teacher? Well, now's your chance to let five colorful clowns tell you a story of corporate corruption and good ol' American individualism run amok.

Starting with the little-known story of America's best-known turncoat and how he went from a celebrated Revolutionary hero to our most reviled villain, Variations on Betrayal plunks the whole history of Benedict Arnold smack in the middle of modern corporate politicking. And if that weren't funny (ironic) enough, it's a clown show with five of the funniest (ha-ha) performers around! Don't think big red noses and floppy shoes, but, rather, slapstick physical humor and a cream-pie fight. And all this is in the service of expanding a well-worn American-history factoid into a full-blown exploration of how a person struggling to get by could end up achieving legendary status -- albeit for treachery, betrayal, and treason. How far could you be pushed before you pushed back?

Variations on Betrayal: An Allegory for Five Colorful Clowns is written and directed by p joshua laskey. It also stars Jessica Goldman, Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly, Benjamin T. Ismail, Alysha S. Krumm and Kellie Yvonne Raines.

The show will play Fridays and Saturdays, at 8pm. Sundays at 2pm. The show plays from June 19th - July 19th, with no show on July 4th. The show will have two preview dates: Wednesday June 17th and Thursday June 18th.

Beyond the Proscenium Productions is at 1713 25th Street, Sacramento. Tickets are $15general admission. Seating is extremely limited so reservations are advised. Please email or call 916-456-1600.

There will be NO July 4th performance. A THURSDAY EVENING performance on July 2nd will be in it's place.

There will be NO July 17th performance, a SATURDAY MATINEE on July 18th will be in it's place at 2pm.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Lambda Players extends SORDID LIVES

From Lambda Players

The run of SORDID LIVES has been extended for two weeks due to popular demand! The show plays Fri/Sat @ 8pm now through June 13th. Written by Del Shores, this production is directed by Matthew Burlingame. Sordid Lives, the original stage play, premiered in Los Angeles in 1996, and ultimately won 14 Drama League Awards. Taglined as "a black comedy about white trash," Sordid Lives starts when Peggy, a good Christian woman, hits her head on the sink and bleeds to death after tripping over her lover's wooden legs in a motel room, and chaos erupts in Winters, Texas. Del Shores wacky play was made into a film in 2000 and in 2008 Sordid Lives, The Series on TV. This production is recommended for adults over 18.

Sordid Lives will play Fri/Sat @ 8pm through June 13th. All tickets run $13. Reservations can be made online at, and information by calling 916-444-8229

Note: For a review of SORDID LIVES click "Older Posts" (bottom of page) repeatedly to find our May 13 review.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

At Chautauqua: visiting the bad old days

Chautauqua photo

It’s tempting to compare our current economic malaise with the Great Depression of the thirties, but today we’re focused on fixing the problem rather than flirting with overthrow of the government. In its light-hearted way “You Can’t Take It with You,” now at Carmichael’s Chautauqua Playhouse, challenges our work ethic, the moral underpinning of the capitalist system.

By the popular team of George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the play idealizes a family, the Sycamores, that does what it enjoys instead of working for a living. As the title suggests, you only live once. Mother Penelope writes unfinished plays on a typewriter accidentally delivered to her home. Meanwhile father Paul, aided by Mr. De Pinna, who lives with them, makes fireworks in the basement.

Daughter Essie makes candy while Ed, her husband, prints quotations from Trotsky on a tiny printing press. Grandpa Vanderhof made his bundle and dropped out of the workforce decades ago. Now he hunts snakes and attends commencement exercises. The high point of the first act is his patient dismissal of an IRS agent who can’t show him that he gets full value for his tax dollar.

The one “normal” member of the clan is daughter Alice, who has a job. She’s in love with Tony Kirby, her boss’ son, and has invited his family to dinner–except that Tony gave them the wrong date, thus creating a belated plot complication when the conventional Kirbys confront the Sycamores.

Others in the household include Rheba, the maid, her boyfriend Donald, and Boris Kolenkhov, a Russian refugee who teaches Essie ballet. Mr. and Mrs. Kirby are sucked into the vortex by Penelope’s free association game, revealing the shocking baggage in their unconscious minds. Add to this blend Gay Wellington, an actress who gets drunk and passes out on the sofa, and Olga, a former czarina who now waits tables in a chain restaurant.

Despite some laughs the first act so bleeds the eccentricities of the characters as to make the play seem dated, but the second act, with the arrival of the Kirby’s, generates some real excitement. Under Boots Martin’s skilled direction, for example, Larry Rehrer and Carolyn Gregory, as Mr. and Mrs. Kirby, bring sympathy for the hapless couple rather than playing them as stuffy stereotypes.

In fact the cast as a whole is well chosen: Diane Bartlett (Penelope), Jessalyn San Gregorio (Essie), Betty Cummings (Rheba), John Walck (Paul), Warren Harrison (Mr. De Pinna), Marc Berman (Ed), Corey Winfield (Donald), Daryl Petrig (Vanderhof), Shana McCarl (Alice), Bob Nannini (two roles), Jeff Thomas (Tony), Kent Miller (Boris), Paula Campanella (Wellington), Patrick Campbell (Mac, a cop), and Marie Raymond (Olga).

Rodger Hoopman provides a functional yet unobtrusive set, including a deer’s head with a necktie. And Eileen Beaver offers expressive costumes, especially to the two “Russians.”

“You Can’t Take It with You” continues through June 21 at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in Carmichael’s La Sierra Community Center. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $17 general and $15 for students, seniors, children and SARTA members. Call (916) 489-7529 (PLAY). See also

Monday, May 25, 2009

A Foursome coming to B Street


The B Street Theatre is pleased to kick off its 2009-2010 Mainstage Season
with the Norm Foster comedy THE FOURSOME. Canada’s most produced
playwright, Norm Foster, has been a regular at B Street Theatre where five of
his plays have been produced: THE AFFECTIONS OF MAY (1998); THE
ALONE (2001), and MENDING FENCES (2009).

THE FOURSOME follows four former college buddies over 18 holes of
golf. Aided by alcohol and wit, Donnie, Rick, Ted and Cameron swing
away at each other playfully until they confront the most treacherous of
traps: the past.

The Playwright
Norm Foster was born in Newmarket, Ontario on St. Valentine's Day.
Raised in Toronto, he attended West Hill Collegiate Institute and then went
on to study Radio & Television Arts at Centennial College in Toronto and
then Confederation College in Thunder Bay. Upon completion of his studies,
he began a radio career that would span 25 years and which would take him
from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg to Kingston and finally to Fredericton, New
Brunswick. It was in Fredericton in 1980 that Norm was introduced to the
world of theatre.

"A friend of mine was going to audition for a community theatre production
of HARVEY and he asked me to go along. I went, just for a lark, and I
wound up getting the part of Elwood P. Dowd. The funny thing is, I had
never even seen a play in my life before this."

Foster fell in love with the theatre right then and there, and two years later
he penned his first professionally produced play, SINNERS. It was produced by Theatre New Brunswick and directed by Malcolm Black, who would also
direct Foster's next effort, the highly successful THE MELVILLE BOYS.

THE MELVILLE BOYS would go on to be produced across Canada and in
the United States, including a well-received run off-Broadway in New York.
It would become Foster's signature play, and the one which would bring his
name to the forefront of Canadian theatre.

Since then, Norm Foster has produced an astonishing output of work. Nearly forty plays in all, including THE AFFECTIONS OF MAY, the most produced play in Canada in 1991. He has also written a musical with composer Leslie Arden (THE LAST RESORT)
and four musicals (JASPER STATION, RACE DAY, SITTING PRETTY & ONE MOMENT.) with composer Steve Thomas.

Says Foster, "I write for about three or four hours each day. I mean, if you
can turn out even one page per day, it doesn't take long before you've got a
ninety page script. Another important thing is, you have to know when to
stop writing. Know when your play is finished. One of the curses of being a
playwright is that you're never ever completely satisfied with your finished
product. There is always that one line which you think you could improve.
And when you improve that line, you find another. You must know when to

Foster's plays are known mainly for their comedic qualities, but they are not
without their serious moments as well. "I find it far more satisfying if I can
make an audience laugh and feel a little heartache within the same story. The
farces (SINNERS, SELF-HELP) are a lot of fun to write but it's the stories
that touch an audience's heart as well as it's funnybone that are the most

Foster has had several plays published by Playwright's Union Press. They

He has also had his work published in various compilation volumes such as
LOOKING and THE LOVE LIST are published by Samuel French.

Norm Foster does not limit his efforts to writing, though. Lately, he has
returned to what brought him to the theatre in the first place: acting.
"Acting is great fun, but writing is my first love. A lot of people out there
like the 'idea' of being a writer. The romance of it. The notion that we all sit
around in cafes and talk about our writing with other writers. Personally, I
would rather do it than talk about it. The actual process of writing is what
excites me. Creating a world from the ground up and populating it with
characters I've pulled out of my head. This is why I rarely set my plays in
real cities with place names we recognize. I want the audience to imagine
these locations right along with me."

When asked to try and pin down a common theme that runs through his
plays, Foster says he's not sure. "I think for the most part, they're about
ordinary people just trying to get by in life. I never set out with a
monumental purpose in mind. I'm not trying to teach an audience a lesson or
pass along some profound message, because I don't think I'm qualified.
What I am trying to do is make them feel a little better about this world, and
that's not easy these days."

The Cast
THE FOURSOME features a cast of actors familiar to B Street audiences. Company members David Pierini, John Lamb and Greg Alexander will be joined by Bay Area B Street veteran Allan McKelvey (BEAUTY QUEEN OF LENANE; THE LONESOME WEST).

Elisabeth Nunziato directs.

The Schedule/Tickets
Previews: Saturday June 13 at 5:00 p.m.; Sunday June 14 at 2:00 p.m.
Opening Night: Sunday June 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Runs: Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.; Thursday and Friday at 8:00 p.m.;
Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday Matinees
at 2:00 p.m.

THE FOURSOME closes Sunday July 26 at 2:00 p.m.
Ticket Prices are $18.00-$30.00.

THE FOURSOME will be performed on the B Street Theatre Mainstage: 2727 B Street behind Stanford Park Baseball Field at 27th and C Streets in Midtown Sacramento.

B Street Box Office: (916)443-5300.

EDMT Camp and opportunities

Announcement from EDMT

Create Musical Theatre Magic and participate in a Production of “Fiddler, JR”

3 Weeks from July 13-July 31

Performance dates, 7/30, 7/31 Monday- Friday, 9-12:00 (Tuition Fee $300.00)

Call 933-7171 or email

Art & Soul Productions is a non-profit company dedicated to providing an environment for the enhancement of children’s education through theatre.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Capital Stage to host next GLBT Night Friday, June 5, 2009

The Andrews Sister
Capital Stage Photo

Capital Stage, Sacramento's newest professional theatre, is proud to announce the next "Out & Bold" night for the GLBT community at Capital Stage on Friday, June 5, 2009. Out & Bold is an opportunity for members and friends of the GLBT community to meet new people, enjoy a drink, and experience Capital Stage's bold, intimate, live theatre.

"Out & Bold" will feature pre-show wine reception at 7:00pm aboard the Delta King, followed by a performance of "The Complete History of America (abridged)" at 8 p.m. and ending with a post-performance discussion with artists. The regular ticket price of $24 includes admission to the show and both the pre-show and post-show events. Tickets are currently available at the Capital Stage Box Office, 916-995-5464 or online at

Furniture Sale by Foothill Theatre Company

Announcement from Foothill Theatre Company

Foothill Theatre Company selling props and furniture this weekend

The Foothill Theatre Company will be conducting a prop and furniture sale at their scene shop located at 13321 Grass Valley Drive, off Loma Rica Road. The sale hours are Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The sale includes theatrical props and furniture that have been used over the years on stage, as well as building materials, hardware and tools. In addition to the general public, theatrical groups and schools are encouraged to attend.

For more information contact Karen Marinovich at 265-9320.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

At Capital Stage: a zany tour of American History

Fans of “The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged” will revel in a sequel at Capital Stage: “The Complete History of America Abridged.” Enhance your appreciation of our nation’s past as seen in what appears to be a doper’s dream–and laugh along the way.

Under Stephanie Gularte’s seasoned direction, three of Capital Stage’s funniest regulars–Gary S. Martinez, Eric Wheeler and Jonathan Rhys Williams–take us on a wild ride through our nation’s history, from 1492 to now, from what Columbus discovered to film noir. It’s guaranteed to be delightfully inaccurate.

For a detailed review and how, when and where to buy tickets, go to El Dorado Hills’ Village Life web site:

“Children of Light”: a new ancient tragedy

Greek tragedy has held up a model for dramatists from Shakespeare to Eugene O’Neill and beyond. Based on ancient mythology, worshipped as religion, the Greeks of 5th century B.C. Athens dramatized yarns about families famous for killing each other and committing incest. Arguably the most enduring tale, from Homer through Euripedes, relates how the great general Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia so he could go to Troy, rescue Helen and kill lots of Trojans.

But when he got home his angry wife and her lover killed him in his bath (at least in a popular version). His second daughter, Electra, and her twin brother, Orestes, got even but experienced quite a mess in the aftermath. Though Orestes brings to an end the family murders, playwrights, both ancient and modern, seem more interested in Electra’s more complex psychology.

So was Sigmund Freud, who coined the “Electra complex” to account for a woman’s pathological love for her father.

Modern playwrights tend to translate the plot into a contemporary story. Eugene O’Neill’s “Mourning Becomes Electra,” which hit Broadway in 1931, set the action during the Civil War. Two years ago the Sacramento Theatre Company staged Luis Alfaro’s version, “Electricidad,”which takes place in a Los Angeles Barrio.

But Rick Foster, playwright and dramaturg in residence for California Stage, does an about face: with “Children of Light” he recasts the play as an ancient Greek drama–but with modern overtones. He sees ancient Athens as “abysmally misogynistic, and terrified of female power.” Does he succeed with his moral update? The question will be up to audiences to decide.

One feature of Greek tragedy, and other forms of tragedy inspired by it, is that its effect comes from its inevitability. Its power comes from its very lack of suspense. So we take the liberty here of telling you what happens before you see it.

On a spare stage Janis Stevens (who also directs and plays Klytemnestra, Electra’s mother) designed a background wall suggesting an ancient Greek locale. We first meet a ditch digger (Eric Balwin in the first of two roles), who addresses us somewhat like a chorus but using very modern slang. Though married to Electra he’s so far beneath her socially that he spares her virginity, according her a private bedroom in his hovel.

He departs and Electra (Brittaleigha Baskerville) arrives, choking with rage and a heart full of vengeance for the murder of Agamemnon by Klytemnestra and her lover Aegisthus. Three Greek women–Daphne (Acacia Fisher), Achillea (Lauren Nardozzi) and Irene (Sara Sells)–are unable to calm her. Only her brother, Orestes (Jammy Bulaya), has the right to satisfy her and the gods who demand revenge.

But when he finally arrives she doesn’t recognize him, having grown up apart from him. He’s accompanied by Pylades (Eric Baldwin), a priest of Apollo. When Electra berates Apollo for failing to answer her prayers, Pylades tries to dismiss her until she convinces him that she’s a true, though disappointed, worshiper.

After Orestes dispatches Aegisthus, and drags his headless corpse onstage swathed in a bloody sheet, the focus turns on Klytemnestra. Is it right for Orestes to kill his own mother, even in revenge for his father’s death?

When Electra confronts her mother, Stevens’ winsome and complex Klytemnestra almost persuades Electra to side with her. First there’s a mother’s outrage that Agamemnon would kill his own daughter so that he’d have an easy crossing to Troy. He compounds her pain by returning with a mistress. In legend she’s Cassandra, a Trojan seer blessed with the ability to see into the future, but cursed so that no one will believe what she foresees.

But Klytemnestra’s sympathetic case does not relieve her of responsibility for the assassination of Agamemnon, and after much agonizing, and under pressure from Pylades, Orestes overcomes his reluctance to slay his own mother. And finally Electra kills Pylades, eliminating his bad influence on Orestes, who now becomes king, though a deeply disturbed king. Ultimately Electra becomes the power behind the throne.

We get compelling performances from Baskerville, Bulaya, Baldwin and Stevens. Fisher, Nardozzi and Sells, though less experienced, bring a naive warmth to their portrayal of the Greek women in the background.

“Children of Light” continues through June 14 at California Stage, 2509 R Street, Sacramento. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. General admission is $20, with students, seniors and SARTA members at $15. Groups of 6 or more are $12. Call (916) 451-5822. See also

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tribute to Coretta at Celebration Arts


Celebration Arts presents "A Song For Coretta," a drama by Pearl Cleage. Directed by James Wheatley, "A Song for Coretta" opens May 22 and shows at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday through June 27. There is no performance on Sunday, May 24. Celebration Arts is located at 4469 D Street, Sacramento.

"A Song For Coretta" features five women of different ages who have come to pay their respects to Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr. She lays in state inside the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Standing in line on a rainy night, awaiting entry to the church, each tells why she came to see Coretta. Their stories are revealing, moving.

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

Friday, May 15, 2009

A Tribute to Harvey Milk

Announcement from Lambda Players


a tribute to Harvey Milk
Celebrating Harvey Milk's Birthday May 22nd

Sacramento CA - May 15, 2009 - "Dear Harvey," a readers theatre tribute to the life and legacy of Harvey Milk, opened on May 14th for a limited four-week run at the Lambda Players Studio Theatre, 1028 R Street in downtown Sacramento.

Harvey Milk, born May 22, 1930, was an American politician and the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. In 2008 Diversionary Theatre of San Diego commissioned Patricia Loughrey to write a play in tribute to Harvey Milk. "Dear Harvey" shares the stories of Harvey's rise and untimely death in 1978 and how his life and passion influenced the lives of many people around him. Interviewees include: Tom Ammiano, Cleve Jones, Anne Kronenberg, John Laird, Dan Nicoletta, Stuart Milk, Chris Kehoe, Robin Tyler and others.

This original readers theatre production is a premiere in Sacramento and will run through May 31 at the Lambda Players Studio Theatre. This timely piece, related through various sources, provides a touching, life-affirming and at times humorous portrait of the activist who affected so many and changed the course of politics. Milk fought not only for gays and lesbians, but also for other minorities, the elderly, unions, public transit, health care, and even dope smokers and prostitutes. He believed in individual freedoms, the power of community and the importance of gays to come out of the closet, to be seen and heard. Tickets are a donation of $5.


(corner of 11th and R)

Forward email

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Final weekend for Garbeau's


For many years Garbeau's Dinner Theater has been a popular mainstay for the region east of downtown Sacrmento. But it is now becoming a victim of the economy. To enjoy what it offers (at least in its current location) be sure to make a reservation for May 15, 16 or 17!

To find out more, call (916)985-6361 or go to

New playwriting course by Beyond the Proscenium


The Fundamentals of Playwriting
Sacramento's ONLY summer playwriting course
Host: Beyond the Proscenium Productions
Type: Education - Class
Network: Global
Start Time: Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 10:00am
End Time: Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 1:00pm
Location: Beyond the Proscenium Offices
Street: 1713 25th Street (Behind the gray fence)
City/Town: Sacramento, CA

Phone: 9164561600

DescriptionBeyond the Proscenium Productions, a local theater heading into it's sixteenth season, will be presenting a series of playwriting classes this summer!

The Fundamentals of Playwriting is a course aimed at adults who would like to learn more about the craft of playwriting and writing for production. The course, taught by the Director of Artistic Development for Beyond the Proscenium will culminate in the student writing, editing and re-drafting a ten-minute play, which will be read, out loud by local community actors for the benefit of the playwright.

We are offering the playwriting course this summer starting in June! The June course will meet on Saturday mornings, starting June 6th! So register now! We will also be offering an evening course in July, as well as a weekend course in July. Space is limited - so please contact us if you are interested in any of these class times.

Each class will be four hours long, and will meet four times. Each four hour class is $60, with a one-time $10 actor honorarium. Total is $250 for the full class.

p joshua laskey is a local playwright, actor and director who has had several of his works produced locally. He is a graduate of CSU Sacramento and is the Director of Artistic Development for Beyond the Proscenium Productions (BPP). In June, Beyond the Proscenium will be producing a full length play of his entitled Variations on Betrayal: An Allegory for Five Colorful Clowns.

Start Time: Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 10:00am
End Time: Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 1:00pm
Location: Beyond the Proscenium Offices
Street: 1713 25th Street (Behind the gray fence)
City/Town: Sacramento, CA

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Nibroc Trilogy comes to B Street


B Street Theatre will stage a summer of romance, comedy and family
drama in Arlene Hutton's THE NIBROC TRILOGY. THE NIBROC
TRILOGY continues the story of young Kentuckians Raleigh and
May, so delightfully started in LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC.
LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC, twice produced at B Street Theatre,
introduces recently discharged soldier Raleigh to school teacher May
on a cross country train during the height on World War II. Building
on the narrative (and success) of LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC, Ms.
Hutton penned two sequels: SEE ROCK CITY and GULF VIEW

THE NIBROC TRILOGY will run sequentially in the B Street Theatre's
B-2 space over a 5 month period. Reprising his role as Raleigh will
be B Street company member Jason Kuykendall. Company member
Dana Brooke will play May. Additional casting is not fully set. B
Street artistic director Buck Busfield will direct LAST TRAIN TO
NIBROC, and GULF VIEW DRIVE. Elisabeth Nunziato will direct

Arlene Hutton is a member of New Dramatists, the Dramatists’ Guild
and Circle East (formerly Circle Rep) Lab. Her Appalachian romance
LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC received a 2000 Best Play nomination
from the New York Drama League for its Off-Broadway run. It has
had more than thirty productions across the country, including The
Barrow Group, Miniature Theatre of Chester, Florida Studio Theatre,
ArtStation, Nebraska Rep, ManBites Dog, Riverside, Coyote and
Actors’ Guild of Lexington. It was published by Smith & Kraus in

A second full-length, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN premiered in Edinburgh,
opened in New York City at the 78th Street Theatre Lab and moved
to the ArcLight Theatre.


With romance, comedy and a grace evocative of the era in American
history during which it is set, Arlene Hutton’s THE NIBROC TRILOGY
follows one couple’s tumultuous journey through WWII on the home
front and post-war America.

May and Raleigh meet in 1940 on an eastbound train which carries
the bodies of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West. Unable to
enlist because of a medical condition he wants to be a writer, she
wants to be a missionary and they discover they are from neighboring
towns in Kentucky. In this boy-meets-girl romance, nominated for
Best Play 2000 by the New York Drama League, two young people
navigate through the tough time of a country at war discovering what
they have to give up and to get what they really want.

The Appalachian romance continues the story of May and Raleigh,
who plan to honeymoon at Rock City, Tennessee in 1943. When
victory overseas brings unexpected consequences at home, the
young Kentucky couple is forced to face hidden truths and find
common solutions to the challenges of a new post-war

Hutton’s saga ends with the aftermath of war and the breakup of the
traditional family. Ten years into their marriage, May and Raleigh live
in an island community off the gold coast of Florida. Their dream
house shrinks as relatives descend, further testing the couple’s love
in the romantic, humorous, and insightful glimpse of life in the 1950’s.


LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC previews Saturday June 6 at 8:00 p.m.,
and Sunday June 7 at 1:00 p.m. Opening is Sunday June 7 at 7:00
p.m. LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC closes Sunday July 12.

SEE ROCK CITY previews July 18 at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday July 19
at 1:00 p.m. Opening is Sunday July 19 at 7:00 p.m. Closing is
Sunday August 23.

GULF VIEW DRIVE previews Saturday August 29 at 8:00 p.m., and
Sunday August 30 at 1:00 p.m. Opening is Sunday August 30 at 7:00
p.m. Closing is Sunday October 4.


All three plays will run the B-3 schedule. Tuesday-Friday at 7:00
p.m.; Saturday at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday at 1:00 p.m. There will be no
Tuesday performance of LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC on June 9
There will be no performance of See Rock City on July 4.
There will be additional Thursday matinees of all three plays every
Thursday of each run, with the exception of the first Thursday of
LAST TRAIN TO NIBROC. June 11. Thursday previews begin at
2:00 p.m.

Ticket prices for THE NIBROC TRILOGY range from $18.00 to
$20.00 per show if tickets for all three shows are purchased at the
same time.
The B Street Theatre is located at the corner of 27th and B Streets in
Mid-Town Sacramento, behind Stanford Park Baseball Field at 27th
and C Streets.

For further information contact the B Street Theatre box office:
(916)443-5300 or visit our website at

You’re only as sordid as you think you are

l to r: Kassie Rivera, Shara Lynn Kelsey, Bonnie Antonini
Lambda Players photo

Sometimes confused and often confusing, Dell Shores’ “Sordid Lives” offers a funny, yet infuriating, vision of the psychological damage suffered by social outcasts. It’s now on stage by Lambda Players, the signal theater company emphasizing issues of particular interest to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual) community in the Sacramento region.

But unlike Sean Penn’s heroic portrayal of Harvey Milk, a gay champion with supreme self-confidence, the characters in “Sordid Lives” are often victims of their own prejudice against themselves. Their worst enemies are those who want to cure them.

The play uses a kind of alternating chorus to give it philosophical weight. Bethany Hidden plays an arch Bitsy Mae, who sings, while Steve Thompson, as a solemn young Ty, a mask for Shores himself, narrates the story of his own coming out. The plot, though, is roundly comical, revolving around plans for the funeral of the Texas town’s matriarch, Peggy Ingram, who broke her head on a sink after tripping over the wooden legs of her lover.

We are taken through a dystopian family environment, ranging from Peggy’s reasonable sister Sissy (Sarah Lynn Kelsey) to the extremes of her free-spirited daughter La Vonda (Kassie Rivera) and her alter-ego, the pretentious Latrelle (Bonnie Antonini), who objects to burying Peggy with a mink coat during the hot Texas summer. With few exceptions the men are equally eccentric. At their center is G.W. Nettercott (Kurt Kurtis), the legless lover who accidentally killed Peggy.

One frustration of the first act is trying to figure out who’s who on the stage and how they relate to each other. In a peculiarly bizarre scene, Noleta Nettercott (Sandy Phillips), wife of the philandering G.W., enlists LaVonda to help seek revenge by attacking G.W. and his buddies with rifle and pistol. In the end the men are forced to act like women, one of them wearing a bra. Though funny, the scene is thoroughly confusing to those who haven’t memorized the script.

In the second act Shores demonstrates that he knows how to craft a dramatic scene. Earl (Sonny Sorelsl), a.k.a. Brother Boy and son of Peggy, has been a patient in a mental institution for more than 20 years. He’s been happy to co-opt Tammy Wynette’s identity and blonde wig. Dr. Eve (Anne Marie Patterson) uses a peculiarly erotic therapy to “dehomosezualize” him, but he rejects her advances. She had been hoping to write a book and go on the Oprah show so she could quit her job.

The play concludes at Peggy’s coffin, reuniting the family and rescuing her mink coat from the grave.

Director Matthew Burlingame keeps up a nice pace with a capable though occasionally miscast group of seasoned actors. The warm atmosphere at the Studio Theatre combines with a steeply raked seating, so that nobody has to stretch and bob to see the action.

“Sordid Lives” continues through May 30 at 1028 R Street (corner of 11th Street), Sacramento. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. All tickets are $13. Call (916) 444-8229 or go to Tickets are also available at the door.

"Evita" shines at Runaway Stage

Bevin Bell-Hall as Evita
Runaway Stage photo

In a stunning production Runaway Stage brings us “Evita,” the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It’s the story of the short happy life of Eva Peron, wife of Juan Peron, the quasi-fascist president of Argentina during the mid-twentieth century. As Evita, she became a kind of saint among her compatriots though she failed to rescue Peron’s status internationally.

The musical is loaded with haunting numbers, many with a tango rhythm. Most popular is “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” in which Evita comforts her devoted followers as she approaches an early death.

For more information and a detailed review, go to Village Life at

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Message from Capital Stage:

"Help Us Reach Our Goal!: 2500 donations @ $25 by August 3, 2009
Support Bold Professional Live Theatre with a tax-deductible donation.
Secure online donations can be made at: "
Capital Stage is a quality professional theater,
performing on board the riverboat Delta King
1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento.
Box office: (916) 995-5464

Monday, May 11, 2009

Announcement from EDMT

High Voltage Cabaret Night Performance
Sunday, May 17th at 6:30 p.m.Garbeau's Dinner Theatre (see this one last show before Garbeau's closes)Come out and get a sneak peek of EDMT's new touring company, High Voltage, as they perform Broadway tunes at this Cabaret Night.All seats are $15. Dessert will be served. Tickets are available at or by calling 916.941.SING.

Donations Welcomed
EDMT is a 501c3 non-profit organization that relies on charitable giving and sponsorships to thrive. Ticket sales and tuition alone only cover 60% of annual expenses. Donations may be directed to the Scholarship Fund, Building Fund, or general operations. Thank you for your generosity. (Tax ID: 80-0001275)
El Dorado Musical Theatre is an award-winning, regional youth theater with a mission to build confidence for life through excellence in theater performance.
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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Foothill Theatre Company Goes Dark

A Sad Announcement from FTC

On May 17, immediately following the run of "Bad Dates" at the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley, the Foothill Theatre Company (FTC) will be forced to cease operations.

“Back in November,” says FTC Board President Lowell Robertson, “the Board of Directors had to make the call on whether to go forward with a 2009 season. In 2008, we had been able to reduce expenses by over $60,000, and planned some additional savings. We projected ticket sales very conservatively at 22% below 2008, and we decided to do only a three show Demi-Season to limit risk. The proposed budget indicated being able to reduce debt by over $25,000. It is important to note that this was only five weeks after the start of the Wall Street implosion and housing market collapse. We are in a very different world today, nearly six months later.”

With funding sources drying up, subscriptions, donations, and theatre attendance at all-time lows, the company is simply unable to continue. In a heartfelt farewell letter to FTC’s staff and affiliate artists, Artistic Director Carolyn Howarth explains the situation clearly and succinctly:

“We are not making enough income through ticket sales, special events, and donations to cover our expenses,” she says. "We've already gone through some layoffs, (with more o in debt. If we were to stay open through the end of our announced demi-season we would likely accrue an additional $30 - 50K of debt. Add that to the existing $160K, and you can see how dire the situation is. We have explored every means of making money that we know how to do. We simply cannot put our board and creditors at more risk. Nor can we expose our staff, who have experienced longer work weeks and late paychecks all season long, to more risk of not getting paid at all.

I am so very, very sorry. Eighteen months ago I took the helm of what I knew would be an unsteady ship to sail, but I always believed in my heart that we would be able to find a way to continue. It makes me unbearably sad to report that our team simply hasn't been able to find a solution to the economic problems.”

“The next few weeks will be spent in the nuts and bolts of ceasing operations,” says FTC Executive Director Karen Marinovich. “To clarify, the board will not be dissolving the 501c(3) or declaring bankruptcy. The hope is to put everything into hiatus until some future opportunity may enable someone, somehow to start things back up again. Anyone who has purchased single tickets to The Andrews Brothers will be issued a refund.”

Board President Robertson offers these thoughts in closing:

“The loss of a professional theater company in our county will negatively impact our local economy well beyond the obvious effect on restaurants and the ten FTC jobs lost. Foothill drew a substantial number of attendees from Sacramento and other surrounding towns because of its reputation for producing high quality theater. Those people ate, stayed and shopped here, year after year.

For over two thousand years the arts have been kept alive by those with the means to be serious patrons and who make an investment for the cultural betterment of their city or community. In business they are called angel investors. In the theater world we call them angels too. Anyone interested in being an angel can contact me and I’ll tell you what it will take to keep this worthy and valuable resource viable. Call the Foothill office at 265-9320 for my contact information.”

Thistle Dew Seeks Monologs

Announcement from Thistle Dew Theatre

Calling all Playwrights! Writers! & Poets! We'll convince you to become playwrights!

Monologues—it’s all about monologues! You are invited to write a 5-7 minute monologue for production in late summer/early fall at the Thistle Dew. Monologues may be either comedic or dramatic, in verse or in prose. There are four categories: politics, home life, your first romance, and growing up. All monologues must be read before the group and work-shopped for production. Depending on the quality and number of submissions, they will be produced at the Thistle Dew Theatre, then submitted for publication to JAC Publishing in a book of monologues by The Thistle Dew Playwrights Group. There are no guarantees for production and/or publication.

Cindy Bennett, Karen Kearney, Gloria Jones, Charles Kelso, Karen Kearney, Charley Cross, Theresa Elliott, Tim Cahill, Bernie Goldberg, Mark Fejta, and Julie Greene have contributed lively pieces so far. YOU COULD BE A PART OF OUR VERY SUCCESSFUL GROUP. We continue to accept new monologues at workshop. Those that are best developed through rewrites and continued workshopping will be selected for production. Workshop members will be part of the selection process. MEET THE CHALLENGE!

Still writing? Terrific! Workshops through June and July will focus on 1 - 5 MINUTE monologues, with a return to longer one-act and full-length readings after the monologue series.

For more information see

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

“The Golden Harp”–something for everyone

B Street photo

Since ancient times critics have demanded that poets, including playwrights, teach readers and audiences while delighting them. And B Street Theatre delivers wisdom with its fun in the finale of this season’s Family Series. For adults as well as children, the show is a home-grown product, a musical created and performed by B Street’s own family of professionals.

For the young (as well as for some of the not-so-young), the play mines Greek mythology, bringing to life gods and goddesses, as well as some mortals, zombies and a three-headed dog named Cerberus. Along with this sample out of the sources of our culture, we get a lesson in the art of negotiation, compromise, win-win accommodations that make happy families and nations possible.

Performed in the B-2 space, the action takes place on a spare stage, with two classic columns framing a drop that changes color to suggest each scene. The first things we see are a book of myths next to a box for the autographs of Zeus. The first scene is a confrontation among the three existing gods. Along with Zeus, god of the heavens, there is Poseidon, god of the sea, and Haides, an unemployed deity with nothing left to rule.

So our first lesson in political accommodation comes about when Haides is named god of the underworld—as well as god of heavy metal, which in his case is made into a big guitar. But wait—he doesn’t have a queen. This problem, though, is resolved when Persephone, goddess of spring, is recruited, albeit unenthusiastically, for that office. Daughter of Zeus and Demeter, she’d been in the doghouse after falling for Narcissus, so handsome that he loved only himself.

Despite Demeter’s lack of support, Zeus resolves the issue by making Persephone Haides’ queen of the underworld and heavy metal. The big problem is that she can’t go home and Mom can’t visit her. But everything works out happily after a few battles that include mortals and zombies. In the end we learn an important lesson about nature, and how we can’t have spring all year long.

The playwright is Sacramento’s Greg Alexander, who also directs. He has a distinguished career that, along with playwriting, also includes acting in theaters and on television. He is also co-composer with Noah Agruss, a composer for a variety of media and for five years the staff composer for B Street. The contemporary score includes the catchy “Zombie boogie.”

Alexander and Agruss are well served by a cast of seasoned performers, including Danielle MonÄ— Truitt as Persephone; Rick Kleber as Haides; Michael Stevenson as Zeus, Narcissus and Cerberus; John Lamb as Poseidon, Mortal #1 and Zombie; Amanda Stephen as Demeter, Echo and Zombie; and Jalene Goodwin as Helios, Amphitrite, Mortal #2 and Zombie.

So we see that there is no shortage of zombies on Olympus.

Kat Bayley created magical costumes, especially for the giant three-headed Cerberus, and Ron Madonia’s deft lighting effects set the mood.

“The Golden Harp” continues through May 31 at 2727 B Street, Sacramento, behind Stanford Park Baseball field at 27th and C Streets. Performances are every Saturday and Sunday at 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets are $15 for children under 18, $20 for adults. Call the box office at (916) 443-5300. Also see

Matt K. Miller in Fits and Parts

STC photo
In an effort to limit production costs, Associate Artist Matt K. Miller agreed to write his autobiography as a play for the Sacramento Theatre Company. With wit and humility he gives us a tour of the ups and downs of becoming a successful professional actor. On a nearly bare stage he re-creates his childhood on Long Island and draws us into his dazzling and often frustrating experiences on stage, film, and TV, from classic drama to commercials. His happy ending is his near ideal membership in the STC family and his joys as father of the Miller family.

For details and a full review, go to Village Life of El Dorado Hills:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Crazy Eights" The 2009 Intern Showcase

Announcement from B Street

2008-2009 Intern Company presents 8 original 10-minute plays, running May 19 to May 23 - Tickets are "Pay What You Can."

Dates and Times: (Five Performances Only) Tue. 5/19 @ 7 P.M.; Wed. 5/20 @ 7 P.M.; Thur. 5/21 @ 7 P.M.; Fri. 5/22 @ 7 P.M.; Sat. 5/23 @ 8 P.M.
(All proceeds go to the interns, so please give generously - donations will be accepted at the performances and you can donate additional money over the phone when you purhcase your tickets).
Location: B Street Theatre - B2 Stage, 2711 B Street. Tickets go quickly! Call today 916-443-5300.

As a patron of the B Street Theatre, we would like to give you the opportunity to secure a seat for the Showcase by the 2008-2009 Intern Company. Thirteen of our interns are about to "graduate," and for their showcase we're continuing our now annual tradition--a festival of original 10-minute plays, each one featuring interns.

Crazy Eights: 8 Original 10-Minute Plays: Eight new and original plays from some of your favorite B Street Theatre writers and actors, including producing artistic director Buck Busfield, company members David Pierini, John Lamb, and Michael Stevenson; associate producer Jerry Montoya, artistic associate Erin Island, school tour administrator Darrell Scheidegger, and Brian Kameoka.

The interns featured in the eight plays are Paul Alary, Stephanie Altholz, Michael Baugh, Jalene Goodwin, Julie Marchiano, Jen Mears, Abbey Molyneux, Mike Nardelli, Sara Perry, Tracy Power, and Amanda Stephens. You've seen them all year on our three stages (Mainstage, Family Series, and B3) - and now you won't want to miss them as they all take center stage in their own production. Directing intern Jennifer Freyer, artistic associate Erin Island, and associate producer Jerry Montoya direct.

The Intern Showcases traditionally sell out quickly, so don't delay in calling our box office (916-443-5300) to purchase your tickets for Crazy Eights.

All proceeds of this show benefit the interns, and additional donations may be made on the night of the performance or when you purchase your tickets over the phone.

WARNING: The Intern Showcase has mature language and themes that are meant for adults only. No one under 17 years of age will be admitted.

B Street Theatre
Phone: 916-443-5300 ::: Website:
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Friday, May 1, 2009

Upcoming season at Sacramento Theatre Company

Announcement from Sacramento Theatre Company

STC BRINGS BACK MUSICAL THEATRE AND ITS MOST POPULAR PRODUCTIONS FOR 2009-2010. Tribute to Country-Western singer Patsy Cline and the return of Matt K. Miller in "Fully Committed."

After a very challenging 2008-2009 season, STC is committed to present a season of laughter, music and dance which includes many of their very popular hit shows like "Fully Committed," featuring the return of Matt K. Miller as an out-of work actor who mans the red-hot reservation line at Manhattan’s number-one restaurant. Fully Committed was last seen at STC in 2002, and ran for eight SOLD OUT WEEKS before it closed.

STC will also bring back "Always…Patsy Cline," based on the true story of Cline’s friendship with a fan from Houston who befriended the star in a Texas honky-tonk. The musical play, complete with a live band, down home country humor and even some audience participation, includes many of Pasty’s unforgettable hits such as "Crazy," "I Fall to Pieces," and "Walking After Midnight." STC’s run of "Always…Patsy Cline" was such a huge hit back in 1998, the theatre took it on tour to Southern California.

Another hit for STC was an exquisitely written tale chronicling the arranged marriage of an Indian-born woman who moves to America with her husband. "Arranged Marriage" was wildly popular for STC in 2004 and comes back in this elaborate production with gorgeous music and a chorus of dancers.

The season begins with the highly anticipated “Noises Off,” which STC had to postpone due to budget cuts, but is committed to presenting to Sacramento audiences. "This past year's economic crisis was difficult not only for STC, but for the entire city, region, state and nation. We learned a great deal about implementing cost cutting measures which will ensure a stronger future for the theatre,” says Producing Artistic Director Peggy Shannon.

The 2009-2010 season also includes several other productions never seen before at STC, including the New York Times bestseller and Emmy-winning TV film, "Tuesdays With Morrie" as well as one of the most successful new musicals in America last year, "Black Pearl Sings." STC proudly continues its commitment to present August Wilson’s 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle with a staged reading of "Joe Turner's Come & Gone." STC will also bring back "Cinderella" during the holidays, one of their most popular productions ever.

For more information regarding The Sacramento Theatre Company and their upcoming season, please call the Wells Fargo Box Office at 916-443-6722 or 888-4-STC-TIX or visit their website at

John P. Healy Jr. Memorial Lobby Plaque Dedication

Announcement from El Dorado Musical Theatre

WHEN: Friday, May 1, 2009 TIME: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

WHERE: Oak Ridge High School Performing Arts Theater.

PRESENTATION - In the Theater - 7:00 TO 7:30 pm.
RECEPTION - Refreshments in Lobby 7:30 to 8:00 pm.

John P. Healy, Jr. changed the lives of countless young people! He was the Drama Instructor at Oak Ridge High School, founded the Children's Musical Theatre of San Jose in 1968, and was also co-founder of El Dorado Musical Theatre.