Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mark Twain brings Huck Finn to Roseville

Fifty or so years ago Berkeley Farms, a milk company, drew lots of attention with its slogan: “Farms? In Berkeley?” The slogan comes to mind after absorbing the rich, varied and professional-level production of “Big River,” by Magic Circle Theatre of Roseville.

Theater? In Roseville? “You betcha!” as Sarah Palin might say. For those of us awed by the quality of theater in downtown Sacramento, the idea that there could be something comparable in Old Roseville never crosses most of our minds. But those familiar with Magic Circle know better. You need to arrive early if you expect to find a convenient parking place.

The Roseville Theatre itself, companion to the Tower Theatre, is remarkable in itself. A refurbished vaudeville theater with a complex stage and capacious orchestra pit, it’s a tourist sight in itself, complete with lavish refreshment bar. It’s also ideally suited to the musical “Big River,” inspired by Mark Twain’s classic novel “Huckleberry Finn.” With music and lyrics by Roger Miller and book by William Hauptman, the show won seven Tony Awards. It opened on Broadway in 1985 and ran for 1,000 performances.

The story revolves around Twain’s original premise, with Huck (Kirk Lawson) helping Jim (Ryan Allen), an escaping slave, get to safety on a river raft. It also includes many of the original characters, like Tom Sawyer (Nick Adorno), plus The King (Bob Hayes) and The Duke (Joel Porter), a pair of phonies pretending to be Shakespearean actors and royalty. But it goes well beyond the novel set to music, though it includes 21 numbers with 17 songs.

Over all, the show has a kind of unearthly charm, like a fairy tale, despite the ugliness of slavery, racism and bigotry. Much of its effect has to do with imaginative direction by Brent Null, who teamed with John Bowles to create an evocative set. One imaginative touch is a transparent gray drop, at first seemingly invisible but making the small bridge and the raft behind it look like paintings on a huge flat. Well into the play the drop lifts and we realize that what’s behind it is three dimensional.

Another eerie effect comes from a pair of black actors, mainly the male, who stand at the stage’s sides and silently mouth the words other actors sing, meanwhile interpreting the messages through hand gestures. Lawson, Allen and Adorno provide the most powerful male voices, along with Nick Garcia as a “young fool.” Outstanding among the female voices are Katie Robberecht, Elizabeth Funk, and Elizabeth Poore as the three Wilkes women, and Danyelle Finch as Alice’s daughter.

They’re supported by a strong orchestra with eight musicians, including three who perform intermittently on stage as a small country group: Nikki Alvarez (fiddle), John Clevenger (harmonica) and John Harmon (banjo). Credit also goes to Jennifer Vaughn (musical director), Christi Axelson (choreographer), and Mary Ann Pujals (costumer).

Despite a startling and wild appearance by The Royal Nonesuch (Joel Porter) toward the end, and some tension around a corpse in a casket, the ending seems to drag a bit, as if the script was squeezing all the juice out of the show. But that didn’t stop a standing ovation from the audience.

“Big River” continues through October 10 at 241 Vernon Street in Roseville. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 to $28, with some discounts, and can be purchased at the box office. They’re also available at (916) 782-1777 or online at http://www.mcircle.org/.

A catechism that's all in fun

Photo by Ed Krieger

You don’t have to be Catholic to enjoy “Late Night Catechism,” now at Sacramento’s Cosmopolitan Cabaret. But for Catholics in the audience it may be a kind of masochistic joy to relive the harsh discipline for which the teaching nuns have become famous. Playing Sister, a representative example, Maripat Donovan, who also co-wrote the show with director Marc Silvia, has audiences laughing instead of squirming as she covers the adventure of life from birth to death. Nonie Newton-Breen, long experienced in the role, will take over for Donovan on October 6. For a review and details, go to the El Dorado weekly Newspaper Village Life at http://villagelife.com/story.php?id=692.0.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Atwater, Fixin' to Die" at California Stage

From California Stage:

California Stage will open its 2009-2010 Season with "Atwater: Fixin' to Die" by Robert Myers. This acclaimed one-man play explores the strategems, cynicism and passion brought to politics by Lee Atwater, self-styled master of negative campaigning and the fun-lovin' Dixie dude equally at home in the world of delta blues and "dirty tricks" political strategists.

Harvey LeRoy "Lee" Atwater (1951- 1991) was an American political consultant and strategist to the Republican Party. He was an advisor of U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

George H. W. Bush's main political advisor was no stranger to controversy. From his early days learning the ropes from Strom Thurmond, to introducing Reagan to the power of MTV, to his successful direction of G.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign, Atwater was simultaneously reviled and revered -- depending on whether he was on your side. “Atwater..” is a one-man tour de force about an immensely clever, wickedly funny, and ruthless kingmaker – from a blues-loving frat boy to brain cancer victim confronting a lifetime of Machiavellian tactics, best remembered for turning black convict Willie Horton into a national symbol of the fear of crime.

Director Vada Russell says “Myers’ masterful play presents Eric Baldwin with the great challenge to portray Lee Atwater, who was to the first President Bush what Karl Rove was to the second — his unprincipled and most audacious hatchet man.”

The New York Times says of the playwright: "In spinning the spinmeister, Mr. Myers may show his hand, but he does so winningly… This monodrama is the American body politic itself."

The California Stage production of “Atwater…” is an artistic collaboration with Resurrection Theatre. "Atwater: Fixin' to Die” plays October 9 to November 8 in The Three Penny Playhouse, 1725 25th Street in Midtown Sacramento. Seating is limited. The theater is accessible. Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets: $20 general; $15 students, seniors, and SARTA-League members. For reservations or information about group prices, contact California Stage at 916-451-5822. See also WWW.CALSTAGE.ORG

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Winsome pig makes good in Folsom

In a stage adaptation by Joseph Robinette, “Charlotte’s Web,” by the versatile E.B. White, charms kids and adults.at Folsom’s Stage Nine. It brings us the story of a sweetly innocent piglet named Wilber. Though the threat of slaughter hangs over his head, he’s rescued by Fern, daughter of the farmer, who wins him a reprieve. Sent to live with the Zuckermans, friendly neighboring farmers, Wilber’s befriended by a goose, a gander, a sheep, a lamb–and, to a limited extent, a gluttonous rat.

But his greatest champion is Charlotte, a lovely spider who dazzles all with words of praise for Wilber, written into her web. Wilber repays those who helped him by a winning appearance at a fair.

For details and a full review, go to http://www.villagelife.com/story.php?id=692.0.

Lightweight plays with bravura acting

“Three Plays,” now at California Stage, is the latest production by Sacramento’s venerable Edward (Ed) Claudio, long honored as both actor and director. The show consists of two one-acts by David Mamet and one by William Mastrosimone, American playwrights famed for their work on stage and film. Though thin in substance, the trio makes for a vivid showcase where actors can strut their stuff.

It’s safe to say that Claudio is the director, though the designation doesn’t appear in the playbill. He performs in all three plays, and the three female parts are split between Tygar Hicks and Anna Shah, who alternate. The only other actor, Brian Rife, appears in the third play.

Mamet’s “Dark Pony” opens the show with a brief vignette about a father and his young daughter driving home late at night. While the daughter dozes the father recounts an ancient American Indian tale about a brave and his horse.

The episode makes a popular companion piece for Mamet’s “Reunion,” also about a father-daughter relationship. Detailed and complex, the second play brings together Bernie Cary, a recovered alcoholic, and Carol Mindler, the adult daughter he hasn’t seen since her early childhood. Each tries to understand the other as Bernie blunders along, revealing that he was a tail gunner on a bomber during World War II. She, meanwhile, keeps her motives to herself until the end. In the performance we saw, Hicks played Carol and almost stole the show with a subtle hint of emotions on her face as she responded to Bernie’s words.

After the intermission, Mastrosimone’s lengthy “A Stone Carver” fills the rest of the show. Agostino Malatesta is a widowed stone carver, an Italian immigrant steeped in his old-country traditions, which include wine making. He faces the loss of the home he built with his own hands. The symbol of his life, the home will be demolished to make room for a new highway. His grown son Raff (Brian Rife) arrives with his fiancée to help him leave, but the pair trigger a family battle pitting the old world against the new.

Given their brevity, one-acts offer little room for character development and emotional complexity, let alone exploring complex issues. On their own, these three are less than memorable. But for Claudio and his many fans, they give the maestro plenty of opportunity to demonstrate the range and richness of his artistry.

Still, the three younger performers take advantage of the opportunity to play off the extravagant eccentrics he portrays. Thus they get the chance to signify, subtly, what’s behind their masks. Though the show sometimes comes off like a collection of audition pieces, Claudio and his protégés make us look forward to seeing them again, working with richer material.

“Three Plays” continues through October 4 at Three Penny Theater, California Stage,1721 25th Street, Sacramento. Entrance to the theater is through the parking lot next to the corner of R Street. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (916) 456-7066 for tickets and information.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Streetcar Named Desire at Big Idea Theatre

Shannon Mahoney as the troubled Blanche DuBois in Big Idea Theatre's production of A Streetcar Named Desire. Also pictured are Matt Thompson as Stanley Kowalski and Alexandra Ralph as Stella Kowalski.

From Big Idea Theatre

SACRAMENTO -- Big Idea Theatre is pleased to announce the opening of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire on Friday, September 25, 2009. BIT is proud to present this timeless show to Sacramento audiences! This focused production is directed by Jessica Berkey. The show features Elly-nominated actress Shannon Mahoney as the unstable, fading Southern belle Blanche DuBois. Ms. Mahoney will be powerfully supported by top local talents, including Matt Thompson as Stanley, Alexandra Ralph as Stella and Justin Chapman as Mitch. Performances of Streetcar are at 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, September 25 through October 24, 2009. Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m. (no matinees on opening and closing weekend). General admission tickets are $15. SARTA/League/Seniors $12. All second weekend tickets are $10 (October 4, 11, 18 only).

Big Idea Theatre's remaining 2009 season includes:
* George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion, adapted by and featuring Melissa Rae Frago as Eliza Doolittle, with Scott Divine as Henry Higgins and Susan Madden as Mrs. Higgins (Nov 6-Dec 5)
* Humbug: The Obligatory Christmas Show, by Ed Gyles, Jr. featuring several members of the Big Idea Theatre Company (Dec 11-20)

Tara Stevens as Alice and Kyle Young as Tweedle Dum
Sacramento, CA (September 19, 2009) – Big Idea Theatre is proud to announce the opening of the Little BIT children’s theatre production of "Alice Through the Looking Glass" on Saturday, September 25, 2009. Based on stories by Lewis Carroll, "Alice Through the Looking Glass" is adapted by Gregory Smith and Cheryl Thomas and is directed by Cheryl Thomas.

Show dates and times are Saturdays 11:00 am and 1:00 pm (September 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24). All tickets are $5. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit http://www.bigideatheatre.com/, email http://us.mc457.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=Postmaster@BigIdeaTheatre.com or call (916) 960-3036.

Bring the kids to Little BIT for an affordable, fun-filled Saturday and receive a "buy one, get one free" corndog coupon from Top Dawg. Yum!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Maintenance Man" at B Street


The B Street Theatre is pleased to announce as the third show of its 2009-2010 Mainstage Season: THE MAINTENANCE by British playwright Richard Harris.

The Play

THE MAINTENANCE MAN is a bittersweet and bitingly perceptive look at the collapse of a marriage and the development and decay of an affair. THE MAINTENANCE MAN opens with the self-absorbed Bob fixing a set of shelves in the home of his estranged wife, Chris; then through a series of seamless flashbacks we learn the cause of Bob’s and Chris’s breakup: a former ballet teacher named Diana. As scenes bounce artfully backward and forward, a comedic web of deceit, hurt and recrimination is woven that captures all three characters in its ever-tightening strands.

The Playwright

Richard Harris was born in London. His stage plays have been performed all over the world and include PARTNERS (1969), Two and Two Make Sex (1973), Conscience Be Damned (1975), Outside Edge (1979), which won him the Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright in 1979, The Dog It Was (1980), The Business of Murder (1981), which ran for seven years at the Mayfair Theatre, Local Affairs (1982), Stepping Out (1984), winner of the Standard Drama Award for Comedy in 1984, The Maintenance Man (1986), Visiting Hour (1987), a group of short plays performed as a platform production at the National Theatre, Party Piece (1990), Dead Guilty (1994), and an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Ghosts, which ran at the Comedy Theatre in 2001. His latest play, Going Straight, opened at Windsor Theatre Royal September 2004 before commencing on a nationwide tour.

He has written many plays for television, has contributed to countless television series and co-created the 1979–80 BBC series Shoestring, starring Trevor Eve, and the 60s ITV series Man in a Suitcase. His script, Searching for Señor Duende, won him the New York Television Festival Gold Award for Best Writer. His series based on his play Outside Edge won major craft awards including the Writers’ Guild Best Comedy Award, the British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Drama Series and the Television and Radio Industries Club Award for Best Comedy.

Richard Harris has also written scripts for ITV’s early 90s series, The Darling Buds of May, which starred David Jason as Pop Larkin and Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette Larkin, and the first five episodes in ITV’s long-running detective drama, A Touch of Frost. He has just finished writing The Last Detective, a TV series based on a Leslie Thomas character, which was aired between February 2003 and March 2004.

His radio play Is It Something I Said? was winner of a Giles Cooper Radio Award. He has written several screenplays, including an adaptation of his stage play Stepping Out.

The Cast

THE MAINTENANCE MAN will feature B Street stalwart Kurt Johnson as the incorrigible Bob. Los Angeles based actress Rebecca Dines (THE GOD OF HELL, MANY HAPPY RETURNS)returns to the B Street stage as Bob’s wife Chris. B Street newcomer Alison Lees-Taylor, another Los Angeles based actress, rounds out the three person comedy portraying Bob’s lover Diana.

The Schedule/Tickets

Previews: Saturday September 26 at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday September 27 at 2:00 p.m. Opening Night: Sunday September 27 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. (except November 7), and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.
Wednesday Matinees at 2:00 p.m.
THE MAINTENANCE MAN closes Sunday November 8.
Ticket Prices are: $18.00-$30.00
THE MAINTENANCE MAN will be performed on the B Street Theatre Mainstage: 2711 B Street behind Stanford Park Baseball Field at 27th and C Streets in Midtown Sacramento.

B Street Box Office (916)443-5300
Buck Busfield
Producing Artistic Director
The B Street Theatre
2711 B Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Friday, September 18, 2009

News from Lambda Players

Photo by West Ramsey

Brain Death extended; Suddenly Last Summer in the wings

The Lambda Players are pleased to announce an extension of the popular run of SIX WOMEN WITH BRAIN DEATH currently playing at the Studio Theatre in downtown Sacramento. SIX WOMEN is playing Fri/Sat at 8 p.m. and Sun at 2 p.m. through October 4th. Added performances now will extend the run through Nov 1st!

(There will be no performances the weekend of the 23rd, 24th and 25th. One of the cast members, Bethany Hidden is getting married!)

Not for the faint of heart, this wild and wacky musical has re-ignited audiences! SIX WOMEN was the longest running musical in Sacramento, originally produced at the Studio Theatre from 1996-2006 under the direction of Jackie Schultz. The 2009 production, directed by Kitty Czarnecki, is perhaps wilder even than the original and is dedicated to Jackie.

The new production of SIX WOMEN is salty and frank and sometimes a little over the top, but, don't we all need a little wicked laughter as well as some side-splitting laughter to keep us going in this wretched economy. The music is infectious and the cast throws caution to the wind as they play multiple characters such as Wanda the drunken housewife hooked on Soaps, or Flower, the skunk from Bambi, or a diva riding the road to enlightenment on a spaceship, or a life-sized Barbie doll, or a slut!

Overall it is skewed to the left and no one goes unscathed.

Friday/Saturday at 8pm
Sunday @ 2pm
Now through November 1st!
$17 Gen, $15 Stu/Sen
$13 for groups of 8 or more

Reservations: http://www.lambdaplayers.com/
The Studio Theatre
1028 R Street
Sacramento CA 95811
Original Script, Book by Cheryl Benge and Christy Brandt and Rosanna E. Coppedge and Valerie Fagan and Ross Freese and Mark Houston and Sandee Johnson and Peggy Pharr Wilson, Music by Mark Houston, Lyrics by Mark Houston

SIX WOMEN WITH BRAIN DEATH is being performed courtesy of Music Theatre International.

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, by Tenessee Williams
The New Lambda Players Theatre Opens October 2nd!
The new home of the Lambda Players, located at 1127 21st, above Postcards Etc. in downtown Sacramento on the corner for 21st and L, opens on Friday October 2nd with the classic Tenessee Williams play, "Suddenly Last Summer", directed by Sunny Sorrels.

For information and reservations at the new theatre, visit the website at http://rs6.net/tn.jsp?et=1102716156563&s=2500&e=001oOHTIPzevgscZ34dx45fhZgyrliatPVu7pFP_9HNs-DcRyC3S-_TgVqKn5SllqJkhmeZKuDNxEGZubyTl49-ykzIrqQ4FSPTpP4urM3tA239sDcTqTHphw==. (More details in the coming weeks)

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER by Tenessee Williams
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through October 31st
Tickets: $15
916-444-8229 for information and messages

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER, by Tenessee Williams
The New Lambda Players Theatre Opens October 2nd!
The new home of the Lambda Players, located at 1127 21st, above Postcards Etc. in downtown Sacramento on the corner for 21st and L, opens on Friday October 2nd with the classic Tenessee Williams play, "Suddenly Last Summer," directed by Sunny Sorrels.

For information and reservations at the new theatre, visit the website at http://www.lambdaplayers.com/. (More details in the coming weeks)

SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER by Tenessee Williams
Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm through October 31st
Tickets: $15
916-444-8229 for information and messages

Disney Cabaret Spectacular

From El Dorado Musical Theatre

Disney Cabaret Spectacular Performance, by EDMT’s High Voltage Tour Group, is coming on September 26th.

Please join us for an evening of high energy, Broadway-style performances from Disney Classic hits such as Mickey Mouse and Pinocchio to Mary Poppins, Lion King, Enchanted, Hercules, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Toy Story, Pocahontas and more! The show is choreographed by eight time, Elly winning Choreographer Debbie Wilson, vocally directed by Elly award winner Jennifer Martin, and performed by the El Dorado Musical Theatre’s High Voltage Tour Group, including a couple of very special guests!

Only one performance will be held, this Saturday, September 26, 2009, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. at the Lakehills Church in El Dorado Hills. Tickets are $15 and include dessert and coffee/tea! For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the website at http://www.edmt.info/ or call 916-941-SING.

Be ready to dance in the aisles and sing along to your favorite Disney, Broadway, and movie tunes. High Voltage, The Tour Group is a touring company consisting of 34 talented performers between the ages of nine and 19, from El Dorado, Sacramento and Placer Counties. They have recently performed on the Carnival Cruise Line’s Spectacular ship to the Mexican Rivera, the California State Fair, the El Dorado County Fair, Race for the Arts and more.

Upcoming performances include the State Capitol December 3rd, and Holiday Reunion, an original musical, coming this December in the El Dorado Hills Town Center. If you are interested in participating, auditioning or booking High Voltage for an event, please contact El Dorado Musical Theatre at 916-941-SING.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Greate Tuna Comes to Placerville

Mother Lode News Photo by Megan Jeremica

“Greater Tuna,” now on stage by Imagination Theater and playing to charmed audiences in Placerville, is a venerable satire stinging the foibles of rural Texas. More precisely, it spoofs the hypocrisy and folly of the Texas we knew a couple of generations ago. Perhaps the main attraction of the play is the two actors, in the current production, Jeff Lathrop and Richard Gaylord, who play all twenty of its characters, male and female, young and old, human and non-human.

Since its first production in Austin in 1981, the play has had numerous sequels, as well as translations into other media. Though some of its targets may seem a bit dated, underneath their cultural biases lie universal human weaknesses, such as hollow religiosity and moral bullying. Yet under the skilled direction of Lanny Langston, the actors and their supporting crew offer endless laughs and stunning performances.

For details and a complete review, go to http://villagelife.com/story.php?id=692.0.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Stage 9 Theatre opens “Charlotte’s Web”

From Stage Nine Theatre in Folsom:

What: “Charlotte’s Web”
Adapted by Joseph Robinette. Based on the book by E.B. White
Directed by Allen Schmeltz
Playing September 18 – November 8
Times: Saturday & Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (Note: Special opening on Friday, September 18 at 7:30 with a reception with the cast following the show.)
Tickets: $15 general, $12 seniors & SARTA, $12 children
Reservations: Call (916) 353-1001
Stage 9 Theatre
717 Sutter Street
Historic Folsom 95630

Details: The Children's Literature Association named this "the best American children's book of the past two hundred years," and Joseph Robinette, working with the advice of E.B. White, has created a play that captures this work in a thrilling and utterly practical theatrical presentation.

All the enchanting characters are here: Wilbur, the irresistible young pig who desperately wants to avoid the butcher; Fern, a girl who understands what animals say to each other; Templeton, the gluttonous rat who can occasionally be talked into a good deed; the Zuckerman family; the Arables; and, most of all, the extraordinary spider, Charlotte, who proves to be "a true friend and a good writer."

Determined to save Wilbur, Charlotte begins her campaign with the "miracle" of her web in which she writes, "Some pig." It's the beginning of a victorious campaign which ultimately ends with the now-safe Wilbur doing what is most important to Charlotte. This is a beautiful, knowing play about that gives the audience a theatre experience filled with enchantment.

For further information contact Allen Schmeltz at aschmeltz@earthlink.net or (916) 646-9459.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hansberry Classic comes to Celebration Arts

Message from Celebration Arts

Celebration Arts presents A Raisin In The Sun, a drama by Lorraine Hansberry. Directed by James Wheatley, A Raisin In The Sun will open September 25, 2009, and show Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through October 31, 2009. There will be no performance on September 26. Celebration Arts Theatre is located at 4469 D Street, Sacramento.

The play, set on Chicago's South Side, features a plot that revolves around the dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: the matriarch, Lena, her son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, and Walter Lee’s son Travis. The household is rife with conflict spurred by the anticipation and finally receipt of Lena’s deceased husband's insurance money. Mama wants a new home in a better neighborhood. Walter Lee schemes to buy a liquor store and become his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions test the trust and love long held among the Younger family.

Ticket price: $15 general and $13 students and seniors. On Thursday20night all seats are $8. Call (916) 455-2787 for information and reservations.

Auditions for Henry V

From David Harris
Department of Theatre and Cinema Arts
Folsom Lake College

The Falcon’s Eye Theatre, at Folsom Lake College, announces AUDITIONS for HENRY V by William Shakespeare, directed by David Harris.

Harris writes:

Please join us for William Shakespeare’s thrilling war drama The Life of King Henry the Fifth. When King Henry the Fifth of England is insulted by the King of France, he leads his army into a battle of vengeance and bravado against the proud French elite. Along the way, the young king must struggle with the sinking morale of his troops and his own inner doubts. The war culminates at the bloody Battle of Agincourt.

Audition Dates: September 14, 2009, 7:00 pm on a first come first served basis.

Audition Location: Aspen Hall room, FL 1-20, on the FLC campus.

Rehearsal Dates: September 24 through November 5, weekday evenings and Saturday afternoons.

Performance Dates: November 6 through November 22, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 and Sunday afternoons at 2:00. There is one Thursday night performance, November 19, at 8:00.

Please prepare a monologue from any play by Shakespeare no longer than ninety seconds. Memorization requested but not required. Auditions will also consist of cold readings.

Henry the Fifth contains a large and diverse cast. Roles will be double and triple-cast, so versatile character actors are sought. Experience is not required. Actors of any race, disability, or age over 18 are needed. Experience with Shakespeare and with stage combat are plusses, but not required. High school students must have approval from their counselor to participate. Also we are looking for people interested in scenery, costume, lighting, and sound design, and people interested in Stage Management.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Footloose Comes to Runaway Stage

What happens when you transplant a strong-willed high school boy and his mother from Chicago into a joyless farming town where dancing is against the law? That’s the premise of “Footloose,” the musical now exciting fans of Ruanaway Stage in Sacramento. Ren (Joseph Boyette), the stranger, encounters hostility from his peers as well as the dour Rev. Shaw (John Hopkins), who instituted the rule.

But Ren manages to win over most of his peers and turns them against the anti-dancing law. This leads not only to a happy ending but to a late revelation, showing both the boy and the clergyman that their motives have much in common. Yet the show’s chief appeal is in the razzle-dazzle of 16 catchy numbers that reveal a breath-taking versatility in the cast, as well as those supporting them.

For a detailed review and more information about the production, go to What happens when you transplant a strong-willed high school boy and his mother from Chicago into a joyless farming town where dancing is against the law? That’s the premise of “Footloose,” the musical now exciting fans of Ruanaway Stage in Sacramento. Ren (Joseph Boyette), the stranger, encounters hostility from his peers as well as the dour Rev. Shaw (John Hopkins), who instituted the rule.

But Ren manages to win over most of his peers and turns them against the anti-dancing law. This leads not only to a happy ending but to a late revelation, showing both the boy and the clergyman that their motives have much in common. Yet the show’s chief appeal is in the razzle-dazzle of 16 catchy numbers that reveal a breath-taking versatility in the cast, as well as those supporting them.

For a detailed review and more information about the production, go to http://villagelife.com/story.php?id=692.0

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In a message dated 9/8/2009 4:58:01 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, lediard@midtown.net writes:

Thistle Dew Playwrights' Theatre Workshop eNewsletter SEPTEMBER 8, 2009

The UniqueThistle Dew Dessert TheatreAnd the Thistle Dew Playwright’s Workshop presents original 1 to 7 minute monologues by playwright members of the Thistle Dew Playwright’s Workshop
"Monologue Mania III!"

"Monologue Mania III!"
Two tickets for
the price of one: $25
THIRD AND FINAL SET: September 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26 & 27.

You get dessert, coffee and tea, too![General admission after September: $25.00 per performance]For required Reservations: 444-8209or E-mail (Best): http://us.mc657.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=thistledewplaywrights@yahoo.com


Calling all Essayists! Pulp Fiction Writers! Poets! Novelists! Journalists! Come join us every Monday evening at 7:00. (Except national holidays).
Do you have a story to tell?
If you do, we'll convince you that you can write a play!
Even a three minute play!

Do you have a play you'd like critiqued? Email Tom at thistledewplaywrights@yahoo.com orJulie at julie.greene@sbcglobal.net . Or bring it to the group any Monday evening at 7:00. Jump into the critique mêlée .… or just listen quietly....until your passions rise … and in the midst of the frenzy you feel compelled to join the excitement and the emotion of the fray to express with zeal your opinion of Act II, Scene Three when the protagonist ... Yes. I know. But we've all been there. Haven’t we?All newcomers are welcome!
PLEASE: We are an intimate theatre, in consideration of those who are sensitive to the chemicals in fragrances, this area has been declared a Fragrance Free Zone.
Thank you.
We need seasoned actors to present our original works.

Two Actors Needed for Brain Death

Message from Lambda Players:

Two actors needed immediately for extended run of SIX WOMEN WITH BRAIN DEATH!

The Lambda Players are casting two roles in a popular new version of SIX WOMEN WITH BRAIN DEATH, now extended and running through October 25th, 2009. The two roles available require one alto and one second soprano. Actors should have strong backgrounds in musical theatre, specifically comedy, and need to be able to move well. SIX WOMEN is an ensemble satire of modern living and a no-holds-barred leftist-leaning musical. Rehearsals will be arranged to fit each actor's schedule. One position may be available in as soon as two weeks.

Please email immediately if you are interested. There is a stipend for these roles.

Jackie Schultz

Friday, September 4, 2009

Capital Stage Announces Speech & Debate

October 2 - November 8, 2009
(Opening night: Friday, October 9 at 8pm)

Sacramento, CA -September 3, 2009 - Capital Stage kicks off its fifth season as Sacramento's home for bold, intimate, professional live theatre with the celebrated new play Speech & Debate by Stephen Karam.

Sex. Secrets. Performance-art blogs and blackmail. A typical day when you're a teenager in Salem, Oregon. Three teenage misfits discover they are linked by a sex scandal that's rocked their town. When one of them sets out to expose the truth, secrets become currency, the stakes get higher, and the trio's connection grows deeper in this searching, fiercely funny dark comedy with music. "...savvy comedy...bristling with vitality, wicked humor, terrific dialogue and a direct pipeline into the zeitgeist of contemporary youth..."-Variety.

Performances for Speech & Debate will begin with four previews on Friday, October 2 at 8pm, Saturday, October 3 at 7pm, Sunday, October 4 at 2pm, and Thursday, October 8 at 8pm, and will open on Friday, October 9, 2009 at 8pm. Performances continue through November 8, 2009. Showtimes will be Thursdays - Sundays as follows: Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 7pm , and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets prices range from: $25-$32. Discount tickets are available as follows: Preview tickets: $15; Thursday and Friday student tickets: $12; Sunday matinees senior tickets: $20; Group rates available for groups of 12 or more. Tickets are currently available at the Capital Stage Box Office, 916-995-5464 or online at http://www.capstage.org/. The Pilothouse Restaurant offers a specially priced menu for theatre patrons; Pilothouse reservations can be made through the box office.

The Playwright
Stephen Karam is the author of Speech & Debate (GLAAD Media nomination) which recently finished an acclaimed, twice-extended run at Roundabout Theatre Company as the inaugural production of Roundabout Underground. He is the co-author of columbinus (2006 Helen Hayes nomination), which ran off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop following a co-production by Round House/Perseverance Theatres. His last two plays, Speech & Debate and Girl on Girl, debuted as workshop productions at Playwrights Rep. He is currently working on a new play commission for Roundabout Theatre Company and a screenplay adaptation of Speech & Debate for Overture Films. Karam's writing has also appeared in The Advocate and online at McSweeney's. He is a graduate of Brown University.Capital Stage Artistic Director Stephanie Gularte (The Scene, Humble Boy), will direct. The cast includes Lindsay Carter as Diwata, Ben Ismail as Howie, Matthew Rogozinski as Solomon, and Katie Rubin in all of the adult roles.

Fact Sheet

What: Capital Stage presents Sacramento Premiere of SPEECH & DEBATE by Stephen Karam
Where: Delta King Theatre 1000 Front Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
When: October 2 - November 8, 2009

Friday, October 2 @ 8pm
Saturday, October 3 @ 7pmSunday, October 4 @ 2pm
Thursday, October 8 @ 8pm Preview Tickets: $15
Opening Night: Friday, October 9 @ 8pm $32 Tickets

Performance Times/Prices:
Thursdays/Fridays 8pm $25 Tickets
Saturdays 7pm $29 Tickets
Sundays 2pm $25 Tickets

for online purchases: http://www.capstage.org/

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gulf View Drive at B Street

“Gulf View Drive” winds up the Nibroc Trilogy by Arlene Hutton, a major project this season at Sacramento’s B Street Theatre. At the center of all three plays are Raleigh (Jason Kuykendall) and May (Dana Brooke), a Kentucky couple who meet and marry in “Last Train to Nibroc,” just before World War II. As the war ends they struggle with his disability and her teaching career in “See Rock City.” And in the current offering, the finale, they’ve moved to Florida, where they must cope with their mothers and Raleigh’s pregnant sister, Treva, who asks Raleigh to take temporary custody of her baby to be. The couple also struggles with the stresses of their careers and the deeply embedded prejudices of the South during the fifties.

For details and a review, go to www.villagelife.com. Click “Entertainment,” then headline for Nibroc trilogy.