Sunday, August 22, 2010

B Street series

B Street Theatre Kicks Off B-3 Series With

NEAT



CORRECTED PREVIEW AND OPENING SCHEDULE



SACRAMENTO, CALIF; (August 20, 2010) —



What: B Street Theatre presents Neat written by playwright/actress Charlayne Woodard.
Where: B Street Theatre B3 Series, 2711 B Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
Run Dates: September 5, 2010 through October 2, 2010.

Previews: Saturday September 4 at 4:00 p.m. & 8:00 p.m. Preview tickets $12
Opening: Sunday, September 5 at 1:00 p.m.


Tickets
Box Office: 916.443.5300 www.bstreettheatre.org

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

EDMT RECEIVES FORTY THREE ELLY NOMINATIONS

­­­­­­­­
EDMT RECEIVES FORTY THREE ELLY NOMINATIONS FOR 2009-10 SEASON

Shows considered include Les Miserables, Wizard of Oz, Holiday Reunion, Grease, CATS


El Dorado Hills, CA - With forty-three nominations, El Dorado Musical Theatre tops the list of 2010 Elly Award nominees announced Sunday, August 15, at the Arden Playhouse in Sacramento. The Ellys, which recognize outstanding achievement in community theater, are sponsored by Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance.
EDMT submitted five shows for judging from its 2009-2010 season with Wizard of Oz receiving 15 nominations, Les Miserables with 13, Cats receiving 8, Grease totaled 6, and the EDMT original production of Holiday Reunion received one nomination.
EDMT Founder Debbie Wilson personally received eight nominations, including four for direction, and four for choreography. When asked about the nominations Wilson remarked, “I’m honored that EDMT received so many nominations. It is a sign that we are consistently doing good work, and considered among the best at what we do in the region. It is very validating.”

Other members of the EDMT artistic and technical staff were recognized as well with three nominations for Musical Direction going to Jennifer Martin, three to Louis Hudson for Lighting Design, and two to Christine Martorana for Costume Design. Also receiving nominations for set design were Louis Hudson, Dennis Smith, Charles Davidson and Stephanie Hudson.

Nominations for leading actor or actress included Matt Provencal, Heather Clark, Katherine Sorgea, Savannah Argyle, Terry Hicks, Andrew Wilson, Brian Farmer, Stephen Sorgea, Krista Mackin, and Spencer Borup many of whom had multiple nominations.
Those receiving nominations for supporting actor or actress are Christopher Meissner, Jacob Goodyear, Lauryn Caruso, Jordan Sharp, Maddie Frey, Braiden Wells, Heather Clark, Andrew Wilson and Katherine Sorgea, again with several receiving multiple nominations.

EDMT Executive Producer Wade Sherman said, “Our performers and staff work extremely hard to give our audiences the best theater experience possible. We are happy to see that hard work has been recognized. We are looking forward to continuing the tradition of quality production values that have been established here as we prepare to enter our tenth season.”

The Ellys are named after Eleanor McClatchy, the late president of McClatchy Newspapers. McClatchy, who died in 1980, was a dedicated performing-arts patron who supported and encouraged theater in the region.

About El Dorado Musical Theatre: EDMT is an award winning regional theater company based in El Dorado Hills, California featuring performers aged 6-20. EDMT was founded in 2001. EDMT produces five major productions per year. The 2010-11 Season includes, “A Christmas Carol”, “Hairspray”, “Anything Goes”, “Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr.”, and “Curtains. Additionally, EDMT produces an annual training show for performers aged 5-9, no experience is required. This year’s training show is “The Frog Princess.” Most performances take place at the Jill Solberg Theater on the campus of Folsom High School. For more information visit www.edmt.info or call (916)941-SING.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mauritius Cast Announced at Cap Stage

Sacramento, CA - August 12, 2010 Capital Stage announces a first-rate cast for Mauritius (maw-rish-uhs), the first show of its 2010-11 "Season of Premieres." Capital Stage co-founder and artistic associate Jonathan Rhys Williams (Hunter Gatherers, American Buffalo) as Sterling, leads the stellar cast that includes B Street Theatre veterans Kurt Johnson (Dennis) and John Lamb (Phillip) along with Sacramento actress Kristine David (Jackie) and bay area actress, Lauren Bloom (Mary), Michael Stevenson (Erratica: An Academic Farce, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) will direct.

The edge-of-your-seat, gripping dark comedy is written by Theresa Rebeck, and focuses on two estranged half-sisters who inherit a book of extremely rare stamps. And like the infamous Maltese Falcon, the Mauritius stamp becomes the fraught object of desire for an assortment of shady characters with different and mysterious backgrounds and motives.

Mauritius is the third Sacramento premiere of a Theresa Rebeck production produced by Capital Stage. Previous Rebeck plays at Capital Stage include The Scene and Bad Dates. Ms. Rebeck also writes for TV, film and has published the book, "Free Fire Zone."

The creative team will include Stephen Charles Jones (scenic design), Nancy Pipkin (costume design) and Ron Madonia (lighting design).

Mauritius, the first production of Capital Stage's sixth season, will begin previews at the Delta King Theatre on October 8, 2010 and will open on Friday, October 15 at 8pm.
Capital Stage's 2010-11 Season of Premieres

Mauritius by Theresa Rebeck A Sacramento Premiere
October 8 - November 7, 2010 (Opening Night: October 15)

"...a corkscrew-twist drama of suspense that crackles..."-NY Times

reasons to be pretty by Neil LaBute A Sacramento Premiere
January 21- February 20, 2011 (Opening Night: March 18)

"...the freshest and most illuminating American dialogue to be heard anywhere..." -NY Times


Master Class by Terrence McNally A Sacramento Premiere
March 11 - April 10, 2011 (Opening Night: March 18)
"Get a ticket: MASTER CLASS is mesmerizing theater." -Star-Ledge

TBA A Sacramento Premiere
April 29 - May 22, 2011 (Opening Night: May 6)

Capital Stage is currently in negotiations for an exciting regional premiere which will be announced in June 2010.


Or, by Liz Duffy Adams A Sacramento Premiere
June 17 - July 17, 2011 (Opening Night: June 24)
"Rollickin' bodice-ripping farce...suitably smart and sexy." -New York Post

Plus: Two Holiday Offerings:


Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some!)
by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald, & John K. Alvarez
November 26 - December 30, 2010 (Opening Night: November 27)

It's A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play adapted by Joe Landry
December 19-26, 2010 (Opening Night: December 19)
Capital Stage Company's Mission

Capital Stage Company's mission is to be a dynamic leader in the evolution of the contemporary live theatre landscape in the Capital region and to passionately engage audiences in the art of live storytelling with bold, innovative plays performed by professional artists, in an intimate, up close setting. With a strong commitment to expanding the base of working artists in the greater Sacramento region, we shall develop a company of actors, directors, writers, designers, and technical staff who are dedicated to bringing bold, lively productions of contemporary and classic plays to our community.

While part of the mission of any theater company is to entertain its audience, we at Capital Stage feel strongly that the productions we mount address issues that are vital to understanding the society we live in and ourselves as human beings in that society. We address themes of power and manipulation in relationships between men and women, children and parents, and organizations and individuals. We invite audiences to question the ethics and meaning of art, the definitions of sanity and intelligence, and the line between exploitation and legitimate relationship. We believe that in a large and growing urban environment, where individuals and groups are constantly bombarded with information and demands for decisions, the need for thoughtful examination of our interactions in society has never been greater.

Capital Stage is a 501(c)(3) not for profit organization

# # #

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Join us for a screening of the film Charlie's Closet.

One Day Only!



Please join us for a special private screening of this feature length film.



Saturday August 21 at 1:00 PM

Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theater (at Folsom High School)

1655 Iron Point Road, Folsom

(entrance off Prairie City Road)



Charlie's Closet is written and directed by El Dorado Hills Native Spencer Reed, and starring El Dorado Musical Theatre alums Spencer Borup as Charles Cordell, and Matthew Provencal as Tort. The film also features EDMT alums Amy Foulk, Terry Hicks, Devin Holliman, Chris Meissner, and Mariah Muehler with a guest appearance from Phillip Borup.



The film follows the story of a young adolescent girl, Zoe Jacobs (Esling), and her family who have recently moved to a new home. Zoe, lost and confused in her new environment, finds an unexpected friend in Charles Cordell (Borup), an aspiring author who just so happens to be the monster she found in her closet. Charlie's Closet outlines the struggle of Charlie and Zoe to be different in a world that is striving to be the same. It is a compelling tale of true platonic friendship centered on themes of taking hold of your destiny and remembering that "every moment to live is a moment to love".


The film is rated PG for Mild Language, and possible dangerous situations, along the lines of those contained in films such as Edward Scissorhands or Monsters Inc.

Tickets are just $7.00 online with a $0.50 convenience fee, or $7.00 at the door.

Online tickets available at www.edmt-tickets.com



This is a fundraiser to help support the Producer/Director of this independent film in future film making efforts as well as support for El Dorado Musical Theatre.



If you are interested in volunteering to be an usher or help in the ticket booth,

please contact:

Wade Sherman

Executive Producer

El Dorado Musical Theatre

(916) 941-SING

wadesherman@edmt.info




Donations Welcome



EDMT is a 501c3 non-profit organization that relies on charitable giving and sponsorships to thrive. Ticket sales and tuition alone cover only 60% of annual expenses. Donations may be directed to the Scholarship Fund, Building Fund, or general operations. Thank you for your generosity. Donations may be made online at www.edmt-tickets.com or by mailing to the EDMT office (see address below).



(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.




EL DORADO MUSICAL THEATRE · 5011 GOLDEN FOOTHILL PARKWAY, UNIT #4
EL DORADO HILLS, CALIFORNIA 95762-9649
PHONE 916-941-SING (7464) · FAX 916-941-7465










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El Dorado Musical Theatre | 5011 Golden Foothill Parkway, Suite #4 | El Dorado Hills | CA | 95762



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Publish Post Save NowSave as Draft Return to list of postsIn a message dated 8/4/2010 12:35:07 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, lindaclark@edmt.info writes:












Join us for a screening of the film Charlie's Closet.

One Day Only!



Please join us for a special private screening of this feature length film.



Saturday August 21 at 1:00 PM

Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theater (at Folsom High School)

1655 Iron Point Road, Folsom

(entrance off Prairie City Road)



Charlie's Closet is written and directed by El Dorado Hills Native Spencer Reed, and starring El Dorado Musical Theatre alums Spencer Borup as Charles Cordell, and Matthew Provencal as Tort. The film also features EDMT alums Amy Foulk, Terry Hicks, Devin Holliman, Chris Meissner, and Mariah Muehler with a guest appearance from Phillip Borup.



The film follows the story of a young adolescent girl, Zoe Jacobs (Esling), and her family who have recently moved to a new home. Zoe, lost and confused in her new environment, finds an unexpected friend in Charles Cordell (Borup), an aspiring author who just so happens to be the monster she found in her closet. Charlie's Closet outlines the struggle of Charlie and Zoe to be different in a world that is striving to be the same. It is a compelling tale of true platonic friendship centered on themes of taking hold of your destiny and remembering that "every moment to live is a moment to love".


The film is rated PG for Mild Language, and possible dangerous situations, along the lines of those contained in films such as Edward Scissorhands or Monsters Inc.

Tickets are just $7.00 online with a $0.50 convenience fee, or $7.00 at the door.

Online tickets available at www.edmt-tickets.com



This is a fundraiser to help support the Producer/Director of this independent film in future film making efforts as well as support for El Dorado Musical Theatre.



If you are interested in volunteering to be an usher or help in the ticket booth,

please contact:

Wade Sherman

Executive Producer

El Dorado Musical Theatre

(916) 941-SING

wadesherman@edmt.info




Donations Welcome



EDMT is a 501c3 non-profit organization that relies on charitable giving and sponsorships to thrive. Ticket sales and tuition alone cover only 60% of annual expenses. Donations may be directed to the Scholarship Fund, Building Fund, or general operations. Thank you for your generosity. Donations may be made online at www.edmt-tickets.com or by mailing to the EDMT office (see address below).



(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.




EL DORADO MUSICAL THEATRE · 5011 GOLDEN FOOTHILL PARKWAY, UNIT #4
EL DORADO HILLS, CALIFORNIA 95762-9649
PHONE 916-941-SING (7464) · FAX 916-941-7465

Sunday, August 8, 2010

"Charlie's Closet" comes to EDH

EDMT Announces Screening of Locally Produced Feature Length Film “Charlie’s Closet.”

EL DORADO HILLS, CA - El Dorado Musical Theatre is proud to announce a special screening of the feature length film, “Charlie’s Closet” on Saturday August 21 at 1:00PM at the Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theater at Folsom High School. Charlie's Closet is written and directed by El Dorado Hills native Spencer Reed, and starring EDMT alums Spencer Borup as Charles Cordell, and Matthew Provencal as Tort. The film also features EDMT alums Amy Foulk, Terry Hicks, Devin Holliman, Chris Meissner, and Mariah Muehler with a guest appearance from Phillip Borup.

It follows the story of a young adolescent girl, Zoe Jacobs and her family who have recently moved to a new home. Zoe, lost and confused in her new environment, finds an unexpected friend in Charles Cordell (Borup), an aspiring author who just so happens to be the monster she found in her closet. Charlie's Closet outlines the struggle of Charlie and Zoe to be different in a world that is striving to be the same. It is a compelling tale of true platonic friendship centered on themes of taking hold of your destiny and remembering that "every moment to live is a moment to love."

EDMT is rating the film as PG for Mild Language, and possible scary situations. Tickets are just $7.00 online with a $0.50 convenience fee at https://www.edmt-tickets.com/tix/index.php or $7.00 at the door. This event is a fundraiser to support Spencer Reed’s future filmmaking efforts, and general support of EDMT.
EDMT Executive Producer Wade Sherman said, “We are pleased to provide this opportunity to Spencer Reed and our performers who worked so hard on this film. This is the first time it has been screened locally in a theater setting. It is such a positive achievement for young people in our community to have produced a film of this quality.

About El Dorado Musical Theatre: EDMT is an award winning regional theater company based in El Dorado Hills, California featuring performers aged 6-20. EDMT was founded in 2001 and is a Non-Profit Organization. EDMT produces five major productions per year. For more info visit www.edmt.info.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Quacks and Honks can be heard in Historic Folsom!

Folsom, CA, July 14, 2010: Honk! by Anthony Drewe, Music by George Stiles and Lyrics by Anthony Drewe, beat "The Lion King" out of the Olivier award (the British equivalent to the Tony Award)! Honk! is a contemporary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's classic story, "The Ugly Duckling" and features Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat-like score that kids everywhere will enjoy. The story wraps up with the wonderful message of how important it is to "just believe in yourself. Don't be left on the shelf feeling that all hope is dead and gone. And you may find, in your own way, you're a swan." This wonderful family entertainment, under the direction of award winning director Connie Mockenhaupt, with assistant directing by two time Elly award winning director Allen Schmeltz and musical direction by Susan Mason is performed by our Summer Musical Theatre Master Workshop students and promises to be great fun.
Honk! plays at 8:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays (plus a special opening performance and reception on Thursday July 1) and Sundays at 4:00 pm from July 24 through August 22. Tickets are $13-$17.

For reservations call (916) 353-1001.

Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter Street, Historic Folsom CA 95630

Thursday, July 8, 2010

EDMT Announces Performances for “CINDERELLA”

El Dorado Musical Theatre is proud to present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” which will run July 9-18 at the Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theater in Folsom. EDMT strives to entertain the community and build confidence in youth through excellence in musical theater performance.

This production features the timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale with the Rodgers & Hammerstein’s hallmarks of originality, charm, and elegance. It was presented originally on television in 1957, starring Julie Andrews. The 1957 broadcast was the highest viewed event in the history of television at that time.

It was re-created in 1965, starring Lesley Ann Warren, and again in 1997, starring Brandy as Cinderella and Whitney Houston as her Fairy Godmother. This show has a talented cast of EDMT’s Rising Stars, ranging in age from 6 to 13. Leads include: Cinderella (Caroline Mixon), Fairy Godmother (Ireland Bonds), Stepmother (Anjie Rose Wilson), Grace (Allison Frew), Joy (Isabella Fay), Christopher (David Bryant), Lionel (Zach Wilson), Queen Constantina (Haley Tangen), and King Maximillian (Eric Hurst).

So come with EDMT this summer to an enchanted land where dreams come true, a land filled with fantastic songs, dance numbers, costumes, and an enchanted set, which will delight audiences of all ages! Ticket prices range from $10.00-$16.00 and can be purchased online at www.edmt.info or by calling the box office at 916-941-SING.

EDMT’s Production of “Cinderella” is sponsored in part by Sir Vesa’s Mexican Grill, Parker Development Company, and Pediatric Dental Specialists.

About El Dorado Musical Theat.re: EDMT is an award winning regional theater company based in El Dorado Hills, California, featuring performers 6-20. EDMT was founded in 2001 and is a Non-Profit Organization. EDMT produces five major productions per year. For more info visit www.edmt.info.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Frank Condon retires from River Stage

2010 River Stage Playwright’s Festival of New Works Mark End of Artistic Director Condon’s Tenure at River Stage.

Presentations July 16, 17, 30 and 31.

Celebrate the end of Frank Condon’s tenure at River Stage, from the formation of the theatre in 1994 to the final presentation of the 15th Anniversary Season. While other theater companies take the first steps in producing playwright festivals, the eminence of River Stage in the Sacramento region is unchallenged. Landmark work by Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff and his astounding "Gunfighter: Gulf War Chronicle" has propelled River Stage into the limelight as the site of seven world premieres of plays that continue to be performed.

This year, River Stage Playwright’s Festival of New Works will present staged readings of two plays. “Confessions of a Pulpiteer” by Lee Boek and “The Little Mermaid is Not for Children” by Alina Trowbridge.

In “Confessions of a Pulpiteer,” directed by Peter Kors, Lee Boek not only gives a fascinating insight into the attractions and complexities of the American evangelical movement, he brings all the passion eloquence and theatrical power he learned as a preacher to create an evening that is stirring, thought-provoking and – in some surprising ways – inspirational. This one-man show with guitar and back up fiddles includes musicians of the highest quality, from the Boston folk music scene. You won't want to miss it.

Presentations are Friday, July 16 at 8:00 pm and Saturday, July 17 at 8:00 pm.

The Little Mermaid is Not for Children by Alina Trowbridge, is directed by Frank Condon. When Carrie Milton misses the chance to say goodbye to her dying mother, she is launched into a mid-life crisis of fairy tale proportions and the middle of the competition between her sisters for her affection and control of the family history. Why do people silence themselves when no one is forcing them into silence? What is the difference between the silence that heals and the silence that kills? The play draws on often expurgated details from the original Little Mermaid story to explore how people face, or don’t face, their mid-life demons and sea witches.

Presentations: Friday, July 30 at 8:00 pm and Saturday, July 31 at 8:00 pm.

River Stage is located at 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento, CA. on the campus of CRC, at the corner Center Parkway and Cosumnes River Blvd. For reservations by phone call 916-691-7364. For tickets and more information go to www.riverstage.org or email riverstage@crc.losrios.edu

Tickets: General: $7 Students: $5 Seniors: $5 Groups: $5 SARTA: $5 League: $5

There is no reserved seating and tickets are available at the door. Wheelchair access is available.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sacramento Premiere At the 24th Street Theatre


Sacramento—"Curtains... the Musical to die for!” Featuring one of the last scores by the lengendary Tony Award-winning songwriting team of Kander and Ebb (Chicago, Cabaret, Zorba) and a book by multiple Tony Award winner Rupert Holmes (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Say Goodnight, Gracie), Curtains is set backstage in 1959 at Boston’s
Colonial Theatre during the pre-Broadway tryout of a new musical.

When the hapless leading lady is murdered on opening night during the curtain call, Lt. Frank Cioffi is called in to investigate and the entire company and creative team become suspects. But the lure of the theater proves irresistible and after an unexpected romance blooms for the stage-struck detective, he finds himself just as drawn toward making the show a hit as he is in solving the murder. What unfolds becomes not only a ‘whodunit” murder mystery, but also a fun, witty and tuneful musical within a musical, sure to delight audiences of all ages.

Filled with rousing show stopping tunes and dancing galore, Curtains promises to have you laughing so hard, it just might kill you! Curtains opened on Broadway on March 22, 2007 and was nominated for eight Tony Awards in the same year, including
Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Original Score (with David Hyde Pierce winning for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical).

William Goldman of Variety called Curtains “An insanely funny evening!” while Michael Kuchwara of the Assocated Press declared it “Musical Comedy Heaven!”
Multiple Elly Award winning Producer and Director Bob Baxter teams up again with Elly Award winning Choreographer Darryl Strohl to stage this heart-warming musical. James Lohman will direct the one-of-a-kind RSP Resident Orchestra through the fabulous score.

Curtains performs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., July 9 through August 1, 2010.

TICKETS Adults - $20, Seniors/Students/SARTA - $18, Children (12 & under) - $15, Groups of 10+ - $15 each. Tickets can be purchased online at www.runawaystage.com (with new “Pick Your Seat” feature), or at the door. Online Reservation Convenience Fees apply.

Free parking is available. For further information or questions please call the box office at (916) 207-1226.

Imagination Theater! presents The Diary of Anne Frank

Imagination Theater presents the Tony Award winning show, The Diary of Anne Frank , Friday, July 9 - Saturday, July 24, 2010. This is the true story of a young Jewish girl, Anne Frank who kept a diary during World War II. As Jews in German-occupied Holland, Anne, her family, and others hid in a secret attic-annex above a warehouse to avoid capture. The annex was discovered by the Nazi authorities in 1944 and Anne's family and friends were sent to concentration camps. Anne's father, Otto, the only survivor, published his daughter's diary in 1948. Anne could never have imagined the impact her words would have on generations of readers. More than sixteen million copies of her diary have been sold worldwide, and it remains the most read primary account of the Holocaust. The show is directed by Peter Wolfe and produced by Lanny Langston.

All tickets are reasonably priced at $10.00. For specific dates and times go to www.it-tickets.org. Tickets can be purchased online or by phone (530) 642-0404. Located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Imagination Theater celebrates its' 10th Anniversary bringing quality, live community theater to Placerville and El Dorado County.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Norm Foster's "Old Love" comes to B Street

What: B Street Theatre presents Old Love written by Canadian playwright Norm Foster
Where: B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
Run Dates: August 2, 2010 through September 12, 2010.
Previews: Saturday July 31 at 5:00 p.m., Sunday, August 1 at 2:00 p.m., preview tickets $12
Opening Night: Sunday, August 1 at 7:00 p.m.

Tickets
Box Office: 916.443.5300 www.bstreettheatre.org

Description
When a grieving widow is approached by an old acquaintance to pay his respects, a strained courtship begins that poses the question: is love worth all the bother? Old Love is a delightfully funny tale of romance, marriage, and friendship between older adults. Two acts. This is the second show of B Street’s 2010-2011 Mainstage Series.

History
Norm Foster is a long-time favorite of B Street Theatre audiences. Mr. Foster’s Affections of May, The Melville Boys, The Foursome, Drinking Alone, The Motor Trade and Mending Fences have all been produced at B Street.

Play: Old Love
Author: Norm Foster
Director: Buck Busfield
Cast: B Street company members Judy Jean Berns as Molly and David Silberman as Bud
Set Design: TBD
Lighting Design: TBD
Costume Design: TBD
Sound Design: B Street Staff
Stage Manager: Jerry Montoya

###
More about B Street Theatre: B Street Theatre is a non-profit, professional theatre company producing primarily new work for adults, families and children. The two-theatre playhouse on B Street in Midtown Sacramento is home to the Mainstage Series, B3 Series and Family Series, each created to feature intimate, quality theatre for audiences year-round. Recognized as one of Northern California’s top professional theatres, B Street Theatre has produced more than 100 new plays, 60 of which are world, national, West Coast, or regional premieres.

B Street Theatre was originally founded in 1986 for the purpose of bringing the excitement of live performance to children through a program known as Fantasy Theatre, which is now called the B Street Theatre School Tour. This educational outreach program serves over 200,000 students in Northern California annually.
Other B Street Theatre programs include the B Street Theatre Family Series and Family Series Student Matinees (for school field trips), the B3 Series, B Street Acting Conservatory and Studio for Young People, and the B Street Theatre Internship program for pre-professional/post-college training.

The mission of B Street Theatre is to promote education and literacy, social interaction, and cultural enrichment by engaging children and adults in the highest quality theatre arts and playwriting.

Imagination Theater! presents the The Diary of Anne Frank

Imagination Theater presents the Tony Award winning show, The Diary of Anne Frank Friday, July 9 - Saturday, July 24, 2010. This is the true story of a young Jewish girl, Anne Frank who kept a diary during World War II. As Jews in German-occupied Holland, Anne and her family feared for their lives.

For two years, beginning in 1942, Anne, her family, and others hide in a secret attic-annex above a warehouse to avoid capture and deportation to a Nazi concentration camp. The annex was discovered by the Nazi authorities in 1944 and Anne's family and friends were sent to concentration camps. The only survivor, Anne's father Otto, later published his daughter's diary in 1948.

Anne could never have imagined the impact her words would have on generations of readers. More than sixteen million copies of her diary have been sold worldwide, and it remains the most read primary account of the Holocaust.

Directed by Peter Wolfe and produced by Lanny Langston, evening performances are at 7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday matinees are at 2:00 p.m. All seats are $10.00. Tickets for the performances can be purchased online at www.it-tickets.org or contact the box office at (530) 642-0404. Located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Imagination Theater celebrates its' 10th Anniversary bringing quality, live community theater to Placerville and El Dorado County.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Shadow of a Man

CALIFORNIA STAGE THEATER COMPANY & TEATRO ESPEJO PRESENT "SHADOW OF A MAN" BY CHERRIE MORAGA

This family tragedy is set in 1969 in the Rodriguez home, a Mexican family living in Los Angeles. It is a hard look at relationships within a disintegrating Chicano family where past secrets and hidden desires threaten to destroy the tenuous remains of all they have built. The title suggests the weighty presence of men in the lives of the female characters. Manuel Rodriguez's inconsistent employment, alcoholism, and disconnection from both Mexican and American culture distance him from his family, especially his eldest, only son Rodrigo. When his dark desires are forced into the open, the women in the family must find solace in one another.

The production is being directed by Antonio Juarez and plays between July 9 and August 1, 2010 in the Wilkerson Theater at the R25 Arts Complex, 1725 25th Street at R street in Midtown Sacramento. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2 PM. Ticket prices are $20.00, for general admission, $15.00, for Students, SARTA members and seniors, and $12.00 for groups of six or more. The theater is accessible.

Craig Chavez and Gladys Acosta will star as the ill-fated parents in the Rodriguez Family. Their daughters, Leticia and Lupe are played by Diana Mandujano and Marianne Gaona. Lucy Ortiz Scott plays their Aunt Rosario while Berman Obaldia will portray Conrado, a family friend.

“Calstage” offers this summer season bonus production free to season subscription holders. Our plays are produced in collaboration with The Sacramento Progressive Communities and Matrix Arts, non-profits serving the greater Sacramento area.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Fact Sheet for El Dorado Musical Theatre’s Production of:
“Crazy For You”
With Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin
Book by Ken Ludwig

Director - Debbie Wilson
Vocal Director – Jennifer Martin
Costumer – Christine Martorana
Featuring El Dorado Musical Theatre performers between the ages of 13-20.
This show is rated G

Show Overview
‘Crazy For You’ is the story of Bobby Child, a stage-struck New Yorker, who’s dream in life is to dance. Bobby Child is sent to a small, poor town in Nevada to close down the local theater. Soon Bobby falls in love with the theater owner’s daughter, Polly. In order to save the theater, he dreams up the idea to put on a show to raise money for the theater. In the end, the town is reinvigorated, the theater is saved and Bobby finds love. ‘Crazy For You’ first opened on Broadway at the Shubert Theatre in 1992 and ran for 1,622 performances starring Harry Groener and Jodi Benson. ‘Crazy ForYou’ received three Tony Awards for Musical, Choreographer and Costume Designer. Memorable Gershwin tunes include I Can’t Be Bothered Now, Bidin’ My Time and I Got Rhythm. It’s a high energy comedy which includes mistake in identity, plot twists, fabulous dance numbers, tapping and classic Gershwin music.


Performances July 23- August 1, 2010
Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theatre at Folsom High School
1655 Iron Point Road, Folsom, CA

Directions: From Hwy 50, take Prairie City Road exit and head north.
Campus is on right. Across from Intel.

Ticket Prices
Prices: $20 - General Admission, $16 - Children, Students and Seniors.
Group discounts available.

Show Dates and Times
Friday, July 23 10:00 am (Preview Show – all seats $10)
Friday, July 23 7:00 pm
Saturday, July 24 2:00pm and 7:00pm*
Sunday, July 25 2:00 pm
Thursday, July 29 7:00 pm
Friday, July 30 7:00 pm
Saturday, July 31 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm
Sunday, August 1 2:00 pm
* Director’s Notes with Debbie Wilson begins at 6pm

El Dorado Musical Theatre
5011 Golden Foothill Parkway #4, El Dorado Hills, CA
(916) 941-SING www.edmt.info

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

History of America in Folsom

Folsom, CA, June 21, 2010: The Sutter Street Theatre presents “Complete History of America (Abridged)” written by Reed Martin, Austin Tichenor, and Adam Long and directed by Susan Mason. Yea verily, from Washington to Watergate, from the Bering Strait to Boston, from New World to New World Order – The Complete History of America (Abridged) is a roller coaster ride through the glorious and inglorious moments that make American History. A very talented and humorous cast featuring Ryan Adame, Jessica Larrick and Michael Coleman present this comedy showing 600 years of history in just two hours.
“Complete History of America (Abridged)” plays at 8:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays (plus a special opening performance and reception on Thursday July 1) and Sundays at 4:00pm from July 1 through August 15. Tickets are $18-$23.

For reservations call (916) 353-1001.

Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter Street, Historic Folsom CA 95630

Monday, June 21, 2010

Spamalot comes to Music Circus

'SPAMALOT' TO BE 500th
IN-THE-ROUND PRODUCTION AT MUSIC CIRCUS


The Sacramento Music Circus production of Monty Python's "Spamalot," opening at the Wells Fargo Pavilion on July 9, will mark a few firsts. It will be the first time a regional theatre has been given the rights to produce the Tony Award-winning best musical. It will also be the first time the musical has been produced in the round. And significantly for the region's largest arts organization, it will be the first time in its history that California Musical Theatre has hosted a regional theatre premiere. But among the firsts, there is another milestone. "Spamalot" will be the 500th opening night for Music Circus at the corner of 15th and H Streets.

From the opening of "Show Boat" in 1951, the Music Circus tent -- and for the last seven seasons the Wells Fargo Pavilion -- has seen the evolution of the American musicals from light operas like "The Merry Widow," "Naughty Marietta" and "The Desert Song" to the great standards of the Broadway stage like "Oklahoma!," "My Fair Lady" and "Fiddler on the Roof" to contemporary favorites like "Les Misérables," "Beauty and the Beast" and, of course, "Spamalot." Over the decades, Music Circus hosted a series of concerts (36 in total), that included the top stage entertainers of the era: Bob Hope, Robert Goulet, Mitzi Gaynor, Jim Nabors, Marlene Dietrich and Liberace to name a few.

Of course the timing of the 500th opening with "Spamalot" and the 60th season is just a happy coincidence. "We couldn't have engineered it this way," Executive Producer Richard Lewis said. "When we put together our season, we endeavor to produce the best shows with the best actors on the stage. The 500th opening gives us another reason to celebrate 60 years of Music Circus in Sacramento. I'm very proud of the work we do here. I only wish we knew how many audience members we've served in all that time, but unfortunately we don't have those records. That would be something to celebrate. It's probably 6 or 7 million."

From 1983 through 1991, Music Circus presented 13 national tours at the Community Center Theater. Those tours, a precursor to the Broadway Sacramento season, are not included as part of the 500 openings at Music Circus.

"Spamalot" opens July 9 for a 13-performance run ending July 18. The season continues with "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" (July 20-25), "Oklahoma!" (July 27-August 1), "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" (August 3-8), "Funny Girl" (August 10-15), "The Marvelous Wonderettes" (August 17-22) and "42nd Street" (August 24-29)

Tickets ($41-$53) are available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, Sacramento, or by calling (916) 557-1999. For more information about the season, please visit www.SacramentoMusicCircus.com.

Last chance to take on Harvey

Only three more performances of Harvey left and two are sold out. Call now and make your reservations for next Friday. (916) 353-1001

Sutter Street Theatre
717 Sutter Street
Historic Folsom
http://www.sutterstreettheatre.com/

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Alert from Capital Stage

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, the brilliant playwright of Capital Stage’s current hit “Hunter Gatherers” will be attending the performance on June 24, 2010. Also, Peter will be joining the cast for a post-show chat with the audience following the performance. Curtain is at 8pm and good seats are available at www.capstage.org or through the box office at 916-995-5464. For more information on Mr. Nachtrieb please visit his site at www.peternachtrieb.com.

For more information contact Peter Mohrmann
Marketing Director, Capital Stage

916-379-5051

www.capstage.org

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A giant rabbit comes to Sutter Street


l to r: Stephen Kauffman, Connie Mockenhaupt, Alyce Rogers.
Courtesy photo

When Elwood P. Dowd starts to introduce his imaginary friend, Harvey, a six-and-a-half-foot rabbit, to guests at a society party, his sister, Veta, has seen as much of his eccentric behavior as she can tolerate. She decides to have him committed to a sanitarium to spare her daughter, Myrtle Mae, and their family from future embarrassment.

Problems arise, however, when Veta herself is mistakenly assumed to be on the verge of lunacy when she explains to doctors that years of living with Elwood's hallucination have caused her to see Harvey also! The doctors commit Veta instead of Elwood, but when the truth comes out, the search is on for Elwood and his invisible companion. When he shows up at the sanitarium looking for his lost friend Harvey, it seems that the mild-mannered Elwood's delusion has had a strange influence on more than one of the doctors. Only at the end does Veta realize that maybe Harvey isn't so bad after all.

Produced by Kauffman’s Give Us A Hand Productions and Sutter Street Theatre, written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Mary Chase and directed by Elly Award winning director Allen Schmeltz, with Stephen Kauffman as Elwood P. Dowd and Connie Mockenhaupt as Veta Louise Simmons, the production runs from June 4 through June 27 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 4:00pm. Tickets are $18-$23. For reservations call (916) 353-1001. The theatre is located at 717 Sutter Street in Historic Folsom. Website www.SutterStreetTheatre.com.

Though dated, “Mary, Mary” can still command a stage

Courtesy photo


If you’ve been away for some time from the venerable Studio Theatre on Sacramento’s “R” Street, you’ll likely be in for a charming surprise. First, there’s the set. Unlike the usual warehouse collection we see a posh New York apartment living room decorated exquisitely with the finest of furnishings. Adding to a sophisticated set design by Michael Peters, some furnishings were on loan from Chautauqua Playhouse.

The signal we get is that we’re now swimming with the professionals. Although Mary, Mary may show signs of aging, Bob and Ro Productions, now at the studio’s helm, aim at professional quality despite being a non-profit.

By the late Jean Kerr, famous mainly for Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1957), the 1961 play anatomizes contemporary marriage, with its various ambiguities. The setup brings together the witty Mary McKellaway (Christina Clem) and husband Bob (John Hopkins) in his apartment where they hope to avert IRS consequences prior to their impending divorce.

A snowstorm leaves her no option but to stay overnight as Bob’s houseguest, and the following morning she encounters Oscar (Bob Gerould), the blunt family lawyer; a glamorous Hollywood leading man, Dirk Winston (Dale Tagtmeyer), and Bob’s newly betrothed and very young Tiffany Richards (Shana McCarl).

As the witty Oscar observes, “If all you’ve got is the sun in the morning and the moon at night, you’re in trouble.” So the plot question revolves around whether Bob and Mary reunite or go their separate ways. And everything works out over three acts with three intermissions. Under Rosemarie Gerould’s skilled direction a capable cast handles the various comic roles with convincing ease, although the action is fairly predictable.

Bob and Ro Productions presents “Mary Mary” on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m. through June 27. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 seniors and $15 students, and can be arranged by calling the box office at (877) 532-7171 between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tues. through Sat. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, The Studio Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento, CA 95811.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Burn This deftly challenges moral convention

Kristine David, Eric Baldwin
Courtesy photo


It’s almost always a joy to welcome a bright new theater group to Sacramento. The opening-night audience for Burn This expressed joyful approval of the fledgling effort by Resurrection Theatre Company and Fourth Stage this week at The Wilkerson Theatre. Its producers—Margaret Morneau, Eric Badwin and Aysha Krumm—made a discerning choice of Lanford Wilson’s searing play by way of introduction.

A contemporary and prolific American playwright, Wilson finds ways to get beneath the surfaces of his characters and make us see the depths that often lie beneath. Having a gay character in this 1986 play would have been a bit more of a shock than it is today. But the object was never to shock; it was to reveal. A young and insightful director, Lisa Thew, recognizes “that it’s often our own “out-of-character” decisions that define the most impactful moments of our lives.”

The plot is triggered by the drowning death of Robbie, a young gay dancer. His roommates—choreographer Anna (Kristine David) and ad-man Larry (Shawn B. O’Neal) bring the remains back to their Manhattan loft. The exquisite Anna has recently given up dancing for a career off-stage, and Larry’s affectionate loyalty goes far beyond his job. Tall, bald and thoroughly endearing, the openly gay Larry has become a family member. Anna is also consoled by her boyfriend, Burton (Joshua Glenn Robertson), who strives to immortalize Robbie in a play.

Upsetting this gathering of friendly mourners is the arrival of Robbie’s surviving brother, Jimmy, nick-named Pale (Eric Baldwin), seemingly bent on punishing Robbie’s friends for their suspected contribution to Robbie’s death—and bad habits. A gun-toting restaurant manager who somehow manages to bond with Anna, Pale seems the least likely to cross the barrier but something draw Anna to him.

The second act, which draws the threads together, seems to drag on a bit too long though it never gets boring.
Thistle Dew Playwrights' Theatre


1901 P STREET,

DOWNTOWN SACRAMENTO

eNewsletter and Press Release

JUNE 7, 2010

AUDITION NOTICE

THE THISTLE DEW DESSERT THEATRE

DATES: JUNE 12, 19.

DROP-IN 1901 P STREET: 11:00AM - 3:00PM

BRING RESUME AND HEADSHOT

COLD READ

CALL BACKS JUNE 26

REHEARSAL SCHEDULE TO BE DETERMINED: JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER

EXACT OPENING AND PLAY DATES TO BE DETERMINED: JULY THROUGH SEPTEMBER

EIGHT TO TEN PERFORMANCE DAYS, FRIDAYS, SATURDAYS AND SOME SUNDAYS





"GOING TO TIBET"

ONE MALE 55-65 [PRECAST]

ONE FEMALE 55-65 [PRECAST]

2 MALES 26-30

SAM MILLER (COMPUTER NERD) AND

DR. BILL DENNING (STUCK-UP, KNOW-IT-ALL, CONNIVING, GOLD DIGGING ...)

2 FEMALES 26-30

SUSAN HARRISON (SECRETARY TO JUDGE MIRIAM FISHER) AND

ALLISON PETERS-FISHER DAUGHTER TO DUNCAN AND MIRIAM

1 MALE 50-60, COMMISSIONER



"GOING TO TIBET": Poor Duncan Peters!

A commissioner from the Judicial Council is coming to interview his family and others are worried. Judge Fischer’s law clerk, Susan, frets that Duncan ’s nonconformity will sink Miriam’s nomination. Not wanting to jeopardize Miriam’s chances for the high court, Duncan leaves for Tibet . Through it all is the question of love. But Miriam is worried. How will it all work out with Duncan in Tibet and the commissioner coming?



AND



"MIXVILLE"

ONE MALE 55-65: JUBAL McCABE, a happy-go-lucky, wanna-be cowboy movie star.

ONE FEMALE 55-65: AIYANNA McCABE, Native American. Her Apache name means ‘eternal blossom’. She has the patience of a saint and the psyche of a poet.

ONE MALE 45-55: NITEESH ‘Carl’ LONEFEATHER: 55-60, brother ofAIYANNA. Member of Native American Tribal Council, Apache Nation.

ONE MALE 14-16, JIMOOTA (‘Jimoo’): 12-15, grandson of JUBAL andAIYANNA. His Apache name means ‘Sun God’.





"MIXVILLE": Are our old cowboy heroes really dead?

Not according to Jubal "Tom Mix" McCabe.



The Fabulous Tom Mix: Thomas Edwin Mix (born Thomas Hezikiah Mix; January 6, 1880 – October 12, 1940) was an American film actor and the star of many early Western movies. He made a reported 336 films between 1910 and 1935, all but nine of which were silent features. He was Hollywood’s first Western megastar and is noted as having helped define the genre for all cowboy actors who followed. Tom Mix was "the King of Cowboys" when the influence of his screen persona was seen in his approach to portraying cowboys. Such was the influence on the life of Jubal 'Tom Mix' McCabe.



We need seasoned actors to present our original works.

email: thistledewplaywrights@yahoo.com

or

telephone: 444-8209


"Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness."
Seneca

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Peggy Shannon leaves STC

Peggy Shannon Accepting Toronto Opportunity

SACRAMENTO, CA. - With “nostalgia and optimism,” the Board of Directors at Sacramento Theatre Company has accepted the resignation of its long-time Artistic Director, Peggy Shannon, effective June 30. Ms. Shannon has accepted a position as Chair of the Theatre School at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

“This is an incredible opportunity for Peggy,” said Linda Clifford, STC Board President. “We are grateful for the talent and growth she brought to STC and appreciate that this is a chance for her to take on a big, new challenge. At the same time, her decision creates a wonderful opportunity within our own theatre to make some exciting changes.”

Matt Miller has been named interim Artistic Director of STC and Michael Laun will take a more senior role as Producing Director. A national search will begin to permanently fill Shannon’s position, though Miller will be a candidate and remain in the job this season. Shannon, who is credited with starting STC’s School of the Arts and bringing new plays, writers, actors and celebrities to the local stage,reflected on the transition:

“I will miss the people of the area, the beautiful neighborhoods, 2nd Saturdays and the legacy we’ve been building, especially within the school. But, it’s good to go toward things and I’m going toward something fantastic now, while feeling confident about where I’ve been.”

Shannon says that while she is “thrilled” about the opportunity ahead, she is proud of the position STC is in now. Subscriptions are up significantly over last year, the school continues to graduate students who move into college programs and professional theater work, and her long-time colleague and friend, Matt Miller, will for now, step into her job.

“Having Matt - someone of his talent as an actor - come live here, get married, have a family ... and become part of this community is something I’m really proud of,” commented Shannon. “This is a really exciting moment in our theatre’s history.”

“The timing is immaculate,” added Miller. “It feels natural to take all the experiences I’ve had on the stage and put them into the artistic product at STC.“

Added Clifford, “ We have very high hopes for Matt.”

About the Sacramento Theatre Company

STC is a professional theatre company located in downtown Sacramento and is one of the oldest and largest arts institutions in the region. From September to May, STC theaters feature eight performances each week. STC Entertains, Educates, Inspires, and Enriches. There's nothing else quite like great professional theatre!

Friday, May 28, 2010

High Voltage Family Appreciation Performance


This is a FREE event open to families, friends and the public. Join us for a celebration of the first year of High Voltage. And a much deserved. "THANK YOU" to all of our families who have worked so hard to help make High Voltage a fabulous success! Join us for one and a half hours of high energy singing and dancing.


Saturday, June 5 at 5:30 p.m. at The Town Center, El Dorado Hills. The show will be
in the Amphitheater (by the ponds next to Bistro 33).

Visit The Town Center webiste at www.eldoradohillstowncenter.com .

Feel free to sit in the amphitheater or bring blankets or lawn chairs for the grassy area. If you would like to enjoy a meal at Bistro 33 before or during the performance, you may make reservaitions for the patio.

To find out more about High Voltage visit edmthighvoltage.info.

High Voltage Auditions

Saturday, June 19 at
El Dorado Musical Theatre Rehearsal Facility
5011 Golden Foothill Pkwy, Suite 4
El Dorado Hills, Ca 95762

This is your chance to become a part of El Dorado Musical Theatre's premier touring group for performers age 9 - 20. Please arrive at 8:45 am for warm-ups. The audition dance will be taught promptly at 9:00 am with auditions immediately following. You will be able to

pre-register online (opening soon) as well as on audition day. For the calendar, contract, registration forms, and audition letter, please visit our webiste at edmthighvoltage.info.

What is High Voltage?

High Voltage is a group of high-energy young performers who sing, dance, and entertain a wide range of audiences. They are EDMT's "Performance Ambassadors" who take entertainment out of the theater and out into the community. The group has performed at venues ranging from the California State Capital Building to the Carnival Splendor cruise ship. You may view a sampling of past High Voltage performances on the website.

For more information visit edmthighvoltage.info or call (916) 941-SING (7464).

Donations Welcome

EDMT is a 501c3 non-profit organization that relies on charitable giving and sponsorships to thrive. Ticket sales and tuition alone cover only 60% of annual expenses. Donations may be directed to the Scholarship Fund, Building Fund, or general operations. Thank you for your generosity. Donations may be made online at www.edmt-tickets.com or my mailing to the EDMT office (see address below).

(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.

EL DORADO MUSICAL THEATRE · 5011 GOLDEN FOOTHILL PARKWAY, UNIT #4
EL DORADO HILLS, CALIFORNIA 95762-9649
PHONE 916-941-SING (7464) · FAX 916-941-7465














Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mary is too clever for her own good


MARY MARY

A Comedy about Love, Divorce, Cynicism and Taxes

She is also sometimes too clever for everyone else’s good. But what can you expect? The poor girl had a gorgeous older sister who completely absorbed all adoration and attention around her. So, Mary decided if she couldn’t be beautiful, she’d be clever. Relentlessly clever.

Now she and the very practical Bob are on the brink of finalizing their divorce. He has a pretty young fiance with a penchant for health foods and a background of wealth and privilege. Mary has a new look and a new attitude. Unfortunately they also have a sticky tax problem that forces them to get together one more time. Things would have gone so much smoother if they could have just stayed apart....

About the author: “Women speak because they wish to speak, whereas a man speaks only when driven to speak by something outside himself like, for instance, he can’t find any clean socks.” - Jean Kerr

Jean Kerr was a funny woman. Married to drama critic Walter Kerr, she wrote some successful plays (including Mary, Mary - longest running play of the decade) and some bad plays (after a blessed short run, she and her husband vowed never to discuss their musical, Goldilocks). She had six children, and swore she did her best writing while locked in the car, hiding from her rambunctious family. Kerr was also the author of many essays and books, the best known being Please Don’t Eat The Daisies, which inspired a movie staring Doris Day and David Niven, as well as a television series. She died in 2003.

Bob and Ro Productions presents “Mary Mary” on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m. June 4 through 27. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 seniors and $15 students, and can be arranged by calling the box office at (877) 532-7171 between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tues. through Sat. Tickets can also be purchased at the door, The Studio Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento, CA 95811.

Hunter Gatherers anatomizes human predators


Richard wrestles Tom
courtesy photo

Mary may have had a little lamb–and may have seen it sacrificed at Capital Stage on Sacramento’s Delta King. The brain child of prolific playwright Sinn Nachtrieb, a San Francisco native, the play begins with a stomach-churning scene. A lamb, invisible in a cardboard box, is about to be slaughtered in front of our eyes. Instinctively we tense, though we know that real consumers don’t buy live lambs and slay them at home.

The action takes place on a May evening in 2005, in “an urban apartment in a city much like San Francisco.” Its cast consists of two married couples, all age 35. Occupants of the apartment are “our hero” Pam (Kelley Ogden) and Richard (Cassidy Brown). They receive a visit from a pair of old friends from high school, also married: Wendy (Katie Rubin) and Tom (Jonathan Rhys Williams). Williams, an artistic associate with the company, also directs.

As Pam looks on, Richard finally summons the strength to overcome his compassion and slay the lamb (something we never really see). His mood swings to triumph and an appetite for the corpse, his favorite dish, which he delivers to an offstage oven. Shortly afterward the couple’s guests arrive, bearing wine. Richard and Wendy chew the lamb carcass, and Pam feeds Tom carrots because he recoiled from the spectacle.

Richard fancies himself an artist, and Tom is a physician. Immediately they relate to each other like a pair of teen-age toughs, savagely wrestling—but all in fun. The horseplay, almost on cue, leads to a cut on Richard’s head, transforming Tom back into his social role as physician. Suddenly all professional, Tom neatly sews up the cut.

The women are also a pair of contrasts: a sedate Pam and a blowsy Wendy. We quickly discover that Richard and Wendy secretly (or not-so-secretly) are carrying on an affair. There’s much talk about how Wendy yearns for a baby and who she might want to be its father. There are also hints of a homosexual attraction between the two men. The play builds to a conclusion where Pam finally discovers—and embraces—her own raw sexuality.

Following the script, Steve Decker, set and lighting designer, decorates the apartment with African masks, spears and skulls on a string, echoing the play’s contrast between civilization and savagery, between the hunters and the gatherers.

The play, like most offerings by Capital Stage, stimulates insight while providing entertainment. Though much of the dialogue brings on laughter, Nachtrieb’s characters seem a little too contrived, designed to fit the human contrasts captured in the title. The acting and directing, though, carry out the play’s mission with suitable élan and comic timing.

The show is aimed at adults and may not be suitable for anyone under 17.

Performances continue through June 27. (There will be no performances Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30.) Show times are Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25-$32. Discount tickets are also available at the Capital Stage Box Office, by phone at 916-995-5464, or online at www.capstage.org. The Pilothouse Restaurant offers a specially priced $29 three-course dinner for theatre patrons; Pilothouse reservations can be made through the box office.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

B Street gets a love child

B Street Theatre presents LOVE CHILD written by Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton

Where: B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street, Sacramento, CA 95816
When: June 5, 2010 through July 25, 2010.

Previews
Saturday, June 5 at 5:00 p.m
Sunday, June 6 at 2:00 p.m.

Opening Night:
Sunday, June 6 at 7:00 p.m.

Performance Times & Prices:
Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.

Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m.

Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.

Sundays at 2:00 p.m.


Tickets
Box Office: 916.443.5300

Description
It's opening night. The cast is unruly, the crowd is restless, and the play is obscure, but Joel has a larger worry: his mother is in the front row. Real and theatrical worlds collide in Love Child, the new comedy about the night a classic play spoke so loudly to its audience that its audience felt compelled to talk back. Actors David Pierini and Greg Alexander take you on a wild ride when they portray everyone on stage, backstage and in the house, all coming together on one riotous night in the theater.

History

Love Child enjoyed two successful runs at Primary Stages in New York. The second run closed January 3, 2010.

Who

Author: Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton.
Director: Buck Busfield
Cast: David Pierini and Greg Alexander. Both actors play multiple roles.
Set Design: Samantha Reno
Lighting Design: Kristin Tyler

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dracula Descends on Imagination Theater!

Dracula Descends on Imagination Theater! this October

Imagination Theater presents Imagination Theater! and with Porter Media Group have been working for nearly two years to bring this haunting multi-media tale of Dracula to Imagination Theater’s stage. Richard Sharp’s version of Bram Stokers’s Dracula is brought to life with exciting film footage intertwined with the stage play for a visual feast. The high definition digital process was shot in several locations, including the historical Central Pacific Railroad Passenger Station in Old Town Sacramento, the Preston School of Industry (also known as The Castle) in Ione, a private residence in Cedar Grove, and a private ranch in Pleasant Valley. The total film time is about 25 minutes of the play, but it is laced throughout to enhance the story and give the audience a new look at an old tale.

Dracula opens October 8, continuing through October 31 with evening shows at 7:00 p.m. and matinees at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online at www.it-tickets.org or contact the box office at (530) 642-0404. All tickets are $15 and are reserved seating. The show is rate PG-13+ and is two hours with no intermission. Located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Imagination Theater celebrates its' 10th Anniversary of bringing quality, live community theater to Placerville and El Dorado County.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

OLD TIME RADIO SHOWS KEEPS GROWING

at the Studio Theatre

Comedy, Mystery, Drama... delivered to your home through the wonders of that amazing machine - the Radio!

At least, that’s how it used to be. Arguably the first true example of mass media, programs were performed before a live audience while the rest of the country gathered around their radios and listened in. Now anyone can be a part of that studio audience when Bob and Ro’s Old Time Radio Shows perform at the Studio Theatre! Local actors take on the roles of established and timeless shows like Gunsmoke, Richard Diamond and The Bickersons. Add in a musical interlude with singer Mike Branson (or a special guest) and you’ve got a great evening’s entertainment.

All performances are at the Studio Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento:

Sunday, May 23 at 7:00 pm • Tickets $10
Richard Diamond - The Gibson Murder Case • The Bickersons • Fibber McGee and Molly - Fibber’s Closet

With a musical interlude featuring Jeanette Hall, Jackie Clauson, Eileen Beaver, Dan Lee and Dennis Cain

Sunday, June 13 at 7:00 pm • Tickets $10
Gunsmoke - The Guitar • The Bickersons • Our Miss Brooks - Friday the Thirteenth

Also featuring the song styling of Mike Branson

Sunday, June 27 at 7:00 pm • Tickets $10
Richard Diamond - The Nathan Beeker Case • The Bickersons •
Fibber McGee & Molly - The Policeman’s Ball

plus the Song Styling of Mike Branson

Sunday, July 11 at 7:00 pm • Tickets $10
Pat Novak P.I. - Go Away Dixie Gillian • The Bickersons •
My Friend Irma - Seeing Ghosts

plus the Song Styling of Mike Branson

Sunday, July 25 at 7:00 pm • Tickets $10
Richard Diamond - The Grey Man • The Bickersons • Fibber McGee & Molly - Fibber Gets His Hand Caught in a Bottle

plus the Song Styling of Mike Branson

Notch & Castle Returns to Sutter Street Theatre

The Comedy Team of David Iannaci and Tony Castle are returning to the Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom, May 27th through May 30th.

Folsom, CA, May 14, 2010: These two seasoned professional entertainers are once again at Sutter Street with their hilarious, high-energy show. The Variety-Show format with its cast of wacky characters delights audiences with songs, skits, bits, impressions and surprises.

So, if you are tired of channel-surfing and long for Live Entertainment that brings the flavor of the wildly popular Variety Shows that once dominated prime-time television, then Notch and Castle’s Comedy-Variety Show is the show for you. Four days only (May 27, 28 29, 30) - Thursday at 7:00 p.m., Friday & Saturday at 8:00p.m. and Sunday at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets are $13-$17. For reservations call (916) 353-1001.

Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter Street, Historic Folsom CA 95630

David Iannaci and Tony Castle…”A different class of clowns.”

Friday, May 14, 2010

MSTW: summer season at Kennedy Mine

TREASURE HUNTS AND SERVANT SILLINESS AT KENNEDY MINE AMPHITHEATRE

Main Street Theatre Works Presents a Summer Season of Family Fun and Adventure with Treasure Island and The Servant of Two Masters.

Main Street Theatre Works is proud to present their 2010 Summer Season at the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre in Jackson ~ opening with the classic pirate adventure, Treasure Island, Ken Ludwig’s adaptation from the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, followed by the zany adventures of Carlo Goldoni’s The Servant of Two Masters, a translation and adaptation of by Jeffrey Hatcher and Paolo Emilio Landi. Treasure Island runs Friday and Saturday nights, June 18th through July 24th and The Servant of Two Masters runs August 6th through September 4th.

Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Treasure Island, set in 1775, pays tribute to this masterful tale of treachery, mayhem, and a young boy’s coming of age adventure. Jim Hawkins is recovering from the death of his father, while trying to help his mother run the Admiral Benbow Inn. Enter the dangerous pirate Billy Bones, who is being tracked for possession of a treasure map by some of the sea’s most famous cutthroats ~ the greedy and unpredictable George Merry, the fierce woman pirate Anne Bonny, the intimidating and evil Blind Pew, and leading the pack is the infamous Long John Silver, the most famous hero/villain of all time. Silver befriends Jim and provides Jim a connection to his deceased father, but is Silver really an ally to Jim, or will he betray him to get his hands on the treasure map? This swashbuckling adventure, Treasure Island, pulls into the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre June 18th through July 24th.

Following the pirate adventure is The Servant of Two Masters. If you loved the zaniness of Around the World in 80 Days last year, you’ll love “…Servant.” It’s been described as “…a Bob Hope or Woody Allen comedy written by Monty Python and performed by Chaplin.” In the story, the madcap and always hungry servant, Truffaldino, does his best to serve two masters, in hopes of an extra meal and some extra pocket change. But is food what he’s really hungry for or is he hungry for his true love, Smeraldina? From beginning to end, the audience is caught up, and included, in the zany madness of an Italian Circus setting, complete with outrageous costumes, mistaken identities, thwarted lovers and irate fathers. The Servant of Two Masters runs August 6th thru September 4th.

Main Street Theatre Works is a professionally oriented theatre company, performing in the heart of Amador County. Now in their 16h season, MSTW continues to be dedicated to bringing professional and community theatre artists together to produce classical and contemporary plays, striving for a balance that stimulates both artists and audiences.

The setting for the amphitheatre is truly spectacular. Located on the Kennedy Mine property, patrons walk past an old tailing wheel (used when the mine was in operation), across an old bridge, into a grass-covered, terraced bowl, surrounded by majestic oaks. There the stage is set for picnicking and enjoying professional quality productions.

Performances are Friday and Saturday nights, with gates opening at 6:30, show starting at 8:00. Patrons are encouraged to come early with picnics, chairs and jackets. The Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre is located on North Main Street in Jackson, next to the Country Squire Motel.

Performance Dates and Times
Fridays and Saturdays
Gates open at 6:30pm for picnics, Show starts at 8:00pm
Treasure Island
June 18th - July 24th
The Servant of Two Masters
August 6th – September 4th

Ticket Prices
Adults - $17.50
Students/Children 18 & under - $12.00
Family Pack (2 adults/2 students) - $49.00

Tickets available at the gate or on-line at
www.mstw.org




Monday, May 10, 2010

Charley’s Aunt revives at Chautauqua


Courtesy photo

Choosing a play to see is a lot like buying shoes. Much depends on your taste and purpose. If you’re drawn to witty reflection that illuminates upper class values of Victorian England, then Chautauqua’s current offering of Charley’s Aunt may be your cup of tea, especially if you’d like some choice laughs as crumpets.

The play, by Brandon Thomas, opened in London in 1892 and enjoyed many revivals since, including a 1941 film version starring Jack Benny. The story relies on a popular device for its humor and suspense: mistaken identity. In the process it reveals both the charms and prejudices of the mores it satirizes.

With wedlock in mind, a pair of Oxford undergraduates, Charley Wykeham (Jess Thomas) and Jack Chesney (Nick Palleschi) have their eyes on, respectively, two suitable young ladies, Amy Spettigue (Zoe Samborski) and Kitty Verdun (Analise Langford-Clark). One is the niece, the other a ward, of Stephen Spettigue (Richard Spierto) an overbearing London solicitor.

Initiating a respectable courtship requires a respectable chaperon, and Jack has just the ticket: his Brazilian aunt, Donna Lucia d’Alvadorez, who’s on her way for a visit. With that expectation in mind he sets up a meeting with the girls. To Jack’s horror, the aunt “from where the nuts come from” is delayed. The impulsive Jack, rather than postponing the meeting, recruits his somewhat ditsy pal Lord Fancourt Babberley (Marc Berman) to masquerade, in drag) as the aunt. (Costumes are by Eileen Beaver.)

Chaos follows, with the greedy Stephen Spettigue wooing Charley’s supposedly rich aunt despite her ugliness. Others contributing to the disorder include a cynical butler, Brasset (Daryl Petrig), who observes how his employers do everything “with a bang” except pay their bills. Eventually the real Donna Lucia arrives, played with an aristocratic warmth by Laura Sheridan. What’s more, she was once engaged to Jack’s father, Col. Sir Frances Chesney, and now completes the circle by resuming their engagement.

A contrite Lord Fancort drops his disguise and is forgiven. His prize, though, is Donna Lucia’s independently wealthy companion, Ela Delahay (Jackie Rouse).

The able cast is smartly directed by Diane Bartlett on two spare but attractive sets designed by Rodger Hoopman. Stage Manager Barrett Chew doubles as a porter and entertains with some soft-shoe dancing during the intermission.

Though much of the humor seems clumsy by today’s standards, the production has its charms. As the final show of its thirty-third season, the play sheds a nostalgic light on the artifice of England 118 years ago.

Charley’s Aunt continues through June 13 at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. Performance are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Admission is $17 general and $15 students, seniors, children, and SARTA members. Call (916) 489-7529. See also cplayhouse.org


Shayleen Schmutzer-Smith (Helga Ten Dorp), Benjamin T. Ismail (Clifford Anderson), Wade Lucas (Sidney Bruhl), Melissa Rae Frago (Myra Bruhl)

Photo by Lori Ann DeLappe-Grondin.




Big Idea Theatre is excited to continue its 2010 season with the opening of Deathtrap by Ira Levin on Friday, May 21, 2010. Opening night includes a gala with wine, light refreshments, a meet and greet with the cast and crew, and live music featuring local artists. All opening night tickets are $20.

This energetic production is directed by Kirk Blackinton and features BIT Company actors Wade Lucas, Benjamin T. Ismail and Melissa Rae Frago, joined by the talents of Shayleen Schmutzer-Smith and Ernesto Bustos.

Performances of Deathtrap are at 8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, May 21 through June 19, 2010. Sunday matinees are at 2:30 p.m. (May 30, June 6, 13 only). Regularly priced general admission tickets are $15. SARTA/League/Seniors/Students $12. All second weekend tickets are $10 (May 28-30 only). Big Idea Theatre is located at 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento, CA 95815. Box office: 916-960-3036. Web site: www.BigIdeaTheatre.com

THE STORY:

A "has been" Broadway playwright struggling to overcome a dry spell schemes to take credit for a student's script. The suspense mounts as the plot twists and turns with devilish cleverness, thrills, and laughter.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Ravenous Hunger and Rampaging Libidos


Cap Stage Serves Up
Ravenous Hunger and Rampaging Libidos

Richard wrestles Tom
courtesy photo

Hunter Gatherers
May 14 - June 27, 2010
(no performances Memorial Day Weekend May 27-30)
(Opening Night: Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8:00 pm)

Capital Stage continues as Sacramento's "home of the premieres" with its presentation of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's hilarious and outrageous Hunter Gatherers. Winner of the 2006 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award and Will Glickman Award, Hunter Gatherers was included in every Bay Area media's list of best plays for 2006. Besides the Bay Area, Hunter Gatherers has been a huge hit with critics and audiences from LA to Philadelphia and Seattle to Dallas.

"Outrageously libidinous knockabout farce meets penetrating social satire in Peter Nachtrieb's hilariously revelatory comedy." - San Francisco Chronicle
The Story

A hilariously savage dinner with friends is the setting of the Sacramento premiere of Hunter Gatherers by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. An urban evening finds Pam and Richard hosting their best friends, Wendy and Tom, for an annual get-together. An animal sacrifice kicks off the evening, followed by a little more sex, violence, deception, wrestling and dancing than at previous parties. The line between civilized and primal man will be blurred. Hunter Gatherers is a dark comedy described as Lord of the Flies meets Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Performances for Hunter Gatherers will begin with four previews on Friday, May 14 at 8pm; Saturday, May 15 at 7pm; Sunday, May 16 at 2pm; and Thursday, May 20 at 8pm, and will open on Friday, May 21, 2010 at 8pm. Performances continue through June 27, 2010. (There will be no performances Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30, due to the annual Jazz Festival in Old Sacramento.) Showtimes will be Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 2pm. Tickets range from $25-$32. Discount tickets are available as follows: Preview Tickets: $15; Student Tickets on Thursdays and Fridays: $12; Senior Tickets on Sunday Matinees: $20; and Group Rates available for parties of 12 or more. Tickets are currently available at the Capital Stage Box Office, by phone at 916-995-5464 or online at www.capstage.org. The Pilothouse Restaurant offers a specially priced $29 three-course dinner for theatre patrons; Pilothouse reservations can be made through the box office.

The Playwright
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb was born in San Francisco and grew up in Mill Valley. Mr. Nachtrieb graduated from Brown University with a degree in Theater and Biology, and earned his MFA in Creative Writing from SF State in 2005. His play, Colorado had its full world premiere at Impact Theatre in 2006. His first full length play, Meaningless, has won multiple awards, received its world premiere at Chicago's Bailiwick Repertory Theatre August 2004, where it earned rave reviews. His one act, Multiplex, was produced at the Bruno's Island New Plays Festival in San Francisco, and was part of SFSU's mainstage season in 2003. His short play, Self Help, won an Emerging Playwright Award from SF's Playground Theatre. Mr. Nachtrieb's play, Hunter Gatherers had a sellout three-month world premiere run the summer of 2006, produced by Killing My Lobster. Its early development was supported by a Tournesol Emerging Playwrights Residency at the Z Space, the New Works Fund, a grant program of Theatre Bay Area and was part of the 2005 Bay Area Playwright's Festival. It was performed on Cape Cod at W.H.A.T. in summer of 2007. Mr. Nachtrieb's play boom had its world premiere at Ars Nova in New York and had productions at DC's Woolly Mammoth, Seattle Rep, Cleveland Public Theatre and Sacramento's B Street Theatre. Mr. Nachtrieb's most recent play, TIC, had its world premiere with Encore Theatre with whom he has received an Emerging Playwright Award from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. It played in January 2009 in San Francisco. He has received a commission from South Coast Rep, and wrote for the 2009 Humana Festival Anthology.

The Cast
Hunter Gatherers will include Katie Rubin (Speech & Debate) as Wendy, Greg Parker (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) as Tom, Kelley Ogden co-founder of Sacramento's KOLT Run Creations as Pam and Bay Area favorite Cassidy Brown as Richard. Capital Stage Artistic Associate Jonathan Williams (Dirty Story, Boy Gets Girl) directs.

WARNING: This play contains adult subject matter, and although it is hilarious, it's probably not suitable for those under the age of 17.

Hunter Gatherers
Fact Sheet

What: Capital Stage presents the Sacramento Premiere of Hunter Gatherers by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb.
Where: Delta King Theatre, 1000 Front Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
When: May 14- June 27, 2010 (no performances Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-30)

Previews
Friday, May 14 @ 8pm
Saturday, May 15 @ 7pm
Sunday, May 16 @ 2pm
Thursday, May 20 @ 8pm

Opening Night: Friday, May 21, 2010 @ 8pm $32 Tickets

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

Description
Pam and Richard are hosting their best friends, Wendy and Tom, for an annual dinner get-together. An animal sacrifice kicks off the evening, followed by a little more sex, violence, deception, wrestling, and dancing than at previous parties. A darkly comic evening where the line between civilized and primal man is blurred, but is there still room for dessert?

Who
Author: Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Director: Jonathan Williams
Cast: Cassidy Brown*, Kelley Ogden, Greg Parker*, Katie Rubin*
Set Design: Steve Decker
Lighting Design: Steve Decker
Costume Design: Rebecca Redmond
Sound Design: Brad Thompson
Production Manager: Cathy Coupal
Stage Manager: Liz Estella*

* Appear courtesy of Actors' Equity Association, the professional union for actors and stage managers in the U.S.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Always Patsy Cline Charms STC


Michele Hillen (l.) and Dyan McBride
Courtesy Maria Christie Photography

Maybe it’s a lack of fresh, riveting drama, but based on the enthusiastic audience for “Cline,” theatergoers seem to be more interested in social awareness than in story telling, especially regarding women. Rather than a dramatized biography, we get a character profile, complete with music.

As Patsy, Dyan McBride provides not only a faithful representation of the singer, with voice to match, but also projects the kind of country-girl warmth that drew audiences to the real Patsy. The current audience also claps along to much of the familiar and loved tunes she bequeathed to us.

Louise (Michele Hillen), Patsy’s representative friend and fan, captures the warmth that brought those audiences to the versatile country singer from Virginia.

Born in 1932, Patsy was the daughter of a seamstress and a blacksmith father who deserted the family when Patsy was 15. Yet Patsy insisted the home was a happy one. A by-ear pianist who sang with perfect pitch, she began her career on a local radio station and climbed to success by way ABC-TV’s Grand Ole Opry and Arthur Godfry’s Talent Scouts in New York.

She recorded a string of hits, from country pop-crossover songs to the torch-song style that made her famous. Her biggest hit was Willie Nelson’s “Crazy,” which made the top ten in 1961. In 1963, at 30 and to our loss at the height of her career, she died in an airplane crash.

Directed by Michael Laun, the show at STC, written and originally directed by Ted Swindley, is more of a dramatized concert than a play, with thirteen numbers divided between two acts. McBride’s spirited Patsy is supported by five musicians, led by Erik Daniells, as conductor and on piano.

Always Patsy Cline continues through May 23, with performances Wednesday (6:30 p.m.), Thursday (12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.), Friday (8 p.m.), Saturday (2 and 8 p.m.), Sunday (2 p.m.). Tickets are $15-$18; group tickets are $25. The Sacramento Theatre Company is at 1419 H Street, Sacramento. Call (916) 443-6722 or (888) 4-STC-TIX; Group Sales: (916) 446-7501 x 120. Check www.sactheatre.org.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Witty Eurydice at River Stage

According to poet Marianne Moore, poetry brings us “imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” But Sarah Ruhl’s “Eurydice,” based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, brings us imaginary gardens with imaginary toads. According to the myth, the poet and musician Orpheus seeks his dead wife in Hades, but when he breaks the rule and looks back at her as she follows him, she remains permanently among the dead.

While Ruhl’s dramatization borrows the skeleton of the myth, director Frank Condon, in his farewell production at River Stage, brings us what appears to be a surreal version, set in a nether world where there appear to be no rules. The central character, as the title predicts, is Eurydice (Destiny Robbins), who appears to be entirely free to do exactly as she chooses.

Orpheus (Spencer Tregilgas) appears in a minor role, scarcely daring to step off the elevator leading him into Hades. He carries an accordion to represent his musicianship.

What’s more, the society of the dead seem to make their own rules (if you can call them such), and the “romance” is between the spirits of Eurydice and her father (Paul Fearn). Since every inhabitant is dead, the laws of the living no longer pply. Thus adultery ceases to be an issue. In this cultural and moral chaos, we’re lectured by a trio of stones: Big Stone (Eric Alston), Little Stone (Joshua Carranza-Vick) and Loud Stone (John Hopkins). But in the anarchy of the dead, their comments seem meaningless.

While the acting and directing hold our attention, the story appears to unfold in a vacuum. With conventional surrealism the premise is based on the irrational and bizarre activities of an unconscious mind, usually functioning during sleep. Thus the “reality” is the product of a slumbering brain. Here we have no reality, merely an imaginary garden with imaginary toads.

Given the flawed premise, the production still holds our interest through Condon’s fine pacing and polished performances by the actors. It continues for about 70 minutes without intermission and offers some witty dialog, as when Eurydice’s father observes, “Be quiet about politics but vote for the right man.”

“Eurydice” continues through May 16 at Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, Sacramento. Performances are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16 to $18, with discounts. Call (916) 691-7364 or e-mail riverstage@crc.losrios.edu.

Jack climbs Sutter Street bean stalk



Ireland Bonds and Connie Mockenhaupt
Courtesy photo

The biggest challenge for children’s theater is entertaining adults. On that score Sutter Street Theatre, in Folsom, succeeds admirably with its current “Jack and the Beanstalk.” For starters, the ancient tale is adapted for moderns by Kathryn Schultz Miller, predominant playwright for children. Add to that Allen Schmeltz’ creative and savvy direction of an expert young cast, and success becomes unavoidable.

Of course we get some of the usual tricks, like audience participation, but the core of the success is wit and fine acting. The cast of four—experienced youngsters Kerrie Buehler, Ireland Bonds, and Brady Tait--includes the savvy Connie Mockenhaupt, co-owner of the theater and longtime professional.

Mockenhaupt starts off the first of her three roles as the Magic Keeper. In a sparkling purple dress with complementary fedora (costumes by Eileen Beaver), she boasts of her prowess to the other three actors, who at first scoff at her. But she quickly turns their skepticism to awe by turning Tait and Buehler into animals, at least temporarily. The action revolves around Jack (Bonds), who switches between male and female roles, and predictably swaps a cow for some “magic” beans.

Later, as Mama, Mockenhaupt instructs Jack to sell the cow. Horrified when he tells her that he swapped the cow for “magic” beans, she tosses the beans into a bush, which dominates center stage. Suddenly a long strand of greenery is yanked up to the ceiling.

What follows are some of the play’s funniest scenes, with Tait as an ogre and Buehler as his wife. In a grotesque black wig, he reveals his omnivorous appetite, declaring how much he enjoys eating little boys. Jack, meanwhile, is hidden with potatoes in a bin below the floor but later climbs the bean stalk.

Even more amazing is that the ghoulishness fails to faze even the smallest children in the audience, who take it all in with appreciative laughter. No mother whisked a hysterical child out of the theater. Afterwards, as traditional with Sutter Street’s children’s theater, the audience complimented and chatted with the performers on the sidewalk in front of the entrance.

“Jack and the Beanstalk” continues through May 30 at 717 Sutter Street in Historic Folsom. Performances are Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., and the show continues for about an hour. Tickets are $13 to $17 and are available at the door. For reserved seating call 916-353-1001. See also www.sutterstreettheatre.com or email mikonpro@sbcglobal.net.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

CHAUTAUQUA PLAYHOUSE opens CHARLEY’S AUNT on May 7

Pictured: (L) Jeff Thomas, Marc Berman, Nicholas Palleschi

Photo credit: Warren Harrison

Chautauqua Playhouse announces the final show of its 33rd season, the classic comedy CHARLEY’S AUNT by Brandon Thomas, opening on May 7th at the Playhouse. The show will run on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm through June 13. All performances will be held at the Chautauqua Playhouse, 5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. Admission is $17 general and $15 students, seniors, children and SARTA members.

Charley’s wealthy aunt from Brazil, where “the nuts come from,” will have to delay her visit. Time to press Lord Fancourt Babberly into action - and a dress. Comic confusion results in the world’s most famous farce. Guaranteed to move an audience to tears of laughter!

The production is directed by Diane Bartlett and features Jeff Thomas, Marc Berman, Nicholas Palleschi, and many other popular Sacramento actors. Set design is by Rodger Hoopman with costumes by Eileen Beaver.

For tickets and additional information call the theatre at (916) 489-7529
(PLAY). Information and tickets are also available through the Chautauqua Playhouse website: www.cplayhouse.org.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A trailer park takes over Thistle Dew


Courtesy photo

Laura Sheperd, an Elly Award winner, brings a provocative revision of her “Last Resort Trailer Park” to Sacramento’s daring Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, a haven and inspiration for local playwrights. A cast of oddballs, mainly female, come together in a laughter-filled comedy, set in a Winnemucca, Nevada, trailer park in what looks like a promising inspiration for a very special TV series.

In a revealing comment on her creative inspiration, Sheperd says that her play ideas start with characters, and the drift of the play confirms that process. What plot there is revolves around a minor crime. Somebody stole a truck belonging to Buk (Sean Williams), a habitué of the trailer park, and used it to break into a house on the other side of town.

Hank Trimble (Jeff Webster), a low-key deputy sheriff, seeks out Buk to ask questions, having noted his ownership from documents in the truck and listed under his formal name: Buford Ulysses Kingman. Hank’s “investigation,” in fact, provides one of the shows funnier scenes. For some reason he thinks that getting a DNA sample from Buk will determine the latter’s guilt or innocence. Buk, though, has a pathological fear of sharp instruments and creates a spray of cotton covered sticks, which frustrate Hank.

The play, though, is dominated by its three women. Rhonda (Gay Cooper) owns the park and lives on the premises. She’s the level-headed one who sets off the eccentricities of the other two. Nadine (Noemi C. Rios) is one of the park’s tenants and Buk’s paramour. She has a secret rival in her friend Charlene (Ashley Lucas), who hangs around the park.

One nice touch by Sheperd, who also directs, is an avoidance of glamour. The actors look like ordinary people, the kind we see regularly on lines at a supermarket checkout stand. One offbeat note comes from the Southern accents the characters employ. Though the locale is in Nevada, the characters sound like residents of Dogpatch.

Both Sheperd and Thistle Dew’s artistic director, Thomas M. Kelly, agree that “writing is re-writing.” Kelly, in fact, hosts meetings of playwrights and would-be playwrights at his theater, with sessions free and open to all. In that spirit we can look for possibilities in the current version of “Trailer Park,” now in search of a plot.

One kernel of possibilities lies in a detail from the story. Two characters discover that they are father and son. That’s a provocative situation that could be explored for development. But I may be presumptuous; I’m the critic, not the playwright.

“Last Resort Trailer Park” continues through May 1 at 1901 P Street, Sacramento. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include coffee, tea and “decadent desserts,” served during intermission. For tickets and reservations, call 916-444-8209 or go to thistledewplaywrights@yahoo.com.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Becky Shaw: an eye-opener about the sexes

True to form, Sacramento’s B Street Theatre offers a main stage show that’s both entertaining and instructive. Introducing us to nationally recognized playwright Gina Gionfriddo, director Buck Busfield, also the theater’s producing artistic director, opens a window on today’s emerging cultural values. If you didn’t know who wrote the play you would never imagine that it came from the pen of a woman.

Its four main characters treat promiscuity as a norm, like changing partners on a dance floor. A fifth character, the elderly Susan Slater (Elizabeth Benedict), mother of Susanna Slater (Lindsey Gates), is just about as sexually permissive as the others. Hearing that her late husband had a reputation as a gay, she replies that if people want to be gay they should go ahead and be gay. Her new boyfriend is not just a friend but her lover.

Daughter Susanna is married to young Andrew Porter (Brian Rife), after what appears a conventional exploration of sex and love through promiscuity, which encourages the unattached (and semi-attached) among us to explore their tastes, as if shopping for new clothes. Almost shrugging off conventional morality, she declares, “Sometimes lying is the most humane thing you can do.”

Dominating the play is her step-brother, Max Garrett, who was adopted by her mother. B Street veteran Kurt Johnson plays him with so much dash that he all but runs away with the play. He delivers most of Gionfriddo’s zingers, such as “love is a by-product of use.” His self-indulgent cynicism is a complement to his practical success in business and money management, and he knows exactly where to find a good lawyer.

He’s also contemptuous of Andrew, an aspiring writer, and sums him up by saying, “He scribbles and brews coffee,” and “He thinks 401k is a band.” With good intentions Susanna and Andrew set up the free-wheeling Max with the seriously disturbed and suicidal Becky Shaw (Samantha Sloyan).

Becky resists well-meaning attempts to help, declaring that “I don’t want Ghetto therapy.” She also declares that “happiness makes me mean.”

But her mental problems, including attempted suicide, don’t soften Max, who observes, “You force people to hurt you.”

“I would like you to try harder,” he tells her, “the next time you try suicide.”

While the play manages to be witty and clever, with touches of insight and revelations about current attitudes about sex and love, it seems too harsh and cynical to pass for comedy. With witty character development by the actors, and under Busfield’s tight direction, its satirical observations occasionally provoke laughter along with insight, despite some awkwardness from being played in the round.

“Becky Shaw” continues through May 30 at 2711 B Street, behind the Stanford Park Baseball Field. Performances are Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 2 and 6:30 p.m.; Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m.; and Saturdays at 5 and 9 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18-$30. Call (916) 443-5300. See also www.bstreettheatre.org.