Saturday, February 27, 2010


Message from Capital Stage

March 19 - April 25, 2010
(Opening Night: Friday, March 26, 2010 at 8:00 p.m.)
Sacramento, CA - February 26, 2010 Capital Stage continues its fifth season with Frank McGuinness' gripping "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me," winner of the 1993 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Foreign Play.

In the late 1980's Brian Keenan, John McCarthy and Terry Waite were taken hostage in Beirut. They were held, together or separately, for over four years. "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" is Irish playwright Frank McGuiness's fictionalised version of these actual events.

An American doctor, and English academic, and an Irish journalist are taken prisoner in the Middle East. Having little contact with their unseen captors -- and none whatsoever with the outside world -- the men use dark humor and their vivid imaginations to forge their own reality within the walls of their cell. As victims of political action, powerless to initiate change, what can they do? How do they live and survive? Filled with humor and pathos, "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" is ultimately a remarkable celebration of the human spirit.

Performances for "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" will begin with four previews on Friday, March 19 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 20 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, March 21 at 2 p.m.; and Thursday, March 25 at 8 p.m., and will open on Friday, March 26, 2010 at 8p.m. Performances continue through April 25, 2010.

Showtimes will be Thursdays and Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. 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 are 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

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

Since his debut on the Irish theater scene with The Factory Girls (1982), Frank McGuinness has been one of his generation's most prolific and significant playwrights, earning applause and awards throughout the world for such plays as "Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme" (1985) and "Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" (1992. "Later works include Dolly West's Kitchen" (1999), "Gates of Gold" (2002) and "There Came A Gypsy Riding" (2007). His most recent play, "Greta Garbo Came to Donegal" premiered in London in January 2010. He has also written new versions of classic dramas, including works by Henrik Ibsen, Anton Chekhov, and Euripides, adapting the literal translations of others. In addition, he wrote the screenplay for the film "Dancing at Lughnasa" from Brian Friel's stage play.

The Cast

"Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" features a powerhouse cast with returning Capital Stage favorite K. Scott Coopwood ("The Scene," "Dirty Story") playing Edward, the Irishman. Sacramento Theatre Company member Matt K. Miller makes his Capital Stage debut as Michael, the Englishman; and Bay Area actor Michael Wiles ("Fat Pig") rounds out the cast as Adam, the American. Capital Stage Artistic Director Stephanie Gularte ("Speech & Debate," "The Scene") directs.

"Someone Who'll Watch Over Me" is recommended for mature audiences.

Pilgrim's Progress on 24th Street

One Way Productions
The Pilgrim’s Progress
Friday, April 2, 2010 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 3, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Friday, April 9, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. and
Saturday, April 10, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
Advance tickets may be purchased for $9.00 (adults), $8.00 (seniors and military), $7.00 (groups of 10 or more), and $5.00 (children 12 and under). To order tickets in advance contact One Way Productions at
Ticket prices at the door are: $14.00 (adults), $11.00 (seniors and military) and $8.00 (children 12 and under).
All performances will be held at the 24th Street Theater, located at 2791 – 24th Street, Sacramento 94818.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Broadway and Beyond come to EDMT

Photo courtesy Mark Cloverdale

El Dorado Musical Theatre’s High Voltage Tour Company Performs A One Night Only Cabaret
“Broadway and Beyond” March 20th in Folsom

The El Dorado Musical Theatre does more than just produce spectacular Broadway productions throughout the year. New in 2009, EDMT’s by-audition-only musical tour group, consisting of thirty three talented performers ages 10 – 20 from El Dorado, Placer, and Sacramento Counties, have kept a very busy schedule this year performing on a Carnival Cruise, at the California State Fair, at the State Capitol, at single night cabarets and more, all while juggling their music and dance training, production rehearsals, and school schedules.

The High Voltage Tour Company is performing its next cabaret, “Broadway and Beyond”, on March 20th at the Oakhills Church in Folsom.

A special selection of classic to contemporary Broadway show tunes, revival numbers, and familiar hit songs will be performed by soloists, duos, small and large groups, with a variety of dance genres, tap, jazz, and musical theatre choreographed by Elly Award Winning choreographer Debbie Wilson, and vocally directed by Jennifer Martin.

Please join us for an affordable and entertaining special two hour evening amid intimate and relaxed seating around candlelit tables. Tickets are on sale now with a super saver discount offer of $3.00 off every ticket purchased before March 10th. Prices are $15.00 for adults and $12.00 for children 12 and under, including dessert and beverage. Tables accommodate eight guests. Guests may reserve an entire table when purchasing eight tickets at the same time. Patrons will be assigned best seats at tables based on date of purchase. Please plan on to arrive 15-30 minutes before show time.

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit the website at or call 916-941-SING. Prior High Voltage cabaret nights have sold out so get your tickets early.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Sleeping Beauty for everyone

In childhood we all learned the fable of sleeping beauty, the story of a beautiful princess who couldn’t be awakened from a profound sleep until she was kissed by a handsome prince. The stage production by that name, and now offered by Folsom’s Sutter Street Theatre, embellishes the story with exciting new characters and comic turns that delight adults as well as the tiniest tots who see it. For details and a comprehensive review, see the current Village Life of El Dorado Hills or go to

Photographer: Allen Schmeltz Productions

Friday, February 19, 2010

Imagination Theater! Goes to Broadway

Imagination Theater writes:

Imagination Theater invites those in the community to join them on a trip to New York City March 2-7, 2011. The group will take in some Broadway shows, tour the NBC studios, Radio City Music Hall, Ground Zero, and much more. Lanny Langston, a director and founder of the theater commented, “Spring is a wonderful time to tour the Big Apple and it’s good to be able to budget ahead and plan for the trip. This is an incredible value-- especially when you sign up before April 1.”

The cost is $2,288 for adults and $1,973 for youth (12-23 years old) which includes round trip airfare from Sacramento, hotels, breakfasts, some dinners, all attractions, Broadway shows, plus a professional guide.

Imagination Theater celebrates their tenth anniversary this year and is an organization devoted to telling good stories well in an atmosphere of trust, respect, personal growth, and challenge. For more details about the trip, contact Lanny Langston at (530) 903-6361.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Threepenny Opera now in Sacramento

The Threepenny Opera: a stunning classic at California Stage

Those of us who’ve kicked around for awhile can remember the sandpaper voice of Louis Armstrong emanating from a radio, singing about Mack the Knife, Lotte Lenya, Jenny Diver, Suky Tawdry and Lucy Brown. At the time I couldn’t help wondering who these people were. If you had the good fortune to see the classic “Threepenny Opera,” now at California Stage, you should recognize most of those names.

They refer to characters portrayed or mentioned in what was a radical new musical that made its debut in Germany in 1928, with music by Kurt Weill, book and lyrics by Bertolt Brecht. It was radical not only in form but in content, its Marxist leanings caught in a tag line describing the story as “what happens when the banks get richer and the poor get poorer.” After a rocky start the show caught on, only to be outlawed when the Nazis took over. Weill and Brecht left Germany and brought the powerful drama to the rest of the world.

The focal character is Macheath, the knife-wielding criminal leader, played by veteran actor Michael RJ Campbell, who reveals a powerful singing voice that adds to his dramatic prowess. The action begins with a street singer (Gregory Dorado), who rolls back what looks like an extended shower curtain and sings the famous “Ballad of Mack the Knife.” Meanwhile we see a large group of figures behind him in frozen postures like a still life and, like him, with painted black rings around their eyes.

We get a sample of the underworld culture when J.J. Peacham (Michael Sokol), with his wife Celia (Angelina Réaux, who also directs the show), tyrannizes a would-be beggar (Filch, also played by Dorado) by taking his clothes in exchange for rags. Peacham’s counterpart, the king of criminals, is Macheath, who woos and wins Miss Polly (Kelly Daniells), the Peachams’ buxom daughter, and begins a feud with her parents.

Based loosely on John Gay’s “The Beggar’s Opera” of 1728, “The Threepenny Opera” is set in London, though updated to 1837, when Queen Victoria took the throne. In fact Mack’s scheduled execution coincides with her coronation.

The play, which continues through an exhausting three acts, is more concerned with love and sex than with crime, greed and politics. As matters progress we discover that Mack has an appetite for women, mainly prostitutes. Polly’s chief competitors include Jenny Diver, played by the exquisite Jessica Goldman, whose golden voice is especially revealed in “Solomon Song” (introduction to Act III, Scene 2). The role, incidentally, was written for Lotte Lenya, Kurt Weill’s wife.

Polly’s main competition, though, comes from a wife Mack married earlier, Lucy Brown (Whitney-Claire Roeder). She’s the daughter of Tiger Brown (Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly), chief of police, and Mack’s protector. There’s a delightful scene where Lucy tries to poison Polly’s tea, and the two switch teacups several times.

High drama, though, comes in Act III, where Mack’s luck runs out and he can’t afford a bribe to keep him from being hanged….But we don’t want to spoil the ending.

The actors are supported by a five-piece band, conducted by Christopher Cook. The musicianship is solid, except that the volume sometimes tends to drown out what the actors are saying. Director Réaux also designed a functional set, with doors and windows that reveal actors passing behind them. She adds a comic touch by using a lone wired garden gate to signify a prison cell.

“The Threepenny Opera” continues through March 15 at California Stage, on R Street at the corner of 25th Street in Sacramento. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $20 general; $15 students, seniors and actors. For reservations, tickets or further information, call California Stage at 916-451-5822. Tickets are also available online at California Stage is fully accessible.

Photos: 1. Michael RJ Campbell as Mack the Knife
Courtesy of California Stage

2. Mack in prison

“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” a wry analysis of relations between the sexes, returns to Folsom. Long popular at the late Garbeau’s, it’s now on stage at the Sutter Street Theatre, in a production that’s better than ever. Deftly directed by Susan Mason, its polished cast of four, with a fine sense of comedy, takes on multiple roles as they illustrate the often-rocky stages between youthful dating and death.

The first act, covering courtship and including family relationships, takes us to marriage. The more somber second act leads us through parenting to old age. For a full-scale review, go to

Sleeping Beauty awakens in Folsom

From Sutter Street Theatre

The Musical "Sleeping Beauty" opens Friday, February 20, at Sutter Street Theatre, Historic Folsom.

The emphasis is on comedy in this musical adaptation of the classic fairy tale. A delightful group of characters is assembled, so that young audiences as well as adults will find the show as enchanting as the magic in the story itself. There's Chester the Jester, Typsy the Gypsy and the Royal Magician, who is so inept he transforms himself into a frog. And there's the evil Thornberry, who puts the curse on Princess Elaine (the "sleeping beauty," and the brave Prince Dauntless, who battles the fire-breathing dragon to break the magic spell. Add ten tuneful songs to this zany story and you have a magical theatrical performance.

Sleeping Beauty will open on Saturday, Feb. 20, and run through Sunday, April 11, on Saturdays and Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. at Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter Street, Historic Folsom, 95630. Reservations are recommended, and can be made by calling (916) 353-1001. Recommended for the entire family.


"Sleeping Beauty” book and lyrics by R. Eugene Jackson, music by Patsy Pollard
• Directed by Allen Schmeltz
• Musical Direction & Choreography by Connie Mockenhaupt
• Run Dates: Feb. 20 – April 11, 2010
• Times: Saturdays & Sundays at 1:00pm
• Tickets: $17 general, $15 seniors & SARTA, $13 children – Group Rates are available!
• Reservations: Call (916) 353-1001

Sutter Street Theatre
717 Sutter Street
Historic Folsom 95630
• Website:
Photo ID
• Photo #1 – l-r Holly Wilson, Alyssa Middleton, Brady Tait, Eric Hurst
Photographer: Allen Schmeltz Productions

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Auditions for Music Circus


California Musical Theatre is looking for performers for the 2010 Music Circus season at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. This is the 60th season of Music Circus, presented by California Musical Theatre under the leadership of Executive Producer Richard Lewis. Music Circus auditions performers in New York, Los Angeles and Sacramento.

The 2010 Music Circus lineup is: Spamalot (July 9-18); 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).

Sacramento auditions for non-Equity singers and actors (ages 16 and above) will be held on Wednesday and Thursday March 3-4, beginning at 6 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Pavilion, 1419 H Street, Sacramento by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by calling the audition hotline at (916) 446-5880, ext. 164, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 24-26 and Mon. March 1, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Auditioners should be prepared to sing a ballad and an up-tempo song and must bring sheet music in his or her own key. An accompanist will be provided. Non-Equity actors must have local housing.

All actors must be able to attend callbacks on either March 10 or 11.

Members of Actor's Equity Association should call (916) 446-5880, ext. 117, beginning February 22 to set up an appointment for Friday, March 5. More info will be provided at that time.

Sacramento dance auditions (ages 16 and above) will be held on Saturday, March 13 at The Ballroom of Sacramento, 6009 Folsom Boulevard, between 60th and 61st Streets, at 10 a.m. Appointments are not required. Separate audition appointments for dancers will not be scheduled.

Auditioners should arrive to check in at 9:00 a.m. The audition will begin promptly at 10:00 a.m. Dancers should be registered, dressed in appropriate dance attire and warmed up by 10:00 a.m. Performers should be prepared to learn a dance combination, and everyone should also bring sheet music in his or her own key in the event they are asked to sing. We are looking for dancers proficient in ballet, jazz and tap; acrobatics a plus.

Dancers, 16 and over, will also have the opportunity to be considered for participation in a series of dance classes this summer with visiting guest instructors. For more information about the dance classes, call Victoria at (916) 446-5880, ext. 122.

Auditions for children (ages 10-16) for participation in the Music Circus Junior Company will be held Tuesday, March 2, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Pavilion at 1419 H Street in Sacramento by appointment only. Appointments may be scheduled by calling the audition hotline at (916) 446-5880, ext 164, Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 22-23, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Each child should be prepared to sing and bring sheet music in his or her own key. An accompanist will be provided. The Music Circus Junior Company is a three-week fee-based program of the California Musical Theatre education department. The program will take place July 5-25 and culminate in the students performing 8 performances as the children's choir in the 2010 Music Circus production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The fee for the Music Circus Junior Company program is $650.

California Musical Theatre actively solicits women and minorities for non-traditional casting opportunities. Music Circus is a professional theatre organization. Union members and non-union performers are welcome.
Music Circus was founded in 1951 as the first professional musical theatre in the round west of the Mississippi. Until 2002, its first-class summer stock productions were presented under a canvas tent, the last of its kind in the country. In 2003, the company introduced its new, modern tent-theatre, the Wells Fargo Pavilion, which combines the traditional arena stage with improved audience comfort. Music Circus is the largest, continually operating musical theatre-in-the-round in the country, making it a landmark in the professional theatre community and a living museum of musical theatre history: Sacramento Music Circus is America’s theatre-in-the-round. Music Circus operates under a contract with Actors Equity Association, the union for professional actors in the United States, and the majority of the principal and ensemble cast have extensive Broadway and national tour credits. The acting company will be announced in late spring.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Threepenny Opera" at California Stage

Angelina Réaux directs the California Stage production of "The Threepenny Opera," by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill. It opened in 1928 and proved to be one of the great musicals of all time.

It recalls what happens when the banks get richer and the poor get poorer. The play tells the tale of the doomed love affair of Mac Heath, London’s reigning thief, and Polly Peachum, the deceptively sweet daughter of a successful businessman who specializes in human misery and controls the city’s beggars. Based loosely on John Gay’s much earlier Beggars’ Opera, it is filled with betrayals, schemes, revenge, reversals of fortune, and Weill’s famously dissonant score. The popular singer Bobby Darin made the song “Mac the Knife” famous.

Stars of the local musical theater make up the cast: Kelly Daniells, Michael RJ Campbell, Michael Sokol, Angelina Réaux, Gregory Jurado, James Rollans, Mark Fejta, Jabriel Shelton, Jeffrey Lloyd Heatherly, Jessica Goldman, Joelle Wirth, Senga Smith, Laura Lothian, Annie Coke, and Whitney-Claire Roeder.

Director Réaux has appeared on the stages of opera houses, concert halls, cabarets, and theatres around the world, singing everything from Italian Opera to "OKLAHOMA!" She has won wide recognition for her performances of French and German Cabaret and "The American Songbook." She has collaborated with Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, John Mauceri, Kent Nagano, Marin, Alsop, and Ned Rorem; worked with Stephen Sondheim, Harold Prince, Stephen Wadsworth, Tony Taccone, Tony Kushner, sung with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony, Boston Pops, and the Accademia di Santa Cecilia; and with the Santa Fe Opera, Washington Opera, Houston Grand Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera.

Internationally acclaimed for both her performances and recordings of the works of Kurt Weill and Leonard Bernstein, Reaux has also worked on and off-Broadway, toured nationally with "Sweeney Todd," and has been presented by some of the world's leading theatres and concert houses.

The orchestra will be conducted by Christopher Cook, local director and conductor who recently produced and directed “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at The California Stage Theater.

“Threepenny Opera” opens February 5 and plays through February 27, 2010. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 general; $15 students, seniors, and actors. For reservations, more information, or ticket sales, contact California Stage at 916-451-5822 or online at www, or California Stage Theater is at 1723 25th Street, Sacramento, CA 95816. It is a non-profit, collaborative production company and is fully accessible.

An Exceptional Grease at EDMT

Though it first appeared on Broadway in 1972, “Grease” still captures the anxieties and ecstasies of high school students. Now on stage in El Dorado Hills by El Dorado Musical Theatre, the story takes place in the late fifties, yet still brings us an authentic portrait of today's joys and anxieties of adolescence. What’s more, performed by youngsters, mostly of high school age, it’s at least as good as many Broadway productions. For more details and a review, go to

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Special offer from Capital Stage

Capital Stage is offering two-for-one tickets for their production of FICTION. This offer is only good for the performance this Friday, February 12 at 8:00 pm. To receive this ½ price ticket offer call the box office at 916-995-5464 and mention the 2-4-1 special. More information at

For more information search (top left) for "a tragic-comic fiction."


From Bob and Ro's

In the old days, boys and girls, social media was called "Radio."

Live audiences would watch actors (both up-an-comers and established personalities) perform comedies, dramas and mysteries. The rest of the world would listen breathlessly to their radios for the next episode of their favorite programs.

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 Our Miss Brooks, Boston Blackie and My Friend Irma. Add in a musical interlude with singer Mike Branson and you’ve got a great evening’s entertainment.

Performances in February are at the Studio Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento:

Sunday, Feb. 14 • 7:00 pm • Tickets $10
Boston Blackie • The Bickersons • Our Miss Brooks, Madison High is Cold

Also featuring the song styling by Mike Branson

Sunday, Feb. 21 • 7:00 pm • Tickets $10
Richard Diamond Private Eye • The Bickersons • My Friend Irma

Also featuring the song styling by Mike Branson

Tickets can be arranged by calling (877) 532-7171 or purchased at the door.

At the end of February we will be appearing at the Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom!

Sat., Feb. 27 at 4:00 pm and Sun., Feb. 28 at 6:00 pm
Richard Diamond Private Eye • The Bickersons • Our Miss Brooks, Madison High is Cold
Also featuring the song styling by Mike Branson
Call Sutter Street Theatre for ticket prices! (916) 353-1001

If you’d like more information about BOB AND RO’S OLD TIME RADIO SHOWS, Bob and Ro Productions, or to schedule an interview with the actors, please call Bob Gerould at 916-532-0108 or e-mail


From California Musical Theatre

California Musical Theatre presents the national tour of "Chicago" starring John O'Hurley at the Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, as part of the 20th anniversary Broadway Sacramento season, March 10-21, 2010. Now celebrating 13 glorious years of girls, glitz and glamour on the Broadway, the record-breaking smash hit musical CHICAGO is now the seventh longest-running production in Broadway history ... and shows no sign of ever slowing down!

Murder. Greed. Corruption. Violence. Exploitation. Adultery. Treachery. Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who maliciously murders her on-the-side lover after he threatens to walk out on her. Desperate to avoid conviction, she dupes the public, the media and her rival cellmate, Velma Kelly, by hiring Chicago's slickest criminal lawyer to transform her malicious crime into a barrage of sensational headlines, the likes of which might just as easily be ripped from today's tabloids.

With a book by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse, music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb, CHICAGO is the winner of six 1997 Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Cast Recording.

John O'Hurley (Billy Flynn) is one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive," and has become one of television's busiest and most versatile actors, show hosts, advertising heroes, and feature film stars. The award-winning actor is best known as J. Peterman on "Seinfeld," which is now the No. 1 syndicated series in the world in 85 countries. He danced his way into the hearts of America as the ultimate champion of the highly rated ABC show "Dancing with the Stars," starred on Broadway in Chicago, as the male lead Billy Flynn and starred in a two-year stint as the head of the Round Table, King Arthur, in Eric Idle's hilarious musical comedy "Monty Python's Spamalot" in Las Vegas. On the small screen he can be seen weekly on the popular syndicated show "Family Feud." As a follow-up to his Billboard chart topping CD Peace of Our Minds (which was the first independently produced CD to ever reach #13 on the Billboard Music charts), O'Hurley recently released Secrets from the Lake, a collaboration of his piano compositions with cellist Marston Smith. O'Hurley has written two books including his New York Times Bestseller called It's OK to Miss the Bed on the First Jump: And Other Life Lessons Learned from Dogs, and Before Your Dog Can Eat Your Homework, First You Have To Do It. When not performing, John maintains his single digit gold handicap by playing on the Celebrity Players Tour. Additionally, he lends his name and golf game to help charities close to his heart, especially Golfers Against Cancer and Child Development Institute. O'Hurley enjoys spending his free time with his wife Lisa and their young son William Dylan. Together they love to play golf, travel, play with their dogs, cheer for the Boston Red Sox, and entertain friends at their Beverly Hills home.

Produced by Barry and Fran Weissler, CHICAGO has become a worldwide phenomenon with productions in 24 countries and 11 languages since 1996.

The record-breaking London production of CHICAGO continues to hold the record as the longest-running American musical in West End history. CHICAGO is also on tour throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as international tours in Australia and the United Kingdom.

CHICAGO is a production not to be missed. And all the reviewers agree. Time Magazine calls it "A Triumph," Newsweek raves "Smashing" and Entertainment Weekly sums it up by calling CHICAGO "Broadway's Most Electrifying Show."

Advance tickets for CHICAGO are available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, Sacramento, by phone at (916) 557-1999 or (916) 808-5181. Tickets are also available at the Community Center Theater box office, 1301 L Street, or online at Performance times are Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m., and Sunday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18-$65. Visit for more ticketing information.

Discounts available for groups of 10 or more by calling (916) 557-1198.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Celebration Arts Announcement

Celebration Arts presents "From The Mississippi Delta," a drama by Endesha Ida Mae Holland, Ph.D. Directed by James Wheatley, From The Mississippi Delta will open February 19, 2010 and show Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. through March 28, 2010. For this production there will be a 2 p.m. matinee on March 20 and 27. There will be no performance on February 20, 26, 27 and 28. Celebration Arts Theatre is located at 4469 D Street, Sacramento.

The journey begins in Greenwood, Mississippi – the Delta. Phelia, the author’s alter ego describes the events that inspired her to dream far beyond the funny-paper wall in her drafty shotgun house. A very powerful influence in her life was Ain’t Baby, a midwife who delivers babies of poor black and white women, does ironing for white women and rents rooms to prostitutes as a way to support her family. She describes how the civil rights movement helped her toward her destiny. She gains an education and received a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.
Ticket price: $15 general and $13 students and seniors. On Thursday night all seats are $8. Call (916) 455-2787 for information and reservations.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

“Rent: the Broadway Tour” comes to Sacramento

Photo by Joan Marcus

Jonathan Larson’s “Rent,” which gathered a Pulitzer and a flock of other honors, closed on Broadway in 2008 but is now traveling as “Rent: The Broadway Tour.” California Musical Theatre makes it “a special addition to the Broadway Sacramento season.” It includes three members of the original Broadway cast: Adam Pascal, Anthony Rapp and Gwen Stewart.

Just as “West Side Story” was an update of “Romeo and Juliet,” “Rent” is a contemporary version of “La Bohème,” where characters have AIDS instead of tuberculosis. And “Rent” has by now risen to a classic, a must-see at least once in a lifetime. As for the current version, we were lucky to have seats next to a couple who’d seen the Broadway version. They told us that the road show was a match for the original.

The first act reveals the characters living in a run-down apartment house on New York’s East End. A pair of friends, Mark Cohen (Anthony Rapp) and Roger Davis (Adam Pascal) are tenants, but the owner, Benny (Jacques C. Smith), wants to evict them so he can develop the property. He bemoans the fact that so many tenants are behind in their rent, the subject of the play’s second musical number. Thus we get one interpretation of the title. In a broader sense, “rent” may be what we “pay” just for being alive.

An aspiring film maker, Mark turns his camera on his surroundings, including Angel Schunard, played in drag by Justin Johnston. Among others in the neighborhood are Mimi Marquez (Lexi Lawson), Benny’s former date and now Roger’s lover. As for Mark, he was formerly paired with the gorgeous blonde Maureen Johnson (Nicolette Hart), who is now the paramour of Joanne Jefferson (Trisha Jeffrey/Merle Dandridge). Also on hand is Tom Collins (Michael McElroy), friend and former roommate of Mark and Roger.

It’s the Christmas season, warmed by the complexity of these relationships, as expressed in the act’s twenty numbers. Among them is a delightful courting song, “Light My Candle,” where Mimi is the pursuer and Roger the pursued, until he runs out of matches. The song also illustrates how times have tended to reverse the roles of the sexes. In a hilarious moment Maureen moons her fellow cast members. We also see how racial differences have been negated.

The first act probably has greater appeal to younger audiences, but the second act–which takes us through New Year’s Day, Halloween and a second Christmas–should have greater appeal to older audiences. Its darker moments and twelve numbers capture the pains of parting, sickness and death. The feeling of loss is caught in “Goodbye, love,” sung by seven characters.

Much credit goes to director Michael Greif, with strong help from choreographer Marlies Yearby and music supervision by Tim Weil, supported by an on-stage six-musician orchestra. Set designer Paul Clay offers a surreal back wall of gray bricks with odd sketches on them, plus a towering construct that looks like an abstract statue built with a giant erector set.

“Rent” continues through February 8, 2010, at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street. Performances continue Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m.; Thursday, Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.; and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the Convention Center Box Office, (916) 808-5181. Advance tickets can be had at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office, 1419 H Street, (916) 557-1999, or

Prices are $18-$65. A “Rent” tradition, started in New York and continuing on the road, continues with the current production in Sacramento. Orchestra tickets for $23 go on sale at the theater box office two hours before the show, cash only, with a limit of two per person.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010





California Musical Theatre Executive Producer Richard Lewis has announced the line-up of shows for the 60th summer season of Sacramento Music Circus, America's Theatre-in-the-Round. The seven-show season will include the Music Circus premieres of "Spamalot," "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels" and "The Marvelous Wonderettes" and new stagings of "Oklahoma!," "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "42nd Street" and "Funny Girl," the latter returning to Music Circus after an 18-year absence.

Season ticket holders from 2009 will receive renewal invoices by mail on January 25, and the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office will begin taking paid reservations for new subscribers on that day as well. For the 60th anniversary season, season ticket prices have been rolled back to their lowest since 2006, with seven-show package available for $235-$299. Subscriptions are discounted over 20 percent off the price of the tickets if sold separately. Reservations and renewals are available at 1419 H Street or by phone at (916) 557-1999 beginning Monday, January 25. >complete season ticket prices

The season will open with the Music Circus premiere of Monty Python's "Spamalot," the Tony Award-winning best musical of 2005. Written by Eric Idle and based on the film "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Spamalot" will play a 13-performance run July 9-18. The comedy tells the tale of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, and includes a bevy of beautiful show girls, cows and a killer rabbit. The Broadway production played for over 1,500 performances in New York and had an extensive national tour. (An extended engagement at Winn Las Vegas blocked the tour from being presented anywhere in California.) CMT Executive Producer Richard Lewis negotiated the rights for Music Circus to present the major regional theatre premiere of the show. The production, to be staged by CMT Artistic Director Glenn Casale, will include the Tony-nominated original Broadway costume designs. >more about "Spamalot"

The season will continue July 20-25 with "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." The early work by Broadway legends Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber is a favorite for Music Circus audiences, with its vibrant costumes and its energetic songs. "Joseph" is a fanciful retelling of the Bible character whose talent for interpreting dreams takes him on incredible adventures through Egypt. Directed and choreographed by Richard Stafford who has staged a national tour of the show, this summer's production will use the new London script for the first time, utilizing a 40-person choir of local children. Tickets will be half-price for children 4-11. >more about "Joseph"

The works of Rodgers and Hammerstein are the foundation of the American musical theatre as well as Music Circus. To celebrate the 60th Music Circus season, "Oklahoma!," the first collaboration between Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, returns to the tent July 27-Aug. 1. Perhaps the most American of musicals, "Oklahoma!" celebrates the pioneer spirit on the Western frontier and features many of the most recognizable musical classics, including "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "Surrey with a Fringe on Top." Marcia Milgrom Dodge, whose production of "Ragtime" just completed its critically acclaimed Broadway run, will direct "Oklahoma!" for Music Circus. >more about "Oklahoma!"

The second of three Music Circus premieres this summer will be the recent Broadway hit "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels," Aug. 3-8. The musical comedy, which ran for over two years on Broadway and was nominated for 10 Tony Awards, is an adaptation of the 1988 film about two charming con men on the French Riviera and their competition to swindle a beautiful young American woman. Being presented for the first time in-the-round, this production will be directed by Richard Stafford, who directed last summer's Music Circus production of "Cats." >more about "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels"

By popular demand, "Funny Girl," the 1964 musical biography of Vaudeville legend Fanny Brice, returns to Music Circus for the first time in 18 years Aug. 10-15. Both personal and opulent, the celebrated musical comedy includes extravagant Ziegfeld-style production numbers as well as intimate show-stopping songs like "People" as it follows Brice's career from ugly duckling to headliner. Artistic Director Glenn Casale, who directed the 1992 tent production starring Laurie Beechman, will direct the 2010 production. >more about "Funny Girl"

The original creative team of the recent New York hit "The Marvelous Wonderettes" will recreate the magic under the tent along with members of the original off-Broadway cast Aug. 17-22. This Music Circus premiere takes the audience back to the 1958 Springfield High School prom where they will meet the Wonderettes, four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their voices. Nearly every song from the era that was made famous by a girl group or female vocalist is highlighted in this cotton candy-colored blast from the past, including "Lollipop," "It's My Party" and "It's In His Kiss." Creator Roger Bean will direct. >more about "The Marvelous Wonderettes"

The season will close with "42nd Street" Aug. 24-29. The stage adaptation of the 1933 movie musical is being produced at Music Circus for the first time since 1999, and only the third time ever. The winner of the 1981 Tony Award for best musical, "42nd Street" is famous for its show-stopping precision tap dancing, its unforgettable Harry Warren songs like "We're in the Money," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and "Lullaby of Broadway," and for being the quintessential chorus-girl-becomes-a-star backstage musical. >more about "42nd Street"

Music Circus was founded in 1951 as the first professional musical theatre in the round west of the Mississippi. Until 2002, its first-class summer stock productions were presented under a canvas tent, the last of its kind in the country. In 2003, the company introduced its new, modern tent-theatre, the Wells Fargo Pavilion, which combines the traditional arena stage with improved audience comfort. Music Circus is the largest, continually operating musical theatre-in-the-round in the country, making it a landmark in the professional theatre community and a living museum of musical theatre history: Sacramento Music Circus is America's theatre-in-the-round. Music Circus operates under a contract with Actors Equity Association, the union for professional actors in the United States, and the majority of the principal and ensemble cast have extensive Broadway and national tour credits. The acting company will be announced in late spring.

Seven-show season subscriptions will be available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office at 1419 H Street beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday, January 25. Last year's subscribers will receive invitations to renew by mail and have priority to retain their seats or to upgrade. Piad season-ticket reservations can also be made by phone at (916) 557-1999. The seven-show packages are $299 for Friday and Saturday evenings, $235 for Thursday matinee and $285 for all other performances. >complete season ticket prices

Discounts are available for groups of 12 or more by calling the group sales department at (916) 557-1198. Groups can reserve seven-show or single-show packages beginning Monday, January 25.

Single-show tickets will be available for purchase beginning Monday, May 17, at 10 a.m. Single show tickets are $53 for Friday and Saturday evenings, $41 for Thursday matinee and $50 for all other performances. All ticket prices include a facility fee. >complete single ticket prices. Three-show Mini-Series ticket packages will go on sale on Monday, April 19. >more information on Mini-Series

For more information about the season, please visit

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A tragi-comic “Fiction” anatomizes writers

Photo by Char Crail

Playwright Steven Dietz’ sophisticated analysis satirizes and sympathizes with the souls of writers. Adroitly directed by Peter Mohrmann,
“Fiction” features a cast of three. At the center are Linda (Janis Stevens) and her husband Michael (Eric Wheeler), both writers. She achieved fame from one literary novel; he made money from scripts for popular movies.

Most of the story comes from recollections from her diaries and his journals. Complications arise from her brain tumor, which may (or may not) be fatal and his affair with Abby (Stephanie Gularte), whom he met at a writers’ colony. The action, always compelling, swings back and forth in time, with an effete style that almost seems to mock itself. The play has a special appeal to a sophisticated audience.

For details and a review go to

l-r: Ryan Adame, Stephanie Zito
Photo by Jeffrey Mason

The Musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! Opens Friday, February 12 at Sutter Street Theatre, Historic Folsom.

This celebration of the mating game takes on the truths and myths behind dating and "the relationship." The first half of this play explores awkward dates, the lack of dates, meeting the parents (egad!), and wedding bells! And then Act II reveals the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, trips in the family car and pick-up techniques in unusual places....

"I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!" will open on Valentine’s Day Weekend, Friday, Feb. 12 and run through Sunday, March 21 on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 4:00 pm with an extra 7:00 pm performance on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14 at Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter Street, Historic Folsom. Reservations are recommended, particularly for the Valentine’s Day Weekend and can be made by calling (916) 353-1001. Recommended for mature audiences.

• “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!” book and lyrics by Joe Dipietro, music by Jimmy Roberts
• Directed by Susan Mason
• Run Dates: Feb. 12 – March 21
• Times: Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sunday Matinee at 4:00 pm (Extra 7:00 pm performance on Valentine’s Day Feb. 14)
• Tickets: $23 general, $21 seniors & SARTA, $18 children – Group Rates are available!
• Reservations: Call (916) 353-1001.
Photo by Jeffrey Mason

Sutter Street Theatre
717 Sutter Street
Historic Folsom 95630