City Theater’s “Beanstalk” pleases


Jacob Vuksinich as Jack and Mikayla Lambeth as
Kobe the Cow

Over the weekend a friend and I took our families (or they took us) to the City Theater’s Storytime theater production of “Jack and the Beanstalk.” The performance offered exactly what you want in children’s theater — a cute little story, some jokes aimed at the parents (in this case, lots of perfectly wholesome SF Giants bits), brisk timing, and not too much overacting. Doug Lawson’s staging is fresh, and it is a tidy piece of theater, with some funny talking cow business (always a necessity in quality children’s theater) and good performances overall.
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Music Circus auditions!

Please sir, be anti-child labor. And no, I don't mean labor that is opposed to children

Think you got what it takes to be a London fishmonger, a playactin’ cowpoke, or a hanger-on to a Knight of the Round Table? Well, your chance to find out may be coming! California Musical Theatre (one of our gracious sponsors) hosts auditions for the 2011 season of Music Circus, featuring such shows as Oliver!, Annie Get Your Gun, and Camelot.

Sacramento auditions for non-Equity singers and actors (ages 16 and above) will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 1-2, beginning at 6:00 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. 137, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Feb. 23-35, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Calls will only be accepted during these hours (no messages please).

In addition, there are separate dance auditions and auditions for members of Actors’ Equity, but if you’re in one of those groups you are not getting your audition notices from this blog.

Music Circus director nominated for Tony


Marcia Milgrom Dodge

Marcia Milgrom Dodge, who directed “Guys and Dolls” at Music Circus last summer, was nominated today for a Tony Award for her directing of the revival of “Ragtime” on Broadway. She is the first director involved with Music Circus to be nominated for a Tony.

Dodge will return to Music Circus this summer to direct “Oklahoma!” in the 60th anniversary season under the tent (do they still call it that?) The Tony Awards are blowin’ up your television set on June 13th and I predict that “Glee” will somehow win an award.

“Little House” musical to pitch in with Habitat for Humanity


Photo Credit: © Michal Daniel, 2008

The stage musical version of Little House on the Prairie opens this week at the Community Center Theater. The show stars Melissa Gilbert, who made a name for herself playing Laura in the 1970s TV series based on the books. And over the weekend, the cast will be tackling a Habitat for Humanity house in Del Paso Heights:

Throughout its 34-week, 26 city tour, Little House on the Prairie will make a minimum donation of $1,500 per market to the work of Habitat for Humanity through June 2010. In addition, the cast and crew will help local Habitat for Humanity affiliates build homes in each location.

Neat idea! But what I want to know is: Will the house come with a hollowed out log for smoking venison? Will there be a big iron stove for making pancake men?

Spring Awakening: Theater Review

Prepare to be moved! Spring Awakening, which opened at the Community Center Theater on Wednesday and runs through November 15, brings rare vitality to the Sacramento stage. The play offers originality from set, cast, music, and story alike. Make no advanced presumptions. Whatever you imagine the play to be like, you’ll probably be surprised.

The story takes place in Germany in the 1800s, yet you could easily be watching a modern drama. The themes are utterly timeless: teenage rebellion against strict parents and stern teachers; new love; curiosity about the body; heartache and hope.

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“Spring Awakening” Contest winner

And we have a winner: Kassie Rivera, a local actress, correctly answered our trivia question, which was:

What musical was performed in Sacramento by a local theater company with the musical numbers done in reverse order, and then after only one performance had all subsequent shows cancelled by order of the composer?

The answer: Merrily We Roll Along, by the inimitable Stephen Sondheim. The script for this play unfolds backwards, so this appears to have been an attempt to turn it back to regular. Kassie will be seeing “Spring Awakening” in recognition of her local theater trivia pwnage. Congratulations Kassie!

That was fun, you’ll definitely be seeing more contests here in the future.

SF Mime Troupe in town this weekend

Michael Gene Sullivan performs a song from Too Big to Fail
Michael Gene Sullivan performs a song from Too Big to Fail
The fantastically awesome San Francisco Mime Troupe will have their annual free Sacramento area performances this weekend. For those who are unfamiliar, these are not the creepy non-speaking Marcel Marceau-type mimes with the white painted faces, trapped in a box, walking against the wind, pulling the invisible rope… you know, the ones you want to whack with an olive loaf. No, these are revolutionary mimes that perform physical comedy and feats of agility, talk and sing, and educate their audiences about complicated political realities that affect us all.

This year, which is the 50th anniversary of the SFMT, they have written a wacky comedy about the economic crisis. Titled Too Big To Fail, the show concerns a goat herder and his struggles to build his small business enough to support his family, make his village proud and keep a home for his favorite goat named Bamusa. As he becomes a goat kingpin, he encounters bankers, lenders, mortgage brokers, Wall Street tycoons and ponzi-scheming scalawags. The story is presented in the style of the West African Griots, who have an famed oral storytelling tradition and are known for their talented traveling bards.
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