The vibrant, multi- talented Melinda Parrett returns tonight to Sacramento for "Next to Normal," the New Helvetia Theatre's first full-length production in its new space.
Parrett has been seen in comedies at B Street Theatre (its hit production of "The 39 Steps" and "Rx") and also has shown her vocal side with the cabaret musical "(title of show)."
Parrett adds a darker dramatic dimension here as Diana Goodwin, a suburban housewife with bipolar disorder. "Next to Normal," with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for drama.
New Helvetia associate producer Matthew Schneider directs, with Michael Hunsaker as Diana's husband.
Hunsaker has appeared in the national tour of "Ragtime" and at the Music Circus as Marius in "Les Miz" and Radames in "Aida."
At the Studio Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday matinees, through Oct. 27. Tonight's opening-night performance and after-party are $35. Tickets are $30 and $20. Information: www.newhelvetia.org or call (916)469-9850.
'Miracle Worker' revived
Long before the Who's pinball wizard Tommy, there was William Gibson's Helen.
The Sacramento Theater Company opens its 2012-13 season in throwback mode as it brings back Gibson's 1959 classic "The Miracle Worker," about the courageous teacher Anne Sullivan and her famous pupil, Helen Keller.
Gibson adapted the play from his 1957 "Playhouse 90" teleplay of the same name, which was based on Keller's autobiography "The Story of My Life."
Brittni Barger, seen often at B Street Theatre and also last year at STC in "Frankenstein," stars here as Sullivan, with Gary Wright and Michele Hillen as Helen's parents.
The young actors Bella Bagatelos and Courtney Shannon share the role of blind, deaf and mute wild child Helen. Greg Alexander directs for the Sacramento Theatre Company, which first produced the show 50 years ago.
Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday and continues at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 12:30 p.m. Thursdays through Oct. 28. On the Sacramento Theatre Company Main Stage, 1419 H St. Tickets: $15-38 (discounts for students, seniors and groups available)
Information: www.sactheatre.org, (916)443-6722.
B Street Theatre's Buck Busfield busts out a classic himself for the next B3 Series production, with Arthur Miller's "The Price." Miller reigns as one of the greatest dramatists of the 20th century. Though "The Price" isn't revived as often as Miller's more-famous plays, it's certainly more than a minor work.
B Street company member Dave Pierini takes the lead as Victor Franz, a police sergeant nearing retirement, with Brian Dykstra as his disaffected surgeon brother, Walter. Rounding out the powerhouse quartet are Elisabeth Nunziato as Victor's wife and David Silberman as a sage antiques dealer. Busfield directs.
Opening at 8 p.m. Saturday and continuing at 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays and 8 p.m. Saturdays.
Call the box office for selected matinee dates through Nov. 3. At B Street Theatre B3 Stage, 2727 B St. Tickets are $23-$35. Information: (916) 443-5300, www.bstreettheatre.org.