Bruce Patt

Christina Day and Jacob Montoya are among the performers in the CORE Dance Collective's "The Doorway."

Sacramento Live: CORE Dance Collective, "8," "Sunset Limited"

Published: Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 10TICKET

Professional contemporary dance may not have the most prominent profile in the Sacramento arts scene, but that hasn't stopped Kelli Leighton and her CORE Dance Collective from gaining a following.

Leighton has a second commission for dance for an art installation at the Crocker Museum (based on the work of Jess and Robert Duncan). And this weekend and next she presents the third season of her popular dance narrative "The Doorway," inspired by the Victorian houses of midtown Sacramento.

Leighton has created scary and humorous new sequences for each incarnation of "The Doorway" while retaining pieces from the previous performances – all with intimacy of viewing what is usually hidden behind closed doors.

At 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25-27. At the Benvenuti Performing Arts Center, 4600 Blackrock Drive, Sacramento. Tickets $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Available at


Academy Award-winning screenwriter ("Milk") Dustin Lance Black's documentary play "8," on the challenge to Proposition 8 in federal court, comes to Sacramento.

From court testimony and interviews, Black created the drama about the controversial ballot initiative that took away the right of same-sex couples in California to marry. Celebrity-studded readings of the work have been held around country with stars such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman participating.

For the Sacramento production, local actors including Matt K. Miller, Kurt Johnson, Nanci Zoppi, Janis Stevens and Michael RJ Campbell join Christopher Cabaldon (mayor of West Sacramento) and Los Angeles-based performers Ben Patrick Johnson, Patrick Burns and Amanda Foreman.

In a release about the play, Black wrote, "People need to witness what happened in the Proposition 8 trial, if for no other reason than to see inequality and discrimination unequivocally rejected in a court of law where truth and facts matter."

The federal district court's ruling that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional was upheld in February by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. "8" plays at 8 p.m. Saturday, at the Crest Theatre, 1013 K St., Sacramento. Tickets are $18-$80. This is a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights. For more information and tickets go to:

'Sunset Limited'

Venerable veteran actor Ed Claudio calls his current theater collaborator James Wheatley, "legendary." Wheatley describes himself as a "neophyte" in theater compared with Claudio and his decades of experience.

The two men each justly received lifetime achievement awards at the recent Elly Awards presentation, and now they're hitting the stage together in Cormac McCarthy's "Sunset Limited."

After the first production of "The Sunset Limited" McCarthy added a subtitle, calling it "a novel in dramatic form."

The two-character drama seems to be an existential debate on the right to die, which takes place after Wheatley's character saves Claudio's from a suicide attempt. The action, such as it is, takes place in a bare apartment while the title "Sunset Limited" refers to a passenger train that travels from New Orleans to Los Angeles.

Mark Heckman directs the two Sacramento treasures at the Three Penny Theatre in a production for Actor's Workshop of Sacramento. Opening tonight. At 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. Sundays through Nov. 19. In the California Stage Complex, 1723 25th St. Tickets are $17. For more information call (916) 501-6104 or go to

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