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  • Jeremy Daniel

    Jillian Mueller is Alex Owens and Matthew Hydz is Nick Hurley in the national touring production of “Flashdance the Musical”

  • Jeremy Daniel

    Jillian Mueller plays dancer Alex Owens in the national tour of “Flashdance.”

  • Benjamin T. Ismail

    Bert Andersson appears in “When the Rain Stops Falling,” opening Friday at Sacramento’s Big Idea Theatre.

  • T. Charles Erickson

    In “Man in a Case,” opening Jan. 25, Tymberly Canale dances as Mikhail Baryshnikov, left, and Aaron Mattocks observe.

  • Steve Tanner

    Andrew Durand and Patrycja Kujawska perform the title roles in the West Coast premiere of Kneehigh’s “Tristan & Yseult” at Berkeley Rep.

Theater: In winter, Sacramento and Bay area stages get down to business

Published: Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014 - 12:00 am

The winter theater season season brashly pushes the holidays out of the way this weekend and gets right down to business.

The Alternative Arts Collective ambitiously restages Tony Kushner’s modern epic “Angels In America” with a production that opened Thursday. Around the region we’ll see productions of works by modern geniuses Tom Stoppard (“The Real Thing”) and Stephen Sondheim (“Passion”) as well a relative newcomer, Molly Smith Metzler (“Elemeno Pea”). If you’re missing the ’80s, Broadway Sacramento brings to town “Flashdance – The Musical” for a little throwback entertainment.

While gathering the information for the individual shows, we asked directors to comment on their productions and are including their observations.

Closer Than Ever

What: Sacramento Theatre Company presents the two-act musical revue with words by Richard Maltby Jr. and music by David Shire. Robert Marra directs, with Jerry Lee (“It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Musical of Musicals”), Andrea St. Clair, Nicholas Adorno and Kristen Heitman in the cast.

When: Wednesday-Feb. 16. 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and 12:30 p.m. Wednesdays.

Where: Pollock Stage, Sacramento Theatre Company, 1419 H St., Sacramento

Tickets: $15-$38.

Information: (916) 443-6722,

Elemeno Pea

What: B Street Theater presents a new comedy by Molly Smith Metzler about class and privilege in our modern culture. Dave Pierini directs with a cast including Melinda Parrett, Stephanie Altholz, Lyndsy Kail and Kurt Johnson.

When: Jan. 12-Feb. 23. 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturdays, 2 p.m Wednesdays and Sundays.

Where: B Street Theatre Mainstage, 2711 B St., Sacramento

Tickets: $23-$35, $5 student rush, $15 preview Jan. 11

Information: (916) 443-5300,

Director David Pierini said, “First and foremost it’s such a funny play. It’s a really smart look at class, and the characters are so sharply written and drawn. So many times when I was first reading it I found myself laughing out loud. I have to say we’ve put together the perfect cast, and I think Melinda Parrett was born to play the part of Michaela.”

The Conductor: Harriet Tubman and The Underground Railroad

What: B Street’s Family Series reprises Jerry Montoya’s popular original bio drama for kids about Harriet Tubman, the escaped slave who subsequently helped several hundred other slaves escape bondage in the American South in the years before the Civil War. Montoya directs with a cast including Anthony D’Juan and Jason Kuykendall.

When: Jan. 18-Feb. 23. 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Where: B Street Theatre Family Series Stage, 2727 B St., Sacramento

Tickets: $20 adults, $15 children, $12 and $8 preview

Information: (916) 443-5300,

The Real Thing

What: Capital Stage presents Tom Stoppard’s multiple-award-winning 1982 drama about the nature of honesty and the vast differences of perceptions and realities. Janis Stevens directs a cast including John Pasha, Megan Smith, Michael Wiles, Jamie Kale and Ryan Snyder.

When: Jan. 22-Feb. 23. 7 p.m Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays.

Where: Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento

Tickets: $20-$38.

Information: (916) 995-5464,

Flashdance – The Musical

What: Grab your leg warmers: Broadway Sacramento presents a national touring production of the the stage adaptation of the movie that put the glamour back into exotic dancing. The production includes hit songs from the 1983 movie, such as the Academy Award-winning title song “Flashdance – What a Feeling,” along with “Maniac” and “I Love Rock & Roll.” Sixteen new songs have been written for the musical with music by Robbie Roth and lyrics by Roth and Robert Cary.

When: Feb. 4-9; 8 p.m. Feb. 4-Feb. 8; and 2 p.m. matinees Feb. 6, Feb. 8-9

Where: Community Center Theatre, 1301 L St., Sacramento.

Tickets: $21-$88

Information: (916) 557-1999;


What: New Helvetia Theatre presents composer Stephen Sondheim’s intense 1994 Tony Award-winning musical, “Passion,” dissecting a love triangle in 19th century Italy. Connor Mickiewicz directs with a cast featuring Matt Surges as Giorgio, Jackie Vanderbeck DiSalvo – fresh from “It’s A Wonderful Life – The Musical” at Sacramento Theatre Company – as Fosca and Courtney Glass as Clara.

When: Feb. 14-March 8; 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Saturdays.

Tickets: $20-$30

Where: New Helvetia Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento

Information: (916) 469-9850,

Romeo and Juliet

What: Director Ed Claudio puts a contemporary spin on Shakespeare’s continually popular story of young ill-fated lovers. The cast features Andrew Perez (“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”) as Romeo and Denver Vaughn as Juliet. Also with Matt K. Miller, Amy Kelly, Kirk Blackinton and Kristine David.

When: Feb. 26-March 23; 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.

Where: Sacramento Theatre Company Mainstage, 1419 H St., Sacramento

Tickets: $15-$38

Information: (916) 443- 6722,

Director Claudio said, “When I was offered the opportunity to direct ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at Sacramento Theatre Company, I jumped at the chance. I had just read an essay by Marjorie Garber linking the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A Changing’ to the scene of ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ The logic of lyrics intersect with the themes of the play and modern culture. I was inspired.”


Tristan & Yseult

What: Kneehigh, the British creators of “The Wild Bride” and “Brief Encounter,” are back in Berkeley for the premiere of the company’s take on the classic tale of “Tristan & Yseult,” its most popular and critically acclaimed show.

When: Through Jan. 18; 8 p.m. Tuesday, Thursdays, Fridays; 7 p.m. Wednesdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. No performance on Mondays except this week at 8 p.m.; no performance on Tuesday.

Tickets: $29-$99

Where: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley

Information: (510) 647-2949,

Man In a Case

What: Mikhail Baryshnikov continues his non-dancing theater career with this 75-minute, intermission-less adaptation of two stories by Anton Chekhov, “The Man in a Case” and “About Love.” In the first, two hunters share stories of their lives as they pass the time late one night. In the second story, a man tries to end his attraction to a married woman. The production uses various modern media including surveillance footage, instructional hunting videos and pre-recorded interviews with the cast. With Tymberly Canale, Chris Giarmo, Paul Lazar and Aaron Mattocks. 20 performances only.

When: Jan. 25-Feb. 16; 8 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays-Saturdays; 7 p.m Wednesdays and 2 p.m. Sundays except opening night Jan. 26.

Where: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St., Berkeley

Tickets: $45-$125

Information: (510) 647-2949,


Angels In America

What: Tony Kushner’s 1993 Pulitzer Prize-winning, epic two-part play explores the worlds of AIDS and homophobia in New York City in 1985. David Garrison directs the ambitous undertaking for the Alternative Arts Collective.

Where: The Blue Box Theatre, Oxford Street and Lea Way, Sacramento.

When: Continues 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays. “Part One: Millennium Approaches,” through Jan. 18; “Part Two: Perestroika,” Jan. 30 and Feb. 1-15; both parts back-to-back on Feb. 16 at a time to be announced

Tickets: $15; the Feb. 16 performance, $25 with a portion of the proceeds going to the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber Teen LGBT Scholarship.


When the Rain Stops Falling

What: Big Idea Theatre opens its new season with a multigenerational family saga by playwright Andrew Bovell. Kirk Blackinton directs with a cast including Linda Carbone, Jouni Kirjola, Carrie Joyner and Bert Andersson.

When: Friday-Feb. 6, 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays

Where: Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento

Tickets: $10-$20

Information: (916) 960-3036,

The Trojan Women

What: Resurrection Theatre stages the U.S. premiere of Howard Colyer’s adaptation of Seneca’s treatise on the uselessness of war, which itself was based on two works – “The Trojan Women” and “Hecuba” – by Euripides. Margaret Morneau directs and Maggie Adair Upton leads the large cast as Hecuba, Queen of Troy.

When: Jan. 17-Feb. 15; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Also 7 p.m. Jan. 30 and 7 p.mFeb. 9.

Where: California Stage, 25th and R streets, Sacramento

Tickets: $15-$20.

Information: (916) 223-9568,

Director Morneau wrote: “I chose to do ‘Trojan Women’ because I felt the story, even though written in 415 BC, is sadly still relevant today. Women are still considered chattel in war. Most have no say what happens to them, all the while having to maintain a role of caregiver and most of the times primary supplier for the family.

“ I read a story recently of a woman in Syria who sold her sister for $300 just so the rest of her family would eat a while longer. I saw strength in these women, a strength to endure no matter what happened to them.”

Livin’ Out Loud

What: Lisa Lacy writes and performs in a semi-autobiographical play about healing from traumatic loss at Images Theatre. Developed with Tico Wells and directed by Thomas-Whit Ellis, the production also features television and film personality Hawthorne James.

When: Friday-Jan. 19; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays

Where: Developmental Disabilities Service Organization Parkway Theatre, 5051 47th Ave., Sacramento

Tickets: $15-$20.

Information: (916) 428-1441,

Call The Bee’s Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120. Follow him on Twitter @marcuscrowder.

Read more articles by Marcus Crowder

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