Sacramento Live: Composer-pianist John Bucchino in town for two shows

Composer and pianist John Bucchino may want to make Sacramento his second home after this weekend.

Bucchino, who’s based in New York City, will work in a couple of formats around town. Tonight, he’s scheduled to appear with long-time associate Holly Near at St. Mark’s Church in a “Moon Lecture Series” talk with songs. Then Saturday, Bucchino gets his own night of intimate cabaret at New Helvetia Theatre in “An Evening With John Bucchino.”

Bucchino’s credits include composing the off-Broadway shows “Urban Myths,” “It’s Only Life” and “Lavender Girl.” He made his Broadway debut in 2008 as composer-lyricist of “A Catered Affair,” which featured Harvey Fierstein, Faith Prince and Tom Wopat. The production won the Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Musical. Long considered a master craftsman songwriter, Bucchino is a dexterous pianist and highly regarded as a clinician in the art of musical storytelling.

At the St. Mark’s event, Bucchino shares the stage with musical collaborator, singer, songwriter and social activist Near in a conversation about her work and the new album they’ve recorded titled “Peace Becomes You.” Bassist Jan Martinelli joins them for the evening.

At New Helvetia, Bucchino performs a concert of his songs from throughout his career with guest vocalists Maggie Hollinbeck, Connor Mickiewicz, Mike Yee and Nanci Zoppi.

“The Moon Lecture Series – A Talk With Song With Holly Near, John Bucchino and Jan Martinelli.” 7 p.m. tonight , St. Mark’s Methodist Church, 2391 St. Mark’s Way, Sacramento. Tickets: $15-$25. Information:

“An Evening With John Bucchino.” 8 p.m. Saturday at New Helvetia Theatre, 1028 R St., Sacramento. Tickets: $30. Information: (916) 469-9850,

‘The SantaLand Diaries’

Aaron Wilton, who had a solid two-character turn in the fine ensemble of Capital Stage’s recent “Clybourne Park,” returns to Sacramento with the stage all to himself. Wilton stars as Crumpet, the dissatisfied elf in a Macy’s holiday display, in “SantaLand Diaries,” the satiric sendup of all that is sacred about the holiday season.

David Sedaris first read his “The SantaLand Diaries” on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on Dec. 23, 1992. Reaction was strong and Sedaris has gone to fame and glory as a regular NPR contributor and writer of incisive and charged observations about himself and American life.

Director Joe Mantello’s stage adaptation of “SantaLand Diaries” has become a holiday theater staple. Janis Stevens directs for Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento.

8 p.m. preview today (tickets are $18-$20). Opening night: 8 p.m. Saturday ($36-$38). Continues 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays; 8 p.m Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Dec. 29. Regular tickets: $24-$38. $2 off for seniors and students. Information: (916) 995-5464,