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Sierra theater groups present varied lineup in November

The cast and crew of “Seussical the Musical!” have worked hard at rehearsals, in hopes of singing and dancing their way into audiences’ hearts. The stage play is a fun mix of many beloved Dr. Seuss stories, including “Horton Hears a Who.”

Last Saturday’s technical rehearsal focused on tweaking choreography and reminding actors and singers to project their voices.

When the original “Seussical” debuted on Broadway, it wasn’t warmly received. Rewriting and adding and deleting songs improved the production to its current status. “Seussical” is now a favorite of children’s theater groups across the country.

Kylalee Meyer is the executive director of The Mountain Youth and Community Theatre. Sonora Children’s Theatre and Meyer Hideout Inc. are both 501(c)(3) organizations within MYACT. Combined, the two entities provide more opportunities for young people and adults to involve themselves in theater, improvisation, music and dance.

“Seussical” opened Thursday and continues through this weekend and next. Showtimes are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m; Sundays, 2 p.m.

The theater and box office are at 14372 Cuesta Court, off Tuolumne Road in Sonora. Ticket prices range from $8 to $12. Call (209) 533-8633 or go to www.mountainyouthact.com for details and reservations.


“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” will appear onstage at the East Sonora Theatre. From Nov. 15 through Dec. 22, the classic tale is retold as if before a live audience. Using a minimal cast, dozens of characters take part.

George Bailey learns a valuable lesson in this favorite holiday story of family, redemption and unconditional love. Audiences agree that the play is much like the film but even better.

Sierra Repertory Theatre artistic director Scot Viets directs this production. San Diego actor Tom Andrew stars as Bailey. Also from San Diego, Tim West plays Clarence, the guardian angel sent to Earth. Fresno actor Chris Carsten provides the voices of the announcer and Joseph, the head angel. Susan Chapman of Sonora plays Mary Bailey. Cathy Schenkelberg from Chicago, Nick Ferrucci of Washington and Caitlin Randall, one of Sierra Rep’s favorite actresses, provide voices of other characters. Justin Lang will handle the sound effects.

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is Sierra Rep’s final production of the 2013 season. Go to www.sierrarep.org for more information about performance times, ticket prices and more, or call (209) 532-3120.


At Stage 3 in Sonora, the clever whodunit “The Game’s Afoot” is also running from Nov. 15 through Dec. 22. Sort of a play within a play, the plot begins as Depression-era Broadway actor William Gillette hosts friends at his Connecticut castle for a holiday weekend. Gillette is renowned for his role as Sherlock Holmes, and unfortunately must assume the role of inspector after one of his guests is murdered.

Stage 3 Theatre Company began in 1993, and over the years has proven itself by presenting quality regional theater. With fewer than 100 seats, the auditorium has seats around three sides of the stage. The intimate setting brings audience members closer to the action. Stage 3 strives to provide distinctive dramatic presentations that go beyond entertainment, including classics, award-winning productions and world premieres.

Don Bilotti is artistic director of the nonprofit organization. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, he also studied at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater. When he’s not directing, he can be seen onstage or teaching theater arts at Columbia College.

Showtimes for this comedy-thriller are 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday. The theater is at 208 S. Green St. in Sonora. Additional information is available by calling (209) 536-1778 or via email at info@stage3.org. Go to www.stage3.org to view photos and learn more.

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