50 Ways To Enjoy the Season


Tis’ the season of musicals and maestros, of pirates and princes, where performers from here, there and everywhere take stages across the Sacramento region. Some sing, some dance and some bring classic characters to life. Others play instruments that resonate through the night. It is the time when Broadway once again comes to town and some theaters transport you to another place in another period. Even though summer has ended, the performing arts scene is just heating up. And in the spirit of this occasion, we present 50 reasons to seize the season. So without further ado, it’s showtime.

1. The Dead of Winter

A group of strangers staying in a hotel get snowed in, which isn’t so bad until it’s revealed that a murderer is among them. See Agatha Christie’s classic mystery The Mousetrap at Stage Nine Entertainment Store and Theatre in Folsom playing through Oct. 7. (916) 353-1001; stageninefolsom.com

2. Move Over, Jack Sparrow

In the Pirates of Penzance, presented by the Davis Musical Theatre Company, an orphan, a maiden, a nursemaid and a major general all are looking for a certain treasure: happiness. With lyrics and music by Gilbert and Sullivan, this swashbuckling romance runs through Oct. 7 at the Hoblit Performing Arts Center in Davis. (530) 756-3682; dmtc.org

3. All Hail the Queen

The whole of Camelot comes out to await the arrival of Guinevere, King Arthur’s queen-to-be, in Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot presented by Roseville’s Magic Circle Theatre Company. The production plays through Oct. 13 at the Roseville Theater. (916) 782-1777; mcircle.org

4. Good, Clean Fun

Dirty Story

, John Patrick Stanley’s biting satire on politics and society, makes its Sacramento premiere by Capital Stage aboard the Delta King. The production Newsday calls mischievously funny and fiercely serious runs through Oct. 28. (916) 995-5464; deltaking.com/theatre.html

5. Home Sweet Home

Located in an 1894 midtown Victorian, Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre presents Annie’s Story, a drama about a woman who returns home and must confront her past. Enjoy the show while indulging in a decadent dessert and coffee or tea, included in the ticket price. See the show through Nov. 3. (916) 444-8209; thistle-dew.net

6. Bring Sexy Back

It’s time for fishnet stockings and stilettos, as Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to town. Presented by Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre in Rancho Cordova, the cult-classic musical runs through Nov. 10, with only midnight and Halloween shows. Audience members must be 18 or older; ID is required. (916) 985-6361; garbeaus.com

X Marks the Spot

All Davis Musical Theatre Company performances take place at the Hoblit Performing Arts Center in East Davis. When you go to dmtc.org to purchase tickets, you can choose exactly where you want to sit by clicking on the color-coded seating chart.

7. Nothing Is Black and White

Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. The musical, playing through Nov. 11, is loosely based on the biblical story of Joseph but with a few colorful twists: His brothers are country crooners and Pharaoh acts like the King&emdash;Elvis, that is. (916) 985-6361; garbeaus.com

8. American Dreamin’

The Sacramento Theatre Company

presents Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck’s compelling tale of George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression searching for a piece of the American Dream. The show runs Oct. 3–Nov. 11. (916) 443-6722; sactheatre.org

9. Gone With the Wind

California Musical Theatre

‘s Broadway Sacramento presents Whistle Down the Wind, the inspiring story of a Louisiana girl who hides an escaped felon from the townspeople searching for him. Direct from London, the production, which runs Oct. 3–Nov. 11 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, features a score with Southern roots created by rock lyricist Jim Steinman and Andrew Lloyd Webber. (916) 808-5181; calmt.com

10. Teacher Trouble

Woodland Opera House Theatre

presents The Music Man, Oct. 4–Nov. 5, the classic Broadway musical about a professor who strikes some minor chords after he cons parents into thinking he can teach their children to play musical instruments. (530) 666-9617; wohtheatre.org

11. Beat Your Veggies

The Sacramento Valley Production Theatre Company

presents The Broccoli Club, a new musical by local playwright Ruth R. Owens set in 1929 Detroit about a man who must bump off The Big Broccoli if he hopes to redeem his gambling debts. The show runs Oct. 5–21 at the 24th Street Theatre. (916) 489-1175; thebroccoliclub.com

12. Signs of the Times

Celebration Arts

, a multicultural drama, choral and dance organization located in East Sacramento, presents Three Ways Home, a story about a single mother trying to raise a troubled teen and a woman who intervenes to help improve their lives. The show runs Oct. 5–Nov. 11. (916) 455-2787; celebrationarts.net

13. Stringing Sounds Together

The Sacramento Baroque Soloists

presents The Baroque Sonata, its first concert of the season, Oct. 6 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The concert features two violinists and an ensemble playing a recorder, cello and harpsichord. (916) 705-3806; sacramentobaroque.org

14. Keys to the City

The 2007–2008 season marks the Year of the Piano for Sierra College Foundation’s Chamber Music Alive! program. The first concert, Oct. 6–7 at St. Mark’s Methodist Church in Sacramento and Sierra College’s Dietrich Theatre in Rocklin, features Adam Nieman, the first of three world-renowned pianists scheduled to appear. (916) 789-2920; chambermusicalive.org

15. Surreal Life

In the early to mid-1900s, Noel Coward, a British actor, playwright and composer, defined what it meant to be a celebrity. In a special presentation, the Sacramento Opera offers A Talent To Amuse: An Evening With Noel Coward, a cabaret of musical performances, comedy sketches and anecdotes about the man behind the music. See the show Oct. 11–14 at the Towe Auto Museum. It’s going to be set up like the Savoy Hotel in London, where he performed, says opera spokesperson Joey Castaneda. (916) 737-1000; sacopera.org

16.  Written in the Stars

Sacramento State’s Department of Theatre & Dance

presents North Star, the story of a black girl searching for identity in North Carolina during the Civil Rights Era. The department’s season opener runs Oct. 11–21. (916) 278-6368; csus.edu/dram

17. LOL!

The Chautauqua Playhouse

presents Arms and the Man, a poignant piece of timeless comedy by George Bernard Shaw. See the show Oct. 12–Nov. 11 at the La Sierra Community Center in Carmichael. (916) 489-7529; cplayhouse.com

18. Don’t Be Chicken

Stage Nine Entertainment Store and Theatre

of Folsom presents The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, a musical that recounts the rise and fall of a chicken ranch in a small Texas town. We’re not going to hit the whorehouse aspect real hard, even though it’s in the title, because we want everyone in the family to be able to come, says Stage Nine co-owner Connie Mockenhaupt. We’re not going to be out-and-out bawdy. The show runs Oct. 12–Nov. 25. (916) 353-1001; stageninefolsom.com

19. The Heart of the Matter

The Sierra Community Chorus, composed of 60 or so vocalists from the Rocklin area, performs songs of hope and redemption in A Gift of the Heart, including music from Annie, Hairspray, Les Miserables and Wicked. The benefit concert takes place at Adventure Christian Church in Roseville Oct. 19–20. Proceeds will go toward The Gathering Inn and Acres of Hope.
(916) 781-2900; sierrachorus.org

20. Don’t Feed the Instruments

The Camellia Symphony

hosts the second of two Fall Family Concerts Oct. 20 at the Galleria Civic Center in West Sacramento. Families can come for an hour-long taste of classical music, and kids can visit the instrument petting zoo to see and touch musical instruments and take part in a mock performance with the conductor. (916) 929-6655; camelliasymphony.org

21. Hitting a High Note

Dee Dee Bridgewater

, the dynamic jazz singer whom the Washington Post calls an an extroverted crowd-pleaser, performs at the Mondavi Center Oct. 20. The two-time Grammy Award winner also has won a Tony Award for her work on the Broadway stage. (530) 754-2787; mondaviarts.org 

22. Make Way for Broadway

The Sacramento Choral Society, the nonprofit professional-caliber chorus and professional orchestra, opens its 12th season in Broadway style with A Lerner & Loewe Celebration, featuring a performance of the duo’s Broadway masterpieces from Brigadoon, Gigi, Camelot and My Fair Lady. Catch the show Oct. 20 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. (916) 264-5181; sacramentochoral.com

23. Pioneer Spirit

The Sacramento Ballet

presents artistic director Ron Cunningham’s dramatic world premiere about the ill-fated Donner Party in
A Woman’s Journey: The Tamsen Donner Story. The show, which also includes performances of George Balanchine’s Serenade and Septime Webre’s Fluctuating Hemlines, runs Oct. 25–28 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. (916) 552-5800; sacballet.org

24. Twist of Fate

The UC Davis Department of Theatre and Dance‘s Sideshow Physical Theatre performs Collapse (Suddenly Falling Down), a dance and theater presentation about human nature and the fate of our actions. Directed and choreographed by Della Davidson, with text by Ed Gaible, the show takes place at the Mondavi Center’s Studio Theatre Oct. 25–Nov. 4. (530) 754-2787; theatredance.ucdavis.edu/sideshow_theatre

25. Love, Not-So-Sweet Love

Beyond the Proscenium Productions

presents Hecuba & Dido: Love Gone Wrong by Ann Tracy, who founded the experimental, movement-based theater company in 1994. The play runs Oct. 27–Nov. 24 at The Space, 2509 R St. in midtown. (916) 456-1600; beyondtheproscenium.org


26. That’s All Folk

For its 11th season, the Sacramento Philharmonic offers two chamber orchestra concert weekends. Its Signature Series begins this fall with Folk Songs and Spirituals, Nov. 1, 2 and 4, conducted by Maestro Michael Morgan. Performances take place at the Guild Theater in Oak Park, a Magic Circle Theater venue in Roseville and Temple Or Rishon in Orangevale. (916) 782-1777; sacphil.org

27. All That Jazz

The New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

brings its hometown sounds of the Big Easy to the Mondavi Center Nov. 2. The critically acclaimed ensemble, founded in 2002, celebrates New Orleans’ contributions to the musical genre. (530) 754-278; mondaviarts.org

28. Split Personality

Runaway Stage

presents Jekyll & Hyde, a musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark tale about Dr. Jekyll’s earnest attempt to better humanity by separating the good from the evil in human personalities. All hell breaks loose when he experiments on himself and the savage Mr. Hyde emerges. Shows take place Nov. 2–25 at the 24th Street Theatre. (916) 207-1226; runawaystage.com

29. Ace in the Hole

Adding to its mainstage and family theater offerings, midtown’s B Street Theatre launches B3, its third resident series, featuring dramatic works by cutting-edge playwrights. The series premieres with a work straight off Broadway: Rabbit Hole, David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about two grieving parents enduring the aftermath of a tragic accident. The play runs through Nov. 4 (916) 443-5300; bstreettheatre.org

30. A Stitch in Time Saves Five

Sacramento State’s Department of Theatre & Dance

presents Loose Knit, a story of five diverse, modern women in a weekly knitting group who bond as they work through the ups and downs of love and life. Reminiscent of Sex and the City, the show runs Nov. 8–18. (916) 278-6368; csus.edu/dram

31. Walk of Fame

River City Theatre Company

presents 42nd Street, a classic Broadway tale that follows hardworking chorus girl Peggy Sawyer on her inspiring journey to the big time. In addition to the title track, other hits from the show include We’re in the Money, Shuffle Off to Buffalo and Lullaby of Broadway. See it Nov. 9–10 and 16–17 at the Hiram Johnson High School Auditorium. (916) 457-7282; rivercitytheatre.org

32. Love in the Middle of Nowhere

In the highlands of Scotland, there’s a mythic village that appears out of the mist every hundred years. In Brigadoon, presented by the Davis Musical Theatre Company, two hunters find this village and one falls in love with a girl who lives there. The Lerner and Loewe musical runs Nov. 9–Dec. 2 at the Hoblit Performing Arts Center. (530) 756-3682; dmtc.org

33. Sounds From the Soul

The Camellia Symphony

performs the first concert of its 45th season, Russian Soul, featuring a performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 by guest pianist Natsuki Fukasawa, in the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium Nov. 10. (916) 929-6655; camelliasymphony.org

34. Take a Magic Carpet Ride

The wishful-thinking ragamuffin takes to the stage Nov. 15–25 at the Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theatre at Folsom High School when El Dorado Musical Theatre presents Disney’s Aladdin. A high point of the show? Aladdin and Jasmine will actually be flying over ‘A Whole New World,’ says Annie Speno, the show’s producer. (916) 941-7464; edmt.info 

Meet and Greet Want to meet Aladdin and Jasmine or even the treacherous villain, Jafar? Here’s your chance: After the show, bring your pads and pens to the reception line, where the stars of El Dorado Musical Theatre’s Aladdin will be giving out their autographs.

35. Life on the Radio

Witness what it’s like to watch a play being produced for live radio when The Foothill Theatre Company presents its unique adaptation of the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life. Root for George Bailey while watching live-radio sound effects created on stage, Nov. 15–Dec. 30 at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City. (530) 265-8587; foothilltheatre.org

36. Timeless Tragedy

For its season opener, the Sacramento Opera presents Otello, the tragic opera based on William Shakespeare’s tragic play. Conducted by Timm Rolek with music by Giuseppe Verdi, Otello runs Nov. 16–20 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. (916) 264-5181; sacopera.org

The Sacramento Community Center Theater rents out binoculars for $5 a piece to audience members attending its events. Just be sure to return them after the show.

37. In the Swing of Things

Magic Circle Theatre

‘s Night Club, a musical revue by the theater’s executive producer Robert C. Gerould, showcases hits from the 1930s through the 1970s. It’s a chance to hear music you wouldn’t normally hear, says Magic Circle’s Kris Hunt. Catch the show at Roseville’s Tower Theater Nov. 16–Dec. 22. (916) 782-1777; mcircle.org

38. Good Tidings, Great Joy

For a holiday treat, Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre presents Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings, a new Christmas show with songs meant to put a little heavenly peace into a disorderly world. The show runs Nov. 17–Dec. 31. (916) 985-6361; garbeaus.com

39. A Christmas Medley

Capital Stage

brings back last year’s sell-out holiday hit, Every Christmas Story Ever Told, to its Delta King stage Nov. 24–Dec. 30. The zippy montage showcases the best and worst Christmas lit moments, with guest appearances that include Tiny Tim and the Grinch. (916) 995-5464; deltaking.com/theatre.html

40. A Class in Choreography

Dance Sites

, the annual faculty dance concert of Sacramento State’s Department of Theatre & Dance, takes place Nov. 29–Dec. 9. It’s the only show where the faculty get to choreograph the dances, says Linda Goodrich, department chair. (916) 278-6368; csus.edu/dram

41. Don’t Shoot Your Eye Out

Woodland Opera House Theatre

brings to the stage Ralphie Parker’s storied holiday quest for a Red Ryder BB gun in A Christmas Story. Based on stories by humorist Jean Shepherd, the production runs Nov. 30–Dec. 23. (530) 666-9617; wohtheatre.org

42. Laughing All the Way

Stage Nine Entertainment Store and Theatre

presents Holiday in the Hills, an original musical comedy set loosely in the late 1800s in Folsom. See the show Nov. 30–Dec. 30 at the Folsom theater. (916) 353-1001; stageninefolsom.com

43. The Politics of Religion

Celebration Arts

presents Amen Corner, a story that examines how the quest for power and position stirs up faith and relationships in a small Harlem church. It’s about the politics of church life and things that have been going on in the church for years, says artistic director James Wheatley. Performances take place Nov. 30–Jan. 6. (916) 455-2787; celebrationarts.net

44. Whodunit?

What happens when 10 strangers with dark pasts are invited to a lonely island mansion and death follows them? Find out in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None at Carmichael’s Chautauqua Playhouse Nov. 30–Dec. 16 and Jan. 4–20, 2008. It’s a murder mystery with a classic ‘Ten Little Indians’ story, says Mary MacDonald, playhouse board president. (916) 489-7529; cplayhouse.com

45. Go for Baroque

Sierra College Foundation’s Chamber Music Alive!

program presents a special fifth anniversary Gala Baroque Concert, featuring a performance of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons by leading Northern California musicians. See the show Dec. 2 at Sierra College’s Dietrich Theatre in Rocklin. (916) 789-2920; chambermusicalive.org

46. Go Over the Rainbow

Center Stage Productions

and the city of Rocklin present the family favorite The Wizard of Oz at Rocklin’s Finnish Temperance Hall Dec. 7–16. See Dorothy make new friends and overcome obstacles as she tries to find her way back home. (916) 625-5200; rocklin.ca.gov

47. It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

Sierra Community Chorus

‘ annual Candlelight Concert takes place Dec. 7–9 at Del Oro High School in Loomis and Dec. 13–16 at Sierra College’s Dietrich Theatre in Rocklin. People always tell us it really gets them into the holiday spirit, says chorus member Anne Sterling. (916) 781-2900; sierrachorus.org

48. Nuts for the Nutcracker

Treat the family to The Sacramento Ballet‘s The Nutcracker, featuring choreography by Ron Cunningham and music by Peter Tchaikovsky performed live by the Sacramento Philharmonic. Matinees and evening shows of the beloved holiday ballet take place Dec. 7–23 at the Sacramento Community Center Theater. (916) 264-5181; sacballet.org

49. Never a Silent Night

The Sacramento Choral Society

performs Peggy MacArthur Home for the Holidays, a production that includes traditional and contemporary holiday songs, candlelight processions and more. What’s become a local holiday tradition takes place Dec. 8 at the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium. (916) 264-5181; sacramentochoral.com

50. Get a Handel on the Holidays

The renowned American Bach Soloists, an ensemble of early-music vocalists and period-instrument musicians, brings Handel’s Messiah to the Mondavi Center for the seventh straight year. Hear the musical masterpiece Dec. 22. (530) 754-2787; mondaviarts.org