Out To Entertain You

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todd morgan california stage
Todd Morgan

Outdoor theater is nothing new to summertime Sacramento, longtime home to the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival and its signature Shakespeare in the Park. That series at Land Park’s amphitheater has been canceled this year due to the coronavirus crisis.

At least one other well-established Sacramento arts organization has made the (temporary, we trust) switch from indoors to outdoors.

California Stage, which since being founded in 2000 by Ray Tatar has racked up some 85 plays along with many other live entertainment and educational events, has adapted to the pandemic with a series of shows in its courtyard (formerly the parking lot). “Social Distance Theater” is presented Saturday evenings through at least Oct. 24.

Thirty patrons can sign up in advance for the shows, with individual tickets going for $15 ($18.03 after the “ticket operation fee” is tacked on). Seating before the small stage adheres to current physical-distancing standards.

On its website, California Stage calls the series “a spiritually resuscitative time for all of us getting COVID stir-crazy!”

Next up, starting at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 22, is headliner Todd Morgan and the Emblems. Promotional materials describe Morgan as “an accomplished singer, pianist, guitarist, songwriter, bandleader, engineer and producer, and to top it all off, a true showman.” His band gets toes tapping with pop, soul, blues, funk and early rock ‘n’ roll. Margret Moreau Resurrection Theater opens the show; Lee Williams is the evening’s master of ceremonies.

Other coming shows include saxophonist/composer Jacam Manricks and the Midtown Creepers on Aug. 29, poet and storyteller Jan Haag and musical act the O’Mally Sisters on Sept. 5, singer/songwriter James Israel and performer Tim Holt (as Pete Seeger) on Sept. 12, Thomas Molina and the Yuppie Liberation Front on Sept. 19, and Steve and Francesca Homan on Sept. 26.

California Stage Arts Complex is at 1723 25th St. in midtown.

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