Sutter Street Theatre and Chautauqua Playhouse Reopen

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Four women: Chautauqua Playhouse

Backlit screens have served many an unforeseen purpose these past 14-plus months, including as placeholders for theatergoers who because of the pandemic have not been allowed to, um, go to theaters.

But the virus is loosening its grip, at least in California, and that has cleared the way for the reopening of two local and popular performing-arts venues: Sutter Street Theatre in Folsom and Chautauqua Playhouse in Carmichael.

The next two weekends, Sutter Street (717 Sutter St.) will present “The Berenstain Bears On Stage.” Not merely kid-friendly but decidedly kid-catered, the show is MC’d by Cowboy Joe and contains five musical interludes: The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby, The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room, The Berenstain Bears and the Double Dare. The Berenstain Bears Tell the Truth, and The Berenstain Bears Get Stage Fright.

The show was created by—wait for it—Stan and Jan Berenstain. Laura Luke directs this production, presented at 1 and 4 p.m. both Saturdays and 1 p.m. both Sundays. Adults pay $19 and children 12 and under enter for $14. The theater company says “COVID safety precautions are followed.” Call (916) 353-1001 for tickets and more information.

Bears: Sutter Street Theatre
Bears: Sutter Street Theatre

Starting Friday, May 28, and running through June 27, Chautauqua (5325 Engle Road in the La Sierra Community Center) presents “The Savannah Sipping Society” at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays.

“In this delightful, laugh-a-minute comedy,” according to the Carmichael company, “four unique Southern women, all needing to escape the sameness of their day-to-day routines, are drawn together by Fate—and an impromptu happy hour—and decide it’s high time to reclaim the enthusiasm for life they’ve lost through the years.”

Margaret Morneau, Patricia Lee Schmeltz, Jody Klemens and Nanette Michael Rice star, and Warren Harrison directs.

Tickets, limited to 15 people per show due to the pandemic, are $25 apiece and can be purchased on Chautauqua’s website.