Reflect: Entertainment for a Summer Night

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    Theatergoers wait in line to enter the Music Circus tent in the early 1950s.
    Theatergoers wait in line to enter the Music Circus tent in the early 1950s. Photography courtesy of Broadway Sacramento.

    In 1951, after an invitation from Eleanor McClatchy, president of The Sacramento Bee, Russell Lewis and Howard Young launched the first professional musical theater-in-the-round west of the Mississippi. That endeavor, now called Broadway at Music Circus, together with Broadway on Tour, comprises California’s largest nonprofit musical theater company, Broadway Sacramento. Music Circus runs from June through August, so there’s still an opportunity to see the season’s remaining shows: “The Secret Garden” (Aug. 9–14) and “The Color Purple” (Aug. 23–28).