Summer theater news and a couple DEVOtions
Summer stock Summer is for Shakespeare, right? A time for evenings spent outside with your fellow locals, enjoying trying to understand actors shouting words you barely understand as the sun goes down—it’s a Chico tradition. Well, thanks to the runneth-ing over of our city’s community-theater cup, there is more to consider—four of the five are continuing to show during the summer.
Regarding Shakespeare, as you may already know, while The Bard will make an appearance this summer, the 20th anniversary of Shakespeare in the Park will not be presented in the outdoors (see Scene, p. 26). Instead, Romeo & Juliet opens this weekend (July 9) in the Chico Women’s Club. Get tickets at Mr. Kopy downtown.
• Blue Room Theatre: Our little downtown theater has had the busiest summer schedule in town thus far, and there’s still more on the way. In addition to more late-night shenanigans (I’m guessing a Twilight Zone episode or two), there’s theatrically predisposed musician Loki Miller’s new original musical, The Meatloaf Experience, a tribute to the theatrically predisposed musician Marvin Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf. If you’re going to put in the amount of time it takes to pull off a musical production, especially one featuring a live band (“an all-star assortment of Chico musicians”), why not go with songs big enough to carry a show on their own: “I swore that I would love you till the end of time! … So now I am praying for the end of time to hurry up and arrive.”
• Chico Cabaret: After Eating Raoul closes this weekend, the Cabaret will take a month off before its next summer offering (Angry Housewives, directed by Andy Hafer and opening Aug. 6), in order to do some work for its signature production (Rocky Horror Live, all October) and some fundraising. The Cabaret is holding a contest for Rocky … Rocky the muscle-bound creation of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, that is. Contestants must have a rocking bod, be able to sing and “dead-lift a beautiful actress.” Contact the theater (895-0245) for details. Deadline for sign-ups is July 31.
As for the fundraisers, another big Yard-Less Sale will go down at the theater Saturday, July 18, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., followed by a car wash featuring Cabaret actors in bikinis and other bathing attire at the Dairy Queen on The Esplanade Sunday, Aug. 2, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Also, look for a Rocky-themed banquet coming in September.
• Chico Theater Co.: The second of two summer productions will be a departure from the north Chico theater’s usual classic Broadway fare. The Spitfire Grill is a musical adaptation of the 1996 film and the story of a female parolee seeking redemption in a small town. The play was a critical hit during its off-Broadway run. Opens July 17.
• Rogue Theatre: Rogue’s next scheduled production isn’t until the fall (Neil LaBute’s Some Girls, Sept. 17-26, at 1078 Gallery). Summer is being spent prepping for the epic 24-hour Elephant Dance dance-a-thon fundraiser on Oct. 17 (contact Betty Burns at email@example.com by Sept. 1 to sign up and get details about procuring donations). (Also: Word on the street is that Rogue is scoping out leads for a permanent theater home. Stay tuned.)
• Progressive partying: Spark ’n’ Cinder and Mark McKinnon and Friends will be the featured musicians at the massive Chico Reunion Party bash for “all of us involved in Chico from the 1970s to now … musicians, organizers, artists, students, teachers, lawyers, managers, politicians, gardeners and others.” Friday, July 10, 5:30 p.m., at the Chico Grange. Cost: $10.
• Beginning of the end: La Fin du Monde will drop its second disc of heavy, complex, instrumental soundscapes (the appropriately named Monolith) at its “official” CD-release show Friday, July 10, at Duffy’s Tavern.