Fine Arts

Come together, right now. Just got word from Chico State English instructor and CN&R contributor Steve Metzger that the Alliance of Chico Theaters (which he is the newly appointed president of) continues to meet once-a-month to talk about how to “fire up” locals about theater. For those not in the know, ACT is a cooperative effort of all the local community theaters and college theater programs to do things such as plan a Northstate Theatre Month (“or something like that,” says Metzger) for June of 2006, where the participating theaters will do things like give away tickets to help “get new butts in the seats.”

The coziest time of the year. So, in a nod to the efforts Mr. President and local theater, here are some highlights of fall’s stage productions to help you plan your holiday performing arts schedule:

Stop Kiss: Chico State’s School of the Arts presents one of the most intriguing selections of this season. Playwright Diana Son brings together two apparently straight women—one a New York traffic reporter and one a Midwest elementary school teacher—who are drawn together in an improbable love story. The play simultaneously follows two timelines, one leading up to their first kiss and one that takes place in the ultimately violent aftermath, illuminating how much one small event can alter our lives forever. Wismer Theatre. Shows nightly, 7:30 p.m. through Nov. 12 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.

Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge: A little more holiday-ish, Chico Cabaret’s pre-Christmas production is a parody of not only Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol, but Oliver Twist and It’s a Wonderful Life as well. Directed by theater honcho Phil Ruttenburg, the comedy shows a time-traveling ghost and a Mr. Scrooge that are a bit off, showing up at the wrong times while Mrs. Cratchit is seriously getter her drunk on. Shows Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., Nov. 17-Dec. 17.

Incorruptible: The Blue Room is thick with the good stuff this season, and the final production of 2005 marks a return for the theater to the work of Michael Hollinger. Last season, Hollinger’s hilarious multi-character Red Herring was a hit, so this year the theater booked his “run-around-and-fall-down farce” about a group of 13th century French monks who decide to reverse their woeful fortunes by selling off phony relics (i.e. dead priest body parts) of the (not really) “incorruptible” brothers buried in the monastery’s graveyard. Shows Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m., Dec. 1-17 and Sun., Dec. 18.

For tickets and complete schedules for the dozen or so local holiday-season productions, call or go online:

Blue Room Theatre (895-3749)

Birdcage Theatre (533-2473)

Butte College productions (872-8454/895-2994)

Chico Cabaret (895-0245)

Chico State productions (898-6333)

Chico Theater Company (894-3CTC)

Theatre on the Ridge (877-5760)