Tempted by the stage

A preview of local theater in 2020

Alex Hilsee as Isabella in the Blue Room’s <i>Measure for Measure</i>.

Alex Hilsee as Isabella in the Blue Room’s Measure for Measure.

photo by Joe HilseE

The stage schedule for the new year is stacked—Shakespeare, contemporary and classic musicals, farces, twisted comedies and original works fill up the calendar in a very busy first six months of 2020 for Butte County theatergoers.

Measure for Measure, Blue Room Theatre (Jan. 9-25): Lust, hypocrisy, temptation and corruption. Shakespeare knew what was up with the world in this comedy on “morality and mercy in Vienna.” Directed by Joe Hilsee.

Clue, CUSD Center for the Arts (Jan. 11-19): Inspire School of Arts & Sciences students bring the classic board game to the stage.

Girls’ Weekend, Theatre on the Ridge (Jan. 23-Feb. 9): The wine and farce flow freely during a weekend getaway. Directed by Judy Clemens.

The Music Man, Chico Theater Company (Jan. 24-Feb. 16): The classic Broadway musical about a huckster who falls in love in the Midwest.

Little Women the Musical, CUSD Center for the Arts (Feb. 7-16): On the heels of the release of the big-screen version of Louisa May Alcott’s classic story, California Regional Theatre presents a musical adaptation.

Fresh Ink, Blue Room (Feb. 13-16): Annual festival of prompted one-acts.

A Piece of My Heart, Birdcage Theatre (Feb. 21-29): Shirley Lauro’s drama about five nurses and one country singer’s experiences helping the troops during the war in Vietnam.

The Portuguese Kid, Theatre on the Ridge (Feb. 27-March 8): A new romantic comedy from Pulitzer Prize- and Oscar-winning writer John Patrick Shanley (Doubt: A Parable, Moonstruck). Directed by Jerry Miller.

The Servant of Two Masters, Wismer Theatre (March 5-8): Chico State Theatre Department presents a modern rendering of the classic commedia dell’arte.

Stuff N Things: A Fair Retail Story, Blue Room (March 12-28): Premiere of local actor/playwright Wade Gess’ original musical exploration of “how corporate capitalism can fracture the American Dream.” Directed by Amber Miller.

Jesus Christ Superstar, Chico Theater Company (March 13-April 5): The 1970s rock opera with Jesus, Judas and the rest of the groovy Gospels cats kicks off the spring.

Love, Sex and the IRS, Birdcage Theatre (March 27-April 4): A farce set in the 1970s that lives up to its title.

The Legend of Georgia McBride, Theatre on the Ridge (April 2-19): When a young father’s tired Elvis impersonation act starts to flounder, he makes the switch to drag performer to save his career and provide for his family.

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing, Blue Room (April 23-May 9): A contemporary work by Finegan Kruckemeyer about triplet sisters left in the forest. One goes one way, one goes the other, and one stays put. Twenty years later they meet again as grown women.

As You Like It, Butte College (April 25-May 3): The drama students take on Shakespeare’s lovely pastoral comedy.

In the Heights, Laxson Auditorium (April 30-May 3): For its spring musical, Chico State presents Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway show, a hip-hop musical revolving around the Hispanic community in New York City’s Washington Heights neighborhood.

The Foursome, Chico Theater Company (May 1-17): On the occasion of their 15-year college reunion, four pals take stock of their lives during a round of golf.

Or, Blue Room (May 21-June 6): The “1660s look a lot like the 1960s” in this bodice-ripper by New York-based playwright Liz Duffy Adams. Directed by Joyce Henderson