Theater storm

A packed new season of plays blows in

Mim. Roeder as The Tiger at the 2017 Butcher Shop theater festival.

Mim. Roeder as The Tiger at the 2017 Butcher Shop theater festival.

Photo by Suzanne Karp

As the endless Nor Cal summer bakes on, there is solace in the extended forecast—a cool breeze of fresh art set to blow into Butte County with the arrival of a new season of theater. The freshest, most original presentation is, as usual, the annual Butcher Shop event, the massive celebration of local creativity featuring original experimental theater, music, art, food, beer and more in a south Chico orchard over Labor Day weekend. And the season continues from there with offerings from our local community theaters, university productions and one-off special presentations at local theaters. Here’s a rundown of what will be hitting stages between now and the holidays.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Chico Theater Company (Aug. 24-Sept. 16). The popular 1980s musical adapted from the 1954 film of the same name.

Butcher Shop 2018, Slow Theatre (Sept. 1-2), at the End of Normal. This year’s theme: Mysterious Inheritance. Get there early for all the preshow fun.

Women in Jeopardy, Theatre on the Ridge (Sept. 6-23). Over glasses of wine, a trio of divorcees are on the case of the man one of them is dating, a dentist who may or may not also be a serial killer.

Mulan Jr., Blue Room Young Company (Sept. 7), at Laxson Auditorium. The Blue Room’s young players star in this musical adaptation of the Disney animated feature about Fa Mulan, the brave girl who goes undercover to fight the Huns.

PUMA, Blue Room Theatre (Sept. 21-22). Local actor/writer Hilary Tellesen’s all-female, all-wrestling, all-original ass-kicking celebration of turning 40.

Candide, Chico State School of the Arts (Sept. 22), at Harlen Adams Theatre. As part of the worldwide celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday this year, Chico State’s music and theater students, faculty and alumni are presenting a semi-staged concert version of his operetta, Candide, as part of this school year’s Opera Gala.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story, Paradise Performing Arts Center (Oct. 2). U.K.-born jukebox musical is touring the U.S. with stories, projected photos and a spot-on live tribute to the legendary duo.

Making God Laugh, Chico Theater Company (Oct. 5-21). Born from the famous quote “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans,” this a story of one family’s life over the course of 30 years.

Newsies, California Regional Theatre (Oct. 5-21), CUSD Center for the Arts. Learn about the exploitation of child labor in America … through song! A musical-theater adaptation of the 1992 film based on the newsboys’ strike of 1899.

Lord of the Flies, Blue Room (Oct. 11-20). Chico’s black-box theater turns the allegory of modern civilization on its head with an original adaptation that ditches the boys and features an all-girls cast of castaways.

Our House, School of the Arts (Oct. 18-21), at Wismer Theatre. The scenes are set on both sides of the TV screen for Chico State Department of Music and Theatre’s production of this boob-tube satire.

The Walworth Farce, Blue Room (Nov. 1-17). Chico’s conduit to the deep mines of Irish dark comedies, Joe Hilsee, brings us Enda Walsh’s particularly twisted example, featuring a family repeatedly performing a play in their flat to an audience of no one.

High Noon on Wall Street, Theatre on the Ridge (Nov. 1-18). In the 1980s, local musical-theater badasses Jerry Miller and Marcel Daguerre adapted the classic 1952 western film High Noon, updating the setting to then present-day Wall Street. Given the country’s current financial climate, right now seems a perfect time for this revival.