All of June’s a stage
From Tony award-winning musicals to historical dramas, behold next month’s new local plays
June is bustin’ out with seasonal festivals and summer shows. Here’s an overview, restricted to productions opening no later than June 30:
Broadway at Music Circus. This theater-in-the-round series (founded in 1951) offers a unique experience. The 360-degree stage means everything is out in the open, including the entrances and exits of all actors, props and sets. The first challenge of this summer’s season is figuring out how to have falling rain in the middle of a circled audience for the musical Singing in the Rain (June 12-17). The second June production is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, a dance show set on the Oregon frontier in the 1800s (June 26-July 1). Both shows are indoors at the Wells Fargo Pavilion. broadwaysacramento.com.
Davis Shakespeare Festival. This young festival has grown from a start-up into an increasingly professional series over seven summers. This year, they feature three professional actors and a host of others seen recently at Capital Stage, Sac Theatre Company and Big Idea Theatre. They’re staging Schiller’s 200-year-old historical drama Mary Stuart, about the struggle for supremacy between Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. It’s a recent translation that got award nominations in London and New York. And then there’s On the Twentieth Century, a giddy musical farce from 1978 (winner of several Tonys), set on a passenger train during the roaring ’20s. The two shows run in repertory June 21-August 5, indoors at the Veterans Memorial Theatre in Davis. shakespearedavis.org.
Fair Oaks Theater Festival is a long-running outdoor series (founded 1982). This summer’s show is the Disney/Cameron Mackintosh version of Mary Poppins, June 15-August 5 in an outdoor amphitheater. fairoakstheatrefestival.com.
Main St. Theatre Works is an outdoor series (with many Sacramento actors) at the lovely Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre in Jackson (a foothill town an hour east of Sacramento). The comedy Mama Won’t Fly, about a parent fearful to board a flight from Alabama to California for her kid’s wedding, runs June 22-July 21. mstw.org.
B Street Theatre is reviving the Norm Foster golf course comedy The Ladies Foursome, June 19-July 22. Foster is a Canadian specializing in plays “about ordinary people just trying to get by in life. I never set out with a monumental purpose in mind… What I am trying to do is make them feel a little better about this world, and that’s not easy these days.” bstreettheatre.org.
Capital Stage is doing The Thanksgiving Play by Native American writer/choreographer Larissa Fasthorse, June 20-July 22. This satire on political correctness involves a school play designed to celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month, without killing any turkeys. capstage.org.
Big Idea Theatre is doing Boy by Anna Ziegler—a 2016 play, based on an actual incident in the 1960s, that deals with gender identity issues after a botched circumcision. The script has been staged to acclaim in off-Broadway and elsewhere. It runs June 15-July 14. bigideatheatre.org.
Chautauqua Playhouse is planning an all-female version of the venerable Revolutionary War musical 1776 (premiered in 1969 for the American Bicentennial in 1976), running June 22-July 22. cplayhouse.org.
Davis Musical Theatre Company is doing Disney’s The Little Mermaid, June 15-July 8, dmtc.org.
Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, which stages outdoor productions in an amphitheater near Fairytale Town in William Land Park, gets underway on June 29 with The Count of Monte Cristo, an adventure story with lots of swordplay, running through July 29. And—breaking my own rule—a second play, Henry V, joins the rotation in July 6-29. sacramentoshakespeare.net.