Back on B Street

Talk about overworked! Here’s one of David Pierini’s 19 characters in <i>Around the World in 80 Days</i>.

Talk about overworked! Here’s one of David Pierini’s 19 characters in Around the World in 80 Days.

David Pierini—a regular on Sacramento stages during the 1990s—has returned in a big way. Pierini was an associate artist at the B Street Theatre from 1994 through 2000 and acted in many productions there. In addition, he wrote and directed several touring Fantasy Theatre shows for young people. His plays for adults included locally produced comedies like Guardian Angel, Couch Story and an adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Four years ago, Pierini decided to leave Sacramento for the East Coast. “The reason I moved to New York is that I was turning 30, and Sacramento was really the only home I had ever known,” he said. “I went not with the intention of acting, but to jolt my system.”

Pierini lived through the whole 9/11 experience. He covered his expenses with a steady job as a bartender (something he’d never done before) at a restaurant in Greenwich Village. He also wrote a serious play, a drama he’s been working on for five years. “But I had terrible roommate karma,” Pierini added. “And while the city is wonderful, the city is tough.”

So, when the B Street’s artistic director, Buck Busfield, offered Pierini a role in last December’s This One Night, Pierini decided to try Sacramento again. Though Pierini’s role involved only a brief appearance in the final scene, he knew he was back. “I felt in my gut, ‘This is what I love,’” Pierini said.

Then, Busfield offered Pierini a bigger challenge: playing 19 different characters in Around the World in 80 Days. “It was the most physical show I’ve ever done,” Pierini said. “It was so fast-paced, with so many costumes, I felt almost like an athlete.” Pierini enjoyed lots of positive feedback from audiences who were glad to see him again.

Busfield also gave Pierini the opportunity to write the next Children’s Theatre of California production, based on the book The Boxcar Children. Pierini took that assignment, but when the hugely popular 80 Days was extended, Pierini got trapped between his energy-intensive work onstage and the demands of the new script. “The writing was a little slow at first,” Pierini conceded. But he got it done. The Boxcar Children opens Saturday.

Now, Pierini is thinking about taking more character roles. “I’m a little older, and that gives you a more interesting face,” he said. And expect more original plays with his byline. Lucky for us, he plans to stay in Northern California.