Curtsies and jazz hands

California Musical Theatre’s Music Circus heads into August with the final two shows of its season: The King and I and Chicago. One’s a familiar old favorite returning to “the tent,” while the other is brand new to it.

The King and I, which opens Tuesday, August 6, and plays through Sunday, August 11, is a Rodgers & Hammerstein classic about a domineering king bumping up against a strong-willed English woman he has hired to teach the children of the court, who learns some lessons of his own. Only Show Boat and Oklahoma! have been presented as many times (13) as The King and I at the Music Circus. With such lovely songs as “Getting to Know You,” “Shall We Dance?” and “We Kiss in a Shadow,” it’s no wonder the play is so popular—so much so, that a Sunday matinee has been added to the schedule.

Chicago will get its first performance at Music Circus, and it will be a new “in-the-round” staging just for the venue. Chicago is as fine a contemporary musical as The King and I is a traditional one. It’s a sexy John Kander and Fred Ebb musical, with original choreography by Bob Fosse. A story of sin, betrayal, lawyers and women behind bars, its songs include the infectious “Razzle Dazzle,” the touching “Mister Cellophane” and, of course, “All That Jazz.” Chicago will play Tuesday, August 20, through Thursday, August 29.

Tickets range from $30 to $74, and show times vary, so visit the website,, or call the Wells Fargo Pavilion box office at (916) 557-1999, for more information.