Ding dong, the witch is here

The Music Circus takes on five classics for its 2013 summer season

Tickets for the Music Circus 2013 season are available at the Wells Fargo Pavilion Box Office at 1419 H Street, (916) 557-1999 or www.tickets.com. Individual tickets are $30-$64, and season subscriptions are $150-$256. Visit www.sacramentomusiccircus.com for details.

The Wicked Witch of the West returns to Sacramento on June 21.

That’s when the Music Circus season opens with The Wizard of Oz—more specifically, the 1987 stage adaptation by the Royal Shakespeare Company, which hews close to the ever-popular 1939 film. (Music Circus staged this version once before, in 2004).

Of course, the Wicked Witch was also in town in 2012, when the touring musical Wicked (which spins characters and events from The Wizard of Oz) had a May-June run with Broadway Sacramento. (Wicked returns on Broadway Sacramento in May-June 2014, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 2011 adaptation of The Wizard of Oz tours this fall, but won’t visit Sacramento.)

Given the competition, Richard Lewis, president and CEO of California Musical Theatre (which produces the Music Circus and hosts Broadway Sacramento shows) says he’s happy with the resulting lineup.

“We were very pleased we could get the rights,” Lewis said.

The Wizard of Oz will open on a Friday (June 21), rather than a Tuesday—the traditional Music Circus opening night. The show will also stage 13 performances (rather than eight), ending on June 30. Expect kiddies at the matinees.

Lewis polls regularly, and knows his audience wants classics—this summer’s season includes Show Boat (1927), July 9, through July 14; Sugar (1972, based on the 1959 film Some Like It Hot), July 23, through July 28; The King and I (1951), August 6, through August 11; and Chicago (1975), August 20, through August 29.

It’s a leaner season than years past—and so far, seems to be successful: Last summer, Music Circus switched from seven consecutive productions to a five-show season (with a week off in between), and subscriptions rose from 8,800 in 2012 to 9,500 (and still selling) this summer.