From page to stage
Looking for a play of historical and literary import? You’re in luck, because Sacramento is experiencing a bumper crop of new productions with old, significant connections—some of them dark and some of them lighthearted.
Over at Sacramento City College, City Theatre currently is staging Federico García Lorca’s Bodas de Sangre (Blood Wedding). This tragedy premiered in Madrid in 1933, and it made the playwright sufficiently famous that he was rumored to be a candidate for the Nobel Prize in literature. He also was viewed as an intellectual threat by the rising fascists in Spain. When the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936, Gen. Francisco Franco had García Lorca captured and shot. We can recall only one local production of this famous play in the last 10 years (at California State University, Sacramento), so this is a rare experience.
Out in Roseville, Big Idea Theatre is staging Copenhagen, Michael Frayn’s dark, intellectual play about theoretical physics, European Jews fleeing the Nazis during World War II, and the ethical questions that were part of the frantic race to complete the first nuclear bomb. The original New York production picked up a Tony for best play in 2000. There’s only been one previous production in Sacramento (about five years ago at the B Street Theatre), and many people couldn’t get tickets for the mostly sold-out run.
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, there’s Little Women, a musical adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic book for young people. The Broadway production of the show made a splash last year, and the star of that production—Maureen McGovern—is now featured in the touring version of the show that is visiting Sacramento, sponsored by the Broadway Series at the Community Center Theater.
Meanwhile, the Children’s Theatre of California (located at the B Street Theatre) has another musical based on a children’s classic: Treasure Island. It’s been newly adapted by Sacramento writer Jerry Montoya and composer Noah Agruss from the Robert Louis Stevenson classic.
Finally, the Sacramento Theatre Company goes into previews for A Raisin in the Sun this Wednesday, October 5. Raisin was arguably the first important African-American play to hit Broadway, back in the 1950s. The film version, which came a few years after the play, is probably better known, but the play is now considered to be an American classic.
For details on dates, times and ticket prices for these shows, check the “Also playing” listings.