Funny on the fly
B Street sketch-comedy troupe
Sacramento, CA 95814
Sacramento’s B Street Theatre—which already hums with three different subscription series of plays—now offers yet another project: sketch comedy, featuring familiar faces from the B Street stage.
This new venture evolved gradually.
“Two years ago, we did a three-week run at the Cosmopolitan Cabaret on K Street, which moved over to the B2 space,” said actor David Pierini. That venture occurred at the B Street’s main campus, by the railroad tracks and Stanford Park at B and 27th streets.
In 2012, the theater followed up with a six-run production in the B2 space.
Then, when local restaurateur Randy Paragary assumed the Cosmo Cabaret lease earlier this year and planned to reopen as the Assembly nightclub, he approached B Street about bringing in its sketch-comedy troupe on an open-ended basis.
The theater company launched performances there—with little fanfare—in March.
The constantly changing show features scenes developed by the cast.
“We do wackier characters and situations [than the typical B Street play],” Pierini said.
New material is added regularly.
“It’s basically a completely new show every six weeks. But come back after two weeks, you’ll see a few repeats.”
Performances target the happy-hour crowd: downtown professionals, younger people on a night out, visiting conventioneers. With steady foot traffic on the sidewalk and multiple restaurants nearby, it’s an altogether different vibe than the more remote B Street campus.
“I think it appeals to people who haven’t discovered regular theater yet, maybe a younger and more diverse demographic,” said B Street’s executive director, Bill Blake. “It’s also a writing opportunity for our performers.” And more dates to work. Several company members have sketch-comedy experience in other cities.
B Street has long pursued a multigenerational strategy—Family Series shows and school tours for kids, full-length plays for adults. Sketch comedy addresses another phase.
Assembly, of course, is located three blocks from the projected sports arena at Downtown Plaza. Blake sees this as a boon.
“The whole K Street corridor is going to be jumping,” he predicts. “We thought, ‘Here’s an opportunity, let’s take advantage of it.’”