Sold-out signs, extended runs and encores, oh my!

Theater peeps know that this recession has been a nightmare; it’s the rare company that hasn’t run into financial trouble. But the solution to lackluster ticket sales may not be to get more conservative. Instead, some local companies are having great success by getting smarter and edgier rather than playing it safe. Case in point: KOLT Run Productions recent 90-minute version of Crime & Punishment, which generated enough interest for the company’s first-ever extended run. Or New Helvetia’s well-timed encore performances of Tick, Tick … Boom! which took advantage of the touring production of Rent to fill their theater once again. Factor in an intelligent play and some fine acting, and 3T’s sold-out production of The Meeting gets an encore production next weekend. Want a full house? Take a risk, as California Stage did with The Threepenny Opera. Yes, it’s a difficult show to produce and it needs a smart audience, but Sacramento has both the talent and the fan base, and Cal Stage managed to go standing-room only at last Sunday’s matinee. Now that’s good news.