Stage notes

April will start with a bang, with four utterly different productions opening in rapid sequence.

Vista Players will bow Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia on Thursday, April 4, at the Actor’s Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd. Stoppard is arguably the best British playwright during the last 40 years, and Arcadia (first performed in London in 1993, later staged in San Francisco and Ashland, among other locations) is considered by many to be his best work. Set on a gorgeous British estate in 1809, the play integrates a dazzling array of topics. Curiously, this effort by Vista Players appears to be the first local mounting of the script. Aram Kouyoumdjian, who’s earned a reputation locally for putting on shows that are “a cut above” in terms of both literary and production values, is the director. 498-0477.

Abandon Productions will open writer/director/choreographer Doniel Soto’s new piece, Sorta … , which mixes physical theater with clown style, on Friday, April 5, at The Space, 2509 R St. Soto’s inventive, challenging original pieces have been a welcome and refreshing addition to the local scene over the past year. 737-2304.

The Woodland Opera House will open Eleanor on Friday, April 5—it’s a musical based on the life of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, tracing the early years of her life from 1894 through her marriage to future president Franklin D. Roosevelt. (530) 666-9617.

And the Broadway Series is bringing in the big touring production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, featuring veteran leading man Robert Goulet. The 12-day run at the Sacramento Community Center Theatre begins Wednesday, April 10. 264-5181.

There are a few postponements: The Sacramento Theatre Company has put off the April-May production of Picasso at the Lapin Agile until next season, in order to get started on the long-planned and much-needed renovation work on STC’s antiquated facilities. Season ticket holders and those who bought individual tickets can exchange their tickets for vouchers at the STC box office.

And the B Street Theatre is now shooting for an early July opening for B-2, the long-anticipated second performance space (adjoining the current theater) that will allow producing artistic director Buck Busfield greater flexibility in terms of extending popular shows and booking interesting smaller productions. The opening of B-2 has been pushed back before, so it remains to be seen if the July opening will materialize. The space continues to be used for rehearsals in the meantime.