What’s New On Local Stages?

By Chris Narloch

If you’re looking for some quality theater to see this month, I have three excellent options currently playing in and around Sacramento.

Read on for the productions coming your way courtesy of B Street Theatre, Capital Stage, and Green Valley Theatre.

 

 

 

Holmes & Watson

This play will be theatrical catnip for mystery lovers, especially if you’re a fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who invented the characters of Sherlock Holmes and his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson.

In “Holmes & Watson,” playwright Jeffrey Hatcher hatches his own mystery involving the famous super sleuth. As the play begins, Dr. Watson is summoned to an insane asylum on a remote island, to interview three patients all claiming to be the famous detective.

Sherlock Holmes has recently disappeared (and is presumed dead), and Watson is tasked with discrediting the assumed impostors. Naturally, it’s a dark and stormy night when Dr. Watson arrives, which only adds to the mood of mystery.

This is one of those intricately plotted plays filled with secrets, revelations, and reversals, plus a whopper of a surprise ending that you won’t see coming and I won’t give away. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of “Holmes & Watson.”

The production benefits immensely from perfect period costuming by Paulette Sand-Gilbert, effective sound design by Lynnae Vana, and especially the wonderfully eerie set and lighting design by Christina Barrigan.

None of it would work, however, without the wonderful performances that director Jerry Montoya has elicited from a cast comprised of some of B St. Theatre’s finest actors, including Jason Kuykendall (Sherlock Holmes 1), Dave Pierini (Sherlock Holmes 3), and Greg Alexander (Dr. Evans).

Additionally, Peter Story nails the central role of Dr. Watson, Ryan Imhoff makes a very strong impression as Sherlock Holmes 2, and Anthony Marble and Kathryn Smith-McGlynn provide superb support in their roles as Orderly and Matron, respectively.

You can catch “Holmes & Watson” through May 26 at B Street Theatre. For more information, visit https://bstreettheatre.org.

Amelie The Musical

This is the final weekend for the lovely new musical playing at The Tower Theatre in Old Roseville, which is the current home of Green Valley Theatre Company, the great little theater troupe that formerly staged its shows in Oak Park.

“Amelie The Musical” is, of course, based on the delightful French film from 2001 that made an international star of Audrey Tautou, the adorable actress who played the quirky title character.

“Amelie” is a fanciful comedy about a young woman who discretely orchestrates the lives of the people around her, creating a world of her own making.

The movie had the beautiful streets and locales of Paris to provide the romance; in place of Paris, the musical substitutes beautiful songs, with surprising success. The stage version of “Amelie” really sings.

Christopher Cook provides his usual nimble direction and is also responsible for the creative puppet and set design in the show.

I’m not going to single out any members of an extremely talented, thirteen-person cast, except for the two actresses who fill the central roles of Amelie and Young Amelie: Corley Pillsbury and Maggie McGoldrick, both superb.

“Amelie The Musical” is almost as enchanting as the movie that inspired it, and you can see it through Sunday, May 19, 2019. Go to https://greenvalleytheatre.com.

The Other Place

Melinda Parrett, who is probably the finest actress of her generation currently working on Sacramento stages, gives another superb performance in this mind-bending drama about a successful, intelligent woman who fears she is losing her mind.

To give any more of the plot away would spoil the surprises in Sharr White’s complex, flashback-filled script, which is very clever without being shallow.

The audience is kept guessing about what’s really going on with Parrett’s character for at least half of the play’s tight 80 minutes, but the ultimate explanation for her distress is very moving and not manipulative.

A trio of talented actors (Jennifer Martin, Kirk Blackinton, and Jonathan Rhys Williams) ably-support Parrett, but “The Other Place” is ultimately a sturdy showcase for a great lead actress. In Melinda Parrett, the play has found one.

“The Other Place” continues through June 2, 2019 at Sacramento’s Capital Stage on J Street. Please visit https://capstage.org. Pictured are Jennifer Martin and Melinda Parrett. Photo by Charr Crail.

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