If all the world’s a stage, then the Sacramento region is in the spotlight, front and center. This fall, local colleges and universities will be presenting live productions of award-winning theater throughout the area. Talented students provide high-caliber performances in everything from intense drama and comedy to outrageous musicals and romance.
California State University, Sacramento
6000 J St.
Sacramento CA 95819
Dates: Oct. 23 through Nov. 3, 2013
Spend a magical evening in Almost, a quirky little town in Maine that may or may not actually be real. As the aurora borealis brings explosions of color to the cold winter sky, the townspeople respond with sparks of romance they never would have expected. This funny, poignant stage play was written by John Cariani, an actor often recognized for his five-year stint on “Law and Order.” Performed everywhere from Ohio to Moscow, “Almost, Maine” comes to the Playwright’s Theatre at Sac State for a 12-day run.
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American River College
4700 College Oak Drive
Sacramento, CA 95841
Dates: Oct. 11-27, 2013
Even if there other upbeat, amusing musicals that tackle prejudice, body image, integration, snobs and bad hairdos, “Hairspray” is still likely to be the best one. American River College presents the Tony Award-winning show, which features a spunky, overweight teenager in 1960s Baltimore who is determined to become a television dance sensation while fighting social injustice, hawking plus-sized fashions and winning the hunky boy of her dreams.
“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”
Sierra College Rocklin Campus T
5000 Rocklin Road
Rocklin, CA 95677
Dates: Oct. 25 through Nov. 3, 2013
Not everyone grows up seeking fame on the spelling bee circuit, but the geeky adolescents featured in this Tony-winning musical hope at least to win some social acceptance. Plagued by questionable role models and their own raging hormones, the competitors end up learning plenty about what it means to be a winner or a loser. Sierra College’s stage stars will be performing this funny, rollicking show on campus at the Dietrich Theatre.
Cosumnes River College
8401 Center Parkway
Sacramento, CA 95823
Dates: Nov. 8-17, 2013
Written by Warren Leight, this Tony Award-winning drama is an emotional journey through the life of a boy starting in 1950s New York City. His mother is a drunk and his father is a jazz musician with only room in his heart for his trumpet, not his family. Growing up in poverty and surrounded by unreliable, disheartening adults, the main character struggles as he learns what it means to be a man. The denouement is poignant and riveting.
UC Davis Main Theatre – Wright Hall
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA 95616
Dates: Nov. 21-24 and Dec. 5-7, 2013
Winner of eight Tonys and numerous other awards, the powerful rock musical “Spring Awakening” is a raw look at several German adolescents before the start of the 20th century. Told in an effecting, frank and straightforward way, characters face issues more complex and intense than those seen in typical coming-of-age tales. Philosophical ideas about morality, intimacy and rebellion mingle with real concerns of erotic dreams, nonconsensual sex, abortion and suicide.
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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.