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Sacramento Choral Society’s Year-end Concert Celebrates their Debut at Fremont Presbyterian Church

Posted: 5/24/2012

Katherine Jolly
Soprano Katherine Jolly, a native of Davis

Following their amazing English Grandeur celebration on April 14th at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, the SCSO and Conductor Donald Kendrick are now thrilled to be making their debut in Fremont Presbyterian Church’s recently renovated sanctuary on Saturday, June 2 at 8 PM.

The concert entitled European Traditions is part of the Sacramento Choral Society’s Stained Glass series that started originally in 2009 at the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament in Sacramento. “What a thrill it is for us to discover this amazing space and take full advantage of Fremont’s acoustics and the recently installed powerful new Reuter pipe organ,” says Kendrick. “Fremont has done a royal job on its renovation and the pipe organ is one of the largest in Northern California. This concert is a fitting way to end our 16th season of offering classical music concerts for families in our community,” he adds.

For this year-end performance, the SCSO has chosen to perform works from the Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Contemporary eras. Great names such as Bach, Mendelssohn, Bruckner, Stanford, Clausen, Hogan, Vaughan Williams and Randall Thompson will appear on the program. The group’s performance will highlight a variety of musical styles through the ages with works sung in Latin, German and English.

SCSO Accompanist and Organist Ryan Enright will showcase the might Reuter pipe organ with solo performances by Bach entitled Piece d’Orgue and works by Brahms and other composers that will surely demonstrate the power and the versatility of Fremont’s gleaming new pipe organ. “Ryan is finishing off his first year as the SCSO accompanist and organist at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sacramento where he will also be giving his Sacramento debut organ recital on Sunday, May 27 at 3 PM,” says SCSO President James McCormick. “Ryan is the winner of the Canadian National Organ Competition and was recently one of 16 finalists in the International Organ Competition held in Montreal in October 2011. We are delighted to have Ryan in our Community and his versatility has also been seen in his work in accompanying the Sacramento State Choirs and also Sacred Heart’s Schola Cantorum,” McCormick adds.

Soprano Katherine Jolly, a native of Davis, California and a former Davis High School Madrigal singer will also grace the SCSO stage as soloist in Fremont with a performance of Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and Vivaldi’s Gloria Patri taken from his larger work Deus in Adjutorium Domine. Katherine is currently finishing a run of Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado with the Virginia Opera, playing the role of Yum-Yum. She is known for her agile, bright lyric soprano voice, totally suitable for the Vivaldi and Mozart works.

“It is our distinct pleasure to feature important works by American composers such as Moses Hogan, Rene Clausen and Randall Thompson on this unique program,” says conductor Donald Kendrick. “No choral concert would be complete without an American spiritual or two,” he adds.” We are also proud to feature SCSO members Abram Stein-Freer and Nephi Speer as soloists,” says Kendrick.

There will be no pre-concert talk for this performance but the SCSO plans to host a post-concert reception at which concert attendees will have an opportunity to meet the artists and enjoy some refreshments. Free parking is right nearby at the Scottish Rite Center at 6151 H Street. There will be no intermission in the evening’s concert.

Tickets are reasonably price at $35.00 Reserved or $25.00 General. Students enjoy 50% discount for this performance. Tickets can be ordered via the SCSO office at (916) 536-9065 (M - F - 10 AM - 4 PM) or by going online at the SCSO’s website: www.sacramentochoral.com.

Need additional information? Visit the SCSO’s website or call (916) 536-9065. Come celebrate great music and community with the SCSO.


Who do You Cast in Star Wars: The Play? A Pair of Feuding Hollywood … Legends!

By James Kirkwood •
Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
Posted: 4/28/2012

Legends Cop
As the police officer (Gene Haslett) tries to figure out who is responsible for all the damage to the apartment, former movie stars and lifetime enemies Leatrice Monsee (Patty Thiel, left) and Sylvia Glenn (Barbara Messmer, right) are about to go at each other again, oblvious to the effect some strange brownies are having on producer Martin Klemmer as the maid, Aretha Thomas (Betty Cummings) realizes what is about to happen in the Arden Playhouse production of LEGENDS! Photos by Michael Messmer.

See what happens when two aging movie stars, who hate each other with a vengeance, are forced to work together in a new Broadway play. Sacramento community theater veterans Barbara Messmer and Patty Thiel make the wigs fly in this hilarious play. Joining them are Betty Cummings, Scott Plotkin, Gene Haslett, and Keith Goings in this finely written comedy by James Kirkwood, the author of P.S. Your Cat Is Dead and A Chorus Line.

Legends! is a story about bitter rivals. They have stolen roles, Oscars, and husbands from each other over their long association. Now, due to personal circumstances, they are brought together to cooperate on a Broadway project offered to them by a seedy producer whose only show of note is an off-Broadway hit called Craps! Eager beaver producer Martin Klemmer, a wheeler-dealer if ever there was one, has uncovered a terrific commercial script – Star Wars: The Play. Since he has produced only one Off-Broadway project, Martin’s phone calls are not being returned by the powerful Broadway magnates capable of getting this play to the Great White Way. Martin needs names, names like film legends Sylvia Glenn and Leatrice Monsee, for the leads. If Martin can sign them, he can get the money. Unfortunately, they hate each other. Will Martin be able to resolve this titanic dilemma? Will ‘Star Wars: The Play’ hit the big time? And, if Sylvia and Leatrice do agree to appear together, will Paul Newman sign on, too?

Legends! is directed by Blake Flores. Blake has been acting, directing and producing in local community theater for over thirty years. He began his directorial endeavors in 1987 with the Volcano Theatre Company’s production of Fred Carmichael’s Done To Death. He has since directed over 30 local productions, including Jack Sharkey’s Who’s On First? at Big Idea Theatre, which he co-founded in 2003. Most recently, he has directed Oatmeal and Kisses at Arden Playhouse.

Legends! opens on Friday, May 4, 2012 with performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm through June 16. Sunday matinees are at 2pm on Mother’s Day, May 13 and May 27, 2012.

All tickets are $15 with a reservation and $18.00 at the door. (Cash or check only.)

Tickets can be reserved by calling (916) 332-2582.

Arden Playhouse is located at 5640 Roseville Road, Suite D, Sacramento, and seats 150.

Arden Playhouse is a community theater dedicated to continuing its tradition of presenting entertainment in a casual setting.


Lively Adaptation of “Pride And Prejudice” Opens at American River College Theatre

Posted: 4/12/2012

Pride and Prejudice
Left to right, back row: David Borad, Christopher Bogard, Stephanie Wurster, John Farnsworth, Haleema Muhammad. Left to right, front row: Lauren Hirsch, Delia Zhao. Photo by Brian Williams.

Sacramento REGION – American River College continues its theatrical season with Jane Austen’s immensely popular classic, “Pride and Prejudice.” Originally adapted for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival stage by J.R. Sullivan and J. F. Hanreddy, this rendition of the beloved story brings Austen’s work to vivid life as it fills the stage with regency dances, beautifully dressed men and women, and a tale of love that has truly stood the test of time. The show runs April 20 -29, with tickets ranging from $10 to $12. Group rates are also available.

The story of the play, in keeping with the novel, opens as the charming Mr. Bingley and the proud Mr. Darcy make an appearance at a neighborhood ball. Mrs. Bennet, with five daughters to find husbands for, is instantly aware of the possibilities, and Jane, her eldest, is quite taken with one of the gallants. But Elizabeth, wise and merry, remains skeptical of these newcomers. Thus begins not one but two love stories…each with trials and tribulations that have mesmerized Jane Austen fans for nearly two centuries! Set in the early 1800s, this adaptation of Austen’s beloved novel is a whirl of romance, intrigue, misunderstandings, pride-filled judgments, and joyous reconciliations.

Directed by Tracy Martin Shearer, the cast of 26 offers a fine array of student and community talent including Stephanie Wurster as Elizabeth, John Farnsworth as Darcy, and Laura Lay as the memorable Mrs. Bennet. With regency dances choreographed by Ed Brazo and costume and set designs by Elly-Award-winning designers Gail Russell and Kathy Burleson, the production is certain to please Austen fans old and new!

All performances of “Pride and Prejudice” will be at the American River College Theatre, 4700 College Oak Drive. Sat/Sun parking is free in Lot “D” at the corner of college Oak and Myrtle, adjacent to the theatre. Thurs/Fri parking is $1. Ticket prices are $12/general, and $10/student/senior/sarta. For tickets and information, go to arctheatre.org or call the ARC Box Office at (916) 484-8234. Online tickets may be purchased at www.seatyourself.biz/arctheatre.

“Pride and Prejudice“ performance days and times are as follows:
April 20 – 29, 2012
Fridays/Saturdays • April 20, 21, 27, 28 at 8pm
Sundays • April 22, 29 at 2pm
Thursday • April 26 at 6:30pm


Capitol Pops Announces Crystal Anniversary Concert Theme

Posted: 4/12/2012

Singer Susan Skinner
Singer Susan Skinner will be among soloists in the Capitol Pops free spring concert at Rusch Park on Saturday, April 21. Courtesy picture.

Sacramento REGION – “As time goes by” is the theme of the Capitol Pops Fifteenth Anniversary Concert taking place on Saturday, April 21, 2012. The free concert starts at 7:30 PM. Under the direction of Maestro Jerry Lopes, the performance will be located in the Rusch Park Gym, Citrus Heights.

As Time Goes By is also an American hit made famous in the movie Casablanca. The song reminds us that no matter what the future brings, time goes by. The Capitol Pops will present As Time Goes By, featuring local pop singer, Susan Maxwell Skinner. Susan is a vocalist extraordinaire with the John Skinner Band.

Maestro Jerry Lopes is a founding member. He claims to have forecasted 15 years ago the upcoming wall of sound. It started with a press release announcing the Sacramento Valley Symphonic Band Association is filling a demand for “a pops oriented performing group.” The first rehearsal was on February 6, 1997 at Foothill High School. Sixty musicians answered the cattle call. The first concert was at Carmichael Park on June 1, 1997. To celebrate the growth of the region and the growth of the band, the Capitol Pops explores the growth in band music.

The evening gets started as they Strike Up the Band. Immediately, it moves into a spirited rendition of Swings The Thing — performed in memory of lead trombone player, Jim Bortolotto. The grand finale is the sound-wall produced in the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. In between is Blue Skies – an Irving Berlin classic sung by Katie Johnson, a student member from CSU, Sacramento. Go West is also featured. The migration west is dramatically portrayed through music from the ugly, through the bad, and to the good.

El Choclo, purportedly titled after a nightclub owner’s nickname, may be the most popular tango in Argentina. Argentina tango is considered closest to authentic tango. Feel to music El Choclo’s rhythmic close embrace. Fourteen additional band charts will complete the spectrum.

The Capitol Pops grew from within the community. Now they are followed at capitolpops.org and liked on Facebook. However, only fundamental things apply, as time goes by.


Sounds of Music!
River City Chorale Celebrates 35th Anniversary

Posted: 4/3/2012

SACRAMENTO REGION - Congratulations are in order for the region’s longest-standing community choral organization – the River City Chorale! The men and women of the Chorale have been bringing high quality music to the region for 35 years.

Unique to the River City Chorale is the wide range of its repertoire, including the classics, folk songs, spirituals, contemporary works, and Broadway show tunes. Auditioned members come from all over the region – some carpooling for as much as an hour ­— to rehearse weekly from September to May and present an annual series of 3 concerts, in December, March and May. Most recently they performed Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway numbers, cabaret-style, to four sold-out audiences.

According to local resident Pat Junod, a member for nearly 35 years, “The variety of our performances broadens the interest in music for ourselves and our audiences.”

The Chorale is made up of a congenial group of individuals, voices, and leaders who work and sing well together. Junod goes on to observe that while members’ love of singing is their primary focus, “underneath is a strong bond of commitment and friendship”. Besides offering fine music to the community, Chorale members do phone-banking for KVIE, participate in outreach programs to schools, offer pre-tour concerts for free, and have sung the national anthem for a River Cats game.

Every 3 years, members of the Chorale pay their own way to participate in international concert tours. Since 1983, this organization has enhanced the Sacramento region’s reputation by presenting chorale concerts of fine music in 12 European countries, Great Britain, Brazil, and eastern Canada.

For the past 11 years, the Chorale has performed under the baton of Musical Director Richard Morrissey. Mr. Morrissey Richard’s musical experience includes serving as conductor and musical director of the 80 voice Yuba-Sutter Oratorio Society Chorus and the 65 piece Yuba-Sutter Symphony Orchestra for 25 years. He recently retired from the Yuba City Unified School District after having served there as District Supervisor of Music and teacher of Orchestra and Theater Arts for 36 years. Board vice president, and Carmichael resident, Lois Wright says about Richard, “I joined the Chorale four years ago because I came to a concert and thought Richard would be a very fun and interesting director to work with.” Richard is quoted in a recent KFBK interview, “I love directing River City Chorale because we are the one group in Sacramento that sings all kinds of music from Baroque to jazz, Broadway, folk, and a rock opera.”

The River City Chorale invites you to a celebratory 35th anniversary concert. A short reception will be held following the final performance of the year. Accompanied by a 16-piece orchestra, the 65-voice mixed chorus will take attendees on a musical journey across America with a variety of arrangements, including America the Beautiful, New York New York, Shenandoah, I Left My Heart in San Francisco, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Magnificat, a vibrant work composed in 2007 by American composer Mark Hayes. Former members of the Chorale will be honored and invited to join current members on stage to sing the program finale – Woody Guthrie’s This Land is Your Land!

River City Chorale 35th Anniversary Concert
May 4, 7:30 pm, Northminster Presbyterian Church
3235 Pope Avenue, Sacramento;
May 6, 4:00 pm, Pleasant Grove Community Church
1730 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville
Tickets: Adults, $12 in advance ($15 at door) Children, $5
For tickets, call 331-5810 or online at rivercitychorale.org.


C. S. Lewis’ Smash Hit Comes to Sacramento

Posted: 2/8/2012

Screwtape

SACRAMENTO – THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, the smart, provocative and wickedly funny theatrical adaptation of the C.S. Lewis novel about spiritual warfare from a demon’s point of view, will be presented for two performances only at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street in Sacramento, Saturday, March 3 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The National Tour of THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS kicked off after a hit nine-month run at the Westside Theatre in New York where it played 309 performances. Prior to that, the Chicago Tribune described THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS as the “most successful show in the history of Chicago’s Mercury Theatre” where it ran for six months. It was, also, a hit at The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, D.C. where it played for ten sold out weeks.

Now in second smash year, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS’ National Tour continues to break box office records and has played to sold-out houses in numerous cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, Atlanta and Houston.

Associated Press calls the production “Devilishly funny!” The Chicago Sun-Times hails THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS as “Smart, sizzling entertainment!” The National Review described it as “Pure Genius!” THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS creates a topsy turvy morally inverted universe set in an eerily stylish office in hell, where God is called the “Enemy” and the devil is referred to as “Our Father below.”

The play follows His Abysmal Sublimity Screwtape, Satan’s top psychiatrist, played by award winning actor Max McLean, and his creature-demon secretary Toadpipe, as they train an apprentice demon, Wormwood, on the fine art of seducing an unsuspecting human “patient” down the “soft, gentle path to hell.”

Along with The Chronicles of Narnia (including The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe), The Great Divorce and Mere Christianity, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is still one of Lewis’ most popular and influential works. The book’s piercing insight into human nature and the lucid and humorous way Lewis makes his readers squirm in self recognition made it an immediate success. When first published in 1942 it brought worldwide fame to this little-known Oxford don including the cover of Time Magazine.

The idea for Screwtape first came to Lewis after listening to Hitler’s Reichstag Speech on July 19, 1940, while it was simultaneously translated on BBC Radio. Lewis wrote “I don’t know if I’m weaker than other people, but it is a positive revelation to me how while the speech lasts it is impossible not to waver just a little… Statements which I know to be untrue all but convince me…if only the man says them unflinchingly.”

Lewis dedicated it to his close friend J. R. R. Tolkien who had expressed to Lewis that delving too deeply into the craft of evil would have consequences. Lewis admitted as much when he wrote “Though I had never written anything more easily, I never wrote with less enjoyment . . . though it was easy to twist one’s mind into the diabolical attitude, it was not fun, or not for long. The work into which I had to project myself while I spoke through Screwtape was all dust, grit, thirst, and itch. Every trace of beauty, freshness, and geniality had to be excluded.”

THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is produced by New York City based Fellowship for the Performing Arts. Max McLean serves as Artistic Director. Executive Producer and General Manager is Ken Denison of Aruba Productions. Scenic Design is by Cameron Anderson, Costumes by Michael Bevins, Lighting Design by Jesse Klug, and Original Music and Sound Design by John Gromada.

The performance schedule for THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS is Saturday, March 3 at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29–$59. There are a limited number of premium seats available for $89. For groups of 10 or more (including student groups) call 866.476.8707.

To purchase tickets, visit www.ScrewtapeonStage.com, call 916.808.5181 during regular business hours or 800.225.2277 after hours, or visit the Community Center Theater Box Office, 1301 L Street, Monday through Saturday 10am-6pm, and 60 minutes prior to performance start time.


Fun Events Easier to Find with New Corps Parks Calendar

Posted: 2/8/2012

SACRAMENTO REGION – Finding fun, family-friendly events at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District’s 10 parks in California is easier now with a new events calendar on our website. The calendar announces all upcoming events that are open to the public.

“With several events happening at the start of 2012, we felt that this was a good way to start off the new year and introduce the calendar to the public,” said Jon Friedman, senior district park ranger. “There’s always something going on at our parks. We’ve got everything from Civil War reenactments to salmon festivals to movie nights under the stars in our open-air amphitheaters happening any given weekend. We hope the calendar makes these affordable events that much easier to find.”

The parks offer sites rich in California history, with outdoor recreation ranging from camping to fishing, boating, hiking and much more.

The Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest provider of outdoor recreation, hosting more than 370 million visits per year at 421 lakes and river parks. For more information on Corps recreation opportunities visit www.CorpsLakes.us.

The calendar and much more information about the parks, including helpful water safety tools at: http://www.spk.usace.army.mil/organizations/cespk-co/lakes/index.html


Arts in River Park Presents ReUnion as Bump City Tower of Power Tribute Band

Posted: 12/14/2011

Brenda's Birthday

Arts in River Park (formerly H Street Festival), is celebrating its 10th anniversary of providing festivals and concerts in East Sacramento.

Arts in River Park presents ReUnion as Bump City Tower of Power Tribute Band on Friday, Dec. 30, 2011 at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary of The Table at Central United Methodist Church, 5265 H Street, Sacramento, CA 95819. Suggested donation is $15 per person. Reservations suggested as seating is limited. In addition, the following artists will have their handmade items for sale before and after the concert and during intermission. Robyn Slakey - Ceramics; Deborah/Michael Smith - Crafts/Painting; Joy Gee - Crafts/Painting, MatrixArts - Jewelry/Art; Sister Sheba - Jewelry/Crafts.

Make checks payable to Arts in River Park, P.O. Box 191312, Sacramento, CA 95819. Reservations and information, email Brenda Waters at BJewWaters@aol.com.

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