B Street Weekly: July 23 – 29

The Sofia continues to be a go-to entertainment venue in Sacramento. This week saw the last three performances of The Ladies Foursome, the return of Maximum Occupancy, and two awesome concerts, featuring The T Sisters and Marcia Ball. Plus a ton of exciting announcements. Scroll down to see all the photos from this week and make sure you check out our Instagram and Twitter: @bstreettheatre.org

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The Ladies Foursome extended! We had shows this Friday and Saturday and audiences absolutely loved it!

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We’re Gonna Be Okay is coming to the Mainstage in a week! Come see Dana Brooke, Elisabeth Nunziato, and the entire cast as they act in this West Coast premiere.

 

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Our 2019 Family Series season was announced this past week. It features classics such as Charlotte’s Web, The Sword in the Stone, and The Wizard of Oz, and a brand new play, The Sound of Freedom, which tells the story of civil rights activists through history. Go to our website to get tickets!

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A beautiful shot of our Mainstage theatre taken by the one and only Rudy Myers. Thanks to @thesutterdistrict for giving their followers a look at our amazing home.

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Maximum Occupancy returned this Thursday with another hilarious night of long-form improv! We got really close to free pizza. Make sure you get your tickets to next month’s show for a shot at FREE PIZZA!

 

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The T Sisters came to the Sutter Theatre on Friday and rocked the house. Thank you for giving our patrons a great show!

 

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Our blog featured Dogs of B Street this past week. We have Butter, Lilly, Milo & Magoo, Oscar, Toby, and Miss Football. Check out our blog and see more of these adorable puppies that make up our B Street Theatre family.

 

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Marcia Ball came by this Saturday and played a great concert in the Sutter Theatre. Thank you to everyone who came out and listened to this great music.

 

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 Congrats to the wonderful cast of The Ladies Foursome for their amazing run at the B Street Theatre. It was a hilarious, touching play and you all did a great job!

It may be a dark week, but The Sofia is still buzzing with fun. We have three concerts this week: Shooter Jennings, Fleetwood Mask, and Tom Rigney & Flambeau. Plus We’re Gonna Be Okay tickets are still available. Get a chance to see this great show which illustrates America’s transition from the 1950’s to the 1960’s. 

 

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Dogs of B Street: Part II

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Elisabeth Nunziato and Lucy

B Street Theatre is always busy. But there are a lot of adorable K-9s that keep our spirits up and morale strong. Last year, we featured some of these dogs in a blog called The Dogs of B Street. Now back, by popular demand, here’s Part II, full of our fun furry friends we love so much.

Core Acting Company Member Tara Sissom & Miss Football 

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Miss Football is a big fan of the intern company! Since she lives in the same neighborhood as they do she visits them very often… and loves to show off all her tricks in exchange for kisses and treats. Fun fact, Miss Football’s tongue is too big for her mouth. As a rule, the longer it’s out the happier she is 🙂

House Manager Browyn Sherman & Toby

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Toby is an (almost) 2 year old toy poodle. Toby is thrilled both of his parents work in dog friendly offices. He loves car rides, meeting new people and never leaving his mother’s side. He’s often mistaken for a stuffed animal, but is happy to demonstrate all of his tricks to prove he’s a real boy. Toby really enjoyed spending the 4th of July at the B Street theatre dressed as his favorite backyard BBQ snack. He got plenty of attention from the interns and theatre goers. He was so tired by the time he got home that he curled up in my lap and slept right through the fireworks.

Digital Marketing Coordinator Blake Gillespie & Oscar

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My mini-Australian Shepherd Oscar struggles with separation anxiety and also general anxiety. As loved as he is by some of the staff and interns, he rarely gets to make visits longer than a quick two minutes. Once I thought he would be fine to hang out in the Box Office while I went to another office to pick up my check from accounting. He was in the care of my colleagues and interns who were showering him with attention. But I was gone and this troubled him, deeply. He began barking while phone calls were happening and became an anxious, inconsolable mess until I returned. So visits to The Sofia with Oscar have to be chosen wisely. Also his favorite company member is Dana Brooke. And I do my best to not be jealous of their special bond.

Core Acting Company Member Greg Alexander, Milo & Magoo

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One of the questions I get asked by patrons who recognize me from my work at B Street Theatre is, “how are Milo & Magoo?” For as long as I can remember I’ve mentioned them in each B Street Theatre program.  A couple of our friends were considering adopting a Westie and wanted to know what the breed was like. I told them, “They’re nothing like the Little Caesar ads on TV. It’s like living with Elves.” Westies – similar to actors – will not be ignored.

Artistic Producer Dave Pierini & Lily

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This is Lily. I’ve had her for about 8 years. She came from the pound and they told me she was around 6. The vet thought she was closer to 9. So she could be 14 or 17 years old, no one really knows. She is blind in one eye and going blind in the other and I think she’s going deaf because the fireworks didn’t destroy her this year during the 4th of July. She is missing teeth and has a delicate stomach. She has slowed down a bit but she still enjoys a walk and the occasional wrestle. She sleeps in the small of my back every night. She talks in her sleep.

Bar Manager Kristen McKusick & Butter

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Butter is a 3 month old boxer puppy. She always brightens our day with morning kisses (passionate make-outs), running laps in the lobby of The Sofia, or just by being the most loving little bean anyone could ask for! She’s such a social butterfly and truly the toast of the town. Darek and I are obsessed with how she rolls around like a little sausage because she’s still so top heavy.  Butter’s ready for play dates after the exposure from this blog.

 

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Our 2019 Season for both the Mainstage and the Family Series have been announced. Go to our website and check out all of the great theatre we’re doing next year. And who knows, when you stop by, you might see one of our adorable dogs of B Street running around.

The 2019 Family Series Season

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The 2019 Family Series at The Sofia has just been announced. Scroll down to see all the great plays we are producing not just for children and families, but audiences of all ages!

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For many years B Street Theatre has always featured a play in their Family Series season that highlights important historical moments that changed the world. This new play written by Executive Producer Jerry Montoya illustrates the struggles and perseverance of the men and women fighting for civil rights. Sound of Freedom conveys the importance of fighting for what is right and speaking truth to intolerance.

“I’m excited to write a play which focuses on the unsung heroes of history,” says Montoya. “The history of  freedom movements often highlights certain figures. This play goes deeper and showcases how many people it takes to change the world.”

 

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A beloved literary classic by E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web is the story of a livestock pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live. Adapted by Artistic Producer Dave Pierini, this hilarious and touching story is perfect for the whole family.

“I was a huge fan of this story as a kid,” comments Pierini. “Templeton the Rat has always been one of my favorite characters in children’s literature. I’m excited to adapt this story for the stage and bring it to life for Sacramento audiences.”

 

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One of the greatest legends ever told, The Sword and the Stone tells the story of a young King Arthur. When he encounters the magical wizard Merlin, a kid named Wart learns that he is destined to become King. In order to fulfill his destiny, however, he must pull the enchanted sword Excalibur out of the stone, a task which has been deemed impossible. Adapted by Core Acting Company Member Dana Brooke, this magical adventure illustrates the power of hope, fighting for your dreams, and the magic that occurs when one simply tries.

“I love The Sword In the Stone,” says Brooke. “It’s a classic adventure full of magic and possibility. It’s a story about a boy who’s a little unsure of his footing until he finds help from an unexpected source. And it’s funny! There’s endless potential for laughs and action and discovery… it’s a perfect tale for B Street to get its hands on.”

 

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Frank E. Baum’s classic novel about a Kansas girl lost in a magical land comes to life on the Sutter Stage during the 2019 holiday season. When a tornado rips through Kansas, Dorothy is whisked away in her house to the magical land of Oz. As instructed by the Good Witch Glenda, Dorothy follows the Yellow Brick Road toward the Emerald City to meet the Wizard, and en route she meets a Scarecrow  that needs a brain, a Tin Man missing a heart, and a Cowardly Lion who wants courage. It’s the adventure of a lifetime, and includes singing, dancing, flying monkeys, and the Wicked Witch of the West. In the spirit of B Street’s production of Alice in Wonderland, this version of the story will be an original adaptation written by Associate Artistic Director Lyndsay Burch.

“This is a classic story with modern relevance on escapism,” says Burch. “In today’s world, with cell phones and Netflix and the other digital distractions, we think it’s important to take this classic story and update it for kids so it is both entertaining and relevant to today’s world.”

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Subscriptions are available for our Family Series today! Call our box office at (916) 443-5300 or sign up online today. Also, if you’re a teacher, all of these plays will be available for School Field Trips. Go to our website to learn about our field trip opportunities for schools.

B Street Weekly: July 16 – 22

This week at The Sofia saw a lot of great theatre, the start of rehearsals for our upcoming production of We’re Gonna Be Okay, great music, and a brand new series in Upstairs at the B, Boozy New Play Brunch. Scroll down to see all the great pictures from this past week and if you want to see more, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @bstreettheatre.

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Our first Boozy New Play Brunch occured this past Sunday. Here’s a sneak peak of the rehearsal process for the staged reading of Robert Caisley’s KETTLEHOUSE. 

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Rehearsals for We’re Gonna Be Okay started this week! We’re so happy that Core Acting Company members Elisabeth Nunziato and Dana Brooke have returned to the B Street Theatre.

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The cast of The Ladies Foursome goofing off and having a great time with a themed The Ladies Foursome cake. We have three more shows this Friday at 2:00 pm and 8:00 pm and Saturday at 5:00 pm.

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The 2019 Mainstage Season was announced this past week. House on Haunted Hill, A Doll’s House Part II, Holmes and Watson, the winner of the New Comedies Festival, The Last Match, Fun Home, and A Stand Up Guy.  Become a subscriber today so you can see  all of these shows for great prices.

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Peppino D’Agostino came to the Sutter Theatre this past Friday and performed a beautiful show. Thank you Peppino for entertaining our audiences!

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Comedien Will Durst came to The Sofia this past Saturday to perform his stand up show Mid-Term Madness. Thanks Will for showcasing your talent and making our audiences laugh.

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Our first Boozy New Play Brunch was a huge success and Robert Caisley’s Kettlehouse was a great play to start with. Thank you to all of our patrons for coming by, enjoying waffles and bottomless mimosas, and being a part of the new play process.

A lot of great things is happening this week at The Sofia. The Ladies Foursome has extended! Performances will be on Friday and Saturday. Come see this hilarious play! Also, Maximum Occupancy returns this Thursday to Upstairs at the B at 8:00 pm. And on Sutter Stage, The T-Sisters will be performing this Friday and Marcia Ball will take the stage Saturday night. Come check out this beautiful theatre and all the entertainment that resides inside. 

The 2019 Mainstage Season at The Sofia

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Our second season at The Sofia has just been announced, and it is full of hilarious, adventurous, and heart warming plays which will star the best actors in Sacramento. Scroll down below for detailed descriptions of each of these plays.

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HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL by the B Street Company

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Based on the classic horror film starring Vincent Price, this brand new adaptation takes the movie and twists it into a comedy in the fashion of The 39 Steps (on the B Street Mainstage in 2011), and B Street Theatre’s famed production of Around the World in 80 Days. Rich oddball Frederick Loren offers five guests the chance to win $10,000 if they are able to withstand a night in his “haunted” mansion. The play will be written and developed by the core creative team at the B Street Theatre.

“The B Street Theatre Acting Company is comprised of the funniest actors in the country,” says Producing Artistic Director Buck Busfield. “We wanted to build off of the success of Around the World In 80 Days, adapting a classic story and turning it into a comedy.  So in B Street Theatre fashion, we decided to create our own play, based upon this classic movie, and giving our actors the liberty to create their own set pieces from scratch.”

A Doll’s House Part II by Lucas Hnath 

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A Doll’s House Part II was one of the most popular plays on Broadway in 2017. The play received eight Tony Award nominations, including Best Play, Best Performance by an Actor in a Lead Role, Best Performance by an Actress in a Lead Role, two nominations for Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role, Best Direction of a Play, and Best Costume Design. Laurie Metcalf, best known for the television show Roseanne and the Oscar nominated movie, Lady Bird, won the Tony for Best Actress in a Lead Role. The story is a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s famous play, A Doll’s House, which follows the trials of the happily married Nora, who decides to leave her family in search of independence. Hnath’s play takes place fifteen years later, as Nora returns home for the first time since her departure to finalize her divorce. As she reconnects with the family she left behind, Nora must face the family turmoil that erupted upon her exit. A Doll’s House Part II explores gender roles and societal expectations through the eyes of a woman mired in an era for which she is simply too exceptional.

“We did Lucas Hnath’s play, The Christians, in 2017, and he’s become one of our favorite playwrights,” comments Artistic Producer Dave Pierini. “He’s written a sequel to a play that no one thought was needed. But it manages to be contemporary, exploring themes that are vibrantly vital in today’s world. It’s a great play and perfect vehicle for our actors.”

Holmes and Watson by Jeffrey Hatcher 

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Jeffrey Hatcher tells an inventive new version of Arthur Conan Doyle’s celebrated mystery series in this new play which follows Dr. Watson as he attempts to move on after Holme’s fall at Reichenbach. As Holmes’ body was never retrieved, a number of frauds, fakes, and charlatans have come forward since to lay claim to his identity, and it falls to Dr. Watson to disprove them. Then a telegram arrives informing Watson that three men, each claiming to be Holmes, have been committed to a remote asylum off the coast of Scotland. Now Watson must discover if one of the mad men is the real Sherlock Holmes. This adventure shows Sherlock Homes and Dr. John Watson in a whole new light.

“Jeffrey Hatcher was able to write a completely new Holmes story that fits in Arthur Conan Doyle’s cannon seemlessly,” says Aristic Producer Dave Pierini.  “There are so many twists and turns, that we are planning a no spoilers campaign for people who see the show.”

New Comedies Festival Winner

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In June of 2018, B Street Theatre hosted its first annual New Comedies Festival. Each new play got two staged readings, and the winner of the festival is guaranteed the fourth slot in the 2019 Season. The particpants included Robert Caisley’s more better beautiful, James Christy’s The Forever Question, Briandaniel Oglesby’s Small Steps, and Leila Teitelman’s Baby Cakes.  The large amount of audience members who saw all four readings, along with the high quality of each play has made the decision a difficult one.

“We were very excited to present the innagural New Comedies Festival this year,” says Associate Artistc Director and New Comedies Producer Lyndsay Burch. “We had four playwrights from all across the country join us to work on four unique and distinct comedies. It’s a difficult decision to only choose one to produce this year on the Mainstage, but it shows the quality of these four plays, and we’re thrilled that our audiences have been a part of this process. ”

The Last Match by Anne Ziegler 

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Tennis’ U.S. Open is one of the most exciting events in sport. Whether it’s Roger Federer,  Serena Williams, or John McEnroe playing for the cup, there is always high drama on the hard courts of Flushing Meadows. Played out under the bright lights of the U.S. Open Semifinals, Anna Ziegler’s The Last Match pits rising Russian star Sergei Sergeyev against American great Tim Porter in an epic showdown that follows two tennis titans through pivotal moments in their lives both on-and-off the court. This gripping, fast-paced story captures the intense world of competitive sports, and human rivalry, and what it means to want something — and the lengths we will go to in order to feel relevant, important, and young.

“Anna Ziegler has been able to tell a funny, heart warming story about the competitive drive of athletes,” says Producing Artistic Director Buck Busfield. “As a sports fan, I instantaneously found this play entertaining. It captures the excitement of a large scale sporting event between two rival countries while also finding the humanity of these individual atheletes. ”

Fun Home by Lisa Kron, Music by Jeanine Tesori 

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Fun Home is a Tony award winning musical based upon the acclaimed graphic novel by Alison Bechdel. The story concerns Bechdel’s discovery of her own sexuality, the relationship she had with her gay father, and her attempts to unlock the mysteries surrounding his life. The musical won 6 Tony Awards in 2015, including Best Musical, Best Direction, and Best Actor in a Leading Role. New York Times reviewer Ben Brantley says, “This impeccably shaded portrait of a girl and her father….occupies the place where we all grew up, and will never be able to leave. That’s the shifting landscape where our parents, whether living or dead, will always reign as the most familiar and elusive people we will ever encounter.”

This marks the first musical done in the Mainstage Theatre at The Sofia. “Our mission is to bring theatre to everyone, which means a diversity in programming,” says Associate Artistic Director Lyndsay Burch. “The old space limited our ability to produce large scale musicals, but now in The Sofia, we’re able to produce such a massive work. This is a story we feel needs to be told, and we’re excited to present the Sacramento premiere.”

A Stand-Up Guy by Jack Gallagher 

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Jack Gallagher makes his debut on The Sofia Mainstage with his eighth one man show at the B Street Theatre. A Stand-Up Guy overviews Jack’s life as a comedian during the comic boom of the 1970’s and 1980’s. Hysterical, honest, and relatable, Jack Gallagher once again demonstrates why he is one of the most popular entertainers in Sacramento.

“Sacramento has been fortunate to have a world class comic talent as a resident for so many years,” says Executive Producer Jerry Montoya.  “Since his first one-man show, Letters to Declan, B Street has had a long standing relationship with Jack Gallagher and with his current show, Jack is telling stories he has regaled us with in rehearsals for his last seven hit plays. We can’t wait to have you hear them.”

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Make sure you subscribe at bstreettheatre.org so you can see all of these titles at a great price. Next Thursday we will be featuring the selected plays for the 2019 Family Series. The party is just getting started, folks. 

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B Street Weekly: July 10 – 16

The Sofia continues to be as busy as ever. The Ladies Foursome continued its popular run, while musicians like Matt Schofield, The Weight Band and Hot Club of Cowtown rocked out on our Sutter Stage. Plus the return of Poison Boot, our live podcast in Upstairs at the B. Scroll down to see all the great photos from this week, and if you’re looking for more, follow us on Instagram or Twitter @bstreettheatre. 

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Our fearless leader, Producing Artistic Director Buck Busfield, posing with the Can-Can cocktail, The Buckshot, named after him.

 

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The Ladies Foursome is a crazy, hysterical ride. Just ask Tara Sissom. Photo Credit: Amy Kelly

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The word is out! The Sutter Theatre is one of the best places to play music in Sacramento. If you haven’t seen a concert yet at The Sofia, grab some tickets today!

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Matt Scofield performed on the Sutter Stage this past week and completely awed our audiences. Thanks to @mariellen_layne for a capturing this cool moment!

The Country music trio Hot Club of Cowtown performed a fabulous show Saturday night! Check out this awesome video by @gladysbcornell and learn  how a stand-up bass should be played.

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Poison Boot returned to Upstairs at the B this past Sunday. Dave Pierini interviewed B Street’s own Jamie Jones on her life in theatre, while Amy Kelly, Jason Kuykendall and Kurt Johnson created an hysterical improv inspired by her stories.

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The Ladies Foursome has extended until July 28. Get your tickets ASAP so you can see this legendary show that got 3 1/2 Stars in the Sacramento Bee.

A lot is happening this week at The Sofia. The Ladies Foursome is now extended until July 28. Italian guitarist Peppino D’Agostino is performing Friday on the Sutter Stage, while comedian Will Durst presents his hysterical stand-up routine, Mid-Term Madness on Saturday July 21. And finally, premiering Upstairs at the B this Sunday at noon will be Boozy New Play Brunch. Watch a reading of Robert Caisley’s KETTLEHOUSE while eating some tasty breakfast and drinking delicious mimosas. Check out bstreettheatre.org for all of the different shows that are happening  this week! 

Poison Boot with Dave Pierini : Upstairs at the B

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Upstairs at the B features a variety of different shows. One of them is a hysterical podcast entitled Poison Boot, hosted by Dave Pierini. The podcast features a theatre story told by one of our Acting Company members, and then the B Street Improv team improvises a hysterical scene based upon it. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill sat down with Dave to discuss the how the podcast. 

How did you come up with this idea?

I wanted to do a podcast which combined two things I love: talking to other actors about their favorite theatre stories, and improvisation. And the fun thing about this show is that it features a different type of improv. Rather than short unconnected bits or a Harold, which are short improvised bits which are all connected by a center theme, this show features an long improvised scene with a story arch.

Where did the title of this podcast come from?

It comes from an old theatre story. There was a famous production of West Side Story where the gun did not go off at the end. So the actor playing Chino kicked the actor playing Tony. And Tony, who was quick on his feet, screamed and yelled, “Aw, he kicked me with his poison boot.” And the rest of the scene mentions the gun several times. So at the end, the actress playing Maria is telling Chino, “Where’s my poison boot Chino? Where’s my poison boot?” It’s a hysterical story and illustrates exactly what this podcast is about. What happens when mistakes happen in theatre? How do actors react to it? So many good moments happen because of these small errors.

What are some of your favorite podcasts?

Comedy Bang Bang, Hollywood Handbook, Off-book, anything on the Earwolf Productions really.

How is Poison Boot constructed?

Act one is the interview. It’s just me and another actor and they share with us a funny story from the business. And Act two features a team of improvisers who take the story and create an entirely new scene inspired by that actor’s story.

What’s an example of a good theatre story? 

I was doing Every Brilliant Thing which was a one person show, and there was a lot of audience participation so the house lights were on. And during one of the shows, a lady in the front row screamed. And suddenly we saw this little mouse running around the theatre, and because the house lights were on, everyone could see it. So, as my character, I told an intern to go get a box, and with the help of two audience members we captured this mouse and set it free outside. It was very funny.

The first episode happened in May. Who’d it feature and how did it go? 

It went great. Our first guest was Peter Story, who starred in One Man, Two Guvnors and Airness. He told us an hysterical story from his tour of Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus. And then I, along with company members Jason Kuykendall, Stephanie Altholz, and Tara Sissom improvised this hysterical scene which was inspired by the stories he told us.

What are your plans for this show in the future?

Eventually, we’ll start releasing the recordings online. It is a live podcast, so it’s great for an audience, but it’s always great for online listening. And so we think that, once we’re a little more established, that we can release these recordings for the masses.

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Poison Boot will be Upstairs at the B this Sunday at 7:00 PM. The special guest will be B Street Theatre Company Member Jamie Jones, with Jason Kuykendall, Kurt Johnson, Amy Kelly and Dave Pierini improvising. Come check out  this hysterical podcast, performed by some of your favorite actors at B Street Theatre.