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.
HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL by the B Street Company
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.”
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.