About Alison Kranz

Alison Kranz is an editor, writer, and owner of too many blogs.

Have the Time of Your Life

DD10It’s getting hot on the dance floor! Samuel Pergande (Johnny) and Jillian Mueller (Baby) sizzle in the Broadway Sacramento presentation of Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage. (Photo by Matthew Murphy.)

What better Christmas gift for mom than tickets to a Broadway Sacramento show? As we made our way into the Community Center Theater for opening night, my mom and I discovered that neither of us had ever seen the movie version of Dirty Dancing from start to finish — just caught clips of it on TV. Seen by millions across the globe, we were intrigued to finally see it live on stage. (I heard nobody can put Baby in a corner…)

As expected, the dancing was as mesmerizing as ever. Samuel Pergande and Jillian Mueller as Johnny Castle and Frances “Baby” Houseman wow the crowd with every two-step. I am always in awe of dancers, who are capable of moving with such grace. My dance moves most resemble Baby’s jerky flails as she receives her first dance lesson from Johnny. (Though, while Baby makes progress on her dancing; my skills stop there.)

If the dancing doesn’t make you want to get out of your seat, surely the music will. The love story takes you back to the 80s with hit songs “Hungry Eyes,” “Hey Baby,” “Do You Love Me?” and the heart-stopping “(I’ve Had) The Time Of My Life.”


The show continues daily through January 4, 2015, and tickets are available online or by calling the box office at (916) 557-1999.

Note: For anyone who attended the cancelled December 26 show, the set issues have been resolved. Broadway Sacramento will refund your money or exchange your tickets for a different performance (subject to availability).

**This review was written by Sacramento365.com guest writer, Alison Kranz.

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Stay cool with “A Chorus Line”

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Cast members performing the musical number, “One.” Photo by Charr Crail.

Summer started officially on Saturday, and what better way to greet the season than with a true Sacramento summer tradition: Music Circus, which launches its 2014 season with this week’s performance of A Chorus Line. Head indoors and cool off from the heat at the gloriously air conditioned Wells Fargo Pavilion. (This native Sacramentan has vivid childhood memories of overheating in the old tent and remains unequivocally impressed with the new Music Circus digs, although they hardly count as “new” anymore!)

Every time I attend a musical theatre show or a pop concert I am intrigued by the backup dancers — people who are arguably as talented as the stars but, for whatever reason, haven’t made it to the forefront yet. So, I was doubly drawn to A Chorus Line, which focuses on just those folks. Set in 1975 New York City, the musical spotlights 20 plus people competing for a few precious spots dancing backup on Broadway.

With an ensemble cast, A Chorus Line gives equal light to myriad characters, all of whom share the trials and tribulations of a grueling life full of endless auditions, paired with a passion for dance that keeps them pushing forward even when all appears hopeless.

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A Chorus Line cast members jumping to reach their Broadway dreams. Photo by Charr Crail.

Although a bit meta — I admittedly spent a bit of time contemplating the fact that the real-life actors had to endure an audition to perform in a show about auditions — anyone who has pursued something with passion or engaged in a tireless job hunt will find something to relate to in this show. And, while the play treads on heavier subjects — awkward teenage years, broken homes, realizing one’s sexuality — it balances them out with lighter helpings of humorous lyrics and talented dancing, culminating in a glamorous closer complete with top hats and sparkles.

A Chorus Line continues through June 29 with shows Wed & Fri 7:30pm and Thurs, Sat, & Sun 2pm & 7:30pm. Tickets are $35-$65 and are available online or by calling the box office at (916) 557-1999.

The Music Circus season continues through August with performances of Mary Poppins (July 8–July 13), South Pacific (July 22–July 27), Brigadoon (August 5–August 10), and La Cage Aux Folles (August 19–August 24).

***This article was written by Sacramento365.com writer Alison Kranz.

Music Circus gets sultry with “Chicago”

Lindsay Roginski (Roxie Hart) and Brenda Braxton (Velma Kelly) in "Chicago" produced by Music Circus at the Wells Fargo Pavilion through August 29, 2013. Photo by Charr Crail.

Lindsay Roginski (Roxie Hart) and Brenda Braxton (Velma Kelly) in “Chicago” produced by Music Circus at the Wells Fargo Pavilion through August 29, 2013. Photo by Charr Crail.

When the 2002 film version of Chicago came out, right in the heart of my high school career, it was quite the hit with my girlfriends and me. We watched it in movie theatres and at sleepovers, and the soundtrack played endless loops in our CD players. While the film version may be familiar, however, I had yet to see Chicago in its musical stage form, so it was much to my delight that I was able to catch it in its debut at Music Circus.

Following the stories of two murderesses — Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly — Chicago spins a jazzy tale of conniving, corruption, and celebrity. Both Roxie and Velma scheme to beat the system and be acquitted of their crimes, plotting their dynamics for the witness stand and using their allure and elaborate sob stories to gain sympathy from the press — and, ideally, the jurors.

Lindsay Roginski (Roxie Hart) in "Chicago" produced by Music Circus at the Wells Fargo Pavilion through August 29, 2013. Photo by Charr Crail.

Lindsay Roginski (Roxie Hart) in “Chicago” produced by Music Circus at the Wells Fargo Pavilion through August 29, 2013. Photo by Charr Crail.

With a 1920s nightclub vibe, the musical is complete with seductive dancing and powerful singing, plus witty quips and good jibes interwoven throughout the dialogue and lyrics. Many of the actors in the Music Circus show have performed in Chicago on Broadway and on tour, as well, and their talent is apparent and robust.

So, will Roxie and Velma go free? Find out by catching Chicago, which runs through Thursday, August 29. Showtimes are Tuesday/Wednesday/Sunday 7:30pm, Thursday/Saturday 2pm & 8pm, and Friday 8pm. Tickets range from $30-$74 and are available online or by calling the box office at (916) 557-1999.

While this run of Chicago is the end of the 2013 Music Circus season, stay tuned for California Musical Theatre’s upcoming Broadway Sacramento season which kicks off with Priscilla Queen of the Desert on November 5.

Top 10 Sacramento events, week of August 5

Kenny Loggins performs at Harris Center for the Arts today, Monday, August 5-Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Photo by Anna in Austin under Creative Commons.

Kenny Loggins performs at Harris Center for the Arts today, Monday, August 5-Wednesday, August 7, 2013. Photo by Anna in Austin under Creative Commons.

Jam out to big events with our Top 10 this week! Sign up here to receive the Top 10 direct to your inbox every Monday at Noon.

Sacramento events this weekend, Aug 2-Aug 4

Take a tour of the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery featuring saloons and eateries this Saturday, August 3. Photo by Mattie Parfitt.

Take a tour of the Sacramento Historic City Cemetery featuring saloons and eateries this Saturday, August 3. Photo by Mattie Parfitt.

Drew Carey is in town, Capitol Mall gets bright and happy with The Color Run, vintage automobiles join together for the CAM Car Cruise, and much more, all happening this weekend in Sacramento. Check out our KCRA Weekend Events Slideshow and make some plans!

Featured Local Artist Q & A: David Garrison

David Garrison headshot 4Starting his own theatre company, The Alternative Arts Collective (TAAC), five years ago at the age of 19, David Garrison now boasts the titles of actor, director, artistic director, graphic designer, and photographer. We shot him some questions to learn more about his acting career, how TAAC got started, and more.

Head over to his Featured Local Artist Q & A and read on!

Eat, drink, and explore with Farm to Fork events

Delight in delectable cocktails during the 6th Annual Midtown Cocktail Week, August 21-August 25, 2013. Photo courtesy of Midtown Business Association.

Delight in delectable cocktails during the 6th Annual Midtown Cocktail Week, August 21-August 25, 2013. Photo courtesy of Midtown Business Association.

August is near, which means Farm to Fork month is just a little more than 31 days away. Sacramento is gearing up for this celebration with plenty of events celebrating local food, drinks, and more.

In addition to our round-up on Sacramento Press, check out Sacramento365.com’s Farm to Fork category for local events, or the Farm to Fork website calendar for regional listings.