Hitsville, USA Comes to Sacramento

Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease

Photo by Joan Marcus.

“To get to [the people’s] heart, you have to get to their feet.” – Berry Gordy

And that’s what Motown Records and its hit-making artists did. Despite operating during the time of overt de facto discrimination, the black-owned powerhouse and its iconic Motown Sound persevered and, quite literally, moved a generation. Broadway Sacramento caps off its successful 2015-2016 season retelling the company’s vibrant origin story with Motown the Musical.

The musical’s book, penned by Motown’s founder Berry Gordy, begins and ends with Motown 25th Anniversary Show. Filling most of the 160 minutes of stage time are a series of flashbacks, highlighting the trials, tribulations, and artists that shaped the legendary independent record company. (You’ll see everyone from Marvin Gaye to Rick James.) Of course, Berry Gordy’s love affair with Diana Ross is examined as well. Projected TV clips and the company’s changing fashions give temporal clues for the 45 years covered during the show.

Lean on character development, the musical instead makes room for the legendary Motown catalog to shine; of the over 180 hits produced under Gordy’s leadership; 66 Motown songs were infused throughout the production. Diana Ross’s campy, interactive solo debut at the Frontier Hotel and any The Jackson 5 number were the hands-down highlights of the already spectacular show. Also impressive was the fact that many cast members played up to five different characters, makes sense given Motown’s revolving door of talent.

Motown the Musical CLIFTON OLIVER (Berry Gordy) Clifton Oliver is honored to be a part of the Motown family. Broadway: The Lion King (Simba), In The Heights (Benny opposite Jordin Sparks), Wicked (Fiyero). Nat'l Tours: The Lion King (Simba), Rent (Benny & Collins), Ragtime (Ensemble). Regional: Pal Joey (Arkansas Rep.), Kinky Boots (Lola's standby for Bill Porter), West Coast Tour of The Scottsboro Boys (Charlie/Victoria), Smokey Joe’s Cafe (Victor), Godspell (Judas) MUNY. Television: "Law and READ MORE ? ALLISON SEMES (Diana Ross) Chicago native. B.M. Opera at UIUC, M.M. from NYU-Steinhardt. Broadway credits: Motown the Musical, Florence Ballard & The Book of Mormon, Nabalungi U/S, Swing. Other credits include: The Color Purple National Tour, Dreamgirls, Bubbling Brown Sugar, The Wiz, Candide. I want to thank you Bethany and everyone at Telsey, Renee, my CCC/ KACC/ GIAME families, Momma & Poppa Bear, Emile, QVD, and my friends for the unconditional love and support! READ MORE ? NICHOLAS CHRISTOPHER (Smokey Robinson) Born in Bermuda and raised in Boston, MA. Studied at both The Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School. 1st National Tour: In The Heights. Off-Broadway: Rent, Hurt Village. Thank you family, friends and SMS for your lurve and support. JARRAN MUSE (Marvin Gaye) A native Jersey boy couldn't be happier living his dream. God is good yall. Broadway/NYC: Motown The Musical, Irving Berlin's White Christmas, Dreamgirls; International Tours: American Idiot, Dreamgirls, Hairspray, 42nd Street. Regional Theater: Marriott Lincolnshire, Portland Center Stage (Will Parker in Oklahoma!), Goodspeed, Fulton Opera Houses, Pittsburgh CLO. Thank you to Mr. GORDY, Charles, and Telsey for this new opportunity to bring Marvin to stage READ MORE ? ERICK BUCKLEY (Ensemble) Broadway/National Tours: Valjean in Les Miserables, Uncle Fester in The Addams Family, Dave in The Full Monty, Piangi in The Phantom of the Opera, Gangster #1 Kiss Me, Kate, Roger in Grease

Photo by Joan Marcus.

In Motown the Musical you’ll learn the lessons of loyalty, pride, competition, but most importantly, never giving up on your dreams.

Don’t miss your chance to hear the music and magic of Motown the Musical. The Motown Sound takes over the Community Center Theater stage now through Sunday, May 29. For ticket and show details, click here.

Disclaimer: While this is an all ages show, the “n-word” is used briefly in during the traveling Motortown Revue scene. There is also an implied (though hilarious) sex scene.

***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator Jamila B. Khan.

2nd Saturday Roadmap: Roll Out

In honor of May is Bike Month, I’ll be hitting the pavement on my leg-powered two-wheeler to explore Sacramento’s Second Saturday events. Why don’t you grab your bike and join me on this artistic ride?

Bright Start:
To match Saturday’s sunny weather, I’ll start my day with the bright selections featured in the Roland Petersen: The Artist at 90 exhibit. This Elliot Fouts Gallery retrospective showcases the visionary artist’s abstract work from the past seven decades. Afterward, I’ll scuttle around the corner to Sun and Soil Juice Company for a Beta Boom to brighten up my morning even more.

Photo courtesy of the Elliot Fouts Gallery

Photo courtesy of the Elliot Fouts Gallery

Shopn Suds:
My next stop will take me to Fremont Park for the May edition of the River City Marketplace. This market is packed to the gills with trinkets and unique gifts handcrafted by local artists, designers, and, crafters. After perusing the wares, I’ll head up the street to University of Beer to quench my thirst with one (or two) of the 100 beers on tap!

Photo courtesy of River City Marketplace

Photo courtesy of River City Marketplace

Colorful Art and Food:
After a short ride, I’ll reach the R Street District and join WAL Public Market‘s to see Things Whose Purpose Is Slowness from Christie Yuri Noh. Noh’s paintings are full of wonder and contrasting colors. Her paintings range from everyday life to explosions of color over bland backgrounds. After I’ve had my fill of Noh’s works, I’ll be heading to Fish Face to grab their daily poke special.

Photo courtesy of Christie Yuri Noh

Photo courtesy of Christie Yuri Noh

Freaky Deaky Fun:
After a bit of liquid courage from Paragary’s, I’ll make my final pitstop at The TUBE Circus. Promising to bring out the “freaks, geeks, and things you can’t unsee,” this show will definitely be out there: contortionists, acrobats, jugglers, and a variety of performance artists will get you flying your freak flag high with pride.

Photo courtesy of Paragary's

Photo courtesy of Paragary’s

Looking for more 2nd Saturday outings? Check out our 2nd Saturday section on Sacramento365.com!

Whether you follow my map or make your own plans, you can’t go wrong this 2nd Saturday. Whatever you plan to do, make sure to get social with us by using the hashtag #Sacramento365.

***This blog was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content Specialist, Dylan Fisher.

Get to Know May Featured Artist Mike Johnston

May FA 016 Profile Pic - CopyThis May, Sacramento365.com wants you to Make It a Music night. Throughout the month, we’ll be showing you ways to move and be moved, so, of course, we had to choose an artist fitting for the occasion. Drumroll to Mike Johnston, a Folsom-based musician and instructor who works to the beat of his own drum, literally.

From a charming studio (or as he calls it “hobbit hole”), Johnston inspires thousands around the world through Mikeslessons.com, a website allowing aspiring drummers to learn and practice on their own time. As if that’s not impressive, on YouTube, his riffs and rudiments have been viewed over four million times and Modern Drummer readers awarded Johnston the “Clinician/Educator of the Year” award. And, oh yeah, Johnston was a world-touring rockstar at 21 and lived to tell about it.

To say we were intrigued by Mike Johnston’s story is an understatement. Read on and discover what moves our May Featured Artist here.

NEWSIES Gives You Something to Believe In

Newsies, a Disney Theatrical Production under the direction of Thomas Schumacher presents Newsies, music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman, book by Harvey Fierstein, starring Dan Deluca (Jack Kelly), Steve Blanchard (Joseph Pulitzer), Stephanie Styles (Katherine Plumber), Angela Grovey (Medda), Jacob Kemp (Davey), Zachary Sayle (Crutchie), Anthony Rosenthal or Vincent Crocilla (Les) and Matthew J. Schechter (Les) under the direction of Jeff Calhoun, choreographed by Christopher Gattelli, North American Tour premiere Thursday October 30 Philadelphia

Newsies, “the ragtag raggamuffins” with heart. ©Disney. Photo by Deen van Meer.

I am always down to see a musical, but I must admit when first getting the assignment to see Disney’s NEWSIES, I was a little confounded. The premise of the musical from outward appearances is odd; what would compel someone to write a musical based on the Newsboys Strike of 1899? Having not seen the cult 1992 movie of the same name, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Was the musical going to be Les Misérables set in NYC? Did I need to brush up on my history to understand its plot? Luckily, having an open mind paid off. Using my best Brooklyn accent, I can say that Disney’s NEWSIES was a delight “for shoire.”

The family-friendly musical is evergreen, detailing a feel-good story of David versus Goliath. Inspired by New York’s trolley strikes at the time, newsboy Jack Kelly and his gang of friends, affectionately called “newsies”, form a union when New York publishing kingpins raise distribution prices at their expense. Through rallies, a few fights, and the power of words, the boys successfully defeat corporate greed.

Along with touching upon the subjects of child labor laws and workers’ rights, the musical pokes fun of fame, the one-percent, and what today we call “clickbait” news. (There was even a musical number on the writing process, something to which I can relate!) It turns out, as mentioned tongue-and-cheekily by the youngest newsie, “theatre is entertaining and educational!”

The musical also shines because of its cast. While characters Jack Kelly (played by Joey Barreiro) and Katherine (played by Morgan Keene) give us “Something to Believe In,” the entire company blows you away with its talent; these young actors carry a tune through flips, tap dance numbers, playing the spoons, and even when swiveling on newspapers. Adding to the theatre magic was its impressive set. The stage, consisting of large maneuverable steel stairwells grew in size, replicating tenant homes, rooftops, and skyscrapers at the change of a curtain.

See this underdog story now through Sunday, April 17. A limited number of tickets are still available. For ticket show times and prices, visit the show’s Sacramento365.com page here.

Want more musicals in your life? Season tickets for the 2016-2017 Broadway Sacramento season are now on sale. For more details, click here.


***This blog post was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content and Social Media Coordinator Jamila B. Khan.

2nd Saturday Roadmap: Taking it Slow this April

This Second Saturday is extra special for Sacramento365.com because of our Make it an Arts Night campaign! I’ve jam-packed my art-filled event roadmap with some stops at the most exciting receptions in town.

Leisurely Ogling:
Besides being Second Saturday, April 9th is also Slow Art Day. This is a day dedicated to taking your time and really relishing works of art. The Crocker will be hosting their own Slow Art Day viewing group to look over the museum’s collection. After immersing myself in the fine arts, I’ll mosey on over to Ten22 to enjoy the culinary arts, savoring each bite of their succulent pulled pork sandwich.

Photo courtesy of Ten22

Photo courtesy of Ten22.

Flower Power:
Wildflowers are popping up all over our region, but did you know you can see them indoors? My next stop will take me to the Artist’s Collaborative Gallery to check out Jason Branz’s Spring Wildflower exhibit. This showing has loads of wildflower photography and blown glass bowls styled after spring’s greatest treasures. After “frolicking” in the flowers, I’ll be stopping by Fat City Bar and Café for an Old Sacramento favorite, a slice of banana cream pie.

Photo courtesy of Jason Branz

Photo courtesy of Jason Branz.

The Crossroads:
Geometry was one of my worst subjects in school, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate its use. The Shimo Center for the Arts is hosting the mathematical sculptures of Chuck Owens in their Intersections exhibit. These seriously cool pieces are not only imaginative but smart at the same time. Exercising my brain works up my appetite so I’ll be heading to nearby Taqueria Maya for some sopes and cactus juice.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Owens

Photo courtesy of Chuck Owens.

Creepy Critters:
I’ll be ending my huge day with a stop at the monstrous Fauna Anomaly 2016. This annual exhibit hosted at the Fe Gallery features some wild creature creations. If you’re a fan of mangy mutants, crazy colossuses, and freaky fiends, then you can’t miss out on this exhibit. After my day-long expedition, I’ll definitely have worked up a thirst, so I’ll be making my last pit stop at the Hoppy Brewing Company for a quick refuel.

Photo courtesy of John Stuart Berger

Photo courtesy of John Stuart Berger

Rev Back Up:
My final stop for the night will be at the season’s first THIS Midtown block party! Inside the Framework space this month, THIS celebrates independent spirit and features performances by Figgy, MyKill, and DeeJay Adam Jay.

After a long day traveling around town, I’ll take my slab of charcuterie from Block Butcher Bar to the patio for a great view of the folks dancing in the street!

Photo courtesy of THIS

Photo courtesy of THIS

Looking for more 2nd Saturday fun? Check out our 2nd Saturday section on Sacramento365.com!

Whether you follow my map or make your own plans, you can’t go wrong this 2nd Saturday. Whatever you plan to do, make sure to get social with us by using the hashtag #Sacramento365.

***This blog was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content Specialist, Dylan Fisher.

Get to Know April Featured Artist Gale Hart

AprilFA Profile Pic
In honor of Make it an Arts Night, this April Sacramento365.com met up with Sacramento’s Godmother of Contemporary Art, Gale Hart at her spacious 19th Street studio on the heels of her 60th birthday bash. The vegan, skateboard-loving artist has more to celebrate than just another year in this life; in January, Hart was selected to construct her public art installation for the new Golden 1 Center (yes, alongside that Jeff Koons piece).

In this eye-opening profile, we learned that defying normal is part of her modus operandi. Throughout her life, she’s always been known to push the limit. Read how far she plans on going here.

2nd Saturday Roadmap: Improvised Fun

In honor of our Make it a Performance Night campaign, I’ll be jetting all over town to squeeze in as many performances as I can this Saturday. Along with a few performances, I’ll be making a couple gallery pit stops to discover what a few local artists are up to this month!

Green Means Go:
St. Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, so I can’t miss the opportunity to extend the holiday out an extra week. I’ll be starting my journey off with a bit of cultural celebration at The Limelight. They’re hosting the Sacramento Irish Social, highlighting traditional foods and music to honor our community’s Irish heritage. I’m really looking forward to some corned beef and cabbage and maybe an adult beverage (or two). Afterward, I’ll be walking around McKinley Park to walk off all the food I just ate!

Art and Love:
My next stop will be at the Shimo Center for the Arts to check out the Works on Paper Exhibit. This exhibit features the art of husband and wife dynamic duo Ian Harvey and Koo Kyung Sook. Harvey uses paints to explore and present the struggles of the individual’s psyche confronting diverse social situations; while Sook examines the topic of view through a complex material process that includes drawing, disassembly, reassembly, and embossed woodcut printing.

After checking out this twosome’s work, I’ll stop at Temple for a Bliss tea. This tasty concoction combines peppermint tea, coconut milk, and honey makes for the perfect pick-me-up.

Photo courtesy of Ian Harvey and Koo Kyung Sook

Photo courtesy of Ian Harvey and Koo Kyung Sook

Chuckle and Cookies:
The most comical stop of the day will be at The Sacramento Comedy Spot’s Sacramento Improv Marathon. The Improv Marathon is a three-day showcase of the best shows the Comedy Spot has to offer, a few guest performances, and acting workshops. I plan to catch A Special Thing from Endgames Improv, an indie improv duo that bases their work on strange occurrences in their lives.

After some healthy belly laughs, I’ll treat my taste buds to some of Ginger Elizabeth’s cookies. They do have the tastiest macarons and truffle cookies in the world; knowing me, I’ll probably grab one of their delicious hot chocolates too!

Photo courtesy of Ginger Elizabeth

Photo courtesy of Ginger Elizabeth

Musical Outro:
My penultimate stop will be at Viet Ha Noodles for a pork banh mi to refuel. After my sandwich, I’ll jet across Broadway to the Sol Collective to check out Whose World Is This?, an exhibit inspired by “The World Is Yours,” a song from Nas’ Illmatic album. After taking in the socially conscious photographs, I’ll be sure to stick around for Slaps, a showcase of some talented producers.

Photo courtesy of Sol Collective

Photo courtesy of Sol Collective

Looking for more 2nd Saturday fun? Check out our 2nd Saturday section on Sacramento365.com!

Whether you follow my map or make your own plans, you can’t go wrong this 2nd Saturday. Whatever you plan to do, make sure to get social with us by using the hashtag #Sacramento365.

***This blog was written by Sacramento365.com’s Content Specialist, Dylan Fisher.