It is fun to have fun at Seussical the Musical

Jason Graae as the Cat in the Hat. Photo by Kevin Graft.

As we streamed through the front gates of the Wells Fargo Pavillion, my 9-year-old daughter and I were giddy with anticipation for the opening performance of Music CircusSeussical. The welcoming courtyard with fountain added just the right ambiance to assure us that we were going to have a wonderful time.

Once seated, we noticed the stage set up was simple, yet impressive; there was a giant red and white striped Cat in the Hat hat, placed in the center of the round stage. As soon as the show started, you were quickly drawn into the whimsical world of all your favorite Dr. Seuss characters. The main theme for Seussical is “a person’s a person no matter how small,” but there are many, many other familiar messages hidden throughout the show as well. My daughter loved the story line; she was especially impressed when Horton the Elephant saved the Who’s in the end of the play. Young actor Josh Davis and his wonderful voice were truly impressive.

Josh Davis as JoJo. Photo by Kevin Graft.

While this was not the first time we’ve seen Seussical, we were delighted to see that Music Circus had added a few embellishments of its own to the musical. Having the moving stage in the middle of the room, like a circus arena, made the performance very intimate and gave everyone in the audience a great view of the stage.

All in all, Seussical is a whimsically fun treat for people of all ages. Seeing audience members from ages 4 to 84 reminded me that Dr. Seuss’ stories are just as relevant today as they were when first published.

Seussical takes over the Wells Fargo Pavilion through July 17. For tickets and showtimes, visit the musical’s listing on Sacramento365.

Note: If you and your little one are planning to snack, head to the concession stands before the show (treats are welcome inside the theater during performances.) The 20-minute intermission gives you enough time to stand in line to purchase food, or run to the restroom, but probably not both.


This blog post was written by Sacramento Kids contributor Ida Christian.

2nd Saturday Roadmap: The Colors of Summer

This 2nd Saturday is going to be packed with great art, music, and tasty treats! Join me on my jaunt around town to some of the art exhibits and events that I’m most excited for this July!


Bare Earth:
My first stop of the day will be at the Elliot Fouts Gallery to check out Micah Crandall-Bear’s latest exhibit, Telluric. Stripping down the details and focusing on colors palettes, this exhibition features a series of abstract landscapes, making you rethink the fine art form. Afterwards, I’ll jet over to Ginger Elizabeth to snag one of their delicious ice cream sundaes (limited supply, be sure to get there early!).

Photo courtesy of Micah Crandall-Bear

Photo courtesy of Micah Crandall-Bear

Bright and Sunny:
My next stop of the day will be at the Tim Collom Gallery to check out their exhibit, simply titled, Summer. Through a variety of mediums, 17 Northern Californian artists will show off works that define what the season is truly about. After scoping out a slice of summer, I’ll head over to Sawasdee to cool off with a Thai iced tea and some Tom Kha.

Photo courtesy of the Tim Collom Gallery and Cindy Wilson

Photo courtesy of the Tim Collom Gallery and Cindy Wilson

Chaos of the Streets:
My yearning for midday coffee will lead me to Shine and Anthony Anderson’s Street Squares. Each piece in this collection is an abstract compilation of building texture/decay, graffiti, and the miscellaneous items you’d find on the street. Sandra Dee’s is just a block away, offering soul food and its famous House Lemonade.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Anderson

Photo courtesy of Anthony Anderson

Double Digit Party:
My last stop for the day will be Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen’s (SBK) 10th Anniversary Party. This party is sure to be a good one with music from three local favorites — The Nickel Slots, 50-Watt Heavy, and The Brangs. New Belgium Brewing will also be on hand to provide some tasty brews; proceeds from the beer sales will be donated directly to the Sacramento Bike Kitchen, too! If I feel the need to keep the party rolling, I’ll cruise down the street to Easy on I for another drink.

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bike Kitchen

Photo courtesy of the Sacramento Bike Kitchen

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 July Featured Artist Steven Valencia

Profile CropEnchanting, colorful costumes. Skillful footwork. A high pitch grito (shout). These are the familiar elements that define Mexico’s ballet folklórico or “folkloric dance.” Our July Featured Artist Steven Valencia might add “his inspiration”, too.

This month, we connected with Calidanza’s Artistic Director to learn more about his life-long passion. As the leader of the Calidanza folk dance company, Valencia seeks to advance, celebrate, and preserve the culture of Latino, Chicano, and Native populations for generations. And he’s been pretty good at it. He’s worked and toured with some of the best instructors from across the border, choreographed traditional and modern professional productions in and around the Sacramento region, and was even awarded the 2011 Maestro Award from The Latino Arts Network of California for his efforts. What may be the most peculiar thing about Valencia’s success is that he juggles his time at Calidanza with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Read on and discover what quite literally moves our featured artist here.

Say “Hello” to Your New Favorite Musical

California Musical Theatre’s (CMT) production of Hello, Dolly! is brisk, animated, and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish. Hello, Dolly! tells the tale of Dolly Levi, a matchmaker who rediscovers what love is truly about. This classic American comedy is sure to lift the audience’s spirit with fits of laughter. It was so much fun being surrounded by an audience who sang quietly or hummed along to every tune, laughing, smiling, and clearly enjoying every minute of the performance.

Photo by Kevin Graft

Photo by Kevin Graft

Of course, the key to an enjoyable production is the people behind it. Lynne Wintersteller (who plays the matchmaker Dolly Gallagher Levi) delivers each of her lines with perfect timing. She was funny, ironic, beautiful, and oozes charisma with every song, turn of a phrase, a flick of a hand, and even while comically stuffing food down her face. This is perfectly exemplified in the scene at the Harmonia Gardens Restaurant when all the young men fall at her feet. While Winterstellar may have stolen the show, she is raised up by the immense talent that surrounds her.

Photo by Kevin Graft

Photo by Kevin Graft

The casting was also superb across the board; not a single actor felt out of place or unprepared for their role. There is palatable chemistry between Cornelius Hackl (played by John Scherer) and Irene Malloy (played by the stunning Jacquelyn Piro Donovan). The intricate net of crushes and schemers will have you on your tip toes until the play’s end. This group of talented actors, featuring many Music Circus veterans, puts on a show that you won’t want to miss!

Photo by Kevin Graft

Photo by Kevin Graft

While the choreography and staging was exemplary throughout, the performances of “The Waiters Gallop,” and “Hello, Dolly!” were my favorites. As the cast sings and dances across the stage, the members of the audience around me lit up with excitement and cheer. When a production has the power to do this you know it’s a great show.

Cheers to Director Glenn Casale, Choreographer Randy Slovacek, and Musical Director Craig Barna for putting together a fantastic show that did more than just cheer me up on a hot Tuesday night after a long day of work. I can’t recommend Music Circus’ production of Hello, Dolly! enough.

If you’re interested in learning more about this wonderful musical comedy, visit the musical’s listing on Sacramento365.com. The show will run until this Sunday, July 3, so make sure to get your tickets fast because soon Sacramento will be saying, “Goodbye, Dolly!”


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

Our Night Out with Elle Woods

LegallyBlonde_Photo1

Lauren Zakrin as Elle Woods and Chico as Bruiser in Legally Blonde. Photo by Charr Crail.

In honor of the start of the Music Circus 2016 season, Sacramento365.com is giving you two perspectives of Legally Blonde the Musical. Read up on how two-thirds of our team — Karlee Cemo and Jamila Khan — rate the musical that proves staying true to one’s self never goes out of style.

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15 years ago a little film called Legally Blonde debuted on the big screen and left a big impact on our teenage selves. After watching the hilarious Reese Witherspoon-led comedy, we both became a little obsessed. Karlee wanted to be blonde, a lawyer, and Reese Witherspoon’s carbon copy, while Jamila wore a lot of pink accessories and would respond to her friend’s butchering legal jargon like Ms. Elle Woods. The film was Jamila’s first ever DVD and Karlee’s favorite film on VHS (Jamila’s note: Kickin’ it old school, Karlee!). To this day, it’s each of our favorite movies and we can pretty much recite the script from beginning to end.

When hearing that a musical rendition of the film would kickoff of the 2016 Music Circus season, we were stoked. Music Circus has been a summer tradition for both of our families, so seeing this non-conventional opener piqued our interest. Given that the film wasn’t originally a musical, we both wondered how exactly song and dance would be incorporated into the storyline.

Our excitement and expectations were high, and the luckily, the production did not disappoint. Elle Woods, played by Lauren Zakrin, sensationally channeled her inner Reese Witherspoon with a spunky performance that fantastically captured the perky essence of Elle Woods. We both coveted her chic pink wardrobe and well-trained Bruiser, Elle’s beloved chihuahua, played by two very cute dogs. Bruiser’s few appearances definitely provided for some hearty laughs from the audience; but then again…who doesn’t love a tiny dog “acting” on a live stage?

Karlee’s highlights:
– The clever and upbeat song lyrics lyrics incorporated a mixture of lines from the film, modern day references, and a pinch of adult humor. A few of my favorite numbers were “There! Right There!”, “Bend and Snap” (obviously), and “Whipped Into Shape,” which had fitness phenom and defendant Brooke Wyndham (Grace Stockdale) singing while jumping rope. Very impressive.
– The exaggerated mannerisms of hairdresser Paulette Bonafante’s (Ryah Nixon) love interest Kyle the UPS guy (Seth Danner) make him an unexpectedly entertaining and hilarious addition to the show.

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Seth Danner as Kyle in Legally Blonde. Photo by Kevin Graft.

Jamila’s highlights:
-Female empowerment and sisterhood is even more front-and-center in the stage production than in the film. Without spoiling the revised plot, let’s just say that mousy Vivienne Kensington (Shannon O’Boyle) is a little less witchy…
-Added to the story is a hilarious subplot related to Paulette’s Bonafante’s obsession with Ireland. I now will use the line “give my love to the leprechauns” whenever I can.

Were you a fan of the original Legally Blonde, too? Then make sure you grab a ticket to the pop-culture musical before it’s too late. Production runs through Sunday, June 19. Tickets start at $45. For times and ticket information, visit Legally Blonde’s Sacramento365.com event page.

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

2nd Saturday Roadmap: New Beginnings

June’s 2nd Saturday is sure to be a blast with galleries and pop-up events celebrating everything that makes Sacramento great. I’ll be making stops at some of the most exciting art events around town, so clear your Saturday plans and join in on the fun!


Party With the Crocker:
I’ll be starting off this 2nd Saturday by heading out to Steve Jones Park for the Crocker Art Museums’s 2nd Block-by-Block party. This traveling block party aims to unite the community and the Museum by featuring over 10 performances, great food, and awe-inspiring art. After enriching my creative spirit, I’ll jet over to Las Islitas (7240 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95822) for some ceviche and a Mega Michelada.

Photo courtesy of Crocker Art Museum's Block-by-Block

Photo courtesy of Crocker Art Museum’s Block-by-Block

A Play on Words:
My next stop will take me back to the grid to R St Corridor’s ARTHOUSE See It With Words exhibition. Showcasing the work of local artists/authors Michelle Andres and Judy Jacobs, the duo will present the inner-workings of an author’s mind through abstract spoken, implied, and visual representations.

I know a cold-pressed drink from WAL Public Market’s Metro Kitchen+Drinkery will be calling my name afterward! While getting my juice fix, I can scope out more art at WAL’s Peaceful Protest exhibit.

Photo courtesy of Michelle Andres

Photo courtesy of Michelle Andres

Curated Art and Cured Meats:
Heading over to the heart of Midtown, I’ll be checking out Little Relics’ Wheels: An Ode to Dad. Featuring work from a trio of talented artists — Char Hall, Chad Lenzi, and Peter Wedel — the show focuses on father figures behind the wheel. Charcuterie and a cocktail from nearby Block Butcher Bar will be the perfect treat after all that walking. To make this stop even sweeter, eat out on the patio to enjoy the sounds of the June edition of THIS Midtown.

Photo courtesy of Chad Lenzi

Photo courtesy of Chad Lenzi

First of its Kind:
My final stop for the night will be at Chief Piercing’s first ever art exhibition, Agony X Ecstasy, featuring the joint works of Adam Gee and Ben Robin. Gee’s works range from collages to drawing “tattoos” on photographs, while Robin has some seriously cool abstract creations. This stop is particularly exciting to me because it’s a first time exhibit; I can’t wait to show support in hopes of more exhibits in the future. The Roaming Spoon will be on hand to dole out some tasty vegan treats, but if that doesn’t fill me up I’ll definitely be sliding over to Tapa the World for some more small bites.

Photo courtesy of Chief Piercing

Photo courtesy of Chief Piercing

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 June Featured Artist Maren Conrad

Profile Crop“Beware of artists: they mix with all classes of society and
therefore are the most dangerous.”

This month Sacramento365.com met up with one of Sacramento’s most sought out artists, Maren Conrad. Best known for striking metal leaf and layered resin paintings, her work, inspired by her subconscious, connects to universal truths and experiences through text and delicate koi fish and feathers designs. She’s also known for famously ruffling a few figurative feathers with her censored “Politically Vulnerable” collection.

This June we encourage you to get to know Conrad’s dangerous mind and her plans to keep shaking up Sacramento’s art scene here.