Sierra Stages 2019 season includes Cabaret

IN 2019, SIERRA STAGES BEGINS ITS second decade of presenting award-winning local theater in Grass Valley and Nevada City with three provocative shows: The legendary musical Cabaret, the black comedy “Hand to God,” and the intimate musical revue “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow: A Stephen Sondheim Evening”.

The 2019 season opens with the hilariously twisted black comedy “Hand to God” by Robert Askins. Nominated for five Tony Awards in 2015, “Hand to God” centers on a shy, inquisitive student named Jason, who finds an outlet for his burgeoning creativity at the Christian Puppet Ministry in the devoutly religious, relatively quiet small town of Cypress, Texas.

Jason’s complicated relationships with the town pastor, the school bully, the girl next door and — most especially — his mother are thrown into further upheaval when Jason’s hand puppet Tyrone — once soft-spoken—takes on a shocking and dangerously irreverent personality all its own.

As Tyrone’s influence over Jason steadily grows, the play explores the startlingly fragile nature of faith, morality, and the ties that bind us. “Hand to God” plays from February 28-March 16 at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City.

“We’re taking our biggest risk to date by including “Hand to God” in our 2019 season,” says Sierra Stages managing director Peter Mason. “We discussed whether to do a production amid our continuing concern that our regular audience members would be offended by the play’s raw language, adult and sexual situations, violence, and views on religion.

“We ultimately decided to do a full production of “Hand to God” for several reasons: It is very funny and well-written; it is thoughtful in its exploration of how we confront and deal with grieving; it brings a younger demographic to the theater and further expands our audience; and it is hugely fun for the actors and our production staff.”

“Hand to God” is directed by Sharon Winegar and features local actors Danny McCammon, Lois Masten, John Gardiner, Michaela King and Trevor Wade. Puppet design is by Ken Miele (with Ken Getz), set design is by Peter Mason and Michael Pierce, lighting design is by Les Solomon, and costume design is by Paulette Sand-Gilbert.

From July 11-August 3 at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, Sierra Stages presents “Cabaret,” the legendary musical about cabaret performer Sally Bowles, writer Cliff Bradshaw and the unraveling of German society in the early 1930s.

“Cabaret” features a memorable score with music by John Kander and lyrics by Fred Ebb and a timely book by Joe Masteroff. Scott Gilbert directs, with choreography by Brian Arsenault and music direction by Ken Getz.

“Cabaret” is just one of those musicals that needs to be revisited from time to time by both performers and audiences alike,” says music director Ken Getz.

To close out the season, Sierra Stages presents “You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow: A Stephen Sondheim Evening.” The show features some of his lesser-known and more open-hearted songs, including selections from the musicals “Saturday Night,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Pacific Overtures,” “Company,” “Follies,” “A Little Night Music,” “Sweeney Todd,” “Anyone Can Whistle,” and “Merrily We Roll Along.”

“You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow” is directed by Sandra Rockman, with music direction by Ken Getz, and plays from October 3-26 at the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley.

Sierra Stages Flex Pass

Also for 2019, Sierra Stages is introducing the Sierra Stages Flex Pass. The Flex Pass continues a ten year tradition of the Sierra Stages Season Pass but offers greater flexibility for audience members.

For $75, Flex Pass Holders receive three tickets to be used in any combination for the three shows in the 2019 Season: See all three shows, any two shows, or just one show. The Sierra Stages 2019 Flex Pass may be purchased now through March 1, online at SierraStages.org or by calling Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210.

(Photo: Rich Bowen/ZUMAPress.com)

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