Sierra Stages celebrates its 10th anniversary

THIS YEAR MARKS THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY season of Sierra Stages, an award-winning community theatre group in western Nevada County that has helped shape the area’s designation as a statewide cultural district.

The 10th anniversary season includes two musicals and one classic American comedy: The zany and heartbreaking musical “A New Brain” by William Finn and James Lapine, the enchanting new musical version of Roald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” by Timothy Allen McDonald and the songwriting team of Ben Pasek and Justin Paul; and the classic and enduring American stage comedy “You Can’t Take It With You” by Moss Hart and George Kaufman.

For the first time, all three shows presented by Sierra Stages are at the historic Nevada Theatre in Nevada City and all seating is reserved seating.

The 2018 season opens with “A New Brain,” an engaging and fast-paced musical based on the actual life experience of composer William Finn. When a frustrated children’s television composer is struck with a rare brain disorder he faces the possibility of his own mortality.

The tumultuous, comical and surreal ordeal that engulfs him and those closest to him—his mother, partner and publicist— teaches everyone something profound about what is truly important in life and in love. “A New Brain” plays from March 1–17.

“Sierra Stages has produced two William Finn musicals—’The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee’ (2011) and ‘Falsettos’ (2015)—and both were well received by our audience, so we thought we would tackle ‘A New Brain’ for our 10th anniversary season,” says Sierra Stages music director Ken Getz. “It is funny, relatable and ultimately life-affirming. Also, the songs are absolute winners.”

“A New Brain” is directed by Robert Rossman and Jailyn Tafolla, with music direction by Ken Getz, and it features local actors Brian Arsenault, Jay Barker, Heidi Grass, Jonathan Hansard, Michaela King, Sue Legate-Halford, Heather Lucas-Ross, Kevin Lucas-Ross, Ken Miele, and Sara Noah. The set design is by Robert Rossman, lighting design is by Erin Beatie and Hunter Schott, and costume design is by Paulette Sand-Gilbert.

New Season Includes “James and the Giant Peach”

From July 12 through August 4, Sierra Stages presents “James and the Giant Peach”, a new musical guaranteed to mesmerize theatregoers of all ages.

In this compelling story by beloved author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda), a young orphan named James accidentally drops magic crystals by an old peach tree and strange things start to happen. James soon discovers a world of magic and adventure full of friendly insects and learns that love and family can be found in unexpected places. Robert Rossman directs, with music direction by Ken Getz.

“We were all immediately taken by the score for ‘James and the Giant Peach’ when we first heard it, and the story by Roald Dahl is an absolute winner that speaks to children, teens, and adults,” says Sierra Stages managing director Peter Mason.

“If you have seen one or both movie versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with either Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp as Willie Wonka) or the recent stage musical version of Matilda, you know there are more serious themes that run beneath the surface of all Roald Dahl stories.”

To close out the season, Sierra Stages presents “You Can’t Take It With You,” a classic American stage comedy that deftly blends elements of farce, slapstick, whimsical humor, social commentary, and romance, together with a generous dash of good-na- tured optimism about the human condition. “You Can’t Take It With You” plays Septem- ber 20-October 6, 2018. Scott Gilbert directs.

Season Pass

For the tenth year running, Sierra Stages is pleased to offer the Sierra Stages 3-Show Season Pass. A $95 Season Pass includes reserved seating in Rows A-H or a $65 Season Pass includes reserved seat- ing in Rows J-O at the Nevada Theatre, and see all three shows: “A New Brain,” “James and the Giant Peach,” and “You Can’t Take It With You.”

Sierra Stages also invites everyone to become a Sierra Stages member with a tax-deductible donation that supports quality local theatre. Season passes may be purchased now through March 1 online at SierraStages.org or by calling Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210.

(Photo: South Coast Repertory Theatre)

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