Today in My History
Some Great Dames
Books Read in 2021
Cast (updated 7/16)
THEATER IS BACK
1 September 2021
Theater is coming back. With the increase in the various COVID variants it seems strange to start seeing theater again. But Broadway is opening up and now Sacramento is opening up. Capital Stage is the first. The theater has done all possible to ensure the safety of its audience. To attend a performance you must present proof of vaccination and a valid photo ID outside the theater, where people will also pick up their tickets. Capital Stage artists, staff, crew, apprentices and employees are vaccinated. Masks must be worn at all time by staff and audience. Only limited beverages are offered at concessions, and no food. Beverages will be permitted outside on the patio only. No food or beverages are allowed in the theater.
Capital Stage has upgraded air filters and increased air flow through the theater. No playbills are handed out, but someone comes through the audience with an ipad with a QR code to scan to get the playbill on line. Performers will not meet the audience after a show.
And, sadly, there is no reception after opening night (they generally have great food to serve opening night audiences).
Also, their first production, Hold These Truths is a perfect coronavirus show...it's a one-man show, so they don't have to worry about either a larger cast, or any entrances and exits through the audience.
The show is the story tells of Gordon Hirabayashi, best known for his principled resistance to the Japanese American internment during World War II, and the court case which bears his name, Hirabayashi v. United States. When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and President Roosevelt ordered all West coast Japanese residents, including citizens, with as little as 1/16th Japanese ancestry to camps, Hirabayashi resisted incarceration. Imprisonment and then a decade of lawsuits ensued, with Hirabayashi trying to assert his right as an American citizen. He lost in two separate Supreme Court decisions in the 1940s. It took 40 years for him to finally win and have his convictions overturned, as well as an apology to the Japanese for the internment.
There was a lot of history of which I was unaware, though of course knew of the internment. I actually went to school with a girl who was born at Tanforan race track. As a child, especially a child who was so horse crazy, it just seemed neat that she was born at a race track. I never realized the message of that knowledge until I was an adult.
The show was excellent and it was nice being back at Capital Stage, which is my favorite of the theaters in Sacramento where I review, but it is probably going to be the last Sacramento review I write, possibly forever.
I've been a critic for more than 20 years and a couple of years ago the newspaper shortened its content and there wasn't as much room for arts. The artistic editor at the time told me that since finding space for reviews was now sometimes a problem, it wasn't necessary for me to review shows in Sacramento and she would leave it up to me whether I wanted to review or not.
I did continue to review and now that editor has moved on to a better job and I don't know how the new editor feels about Sacramento reviews. He says that right now with the pandemic there is so little to write about he'll print anything, but I've been debating about whether or not I want to continue as a critic.
I've gotten very comfortable with our nighttime routine, settling in after dinner to watch Jeopardy! and the evening shows. I had that familiar feeling as I changed clothes and put on shoes that I had more than a year ago, when I saw my last show in Sacramento -- reluctant to actually go.
Oh, I enjoyed being there, but driving meant driving through "Hazardous" air (which we are getting from the fires). Ned has decided I am unsafe to drive, so I haven't driven in more than a year. He's also uncomfortable with Walt driving, but hasn't quite taken his keys away from him, but I am aware that Walt isn't always the safest driver any more. I realized that if I continued to see shows in Sacramento, I would have those feelings all the time again.
The show was good, but I always have difficulty writing reviews of serious "message" shows and it took me 2 days to get the review written. That happens a lot with theaters and as I wrote the review, I again thought about giving up shows in Sacramento. So I'm letting people know that I won't do Sacramento shows any more. I don't even mind giving up the touring Broadway shows.
I will still do the Davis and Woodland theaters, so I'm not giving up critiquing completely, but I won't be seeing 50 shows a year any more.
Nobody will be taking over for me. And it's sad that theater is not getting the kind of publicity it has in the past. The big Sacramento newspaper fired its theater critic (the most professional of all of us) and no longer has an arts section, the paper that I worked for with 3 other critics has stopped using outside employees to write.
So I'm sad that I won't be meeting my other critic
friends, but none of us will be going to theater in Sacramento any more.
And I'm relieved I don't have to dress to go out after dinner on weekends any
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Jomar Tagatac, as George Hirabayashi
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This is entry #7830