Sierra Stages Announces 2019 Season Including HAND TO GOD, CABARET, and More

In 2019, Sierra Stages begins its second decade of presenting quality 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".

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! Sierra Stages also invites everyone to become a Sierra Stages Member with a tax-deductible donation that supports quality local theater. For more information about the 2019 Flex Pass and Sierra Stages Memberships visit www.SierraStages.org or call Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210.

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, 2019 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 presented the play as a reading in 2017 as part of our Theater by the Book series, and we were extremely concerned that it would be too offensive for the community. We were surprised when the reading attracted a capacity crowd and more surprised (and pleased) when the audience leapt to their feet and cheered at the end! We immediately began discussing whether to do a full 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 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 Ewing, 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 through August 3, 2019 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 1930's. With mounting fear and uncertainty outside, our enigmatic emcee welcomes you into a world where your troubles are left at the door. "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. "Kander and Ebb are among the giants of the American musical theater and their songs are always fun to perform: The very first show that we did (before officially becoming Sierra Stages) was a revue of Kander and Ebb songs titled "The World Goes Round" at the Off Center Stage in 2008 and the show which played to our largest audience was "Chicago" two years ago at the Nevada Theatre. Scott, Brian and I have already met several times to discuss what the show means and how best to present it to our audience at this particular time in our history and with the local talent available to us. The authors have created several versions of "Cabaret" over the past 42 years since its premiere on Broadway in 1966, and the show continues to both entertain and be amazingly relevant."

To close out the season, Sierra Stages presents "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow: A Stephen Sondheim Evening". Ten years after Side by Side by Sondheim - the very first Sierra Stages production in 2009 - we return to the Off Center Stage to again celebrate the genius of Stephen Sondheim with an intimate revue featuring 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 - October 26, 2019 at the Off Center Stage in Grass Valley.

The Sierra Stages 2019 Flex Pass may be purchased now through March 1, 2018 online at www.SierraStages.org or by calling Sierra Stages at 530-346-3210.



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