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Some relief comes to Civic Theatre West ticket holders

Three local theater companies offer special deals for CTW patrons
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Bob and Rosemarie Gerould started Magic Circle Theatre in Roseville 23 years ago and were pained to learn of the theater company’s recent closure. But that hasn’t stopped them from trying to help patrons of their beloved organization, more recently known as Civic Theatre West. “Rosemarie and I have always been convinced that the word ‘community’ was just as important as the word ‘theater’ in the phrase ‘community theater,’” Bob Gerould said. “That’s why we always emphasized customer service while we were there.” They continue to promote customer service today, this time by honoring season ticket holders of the defunct Civic Theatre West for shows performed by the husband-and-wife team’s new nonprofit organization, Bob and Ro Productions in Sacramento for the rest of their 2010-11 season. Civic Theatre West ceased operations Nov. 10, citing $500,000 of debt and cannot refund ticket holders. The Geroulds left the local theater company in May 2009 after the board of directors failed to renew their management contract. But the couple still pursues what they’ve been doing for the past several decades: writing, producing and directing live entertainment. “We view most of the former CTW season ticket holders as old friends who supported Magic Circle Theatre for years before we were replaced,” Bob Gerould said. “This is our way of thanking them for their support over the years. For those who signed up after we were gone and don’t know us, this is a way for us to get to know each other.” All shows are performed at the Studio Theatre. Given the limited seating in the facility, the Geroulds ask that people call to make reservations. They should identify themselves as Civic Theatre West season subscribers when they call. “Of course, we hope they will enjoy themselves, once they see the same friendly environment and quality entertainment at the Studio Theatre that they were used to at (Civic Theatre West), and will consider coming to other shows next season,” Bob Gerould said. Upcoming shows include Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap,” which runs through Sunday, Feb. 6, and “Shirley Valentine,” which runs Friday, Feb. 18 through Sunday, March 20. “The Mousetrap” is a murder mystery set in 1950s London. “Shirley Valentine” tells the story of an unhappy housewife’s refreshing holiday in Greece. The rest of the season features “Don’t Dress for Dinner,” “Passengers,” “The Sunshine Boys” and “The Zoo Story.” Shows are performed at the Studio Theatre, 1028 R St. in Sacramento. For more information, Call (877) 532-7171 or visit www.bobandroproductions.org Runaway Stage Productions Runaway Stage Productions is offering two-for-one pricing for their upcoming production of “Hairspray” for anyone holding a ticket to any of Civic Theatre West’s 2010-11 Main Stage productions (single tickets and season tickets included). “We were very saddened to hear about the closure of CTW,” said Executive Director Karen Day. “It is a great loss for Roseville and the greater Sacramento area. There are so few theater companies left in this area that offer Broadway-style musical theater at an affordable price … it is pretty frightening. We are all in this together and wanted to help however we could.” “Hairspray” features several Civic Theatre West performers, including Monica Wright as Tracy Turnblad, Brent Null as Edna Turnblad, Jennifer Schmelzer as Velma Von Tussle, Dan Masden as Corny Collins, Teresa Ahnin as Prudy Pingleton and Joel Porter as Herriman F. Spritzer. The musical takes audiences back to 1960s Baltimore where plus-size heroine, Tracy Turnblad, wins a spot on the local televsion dance program, “The Corny Collins Show.” Overnight she finds herself transformed from outsider to teen celebrity. Call the Runaway Stage box office at (916) 207-1226 and tell the customer service representative that you want to exchange your ticket. Or bring your unused tickets to the box office on show days. You must exchange these tickets to redeem the two-for-one offer. “Hairspray” runs through Sunday, Jan. 30. Opening night tickets are $16. Ticket prices for all other shows are $22 for adults, $20 for seniors, $18 for students and $15 for kids 12 and under. The show is performed at the 24th Street Theater at the Sierra 2 Center, 2791 24th St. in Sacramento. For more information about Runaway Stage Productions, visit www.runawaystage.com. Davis Musical Theatre Company Civic Theatre West season ticket holders may use their tickets to see the remainder of Davis Musical Theatre Company’s 2010-2011 season. Patrons can use those tickets to see all four shows, “Chess,” “Guys and Dolls,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” and “Peter Pan.” “For years, we have been good friends with the folks at Civic Theatre West,” said President John Ewing. “It’s been tragic the number of area performing arts companies that have had to scale back or close their doors in recent years. As actors, artists and audience members ourselves, we couldn’t help but feel the devastation of such a loss.” He said although actors and artists from the closed Roseville theater company can find other outlets to express their talents, patrons who already spent money have a difficult time absorbing the blow. “We believe it is critical to nurture a robust theater audience and anything that discourages people from attending live theater hurts us all,” Ewing said. “Chess” involves a triangle love story between two top players in a world chess championship. The musical runs through Sunday, Jan. 30. All shows are performed at the DMTC Performing Arts Center, 607 Pena Drive in Davis. Patrons should call the Davis theatre company’s box office at (530) 756-3682 and mention that they are Civic Theatre West subscribers. For more information about Davis Musical Theatre Company, visit www.dmtc.org. Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.