Sacramento Bee reporter Ed Fletcher makes zombie movie for film festival

Between Batman, Spiderman and the “Twilight” craze, ghouls and iconic heroes  are everywhere, but what Sacramento Bee reporter Ed Fletcher, 37, really wanted to see was zombies – dancing. He got what he wished for, and Sacramento is about to see the results. Fletcher wrote and produced a new movie called “Dance Steps of Death,”  which is scheduled to premiere on Aug. 18 at the Crest Theatre during the Sacramento Film and Music Festival. The action comedy is set in Sacramento and tells the tale of three renegade superheroes, the “Adventure Patrol,” and their fight against killer zombies. After a series of  reported  dog maulings, the superheroes decide to investigate, and in the process they learn that killer zombies like to dance to a beat. Mystery Zone Productions owner Aaron Keith Long, 22, will direct the movie. Long said he is most excited about directing the dance scene. “We are going to have a 20-person crew out there with probably about three or four cameras, and it’s going to be a lot of organization and fun,” Long said. “This is only a 10-minute movie, but we’re doing it at a pretty good production scale.” Fletcher said that Sacramento Film and Music Festival organizers liked the script and added the movie to the short film lineup despite the abnormally short production schedule.  Keith and Fletcher worked on […]

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Supporting cast brings all the lightning to ‘Grease’

When the popular Broadway musical “Grease” rolled into Sacramento’s Music Circus for opening night Tuesday, the costumes were spot-on and the music was right, but it was the supporting cast that revved up the audience and stole the show. The ensemble cast of 15 veteran stage actors, whose collective credits include everything from “Thoroughly Modern Millie” in regional theater to “Book of Mormon" on Broadway, took full advantage of every inch of the stage and walkways leading to and from the wings. Scenes were played in a variety of places in the theater – sometimes all at once. For those unfamiliar with the Music Circus, it is a stage “in the round,” which means the audience encircles the players. The stage has a variety of moving parts allowing portions of the stage to raise and lower and spin so actors can be seen from all angles. The abilities of the stage were especially helpful when one star of the show – an old ‘50s convertible with a jumpseat called Greased Lightnin’ – drove (yes, drove) out of the wings and onto the stage for a few key scenes and song and dance numbers. But it wasn’t the car that stole the spotlight (although it definitely earned gasps of appreciation as it entered and exited the stage under its own power), and it wasn’t the familiar, […]

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“Make a Movie” This Summer – Attend the “Cast & Crew Call” May 18 6-9 PM

“Cast & Crew Call” from ACCESS SACRAMENTO 2011 “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Project Wednesday May 18 from 6 – 9 PM “Make a Movie This Summer” — All Are Invited For the Twelfth year, Access Sacramento launches “A Place Called Sacramento” (PCS), a scriptwriting and short film production project for local writers and producers. PCS challenges local scriptwriters to write ten-minute scripts about the people, places, and events that make our community such a unique place to live (details and past films on-line at www.AccessSacramento.org). Script evaluation and judging have been completed. Dozens of scripts have been reviewed by local professionals and ten have been selected for production. Meet the ten scriptwriter/producers May 18 (Wednesday) at the “Cast & Crew Call”. 2011 “A Place Called Sacramento” Film Festival Cast & Crew Call May 18, 2011 – Wednesday 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM Coloma Community Center Courtyard 4623 T Street Sacramento, CA. 95819 All potential actors and production teams experienced and inexperienced are invited to attend. Ten production teams shall be formed and production continues on the films during the summer months. Finally, after weeks of hard work and great fun, friends gather at the CREST Theatre on Sunday October 2, 2011 for the World Premier of all ten films. The PCS production format is unique to Sacramento. In the previous eleven years, 109 films […]

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You Can’t Stop the Beat, Celebrating the Contemporary Musical

In many cities around the world with live theater, there are special bar/nightclubs. These are places where actors gather after their performances or in between shows. The club will have a well versed resident pianist. The actors take turns belting out their favorite show tune or try out new material for their fellow actors and assorted fans of “show tunes.” For the next two nights and an afternoon, Sacramentens can experience something similar to this phenomenon. Sacramento Theatre Company’s Mainstage lobby has morphed into a nightclub for this weekend. The show being performed in this space evokes just what I have described of these actor performance venues. “You Can’t Stop the Beat, Celebrating the Contemporary Musical” is Sacramento Theatre Company’s last Cabaret Series show this season. Created and directed by STC Producing Director Michael Laun with Musical director Erik Daniels. This production has five seasoned actors with great voices singing songs from contemporary shows. Think Steven Sondheim to Elton John. Songs from shows such as “Wicked,” “Hairspray,” “Into the Woods,” “Chicago” and “Ragtime.” As Michael Laun tells the audience, each song is a complete story in itself. Some of the songs are well known. Some may not be familiar even to the well versed musical theater fan. Many of these songs were the surprises of the evening. The five actors are Michael RJ Campbell, Ella […]

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‘Boom’ Opens with a Bang!

When answering a personal ad promising ‘a night that will change the course of mankind’, expect a few disappointments. When Jo and Jules hook up in B Street Theatre’s current production of ‘Boom’, written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, their disappointment in each other is the highlight of their evening. Jo, played with an angry intensity by Sarah Aili, wants the human connection she’s never had…or, rather, she wants to have had a human connection; best get it over with! Jules, played by Peter Story, has a bit loftier goal. He wants to be the savior of all mankind and the father of all future generations! One small problem though; he can’t really…um…perform. “ But”, he’s quick to point out, “it’s nothing that a bottle of wine and a Jake Gyllenhaal mask couldn’t solve”. If all else fails, he’s got the savior’s best friend-the turkey baster! Story and Aili play off each other like seasoned pros, and director Michael Stevenson guides them through their courtship with finesse, giving each a chance to shine. There’s comic nuance in both performances, and Aili, especially, can blow the roof off with her laser-focused anger. You don’t want to meet her in a dark alley! There are five other characters in this little romantic comedy. Four fish, which have helped Jules discover that the Earth will be destroyed by a […]

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The Green Room Opens Friday August 7th

The Green Room – the College Musical is set to open this Friday at the California Stage in Sacramento.  Starring Courtney Parks, Jacob Montoya, Jessica Goldman & Lafras le Roux, this edgy and funny musical is sure to entertain Sacramento audiences.  The Green Room was presented for a short run in Hermosa Beach in May to audience acclaim and great reviews.  Director Kevin Caravalho has brought some interesting elements to the production that incorporate video and photography to assist in telling the story of Divonne, Cliff, Anna & John as they live through their years in college and try to fulfill their apirations of going to Broadway.  The music & lyrics by Chuck Pelletier span a wide range of musical styles and are quite unique and entertaining.  Comedian C. Stephen Foster is responsible for many of the comic elements in the script.  Chuck and Stephen will be attending the performance on August 8th and engage in a Q & A session with the audience following the performance.  Friends of Dorothy Productions have been working on presenting the Northern California premier of The Green Room – the College Musical in Sacramento since January of this year.  They are excited to see all of the hard work by everyone involved come to fruition and to see the production take the stage.  The Green Room - the College Musical opens at The California […]

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The Midtown Players

A stroll past the corner of 22nd and L Streets on Mondays from 7- 9 p.m. might cause concern for those unfamiliar with the location. It’s typical to hear people screaming out as they’re being chased, fits of anger, uncontrollable laughter, heated arguments and even opera singing. The unassuming Geery Theatre is home to the Midtown Players on Monday nights for Carrie Bray’s improv class. This weekend will kick off The Midtown Players’ very first performance. Carrie Bray, who has taken classes from Viola Spolin, performed simultaneously at comedy clubs with Robin Williams as well as at Budd Friedman’s Improv, only just recently moved to Sacramento. In the 50′s, Bray actually spent one year at McClatchy High School, but has spent the better part of her life in Southern California and San Francisco. Bray came back to Sacramento to "relax and retire," but that isn’t exactly what ended up happening. "After like 30 years of doing [comedy] and loving every moment of it, I decided that I wanted to retire and relax. I love Sacramento, [but] then I realized that I was extremely bored. I would drive down J Street, and I’d drive down to Midtown, and I’d see all these young, really cool people, and I thought ‘Oh, god! I want to do it!’ I want to do it again," Bray said. She started her […]

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An inside look at improv in Sacramento

Derek Byrne is a new student to the art of improv. Below he shares his experiences with acting, comedy and what it’s like to learn improv from Brian Crall at The Comedy Spot. I’ve taken classes and workshops, but the bulk of what I’ve been doing recently is with Brian Crall at Sacramento Comedy Spot on Broadway. Most of my studying has been there. I just came to Sacramento go to college and ended up staying. I’ve been here for 18 years, since 1990. I’ve been doing acting for the past 8 eight years. Mostly dramatic stuff commercials, six or seven plays, a few local films, Elsa Letterseed, Bad Faith, Dreams Awake, Make it Happen, I do voice overs and industrials. I’ve always had an interest in SNL, SCTV, Monty Python and been curious about some of the improv groups around here, one of which Brian Crall was in a long time ago called Free Hooch Comedy Troupe. They’ve been around for years. I’ve always wanted to act. I did acting up until high school, high school theater and what not. I took my 20s off, sort of out of lack of confidence or something, just going to college, changing locales, being out of it and then just kinda stopped acting. By the time I hit 30, it was like, "I need to do that […]

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