For the past two years, the calendars for performing arts venues have been a mess. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced cancellations, reschedules (re-reschedules) and prolonged closures. Chico’s theater community has responded to the challenges as well as possible—enforcing social-distancing/masking requirements, staging outdoor shows and even going virtual at times.
Looking forward to 2022, with vaccination rates slowly rising, most local companies are feeling optimistic enough to book full seasons. Even the Blue Room Theatre—which was forced to vacate its downtown location and has been in limbo since—has a production planned for spring. What follows is a preview of the offerings from the first half of the year. Here’s hoping the actors can stay on the boards and we can all fill our calendars without having to cross anything out.
(Scroll to bottom for venue information.)
P-Town Tonight, Theatre on the Ridge (Jan. 13-30): The troupe on the Ridge invites you to “spend the evening with Bobby LaButte,” the host of this original musical late-night-style variety show written and directed by Jerry Miller.
Camelot, Chico Theater Company (Jan. 21-Feb. 13): A small-cast rendition of Lerner and Loewe’s classic musical version of the story of the love triangle between King Arthur, Guenevere and Sir Lancelot.
The Fox on the Fairway, Chico Theater Company (Feb. 4-20): A classic farce, with shenanigans played out among the members of a posh golf club.
Company, California Regional Theatre at First Street Theatre (Feb. 4-20): Stephen Sondheim died this past November, and the legendary musical composer left this world as one of the most celebrated figures in American theater. The musical revue Company was one of his earliest successes, winning six Tony Awards in 1970.
Becky Shaw, Theatre on the Ridge (March 3-13): A finalist for the 2009 Pulitzer Prize, this comedy by Gina Gionfriddo about what happens when a couple fixes up the wife’s best friend with the husband’s handsome but strange co-worker.
The Little Mermaid, California Regional Theatre at CUSD Center for the Arts (March 11-27): Musical version of the popular Disney animated feature.
Godspell, California Regional Theatre at First Street Theatre (April 1-15): April brings to Chico two 1970s musicals based on the Gospels from The Bible—Chico Regional Theatre’s offering of Godspell, in the first half of the month, and Chico Theater Company’s Jesus Christ Superstar opening April 22.
Doublewide, Texas, Theatre on the Ridge (April 7-24): A fast-paced comedy set in the smallest trailer park in Texas.
The Twilight Zone, Blue Room Theatre – venue TBA (April 15-16): The Blue Room makes a brief reappearance on the scene this spring with a “very lowkey and DIY production” of three episodes of the classic sci-fi TV series.
Jesus Christ Superstar, Chico Theater Company (April 22-May 15): See Godspell above.
Legally Blonde the Musical, Laxson Auditorium (May 5-8): For its annual spring production, Chico State’s theater department is staging this musical version of the book/movie of the same name, about the So-Cal sorority girl who enrolls in law school to try and win back her man.
Shakespeare in the Park, Legacy Stage (June): On June 11, Legacy will unveil what work will be featured, but no matter which of the Bard’s plays it is, the return of live theater to Bidwell Park is something to excited about. Join them online at facebook.com/LegacyStageChico at 11 a.m. for the live announcement.
Too Many Cooks, Theatre on the Ridge (June 2-19): A fast-paced comedy set in the 1930s in the aftermath of the stock-market crash. Amid a backdrop of rum-running gangsters, a father and daughter start a new restaurant and are forced to find a last-minute replacement when their star chef fails to show up to the grand opening.
Flaming Idiots, Chico Theater Company (June 3-19): What’s the surest way to get customers through the door of your restaurant? Stage a murder at the place!
Blue Room Theatre
California Regional Theatre
Department of Music and Theatre
Chico Theater Company
Theatre on the Ridge