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A preview of the winter/spring calendar of local theater

POTUS, Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive opens Feb. 29 at Theatre on the Ridge.

The Chico theater scene has kind of settled into a groove after being so disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, one that includes many of the usual suspects making their way through our area in the months to come. There are familiar musicals (e.g., Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, Grease, Into the Woods, Little Shop of Horrors) and a couple from the Neil Simon community-theater well (Lost in Yonkers, Fools).

There are also plenty of new cuts added to the winter/spring playlist this year, including a couple of Chico State productions that address current issues surrounding gender, sexuality and equality (Stop Kiss, The Prom), and two brand-new selections—released in the last year or two—coming to Theatre on the Ridge (POTUS, Insertion).

Sherlock Homes: The Final Problem, Theatre on the Ridge (Jan. 18-Feb. 4): A stage adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s “final” Holmes story pits the infamous detective against his nemesis, the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty.

Why Do Fools Fall in Love?, Chico Theater Company (Jan. 26-Feb. 18): A bridal shower and an engagement party are the settings for a group of friends to talk about life and love and sing classic 1960s pop songs.

Blue Stories, Blue Room Theatre (Feb. 9-10): A Valentine’s edition of the theater’s infrequent storytelling series.

Musical Theatre Senior Showcase, Chico State – Rowland-Taylor Recital Hall (Feb. 10): A presentation of audition material that this year’s graduating class will be bringing to New York City.

The Vagina Monologues, Birdcage Theatre (Feb. 15-25): The groundbreaking episodic play by V (formerly Eve Ensler) has grown into a global activist movement to end violence against women.

Stop Kiss, Chico State – Wismer Theatre (Feb. 28-March 3): Sara and Callie’s first kiss provokes a violent attack that transforms their lives in a way they could never anticipate in this off-Broadway dramedy by Diana Son.

POTUS, Theatre on the Ridge (Feb. 29-March 10): The alternate title for this new play by Selina Fillinger is Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive. It’s a comedy about a presidential PR nightmare that’s morphed into a potential global crisis.

Grease, Center for the Arts (March 1-10): California Regional Theatre’s got groove, it’s got meaning, it’s got this classic musical featuring a soundtrack of tunes paying tribute to the early days of rock-’n’-roll.

Lost in Yonkers, Chico Theater Company (March 8-24): Neil Simon’s Tony Award-winning dramedy revolving around the dysfunctional Kurnitz family of Brooklyn.

Fools, Birdcage Theatre (March 21-31): Set in small village in Ukraine, this Neil Simon comedy follows the story of schoolteacher who finds work in a town that has been cursed with chronic stupidity for two centuries.

Pulp Theatre, Blue Room Theatre (end of March, dates TBA): Four playwrights come up with an original script based on old pulp paperback novels.

Game of Tiaras, Theatre on the Ridge (April 4-21): “Terrible, hilarious tragedy” of Game of Thrones/King Lear proportions ensues when the king of a magical country decides to split his kingdom between his three daughters, Cinderella, Belle and the Snow Queen.

Into the Woods, First Street Theatre (April 4-21): California Regional Theatre is bringing James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s insanely popular musical—a mash-up of Grimm’s fairy tale characters, from Little Red Riding Hood to Jack and the Beanstalk—to downtown Chico.

All Shook Up, Chico Theater Company (April 19-May 12): “The story is all new; the hits are all Elvis.” What else is there to say!?

The Prom, Chico State – Laxson Auditorium (May 2-5): This 2019 musical follows four well-intentioned Broadway actors who bring their “celebrity” and their egos to conservative middle-America to come to the defense of a young lesbian whose been banned from bringing her girlfriend to her high school prom. The New York Times called it “a joyful hoot. With its kinetic dancing, broad mugging and belty anthems, it makes you believe in musical comedy again.”

The Taming of the Shrew, Cedar Grove– Bidwell Park (May 29-June 9): Legacy Stage is back with more Shakespeare in the Park for late-spring, this year a “bold, pink, completely untamed” interpretation of this Shakespearean Comedy.

Little Shop of Horrors, Birdcage Theatre (June 6-16): This community theater mainstay has it all—music, horror, comedy and a giant, talking, carnivorous plant.

Insertion, Theatre on the Ridge (June 6-23): A new comedy about a young intern at an erotic-fiction publisher who, upon being presented with the opportunity of a lifetime, learns everything she can about sex in a “serious of hilarious, harrowing, and heartwarming escapades.”

Tootsie, First Street Theater (June 6-23): Tony Award-winning musical based on the movie of the same name and centered on the story of an actor who resorts to adopting a new identity as a woman in order to land a job.

The Savannah Sipping Society, Chico Theater Company (June 7-23): Four Southern women navigate their mid-life crises together in this joyful comedy.


Birdcage Theatre
1740 Bird St., Oroville
(530) 282-5603

Blue Room Theatre
1005 W. First St.

California Regional Theatre
at First Street Theater
(139 W. First St.)
at Center for the Arts
(1475 East Ave.)
(800) 722-4522

Chico State Department of Music and Theatre
(530) 898-5152

Chico Theater Company
166 Eaton Road
(530) 894-3282

Legacy Stage

Theatre on the Ridge
3735 Neal Road, Paradise
(530) 877-5760

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