Sept. 19--Tony-nominated Kate Levering can throw down a dance step or two, and she's returning home to kick up her heels and celebrate an organization that helped her get started. While still a teenager in Sacramento, the singer, dancer, and television star ("Drop Dead Diva") often participated in the legendary producer and director David L. McDonald's Best of Broadway shows.
This year's Best of Broadway revue calls its 40th anniversary production "Celebration," and talent who grew up with McDonald are coming back to make it just that. Levering will appear during the Best of Broadway performances tonight and Saturday at the Fair Oaks Theatre Festival Amphitheater. Having been lucky enough to see the gifted Levering lead the cast of "42nd Street" through its tap dance extravaganza on Broadway (she received a 2001 Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Featured Role -- Musical) one can only hope she brings her tap shoes with her.
Dina Morishita, who also honed her craft with McDonald, will perform Sept. 27-29. Morishita starred as Kim in the national tour of "Miss Saigon" as well Eponine in a national tour of "Les Miserables."
McDonald's show will include 60 songs and 120 community performers singing and dancing through a range of Broadway-based production numbers. This year's choreographers include Sam Williams, Kat Bahry, Sara Rewinkle, Kourtney Spence, and Tonya Kageta. Diane Ford provides the choral direction and Erik Daniells is the musical director. David L. McDonald's "Best of Broadway" at the the Fair Oaks Veterans Memorial Amphitheater, 7991 California Ave., Fair Oaks. 7:30 p.m. today through Sunday and Sept. 27-29. . Tickets are $15-20. For more information call (916) 436-6344 or go to www.bestofbroadway.org.
Ed Claudio's Actor's Workshop of Sacramento has hooked up with Bob Stanley and the Sacramento Poetry Center for "The River City Anthology" an original take on Edgar Lee Masters' classic poetry cycle "Spoon River Anthology." Claudio invited Stanley to have poets write original works about Sacramento, which his acting students could perform. The result finds more than 50 poems on local subjects including the Crocker family, Dorothea Puente and a Maloof brother, local geography and the Sacramento River. Claudio, the director, said, "The poems deal with the past and present of Sacramento." Original music and songs courtesy of Stanley will also be a part of the production. "The River City Anthology" plays at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays at The Wilkerson Theatre, 25th and R Streets inside the California Stage Complex, today through Oct. 20. Tickets are $15-17. For more information call 916-583-4880 or go to www.actinsac.com or www. sacramentopoetrycenter .com.
'Hard Knock' life
Kit Chell, who once was at the helm of the local experimental theater group Tantalus Theater Works, returns to Sacramento this weekend with what he calls "Hard Knock Skin: A Jazz Poetry Opera." Chell premiered the work this spring in Oregon where he lives, and he's touring it now. The non-linear telling of a man's last day alive is composed for voices and musicians, but there is also room for collaborative improvisation among the four artists. Performing are Jack Niedermann on bass, Benjamin Crandall on saxophone and flute, Jeanette Rasnack on vocals and Chell on vocals. 7 p.m. Sunday at The Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th St. Sacramento. Tickets are $5. For information call (916) 240-1897 or go to www. sacramentopoetrycenter. com.
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