Exploring Sacramento’s Gay Side: Local Theatre

Published Date Author: , November 4th, 2011

Sacramento SkylineWhen we first moved to the Sacramento area in 2003, all we saw was a cultural and culinary wasteland. In fact, during one earlier visit, we criss-crossed the southern part of Midtown looking for someplace, any place to eat, and found NOTHING.

Of course, we’ve since learned that the southern part of Midtown is almost exclusively residential. In Sacramento, it’s all about knowing where to look.

Sacramento has a great theater scene – although it’s smaller than San Francisco’s, it still offers a wide array of choices, from gay theater to quality small theater to full scale traveling productions.

B Street TheaterB Street Theater
2711 B Street, Sacramento, CA
1 916 443-5300

Our favorite area theater, hands down, is the B Street Theater. See the little square park in the upper right side of Midtown in the map above? B Street runs just north of that park, and that’s where the B Street Theater is.

Cofounded by Buck and Timothy Busfield (you may remember Timothy as Danny, the journalist who romanced CJ on The West Wing), the B Street Theater offers top-notch productions, and its quality acting troupe includes a number of TV and film veterans, including Elizabeth Nunziato and Stephanie McVay (who appeared in both True Blood on HBO and in Another Gay Movie).

The B Street Theater has three series – the Main Stage, the Family Series, and the B3 Series, where you’ll find the most adult themed content. The main stage plays are often musicals or comedies, while the B3 series tends to focus more on layered dramas.

Although it’s not a gay theater, it does occasionally feature gay-themed content. If you’re in town and looking for some entertainment, we can’t recommend the B Street Theater highly enough, and ticket prices are very affordable. We just saw God of Carnage there, and it was a great production.

Lambda Players Theater
1028 R Street, Sacramento, CA
1 916 444-8229

For gay theater, Sacramento only has one choice – the Lambda Players Theater. The production values are not as high as at B Street, and the gay acting pool in Sacramento is much smaller than in San Francisco, but they do their best, and it’s great having the community represented in the theater here. So check out their now playing section if you’re in town – also very reasonably priced. As of this writing, the Lambda Players had to move out of their last location, and we’re waiting to hear if they have found a new location – check their website above for updates.

If you want to see some great independent films, you have two choices in Midtown:

Crest Theater, SacramentoThe Crest Theater
1013 K Street
1 916 442-5189

The Crest is a beautifully restored golden-age theater with three screens, just a block from the Capitol building and close to Pizza Rock (see the Sacramento gay dining section) and The Citizen Hotel (see the Sacramento gay lodging section). The Crest shows a number of political documentaries and foreign films, and is also the site of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in October of each year.

There’s a parking garage one block south at 10th and L, and The Crest validates for that garage. One note: there’s also a cafe at the Crest, but the food there was pretty awful the last time we tried it.

The Tower Theater
2508 Land Park Dr.
1 800 326-3264

Sacramento’s other beautiful Golden Age theater, the Tower Theater, is just south of the Midtown core, and offers three screens – the Tower tends to get the bigger “indie” films. In sharp contrast to The Crest, the Tower Cafe, the restaurant attached to the theater with a great outdoor patio, serves really good food, and is the perfect place to dine before or after a movie at the Tower.

Sacramento Convention CenterThere are a number of other options, including the Music Circus, a theater in the round that was once under a big tent but now is under a permanent (and thankfully air-conditioned) structure, where you can catch big-name plays like Modern Millie, Altar Boyz (with a closeted gay character), Guys and Dolls, and more.

The Sacramento Convention Center (photo at right) also hosts a number of different types of entertainment, including the opera, ballet, speakers and commedians, and plays.

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