(Last UPDATED 6/23/2021) Description and review of the new B Street Theatre at The Sofia (The Sofia Tsakopoulos Center for the Arts) located at 27th Street and Capitol Avenue in Midtown Sacramento. NEW: See UPDATE below for re-opening news!
I recently had the opportunity to check out both the Sutter Theatre and the Mainstage Theatre at The Sofia, the new home of the B Street Theatre.
During my first visit, a friend and I took a look around to familiarize ourselves with the building. It is a very attractive building of modern design. Upon entering the building you will notice the Will Call desk to your left. The good-sized lobby is also where the bar is located. The lobby/bar area features high-top tables so that one can put down their beverage while chatting with fellow patrons.
The Sutter Theatre is to the left of the bar area, and the Mainstage Theatre is to the right.
Our self-guided tour included a visit to the ladies room. The ladies room is quite spacious – and there is simply no comparison with the facilities at the original B Street Theatre. Note: There are also restrooms located on the second floor of the building.
The new theatre complex is still somewhat a work-in-progress – but the finishing touches are underway. Buck Busfield, the Producing Artistic Director, took to the stage to make a few remarks prior to the preview performance of Gandhi! In addition to thanking all of those who made the new theatre possible, he also briefly discussed the work still ongoing. For example, he pointed out that the wood acoustical panels that lined the upper reaches of the walls of the Sutter Theatre stage had not been in place for the first preview performance of Gandhi! the prior evening.
The B Street Theatre at The Sofia is state of the art – a far cry from its original home on B Street in East Sacramento and a welcome addition to the Sacramento theatre scene.
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The Sutter Theatre, with 365 seats, is the larger of the two theatres. It is home to the Family Series.
Recently as a friend and I attended a “preview” performance of Gandhi! a Family Series production. A “preview” performance is akin to a dress rehearsal – and the ticket price reflects that – $15 in this instance.
Gandhi! written and directed by Lyndsay Burch (B Street Theatre at The Sophia Artistic Producer), officially opened the Family Series Sutter Theatre.
As you enter the B Street Theatre at The Sofia, the Sutter Theatre is to your left. Upon entering the theatre the first thing you will notice is that the stage is situated below you. The seating is in three sections (R) right of the stage, (C) in the center of the stage, and (L) to the left of the stage. The rows of seats in each section are lettered and numbered.
I found the seats to be very comfortable. I was seated on the aisle in Section R about midway between the lower and upper levels, but I venture to say that the space as designed provides for optimal viewing no matter where you are seated.
The Sutter Theatre will also be utilized for concerts and other community events. I can’t wait!
One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean opened the Mainstage Series on February 2nd – the official opening date of B Street Theatre at The Sofia.
The entrance to the Mainstage Theatre is to the right of the bar. The setup is similar to the larger Sutter Theatre – but the theatre is smaller – 250 seats v. 365 seats.
My friend and I were delighted that the intimacy of the previous location on B Street had been retained. Our seats were front and center – so one could not ask for more (except to have tickets earlier in the run of each Mainstage show).
Upstairs at the B
Upstairs at the B is used on a regular basis as a rehearsal space, but it also doubles as a small theater space that can host, for example, readings and improv and stand-up comedy performances. The Upstairs at the B allows the B Street Theatre at The Sofia to provide patrons with a wide variety of entertainment options in a cozy and intimate venue.
Parking at B Street Theatre at The Sofia
There are two convenient options for parking in the immediate vicinity of B Street Theatre at The Sofia.
After 6:00 p.m. on-street metered parking in the vicinity of the theatre is free. If you secure an on-street parking spot before 6:00 p.m. feed the meter a quarter or more (if needed) to be on the safe side.
Another option in the immediate vicinity is the Sutter Community Parking Garage located behind the theatre complex. After 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday parking in the Sutter Community Parking Garage is $5. On Saturday and Sunday there is an all-day flat rate of $5.
The garage is not manned. At the entrance insert your credit card and the gate will lift allowing you to enter. The machine will not dispense a ticket. When you leave insert the same credit card again – the machine will provide you a receipt for your $5 and the gate will lift allowing you to depart. We found it to be a very easy in and out parking garage.
(6/23/2021) Buck Busfield, Producing Artistic Director, recently sent an e-mail to season subscribers to share the B Street Theatre re-opening plans. They are in the process of rehiring staff, ensuring safety protocols, booking concerts and securing “top-notch” plays.
This summer the theatre will open with “one-off” events. The plan is for the resumption of plays late fall/winter. I for one can’t wait! I just hope that there is not another surge of COVID-19 in the fall/winter given the virus variants circulating and the number of people choosing not to get vaccinated.
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