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Runaway Stage Plans Broadway Musicals in 2013

Bob Baxter Interview on SacTV.com

Runaway Stage Productions is a Sacramento theater company that’s been presenting popular Broadway musical plays since the late nineties. Director Bob Baxter recently did a series of video interviews with SacTV.com to talk about the history and future of the company. The group plans musicals with voluneteers and seasoned professionals then performs at the theater next door on 24th Street. One of the productions coming to the live stage in 2013 will be 9 To 5, based on the Dolly Parton song and movie. Other shows coming to the theater  will be 42nd Street and The Wizard of Oz

Bob explains how the theater group gives local people of various ages opportunities to develop their acting and singing craft. The non-profit organization runs throughout the year and is built on volunteers, who get to learn from professional actors. Some of the recent performances that were well received included Legally Blonde, Fiddler On The Roof and You’re In My Town. The intimate theater holds 260 seats but sometimes shows are moved to bigger venues. 

The theater promotes its shows to season subscribers and Broadway fans in the Sacramento area and has received press coverage from the Sacramento Bee. The group tries to cater to all fans of musicals from family classics to cutting edge new shows. Runaway Stage Productions has won several "Elly Awards," which are local awards named after Eleanor McClatchy annually presented to theater talent. 

The state of live theater in 2012 has been positive, according to Bob. Certain shows are scheduled due to their track record for popularity while the company also allows for newer untested shows. Part of Bob’s job is to attract new fans to the shows, while at the same time it’s important for the non-profit company to at least pay for expenses. That’s why the six show season offers diversity. 

Musically, Runaway Stage Productions has the hardest working orchestra in town. The company originally used just piano, bass and drums. These days all the shows use a full live orchestra of dedicated volunteers. "It just keeps getting better," Bob says about Runaway Stage. "The staffing gets better, the artists involved, the performers involved, the musicians involved … it just keeps growing and growing and getting more professional."

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