Bringing the laughs of Cameron Park, The Stage at Burke Junction is the area’s newest venue for drama and entertainment • Sacramento News & Review

The upcoming performance of Chadd Beals’ comedy Homegrown on October 21 pairs nicely with the theater production of Good People, which runs through October 2

By Casey Rafter

Encouraged by a friend, Chadd Beals hit the scene as an open house entertainer in 2011. Before long, he was booking shows for traveling comedians, paired with local acts, under the name Homegrown Comedy. Beals has hosted these heartwarming moments at Inferno Sports Bar in Citrus Heights, Highway House in Rancho Murrietta and Sacramento’s acclaimed laugh vault, Punchline.

Now, Beals is excited about a new place to lure the latest standups — and it’s a theater across the world.

The latest landing spot to develop Homegrown’s network of alternating comedians has been set up in Cameron Park at The Stage in Burke Junction. Many Californians remember Burke Junction as the frontier-themed mall right across from the recreated Old West hub of Sam’s Town. The Twin Villages had a heyday of sorts in the late 1980s. Sam’s Town is a memory, but Burke’s Crossing remains. Lined with several popular restaurants, a jewelry studio and a great tavern, its alleys feel like a throwback to another time. In recent times, the crossroads theater has been hosting dramatic productions, including most recently, Emilie: La Marquise Du Châtelet defends her life tonight.

On Oct. 21, The Stage and Homegrown Comedy will launch their next laugh-out-loud event, featuring headliner Mike Betancourt, along with Morgan Anderson and Beals himself. This will be Homegrown’s final comedy night for the year, though Beals has a packed calendar of Friday night shows in 2023.

Stage at Burke Junction is a living time capsule. Courtesy photo.

“It’s actually going to start picking up pretty good,” Beals predicted. “We have a big show in October with Mike Betancourt … He really gave me a lot of advice when I started in comedy and throughout my comedy career.”

For Beals, working with Burke Junction owner Bill Glasser felt like a no-brainer because of the latter’s passion for art.

“He’s really focused on putting on good shows, whether it’s their shows or their comedy,” Beals pointed out. “Most of the owners are hungry for money.”

Glasser has enjoyed several successful stints in comedy shows so far. He’s also noticed, in some cases, cross-over in the crowd: That is, people are hearing about the comedy while attending The Stage’s dramatic performances — or discovering its theatrical productions in the same way as the laughs.

“The nice thing is that there’s so little out there in terms of cultural amenities, people are always interested in trying something new,” Glasser noted. “The first show was a huge hit … a sellout. The performances have been good; really great talent and some local talent still learning comedy.”

Chadd Beals is the founder of Homegrown Comedy. Courtesy photo

Glasser’s assistant, Holly Sanchez, manages The Stage at Burke Junction. According to her, the theater is located in a part of El Dorado County that even locals are still getting to grips with. She said the accolades for the recent stage shows and the “extraordinarily funny” comedians Beals has lined up are starting to pay off.

“The word is starting to get out there in the community: they have an option now to go right there for great theater and great comedy,” Sanchez noted. “In the last year, I feel like it’s transformed – just The Stage, in general, has. And we’ve packed it; we sold it.”

Beals points out that there is a wealth of hilarious talent in the region. Its mission is to bring them together with nationally touring comedians, thereby providing up-and-coming acts with an opportunity to experience bigger crowds and more exposure.

“I have a ton of comedians that I’ve worked with over the years,” Beals reflected. “Sacramento has a great local scene of comedians and [I want] to bring them into submission and open them for acts.”

“Good People” is an upcoming theater production at The Stage at Burke Junction. Courtesy photo

The Stage’s next theatrical production, a dark comedy called Good People, runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until October 2. Glasser said he is excited about the great talent in his cast, noting that he hopes to regain the momentum his country enjoyed in its first year, 2019. That was before the pandemic caused its lights to go out. precious to fade for more than 24 months.

The stage owner added that, over the past year, he’s been getting a feel for the room, surprised by how much comedians have enjoyed the space. Glasser always makes it a point to attend all of Beal’s Homegrown Comedy meetings.

“Every show. I go to every show,” Glasser declared. “It’s interesting, because comedy – we do theater there – is a whole different animal when you have four weeks of rehearsal and all the props and lighting cues and sound design. Just having the show—coming in and, with a microphone and a light bulb—it’s great.”

For tickets to upcoming comedy and theater shows at The Stage at Burke Junction, visit www.stageatburke.com

Leave a Comment