Granite Bay High Hosts Area Premiere of ‘The Unfortunates’

by Chris Narloch. Photos by Gage Phillips.

Local college and even high school productions can be a fun and inexpensive way to check out exciting new productions and talented, emerging young performers.

In that spirit, I urge you to see ‘The Unfortunates,’ an acclaimed new play having its amateur world premiere production – and its first Sacramento area production – next week, courtesy of Granite Bay High School.

Theatre at Granite Bay proudly presents ‘The Unfortunates,’ written by Jon Beavers, Kristoffer Diaz, Casey Hurt, Ian Merrigan and Ramiz Monsef.

After debuting at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2013, the dark and surreal musical drama then had another West Coast production, just last year at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

While I haven’t seen Granite Bay’s staging yet, I did see both the OSF and ACT productions of ‘The Unfortunates,’ and I found the play extremely moving both times.

A musical pilgrimage through uniquely American genres delivers five prisoners to salvation – or at least keeps their terror at bay.

Facing an uncertain end, they bring to life the strange story of Big Joe, a tough bartender who risks everything to save the aimless courtesan Rae from a deadly plague.

Combining the heat of a gospel revival with the sweet sorrow of the blues, ‘The Unfortunates’ convinces us that any great challenge can be faced with dignity, grace, and compassion.

‘The Unfortunates’ brings a rare opportunity to the Sacramento area - to be on the cutting edge of timely, relevant new theatre.

(Theatre at Granite Bay’s staging is the work’s first amateur production anywhere and the first staging without the show’s creators starring.)

The play opens on March 30 and runs through April 8 in the Granite Bay High School Theater at 1 Grizzly Way, Granite Bay, CA.

Tickets for this production of ‘The Unfortunates’ are only $12 and are available online from Brown Paper Tickets. For more information, visit


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