Gary Linehan, The Union Democrat

Sierra Repertory Theatre will open its 2013 season with the biographical musical "Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story."

With nine shows in all, the 2013 season will also include a summer performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Oklahoma!," a fall performance of the comedic play "Harvey" and a special Christmas run of "It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play," which will close the season.

Season tickets are now on sale, and single tickets go on sale Oct. 1.

The 2013 gala will open the season with a special performance of "Buddy." Following the story of legendary recording artist Buddy Holly, "Buddy" runs March 2 to April 21 in East Sonora. The rock n' roll musical includes more than 20 of Holly's greatest hits, including "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day," "Oh Boy," "Rave On" and "Maybe Baby."

The Daily Telegraph called the show "an utter joy - you will leave with a smile on your face and a spring in your step."

The season continues on April 19 with "Church Basement Ladies," playing through May 19 at Fallon House Theater in Columbia State Historic Park.

A musical celebration of the church basement kitchen and the women who work there, "Church Basement Ladies" features four distinct characters as they organize the food and solve the problems of a rural church about to undergo changes in 1965.

From the elderly matriarch to the young bride-to-be, they handle a record-breaking Christmas dinner, the funeral of a dear friend, a Hawaiian Easter fundraiser and a hot July wedding.

They stave off disasters, share and debate recipes, and keep the pastor on course while enjoying - and tolerating - each other as the true "steel magnolias" of the church.

The second show at East Sonora, "Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks," plays May 31 to June 23. The comedy is about a formidable retired woman and an unexpected friendship she develops with her acerbic dance instructor.

Since its Broadway opening, the play has been translated into 12 languages and has traversed the globe with productions in over 20 countries.

The ever-popular Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Oklahoma!" plays at the Fallon House June 28 to Aug. 18.

Set in the Western Territory at the beginning of the 20th century, the high-spirited rivalry between the farmers and the cowboys provides a colorful backdrop for the love story of handsome cowboy Curly and winsome farm girl Laurey.

The score includes such beloved songs as "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" and "People Will Say We're In Love."

"Respect: A Musical Journey of Women" opens July 26 and plays through Sept. 1 in East Sonora. This international hit musical tells the story of women through popular music and the real adventures of women realizing dreams, lost loves, relationships and careers.

The song list includes "Won't You Come Home Bill Bailey," "Someone to Watch Over Me," "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy," "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend," "I Enjoy Being a Girl," and "Where the Boys Are" - plus "I Am Woman," "Seventeen," "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'," "R.E.S.P.E.C.T.," "I Will Survive" and dozens more.

"The Spitfire Grill" plays Oct. 4 to 27 at East Sonora. It depicts the journey of a young woman just released from prison who decides to start her life anew in a rundown mining town.

When she begins changing the lives of the townsfolk, she sparks a journey within the town toward its own reawakening.

New York Magazine wrote, "The amiable country-flavored tunes and lyrics are transcendent. It is not often that material moves me to tears, but this was one of those occasions. 'The Spitfire Grill' has heart and soul."

The season at Fallon House concludes with two comedic plays.

"Don't Dress for Dinner" runs Sept. 6 to 29 and follows the mishaps of a philandering husband and several mistaken identities.

It's comedy served up at a break-neck speed: a perfect recipe for hilarious fun that the Guardian described as "hurtling along at the speed of light" and as a "breathtaking farce is a near faultless piece of theatrical invention."

The classic play "Harvey" brings Elwood P. Dowd and his invisible rabbit to the Fallon House Theater Oct. 25 to Nov. 24.

This irresistible classic American comedy is full of eccentric and loveable characters and has warmed the hearts of audiences for generations.

The New York Daily News described the Pulitzer Prize winner as "the most delightful, droll, endearing, funny and touching piece of stage whimsy I ever saw."

Closing the 2013 season at East Sonora, "It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play" runs Nov. 15 to Dec. 22.

The holiday treat stays true to the classic film and brings the spirit of the season to captivating life on stage right before the audience's eyes - and ears.

Five actors play the dozens of characters, as well as produce the sound effects in this creative play performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast in front of a studio audience.

The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "One of the best holiday shows around ... This is a fresh and inventive way of reconnecting with a classic story of love and redemption."

For tickets or more information, call 532-3120 or visit