Breaking the Light
Three Penny Theatre1723 25th St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
In Jill Figler’s play about mental illness and American health care (dramaturgy by Rick Foster), a surgical nurse (Deborah Shalhoub) transfers to the psych ward because she wants to help a psychotic artist (Gay Cooper). Trouble is, the nurse has plenty of baggage of her own; add in the general stress and understaffing, as well as other patients and an orderly with his own troubles, and it’s a recipe for disaster. Great acting—especially Michele Koehler as a suicidal RN—and Penny Kline Meagher’s direction keeps things popping. But the promise of a fine drama in the first act is undercut as the second act descends into melodrama. F, Sa 8pm; Su 2pm. Through 10/17. $15-$20. California Stage in the Three Penny Theatre, 1725 25th St.; (916) 451-5822; www.calstage.org.