God likes coffee

A Pail of Grace

Seriously, just a little more, and you’re ready to play Rudolph in the pageant.

Seriously, just a little more, and you’re ready to play Rudolph in the pageant.

Photo By barry wisdom

A Pail of Grace, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; 2 and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday and, Friday; 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; $23-$35. B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300; www.bstreettheatre.org. Through December 30.

B Street Theatre

2711 B St.
Sacramento, CA 95814

(916) 443-5300

You never know what you’re going to get with one of Buck Busfield’s holiday plays for his B Street Theatre. He’s written 17 of them, counting this one. Some of them have only a tenuous connection to the holiday season, but whether light or dark, silly or serious, they are always—here’s a potentially deadly word—“interesting.“ This one is all that and a lotta laughs.

There are no Christmas carols and not a ho-ho-ho to be had here. But there is plenty of heart in this comedy about a man whose close encounter with God changes his life and makes him intent upon changing the lives of others. It drives his family crazy when real-estate tycoon John Finuken (David Silberman) meets God outside of a Starbucks and decides to share his wealth with the world—through sponge baths and giveaways. No surprise that his family begins to question his sanity and fear for their finances.

Busfield has written a play that plays to the strengths—and they are considerable—of his ensemble cast of B Street regulars (Kurt Johnson, as the language-mangling Zjelko Krelko; Stephanie McVay as John’s earnest wife Sally; Elisabeth Nunziato as striving, strident daughter Brenda; and David Pierini, who never disappoints as disappointing sibling and family scion Les). Busfield‘s direction is swift and sure and gets all the laughs—many of them a little too easy—from the script. His deeper concerns about salvation and redemption are communicated without preachiness in this holiday comedy that’s filled with genuine goodwill toward men (and women).