Rated 4.0

Poisonous reptiles under the hot desert sun, buried loot, a gun-toting female desperado and a gypsy curse that follows a family from Latvia to Texas over three generations are just a few of the exotic elements in this fast-paced family show. The story comes from a prizewinning children’s book by Louis Sachar, which was later made into a less-notable Disney film. The tale translates to the stage very nicely in director Scott Gilbert’s professional production. Good acting, a clever set, lots of costume changes and several well-placed surprises in the storyline make this a fun experience.
Foothill Theatre Company, 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $11-$28. Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street in Nevada City; (530) 265-8587; www.foothilltheatre.org. Through April 8.