It takes a waiting room

Healing Grace

Healing Grace, 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$18. Ovation Stage at the Three Penny Theatre in the California Stage complex, 1723 R Street; (916) 448-0312; Through October 14.

Three Penny Theatre

1723 25th St.
Sacramento, CA 95816

(916) 451-5822

Rated 4.0

It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a waiting room to heal one. At least, that’s how it plays out in local playwright Candace Adam’s debut work, Healing Grace, which is having its premiere at Ovation Stage under the direction of Penny Kline.

Set in the waiting room of a father-and-daughter psychiatric practice, the characters foster secrets, pain and maladjustments—fortunately, almost all of those are the funny and easily addressed type. The eponymous Grace (Millie Warren) exhibits an entire Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition’s worth of problems and personality tics, and she’s almost matched by receptionist—er, office manager—Colleen (Janet Motenko). These two carry the show with their interchanges, which are delightful mixes of quick wit, physical comedy and mugging that’s just short of an actual mugging. They’re ably supported by Stephanie Hodson, Brian Wallace and Christopher B. Smith.

Healing Grace does run a bit longer than it needs to—cuts are sure to come as it is further developed—but it is an auspicious beginning from this new playwright, and another quirky-in-a-good-way show for Ovation Stage.