On the lam

Women Who Steal

Judy Jean Berns, Julia Brothers in <i>Women Who Steal</i>, with Greg Alexander at the business end of the shotgun.

Judy Jean Berns, Julia Brothers in Women Who Steal, with Greg Alexander at the business end of the shotgun.

Rated 5.0

The older woman’s hand slams against the restaurant table causing the vase with a single red flower inside to bounce. The younger woman across from her jumps, her body tense—she can do little but sit, her shoulders slumped repentantly.

“He told me he was going downstairs to wrap Christmas presents,” announces the first woman as she runs a hand through her short red hair. She sits, her eyes locked on the startled blonde across from her.

“I don’t know anything about that,” the blonde reports, looking away uncomfortably. “He just called me from the hotel and asked me to meet him there.”

“All the time I thought he was downstairs being a good husband and a good father and instead he was at the hotel … with you!”

The B Street Busfields have done it again with their newest offering, Women Who Steal, by playwright Carter W. Lewis (Golf With Alan Shepard, A Soft Click of a Switch). The story follows the adventure of Peggy, a woman experiencing a midlife crisis as she confronts the vixen who had an affair with her husband, then ends up on a nightlong quasi Thelma and Louise-style adventure complete with guns, booze and a kidnapped man in the trunk of her Mercedes—hey, just ‘cause you’re on the lam doesn’t mean you can’t do it in style.

B Street Theatre continues its streak of successful productions with this laugh-a-minute, black romantic-angst comedy. Women Who Steal continues a recent trend of theater presentations in Sacramento that have been giving voice to the issues and lives of women and allowing audiences to experience strong, well-written leading roles for female performers.

Director John P. Lamb has assembled a stellar cast that breathes life into a play which could easily miss its mark.

Women Who Steal stars Judy Jean Berns in the lead role. Berns is fresh from another B Street presentation, the smash-hit farce Fuddy Meers. Berns, a long-respected actress whose list of theater and television credits includes ER, Melrose Place and any number of soap operas, is a welcome addition to Sacramento theater.

Taking the role of Karen, the adulteress, Julia Brothers delivers a memorable and sidesplitting performance. As an actress and stand-up comic, Brothers uses a myriad of skills to portray this role, which seems as though it was tailored to her talents.

Playing off the quip that all men are the same, B Street regular Greg Alexander tackles the challenge of playing all the male characters of the play. Alexander is well known to B Street Theatre audiences from recent roles as the psycho ex-husband in Fuddy Meers, The Affections of May and As Things Remain.

With a minimalist set—a few chairs, a bench, a table and a handful of props—the stage is a contrast from those in recent B Street productions. Though it may seem vacant at first, it fills with life as the actors bounce between cars, bars, lakes and houses.

With plays that dazzle every emotional sense and delight the theatrical taste buds of Sacramento audiences, it’s easy to see why the B Street Theater remains such a success.