Benched Local playwright Richard Broadhurst contributes a well-crafted script that incorporates a present-day fable of regret and redemption without getting mawkish about it, while simultaneously coming up with frank, funny lines and some interesting surprises in the plot. Veteran actors Eddie Jones and Rod Loomis are a pleasure to watch at close range on STC’s cozy Stage Two; Elisabeth Nunziato and Brian Henderson contribute solid performances in supporting roles; director Michael Butler sustains the show’s understated charm like a magician doing the Indian rope trick. Sacramento Theatre Company, 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, $16-$35. 1419 H St., 443-6722. Through February 24. J.H.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) This revival finds the energetic Bill Voorhees and Remo Gilbert boiling down the Bard, this time with new helper Ryan Williams. The tragedies come in for particular comic desecration. The humor runs the gamut from sophomoric silliness to informed literary spoof. You don’t need to know Shakespeare to “get it,” but anyone familiar with the plays will get some extra giggles. Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $14-$18. 1901 P St., 444-8209. Through January 26. J.H.