Stage Reviews

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Give ’Em Hell, Harry Local actor Joe Larrea is a solid choice to portray President Harry Truman in this one-man show, both in terms of looks and temperament. This show covers Truman’s run-ins with Churchill, Stalin and some rascally Ku Klux Klansman back in his native Missouri, and delves into Truman’s feelings about inheriting the presidency from Franklin Delano Roosevelt—a tough act to follow. The Thistle Dew Dessert Theater is smaller than the Oval Office, which magnifies aspects of the performance.
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre , at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $14-$18 includes dessert, coffee/tea. 1901 P St. (916) 444-8209. Through July 6. J.H.

Greater Tuna This revival of Foothill Theatre Company’s 1998 production, the most popular comedy in the company’s 20-year history, is set in the tiny town of Tuna, Texas, home of businesses like Didi’s Used Weapons and radio station OKKK. Two actors each play nine or more characters (male and female), with many short scenes and a whole lot of costume changes. There’s plenty of over-the-top satire of the Lone Star State, but in many ways the joys and foibles of these Texas folks cut pretty close to the bone. (Not rated because we don’t revisit recent revivals.)
Nevada Theatre , 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, 401 Broad St., Nevada City. $5-$21. (530) 265-8587. Through August 18. J.H.

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Last Train to Nibroc This play is a straight-up romance (not a romantic comedy) set against rural Kentucky in the early 1940s—a time of social change, economic transition and international uncertainty that in some ways resembles our own. Actors Amy Tribbey and Jason Kuykendall are close to perfect as an unlikely pair who have to overcome some personal difficulties and family attitudes; director Buck Busfield develops some magical exchanges from Arlene Hutton’s small-scale, high-quality script. A highlight of the new summer season.
B Street Theatre, at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, with 2 p.m., Wednesday matinees on June 26, July 3, 10 and 17, $16.50-$20.50. 2711 B St., 443-5300. Through July 21. J.H.

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The Phantom of the Opera Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera just pulled in to the capital city, and for Phantom-heads, it’s time to rejoice. Webber’s production team delivers a most impressive, professional-level road show, instead of the scaled-down, productions-lite versions that usually come to Sacramento. The cast is talented, the costumes are gorgeous, the sets magnificent, and the special effects worth the price alone. The only thing that mars this production are bad acoustics that muffle many of the lyrics.
Sacramento Community Center , 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 2 p.m. matinees Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, one Monday performance, 8 p.m. June 24, $15 - $67.50. 1301 L St., 264-5181. Through June 29. P.R.

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Six Women With Brain Death This very campy revue is Sacramento’s longest-running show, having celebrated its fifth anniversary in October. It’s a series of skits and songs about midlife women with “expiring minds,” dealing with soap operas, high-school reunions, grocery shopping and getting away from the kids. While the show clearly tickles the funnybone of its core audience (females over 40), our critic found the appeal elusive and the humor generic. But then, he’s a middle-aged guy.
Studio Theatre , 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday, $16-$19. 1028 R St., 446-2668. Open-ended run. J.H.

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Vanities Vanities is a mystery. The play itself isn’t a mystery, but its long New York run and off-Broadway success is. We follow three girls during a 10-year period from 1963-1974, from high school to young adulthood. Now, you can’t get a more exhilarating, turbulent, history-making era, so you’d figure small-town Southern belles would be transformed through these historical events. But these three self-centered, unlikable teens merely grow up to be three self-centered unlikable women. Even this production can’t save this sad script. In fairness, the sincere cast tries their darndest to breathe life into this play. But all in all, it’s disappointing.
Delta King Theater , 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $14 -$16. Onboard the Delta King, 1000 Front St., Old Sacramento, 995-5464. Through August 4. P.R.