All in the Timing If you go to the theater regularly, you already may have encountered one or more of the six funny one-acts by David Ives in this show. They are short, literate, effervescent and absurd—a good choice to show off the buoyant energy of Lookout! Players, which represents a youth movement in local community theater. Recovering English majors will giggle over Words, Words, Words, which sets three chimpanzees at typewriters, with echoes of Hamlet and Paradise Lost. Philip Glass Buys a Loaf of Bread interprets an everyday transaction through the composer’s trademark repetitive minimalist style. Old Eagle Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $10-$12. 925 Front Street, Old Sacramento, 265-4125. Reservations via www.lookoutproductions.org. Through November 23. J.H.
The Canoe This Interactive Asian Contemporary Theatre production isn’t a comedy or a drama. It’s more of a fable, set on a magical Polynesian island with talking animals and plants. The central character is a bookish teenage girl who decides to learn how to paddle one of those oceangoing canoes. The story moves on Hawaiian time as the girl learns and grows. But the mood is nicely sustained, with pleasing performances by community actors. Broadway Playhouse, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday, $12-$14. 4010 El Camino Avenue, 452-6174 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Through November 17. J.H.
Copenhagen At long last, a local production of Michael Frayn’s physically compact, intellectually vast script. The occasion is a mysterious meeting in Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1941. German physicist Werner Heisenberg, on the Nazi payroll, makes a difficult re-acquaintance with his former mentor Niels Bohr, who is part Jewish and who will escape to the West soon. Director Ken Kelleher and actors Julian López-Morillas, Jessica Powell and Alex Moggridge do a bit of magic with an enormously potent piece of writing. B Street Theatre; 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Additional Wednesday matinees are November 27; December 4, 11 and 18; and January 8. $16.50-$20.50. 2727 B Street, 443-5300. Through January 12. J.H.
Fully Committed Our tour guide into the culinary confusion and demanding upscale clientele of a four-star New York restaurant is Sam, an out-of-work actor and restaurant employee in charge of the reservation list. This one-man theatrical tour de force is presented by Matt K. Miller, who masterfully portrays more than 40 different characters—changing personalities and accents within nanoseconds. Miller plays Sam as well as the pushy patrons, the chaotic kitchen staff and the cantankerous chef. Sacramento Theatre Company; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 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; $18-$36. 1419 H Street, 443-6722. Through January 5. P.R.
Hurlyburly The setting is Tinsel Town in the early 1980s, in a “stag apartment” replete with weed, pills, coke and booze—served for breakfast. The major players are four men on the fringes of the business who are angry with their former wives and who are amnesiacs concerning the children they have spawned along the way—totally selfish. They are too smart by half, and they haven’t an ethical bone in their bodies. But they do possess a bizarre, humorous charm, even as they bed their best friend’s girlfriend behind his back. Hurlyburly features strong performances from community actors. Actors Theatre , 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $12-$14. 1616 Del Paso Boulevard, 925-6579. Through December 8. J.H.
The Odd Couple This is one of Neil Simon’s most uncomplicated and genuinely funny plays. When you combine the winning script with this winning production, it’s a win-win scenario all the way around. The Odd Couple revolves around the unlikely relationship between the slovenly sportswriter Oscar and his persnickety, anal-retentive friend Felix. Much of the credit for this male-bonding sentimentality goes to the great cast. Chautauqua Playhouse , 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (November 10 and 17), $12. 5325 Engle Road, Carmichael, 489-7529. Through November 23. P.R.
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Several aspects of this large-scale show deserve high commendations, most notably Scott Divine’s rebellious, taut performance as the personally magnetic mental patient R.P. McMurphy opposite Sandra McCord as the icy, controlling nurse Ratched. It’s also hard to keep your eyes off tall, often silent Derek Byrne (as Chief Bromden). And Susan McCandless’ set is the essence of impersonal, pale green institutionalism. But Divine’s direction isn’t quite as sustained as his acting. Still, this ambitious production by Main Street Theatre Works trembles on the brink of a higher rating. Sutter Creek Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $10-$14. 44 Main Street (Highway 49), Sutter Creek, (209) 267-5680. Through November 30. J.H.
The Queen of Bingo Sisterhood really is powerful—and pretty funny, too—in this winning little comedy. But the two middle-aged characters in this show are anything but self-empowered; they’re playing bingo in a church hall, grousing about another lady who’s taken their lucky chairs, relating tales of junk-food excess and getting giddy when they get a winning card. Sue Madden and Trish DeBaun bring sympathy, energy and insight to what easily could have been less-dimensional characters. Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre , 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $14-$18. 1901 P Street, 444-8209. Through November 23. J.H.
Sexual Perversity in Chicago David Mamet’s look at the 1970s dating and mating scene is about sex. It’s also about Chicago, with four characters in 33 short scenes throughout the city, and a bit of perversity. But, although the language is raw and the sexual portrayals explicit, the content is hardly shocking. It’s more like a little titillating. In the skits, we watch as desires and fears both help and hinder a blossoming relationship between two of them. The cast members manage to add pathos and vulnerability to their scenes while making us care about four singles awash in a sea of sexual misadventures and emotional near misses. An impressive debut for new theater company SacActors.com. Geery Theatre , 8 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, $12.50-$14.50. 2130 L Street, 451-4152. Through December 14. P.R.