A … My Name Will Always Be Alice Studio Theatre’s Jackie Schultz loves her audiences. And Schultz’s audiences love her productions. This mutual admiration has resulted in a successful seven-year run of Studio Theatre’s musical revue Six Women With Brain Death. Banking on her success, Schultz has come out with a similar all-women revue that touches on the angst of womanhood, both tragic and comic, as sung to basic piano tunes and acted out in funny skits. This new show tones down the bitterness of Six Women and ups the triumphs while including more women on the fringe—singles, single moms, divorcées and widows. That said, there is little diversity explored, and if you don’t fall into this white, middle-class, over-30, heterosexual range, you might not find much with which to align yourself. But, even if you can’t relate, you’ll be entertained.
Studio Theatre , 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $15-$17. 1028 R Street, (916) 446-2668. Through May 18. P.R.
Ain’t Misbehavin’ Cats are jump jivin’ in Rancho Cordova, singing and swinging to the beats of Fats Waller. This musical montage honors the musician and composer that helped define African-American jazz and swing music during the Harlem Renaissance. The theater is transposed into a 1930s nightclub while the jazzy singers, the jamming band and the audience all get caught up in the show’s riffs and rhythms.
Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre ; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday (dinner seating at 6 p.m.) and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (brunch seating at 1 p.m.); $34-$39 for the show and a meal or $20 for the show only. 12401 Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, (916) 985-6361. Through May 18. P.R.
Bertolt Brecht’s Berlin First up is Berlin Cabaret, offering Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill standards from the 1930s—hilarious, pessimistic, sassy, sexy and morally ambiguous dark songs from a dark time. After intermission, it’s The Exception and the Rule, a tragicomic polemic about a Western businessman desperately trying to secure an oil deal in a distant desert land. The businessman ends up on trial over the needless death of a coolie he hired. Written 70 years ago, the play is still sharp as a tack, and it’s also topical, given the war in Iraq.
River Stage , 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$14. Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, (916) 691-7364. No performances the week of April 17-20. Through May 4. J.H.
Circus Minimus This 75-minute show displays several hallmarks of Doniel Soto’s previous “movement theater” shows: few spoken words; lots of bending and stretching and visual pictures created with intertwined human forms; minimal props; and chanting and a cappella singing. Soto’s focus this time is a tongue-in-cheek takedown of the once ultra-hip but now mainstream Cirque du Soleil. The show opens as farce: The performers execute entirely ordinary “feats” and then strike heroic poses, inviting applause. But gradually, Circus Minimus opens into several lovely tricks, which simultaneously resemble and satirize the whole cirque genre. Good fun from Abandon Productions.
The Space , 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $10-$13. 2509 R Street, (916) 737-2304. Through April 19. J.H.
Jar the Floor Four generations of women from an African-American family—and a visiting Jewish girlfriend—gather for the matriarch’s 90th birthday and discuss their dreams and goals, sexual satisfaction and men (do women really need them?). They also debate who’s been selfish and who’s made sacrifices as mother or daughter. Each woman represents a different era and attitudes—sometimes in obvious ways—but the cast and director Linda Goodrich make a strong case for Cheryl West’s script.
Celebration Arts ; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $10-$12 ($6 on Thursday). 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787. Through May 3. J.H.
Red Herring This 1950s pastiche with attitude satirizes genre after genre—hard-boiled detectives, Soviet espionage and gonzo nuclear-mad militarists—actually, there are a few too many targets. The show’s also undermined by the choppy way it unfolds, with too many set changes diffusing the momentum of the short, snappy scenes. Individual moments are as funny as anything in town—such as Richard Winters’ hilarious barroom scene, in which he sips vodka by the spoonful so he won’t get drunk too fast, or Anthony D’Juan as an ebullient coroner wearing “I Like Ike” campaign buttons. But these funny scenes don’t link up into an ascending sequence with an enhanced payoff at the end.
B Street Theatre, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $15.50-$21.50. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through May 4. J.H.