Always, Patsy Cline Foothill Theatre Company revives its popular 1999 production with the same cast: Cara Burgoyne, a natural as strong, husky, inwardly vulnerable Patsy; and Nancy Keith, as a single mom with big hair who is Patsy’s fan turned friend. The show features Burgoyne’s accurate vocals, with a live band, reprising Cline’s signature country tunes. It’s also an upbeat but not entirely frivolous retro-comedy dealing with what it meant to be a hardworking, independent woman in the late 1950s, with a few stops at a honky-tonk nightspot along the way. It’s a slice of Americana for the summer season.
Nevada Theatre ; 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $5-$21. 401 Broad Street in Nevada City, (530) 265-8587. Through August 17. J.H.
The Illusion There’s a great payoff at the end of Tony Kushner’s The Illusion. Too bad it takes such a long time to get there. The California State University, Sacramento, Alumni Theatre Project picked the play to show off its acting chops—a good choice for showcasing, though it’s sometimes frustrating for the audience. What works in this production is the acting, an impressive array of local talent that once trod the CSUS boards. The story is odd—a father tries to figure out his son by going to a sorcerer—and for the audience, it’s a disjointed outing. Luckily, the talented cast transcends the play’s awkwardness. It’s worth a trip for local theater producers to check out the worthy actors right on their doorstep.
Playwrights Theatre , 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $10-$12. California State University Sacramento, 6000 J Street, (916) 278-4323. Through June 29. P.R.
The King and I Garbeau’s works with InterACT for this production, bringing in Dennis Yep as director and star. It’s an ambitious undertaking for Yep, who usually works with smaller casts and even smaller budgets, but it’s clear this production is close to his heart. Yep is an effective King in stance and delivery and brings a pathos to the role that sometimes is lost in more heavy-handed productions. Kitty Kean as Anna, the teacher, totally captures the spirit and spunk of the character while keeping her humanity, humility and humor intact. The pacing drags at times, and though the two talented pianists work their musical fingers to the bones, the familiar score begs for some strings.
Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre , 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (dinner at 6 p.m.) and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (brunch 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 July 20. P.R.
Little Me Director Bob Irvin dusts off this almost forgotten early-1960s musical about a penniless girl from the wrong side of the tracks whose multiple marriages bring her wealth, culture, social position and fame. It’s over-the-top satirical humor with a dark and sometimes sharp edge, set to toe-tapping songs—an unusual combination. The jokes about wealth vs. poverty—written during JFK’s Camelot—hit the mark quite well in this era of compassionate conservatism. Driving the show are performers Dan Slauson in seven hapless male roles—he keeps falling for Jen Belt as the charming, ambitious Belle, whose beaus have a penchant for early, accidental deaths. This entertaining Fair Oaks Theatre Festival production also features a lot of costumes and some fairly elaborate dance numbers.
Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre ; 8:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as for three Thursday shows on July 10, 17 and 24; $10-$12. Vets Memorial Amphitheatre on California Avenue at Temescal Street in Fair Oaks Village, (916) 966-3683. Through July 27. J.H.
Rounding Third Baseball is the metaphor, but clashing attitudes about work, fatherhood and marriage are the real topics of this new comedy by Richard Dresser, whose plays have proven popular at the B Street in the past. Two dads are coaching a boys’ team. One’s a blue-collar beer drinker determined to win at any cost. The other’s a stressed-out office worker who barely knows the rules of the game; he just wants to enjoy time with his son. There’s very little suspense in the storyline, but the interplay between actors George Gerdes and Kurt Johnson keeps things interesting. Because of locker-room dialogue and talk of infidelity, children under 12 are not admitted.
B Street Theatre ; 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 June 29. J.H.
T Bone N Weasel This odd comedy sends a small-time car thief (who’s black) and a relentlessly nervy, illiterate sidekick (who’s white) on a strange odyssey through the rural South, where their underhanded efforts to live off the land get them into trouble repeatedly. Actor James Ellison does a long, slow burn as the thief, while Damion Sharpe nearly hyperventilates as his hapless associate. Resourceful JG Gonsalves contributes a catalog of memorable cameos. Director James Wheatley presents it as a sequence of casually related (almost disconnected) scenes—but then, Jon Klein’s script doesn’t have a clear destination in mind.
Celebration Arts , 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (no show June 12) and 2 p.m. Sunday, $10-$12 ($6 on Thursday). 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787. Through July 12. J.H.