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.
Annie Get Your Gun This fun-filled, energetic production tells the tale of rootin’, tootin’ lady sharpshooter Annie Oakley, who wowed audiences with her eagle-eye aim. The only problem: Her love interest is threatened by her superiority. As with most Runaway Stage shows, this outing is far from slick; think hokey. But it’s blessed with two great leads, and the rest of the cast displays earnest enthusiasm. It’s a good summer outing for couch-bound kids. It does suffer from Native American bashing and from Annie copping out in the end, but overall, it’s a song-and-dance fest.
Runaway Stage Productions, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $10-$15. 24th Street Theatre, 2791 24th Street, (916) 207-1226. Though August 3. P.R.
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress M-e-o-w! A quintet of bridesmaids, representing vastly different outlooks on life, retreat from the boring wedding reception to an upstairs room and let their hair down. The sometimes-catty conversation veers through current boyfriends and husbands, drugs and alcohol, former boyfriends and ex-husbands, coming of age, new boyfriends and potential husbands—you get the idea. Playwright Alan Ball (now famous for his American Beauty screenplay) blends lively characters and interesting insights into this wild situation. All five actresses get their moment to shine—especially Beth Edwards, in her best role to date. Young Michael Claudio also fares well in a difficult role as the available man who walks into the final scene.
Actor’s Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $12-$14. 1616 Del Paso Boulevard, (916) 925-6579. Through August 3. J.H.
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. In the park, California Avenue at Temescal Street in Fair Oaks Village, (916) 966-3683. Through July 27. J.H.
Lobster Alice Salvador Dalí’s brief participation in a Disney project in 1946 provides the frame for this comedy. Dalí (energetic Bill McNulty) quickly shakes up the daily routine, stirring a sense of adventure in office assistant Alice (Dana Brooke, with a glowing, inquisitive glance). But despite abundant possibilities, the play peters out in the shallows of attempted romance between Alice and her repressed boss, Finch (Jason Kuykendall). Director Buck Busfield’s attempts at staging surreal imagery are also pretty tame compared with Robert Lepage’s recent show about Frida Kahlo.
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; $17.50-$21.50. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through August 17. J.H.
Lovers: Winners and Losers Irish playwright Brian Friel’s script is a pair of one-acts, each funny and sad. The first focuses on the difficulties of love at the tender age of 17, including pregnancy, impending marriage and forebodings that an unexpected disaster is about to strike. The second deals with the awkward, funny trials of romance at midlife—including a bedridden mother and a lisping auntie, who physically embody a matriarchal family structure gone dysfunctional. Director Stephen Vargo gets some good work from actors Keith Letl, Benjamin Hanowell and Michaela Jones, but the larger scenes involving the bedridden mum aren’t as convincing.
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $14-$18. 1901 P Street, (916) 444-8209. Through August 2. J.H.
Othello This Shakespeare tragedy is basically about the green-eyed monster, jealousy, and other dark human traits: manipulations, accusations, back-stabbing, lusting, lying, cheating and killing—just like reality TV! Director Luther Hanson stuck with a classic rendition, with creative additions of a nice dance scene and a traveling troubadour. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite have cast members who are in sync with each other or performers who are at ease with the material and language, not to mention a solid Othello or Iago. Overall, the performances have potential, and the production may find its rhythm during the run, but for now, it feels more like a rehearsal than a finished product.
William Carroll Amphitheater; gates open at 6:30 for picnics, and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Thursday (check dates), Friday and Saturday; $10-$12. Othello plays July 19, 24 and 25 and August 1 and 3 in repertory with Twelfth Night. William Land Park, (916) 558-2228. Through August 3. P.R.
Twelfth Night This is truly a bizarre and strangely inviting take on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night from the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival. The production is dicey at the beginning, both because of the slow pacing and the kooky concept cooked up by festival director Kim McCann. But the result is a fun-filled evening: the Bard meets the Three Stooges. It’s a classic Twelfth Night—mooning lovers, mistaken identities, prattles, pranks and pratfalls—morphed into a 1920s comedy movie complete with Keystone Cops, hints of Oliver Hardy, Curly of the Three Stooges, women in flapper dresses, a man in a fez, golf clubs as fencing foils, and even period songs. Kids can appreciate the high jinks, and adults will enjoy the language, humor and twisting plot lines. William A. Carroll Amphitheatre; gates open at 6:30 p.m. for picnics, and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Thursday (check dates) Friday and Saturday; $10-$12. Twelfth Night plays July 12, 18, 20, 27 and 31 and August 2 in repertory with Othello. William Land Park, (916) 558-2228. Through August 2. P.R.