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 at the 24th Street Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $10-$15. 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.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change Nothing succeeds like success, so it’s no surprise that the Delta King Theatre has brought back this popular revue, which enjoyed a long run last year. (The original off-Broadway production has been running for years.) It’s a well-crafted, crowd-pleasing, easy-to-enjoy string of songs and scenes about romance and marriage, about 20-somethings through senior citizens. It’s basically a hymn to middle-class life, with a few bedroom references. The book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro don’t reveal anything you didn’t know about men and women already, but there’s a kernel of truth in most of these vignettes that can wring a smile out of even a skeptic. And the music by Jimmy Roberts is a sure-handed pastiche of popular American styles. Eric Wheeler once again anchors the Delta King’s cast, and he’s still fun to watch. Co-stars are Michael R-J Campbell, Carol Miranda (formerly with Six Women with Brain Death) and Karli Raymond.
Delta King Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $18-$25 for the show only and $40-$52 for the show and dinner. 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, (916) 995-5464. Through August 31. 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, $14-$18. 1901 P Street, (916) 444-8209. Through August 2. J.H.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream Director Sands Hall plays A Midsummer Night’s Dream for contrasts. The repressed human characters wear buttoned-up costumes in formal 16th-century style. But the spirits of the fairy kingdom are dressed as sensuous gypsies in more revealing, colorful garb. Hall also shifts gears; some scenes play as antic comedy, and at times, Hall slows down the pace and conjures a mysterious atmosphere that lets the script’s poetry come through. It’s a good Dream. The problem is that this festival has staged this comedy three times in the last eight years. It’s time to branch out. Alternating with The Merry Wives of Windsor, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, $12-$65.
Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival at Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe State Park, three miles south of Incline Village, Nev.; (800) 74-SHOWS. Through August 24. 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 p.m. for picnics, and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Sunday; $10-$12. Othello plays August 1 and 3 in repertory with Twelfth Night. William Land Park, (916) 558-2228. Through August 3. P.R.
Sexual Perversity in Chicago David Mamet’s comedic 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. In these skits, we watch as desires and fears both help and hinder a blossoming relationship between two of them. The cast members of this show, which ran last winter at the Geery Theatre, 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.
SacActors.com at California Stage, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $12.50-$14.50. 2509 R Street, (916) 451-4152. Through August 31.
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 and Saturday; $10-$12. Twelfth Night plays July 31 and August 2 in repertory with Othello. William Land Park, (916) 558-2228. Through August 2. P.R.