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, Nevada City, (530) 265-8587. Through August 17. 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; 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.
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 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.
Merry Wives of Windsor Merry Wives is a light comedy that bypasses dramatic depth, and director Lynne Collins wastes no time looking for what isn’t there. Her production exchanges Shakespeare’s Olde England for Windsor, North Carolina (post-Civil War). It works: Confederate sabers, Southern accents, gallantry and hooped skirts evolved from Elizabethan styles. Gary Wright’s young Falstaff is fat, but he does a cartwheel. Ted Barton’s a scream as Ford, the jealous husband.
Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, outdoors, 7:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, alternating with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, $12-$65. Sand Harbor, Lake Tahoe State Park, three miles south of Incline Village, Nev.; (800) 74-SHOWS; LakeTahoeShakespeare.com. Bring a sweatshirt and a poncho; afternoon thunderstorms are common. Through August 24. J.H.
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 Theater, 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.
Shakespeare Santa Cruz This year’s offerings includes a modern-dress Hamlet that’s long on late-adolescent angst and fresh theatricality, if somewhat skimpy in the poetry department (rating: good); an antic Comedy of Errors set in present-day Santa Cruz, replete with surfboards, scooters and kooky new-age healers (rating: well-done); and a noteworthy production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives, that very British comedy dealing with marriage and divorce, cocktails and razor-sharp putdowns, with the playwright’s clever songs woven into the package (rating: sublime). Now in its 22nd season, Santa Cruz essentially sets the standard that the other Northern California festivals attempt to match, or beat. On the University of California, Santa Cruz, campus in Santa Cruz; $10-$36 for individual tickets or $75-$93 for all three shows; (831) 459-2159 or www.shakespearesantacruz.org. Through August 26.
Sing Hallelujah It’s a good concept—a gospel musical drawing on popular standards that are a backbone of American culture. But it doesn’t quite work out in this production, which spends too much time dealing in shallow comedy involving longstanding church members clashing with their new pastor. You end up wishing that the folks onstage would talk less and sing more. But the concept is worth another try: The songs are satisfying when they come around.
Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with dinner at 6 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, with lunch at 1 p.m.; $29-$35. 12401 Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, (916) 985-6361. Through August 17. J.H.