The Full Monty The six stars of this show unveil a spirited, fun production with much aplomb and little clothing. The musical, adapted from the popular 1997 English movie, centers around a group of unemployed steelworkers who turn to amateur stripping to make money and restore their pride. The show wears a big heart on its sleeve; everyone involved displays enthusiasm and spirit that wins the audience over. The real applause goes out to the courageous and charming main cast members in their life-imitates-art moments. These actors find the courage to do what their characters must: expose themselves to the world. Runaway Stage; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$17.
24th Street Theatre, 2791 24th Street, (916) 207-1226, www.runawaystage.com. Through September 24. P.R.
Henrietta Henrietta is a spunky, 50-something Harlem bag lady—the boldly assertive sort who loudly announces exactly what’s on her mind. She’s a bit of a lunatic, of course, but like Hamlet, her madness is deliberate to a degree. Being “crazy” provides her with a degree of freedom, even safety. Henrietta strikes up an unlikely relationship with Sheleeah, a sexy, well-dressed young professional woman. This makes for a play that’s an interesting vehicle for two black actresses of different generations (Coni Taylor and Cecily J.). Nonetheless, this likeable small production has lapses of momentum, awkward transitions between scenes and little technical snafus.
Celebration Arts; 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $8-$15. 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787, www.celebrationarts.net. Through September 30. J.H.
Insides Out! Katie Rubin returns with a limited engagement of her one-woman show, which had a successful run at the Sacramento Theatre Company last spring. She plays a spunky survivor of multiple facets to her personality and multiple monkeys on her back. Her many addictions include alcohol, food, sex, drugs and destructive lifestyles. Frankly, there is little new in this oft-told saga of a life out of control, but what makes the show so unique is the storytelling. Rubin narrates her life through the voices of conflicting internal characters who pull her in many directions, and the actress embodies each of these inner spirits while maintaining a linear story.
Geery Theater; 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. September 23, 6:30 p.m. September 29, and 6 p.m. September 30; $16.50-$19.50. 2131 L Street, (916) 451-4152, www.sacactors.com. P.R.
Movin’ Out This touring show returns to Sacramento. It’s an assemblage of 20-odd pop songs written by Billy Joel and performed by a Joel-like “piano man,” with choreography by the notable Twyla Tharp. Reviewing the show’s first visit in November 2004, Patti Roberts wrote, “If you go for the music, you’ll leave talking about the brilliant dance numbers. There is no dialogue, just song blending into song, with the dancers expressing emotions not only in movement, but also in facial expressions. [The dancing is] imaginative, thrilling, theatrical, sizzling and thoroughly original.” Roberts also cautioned that “the story line with which Tharp links Joel’s songs together often feels forced and disjointed” and added that a full evening of Joel’s music gets repetitive. Broadway Series, various times, $15-$65.
Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L Street, (916) 557-1999, www.calmt.com. Through October 8. P.R.
Pump Boys and Dinettes This amiable revue features four car mechanics (singing about catchin’ catfish) and two sexy waitresses from the cafe next-door (pourin’ coffee, bakin’ pies and hopin’ for good tips). There’s a lot of flirtation, but there are only flickers of a story. The cast (especially Andrea Eve Thorpe and Michelle Hillen) put zip into several of the up-tempo songs, which are a feel-good crazy quilt of borrowed country, rockabilly, blues and gospel styles. It’s very soft-focus and sentimental: The mechanics never get greasy, and disappointments are soon forgotten. But the point here is escapist fun, which is what the show delivers, in a friendly, small-scale, hokey way.
Studio Theatre, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $22-$24. 1028 R Street, (916) 446-2668, www.thestudiotheatre.net. Through October 8. J.H.
The Vagina Monologues SacActors.com revives its long-running show. Reviewing it in 2005, Patti Roberts wrote, “This play with the gutsy title takes a taboo subject matter—a basic body part of every woman—and makes it acceptable to talk about. For this production by SacActors.com, three actresses trade off monologues in front of deep-red velvet panels. The performances examine not only the word, but also the body part, and all the shame, power, fear and beauty that vagina owners carry with them. The play is great fodder for after-show conversations.”
Geery Theater, 8:30 p.m. Friday and 9 p.m. Saturday, $14.50-$17.50. 2130 L Street, (916) 451-4152. Through November 12. P.R.