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, $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, 6:30 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Saturday, $16.50-$19.50. 2131 L Street, (916) 451-4152, www.sacactors.com. Through September 30. P.R.
Let the Eagle Fly This musical about Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers is something you should consider in three aspects, each more important than the last. First, it’s a very ambitious, large-scale community production (and some performers are more seasoned than others). Second, it’s the West Coast debut of a well-written new musical, with several songs—especially the signature union anthems—that stay with you long after the show ends. Third, it’s a show about a man and a movement that arguably changed California history and opened the way for most of today’s Latino leadership. Let the Eagle Fly is well worth seeing, even though this particular production doesn’t always soar in theatrical terms, because it reverberates with California’s politics and history and reflects how we got to where we are today.
The Space at California Stage; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$19, $12 for those who bike or walk to the theater, and $10 per person for families of five or more. 2509 R Street, (916) 451-5822, www.calstage.org. Through October 8. J.H.
Lune, Pronounced Loony The new B Street Theatre production, a world-premiere comedy commissioned by the theater, starts off with a great premise: Base a play inside the Acme Co., made famous in Looney Tunes for its cartoon explosives. Include colorful costumes and wacky hairdos, cartoon voices, slapstick silliness and “Boing!” sound effects. Add a talented cast and clever dialogue. Unfortunately, any resemblance to a cohesive plotline was forgotten. It’s a work-in-progress that hasn’t arrived yet, and it’s a shame, because there is so much imagination infused in the play and production.
B Street Theatre; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with 2 p.m. shows on October 4, 11, 18 and 25; $25-$30. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300, www.bstreettheatre.org. Through November 5. 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) puts 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.