Alexander Who’s Not Not Not Not Not Not Going to Move The Children’s Theatre of California leads its fourth season with this very appealing musical, bringing together many of the best performers from the company’s first three years. Rick Kleber is back (huzzah!), with hilarious performances in four comic roles. Regulars Lauren Adams, John Lamb, Kathryn Morison and Anthony D’Juan, along with newcomer Laurie Geigel, likewise play multiple parts. Peter Story is the stubborn but sympathetic Alexander, who tries to get himself adopted by the neighbors, looks for a hiding place (if his parents can’t find him, they can’t make him move), steps in dog poop (yuck!), gets teased by his big brothers, etc. Director Dave Pierini stages the show in a way that will entertain viewers of any age.
Children’s Theatre of California; 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday; $15 for children and $20 for adults. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through October 29. J.H.
Boy Gets Girl A blind date leads to a tense, traumatic crisis in this stalker drama—the first outstanding theatrical show of the new fall season. While the story becomes deadly serious (and we mean that literally), there are also flashes of frank, disarmingly sharp, comic insight. Playwright Rebecca Gilman explores what’s appropriate in contemporary relationships between men and women. Even more critical: What happens to your identity when an obsessed individual lays siege to your life? This well-crafted show features outstanding performances by local favorites Stephanie Gularte and David Campfield, as well as newcomer Patrick Murphy (as an aging soft-porn filmmaker).
Capital Stage; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $49-$53 for dinner and the show, and $20-$24 for the show only. Delta King Riverboat, 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, (916) 995-5464, www.capitalstagecompany.com. Through November 5. J.H.
The Crucible In 1956, CSUS staged its first theatrical production: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, depicting 1692’s Salem witch trials, with a nod toward the Red Scare of the 1950s. Current faculty member Gina Kaufmann directs this 50th-anniversary revival. Miller’s portrait of a community gripped by hysteria is timeless. What’s suddenly contemporary is the portrayal of the narrow-minded deputy governor who doggedly pursues his disastrous witch hunt, despite mounting evidence that he’s reached mistaken conclusions based on false information. (Reminds us of a certain president.) Kaufmann’s working with a student cast, including some freshmen, and the show doesn’t hit its stride until after intermission. But the second half is quite convincing; several actors rise to the occasion with eloquent, moving performances.
University Theatre; 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $8-$12. CSUS, 6000 J Street, (916) 278-4323 or www.tickets.com. Through October 29. J.H.
Evangelize! This semi-staged concert version of the recent black gospel musical by locals Lisa Tarrer Lacy and Charles Cooper (who wrote much of the popular show And The Dream Goes On!) is now playing in Midtown. It’s a good-natured, humane comedy about the political repercussions when Sister Angela Divine decides it’s time for a woman to preach in her male-dominated, socially conservative church. Cooper’s score includes several catchy songs that linger in your memory. The production is being groomed as a prospective entry in this summer’s National Black Theatre Festival.
Images Theater Company, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; $15-20. Center of Praise Ministries Cathedral, 1228 23rd Street; (916) 428-1441 or www.imagestheater.org. Through November 18. 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.
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; $25-$30. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300, www.bstreettheatre.org. Through November 5. P.R.
Picnic William Inge’s passion play about the hidden frustrations and unfulfilled dreams of small-town folk—a shocker in the 1950s—still has the ability to titillate while providing a peek into social norms gone by. Director Adrienne Sher finely finesses these moments so the audience really understands the context of the characters’ anxieties and fears. Sher lingers on the small gestures while wisely relying on humor to lighten other issues. And she nurtures her talented cast, resulting in strong performances from the main characters as well as every single support player.
River Stage; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$20. Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway; (916) 691-7364, www.riverstage.org. Through November 5. P.R.
To Kill a Mockingbird The Sacramento Theatre Company opens its 65th season with Harper Lee’s sentimental and powerful Pulitzer Prize-winning story of gentle Southern-summer innocence and small-town racial ugliness. We get to bask in Lee’s lovely language as it winds through languid lazy days and delivers compelling courtroom speeches. Director Philip Charles Sneed wisely keeps this a tight, contained story, gathering some of the cream of the local-acting crop. There isn’t a misstep in the cast.
Sacramento Theatre Company, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $28-$36; 1419 H Street, (916) 443-6722 or (888) 4-STCTIX; www.sactheatre.org. Through November 5. P.R.
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.
Yellowman This show features parallel monologues—sometimes merging into dialogue—between two African-American characters growing up in the South. We follow a stout, dark-skinned girl and her slender, lighter-skinned male classmate (the “yellow” man of the title) from grade school into midlife, through several intense coming-of-age experiences. They come to grips with their families’ poverty, alcohol use (by parents and peers) and harsh attitudes about skin tone within the black community, as well as in society at large. Cast members Kelton Howard and Traci Scott are both experienced performers with solid training, and their abilities are well-displayed under James Wheatley’s perceptive direction. This is a small show, and a powerful one, with some bleak, tragic moments. It’s well worth seeing.
Celebration Arts Theatre. 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $8-$15. 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787, www.celebrationarts.net. Through November 11. J.H.