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.
Steambath The action in this dark existentialist comedy takes place in a steamy spa, with men lounging around in white robes and towels, talking about their lives and relationships. Confused newbie Tandy slowly realizes he’s dead, and this room is limbo, a stop on the road to wherever the afterlife leads. Although the thought of being dead unnerves Tandy, being introduced to God as a Puerto Rican steam-bath attendant sends him over the edge Though the play can be a bit frustrating at times, it’s never dull. It’s best to sit back and let the steamy dialogue engulf you. Allow the heavier questions to linger, and enjoy the impressive performances.
Actor’s Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $14-$15. No performance on November 11. 1616 Del Paso Boulevard; (916) 925-6579; www.actinsac.com. Through December 10. P.R.
Tell Me on a Sunday This is a great showcase for a talented performer to show off her singing and acting chops, and that’s just what Alexandra Ralph does in this Andrew Lloyd Webber one-woman musical. This story of Emma, a British hat designer trying to make it in New York City, is told all in song and without dialogue. To succeed, one has to be an engaging performer with an impressive singing voice. Ralph delivers on both counts. Unfortunately, this is basically a string of songs about Emma’s string of men. We begin to wish Emma would spend as much time finding a life as she does finding, losing and pining for men. This revival of last May’s production is the Actor’s Theatre’s first effort at its new Folsom venue.
Actor’s Theatre of Folsom; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3:30 p.m. Sunday; $20-$22. Stage Nine Entertainment Store and Theatre, 717 Sutter Street in Folsom; (916) 933-8008. Through December 31. 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 Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $14.50-$17.50. 2130 L Street, (916) 451-4152. Extended through December 3. 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; $8-$15. 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787, www.celebrationarts.net. Through November 11. J.H.