AAH! Abandon Productions’ physical-theater troupe wrestles with the evolution of human interaction, casting a critical and sometimes comical look at the progress we’ve made as a society. Through its unique blend of dance, movement, a cappella singing, acting and miming, the group continues to captivate. All action occurs within two A-frame construction scaffoldings, where performers loop, leap, slither and snake through the pipings. The miracle is witnessing an experimental theater production that lacks pretension and cynicism. The show lasts one hour.
The Space, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $10-$13. 2509 R Street, (916) 737-2304. Extended through December 13. P.R.
The Canterville Ghost This show, designed for children ages 7 and older, is based on a short story by Oscar Wilde. The production leans toward cinematic values more than literary ones and feels a bit like a Warner Bros. comedy. The story involves a clash of cultures between a practical American inventor and a 300-year-old British ghost who just don’t see the universe the same way. Kids will enjoy the 90-minute production, but grown-ups may find their attention wandering.
Children’s Theatre of California; 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $15-$20. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through December 2. J.H.
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) This three-man show is the first production in Thistle Dew’s second venue, a “white box” performance space also used as a wedding hall. The performers have lots of energy and spread plenty of smiles (and several belly laughs) as they take down the Bard, using an updated version of the Reduced Shakespeare Company’s oft-produced script. The technical aspects of the production are modest. Dessert and coffee are included in the ticket price.
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre II; 8 p.m. November 28 and 30; $14-$18. Reservations required. 5324 Riverside Boulevard, (916) 444-8209. J.H.
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress Five very different bridesmaids at a Southern wedding go behind closed doors, get a bit intoxicated and let their hair down in this tart-tongued light-and-dark comedy. They get pretty rowdy as the conversation ranges from boyfriends (good and bad) to sexually transmitted diseases. Director Maggie Upton gets good performances from her ensemble cast.
River Stage; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $13-$15. Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, (915) 691-7364. Through December 14. J.H.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change The Delta King Theatre has revived its revival of this long-running revue. The cast is a composite of the first two productions. This revue is about dating, courtship, marriage and what comes after. The songs are sometimes obvious, but they have a way of sticking in your memory. At this point, this reviewer is losing the urge to go down this road again, but there still seem to be plenty of people wanting to see this show.
Delta King Theatre, various times Thursday through Sunday, $18-$25 for the show and $38-$52 for dinner and the show. 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, (916) 995-5464. Through February 29. J.H.
Mother Hicks Set in rural, southern Illinois during the Great Depression, this drama contrasts suspicious, small-minded townsfolk against Mother Hicks—the solitary, self-sufficient healer they regard as a witch. This small-scale production has some slow spots, but the intriguing exchanges between wise, secretive Mother Hicks (Lynne Perry) and the wild-child orphan called Girl (13-year-old Alexyss Valdez) carry the play.
California Stage; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with no performances Thanksgiving weekend; $12-$14. 2509 R Street, (916) 451-5822. Through December 7. J.H.
Season’s Greetings and The SantaLand Diaries The SantaLand Diaries, an adaptation of National Public Radio essayist David Sedaris’ classic about working as a Macy’s elf, is an antidote to the saccharine-sweet sentimentality that overshadows the holidays. It’s paired with Season’s Greetings, another Sedaris spoof on the strange brag rags known as family Christmas letters. Starring in both productions is the multi-faceted Mario Cabrera, whose sideways glances and hyper personality perfectly capture the camp of these Christmas tales.
Sacramento Theatre Company’s Stage II Theatre; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $13-$33. 1419 H Street, (916) 443-6722. Through January 18. P.R.
Woody Guthrie’s American Song City Theatre revives last year’s well-received production of this ensemble revue, which incorporates Woody Guthrie’s classic songs about the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, labor organizing and American life in general. It’s not a plot-driven docudrama; it’s more a series of effectively rendered tableaux.
Art Court Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $7-$12. Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 558-2228. Through December 14. J.H.