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. Even when the concepts haven’t quite gelled, the performers’ sheer joy and enthusiasm have you rooting for them. 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. The situation comedy wears thin before the show wraps up, but there’s a good performance by Stephanie McVay (as the maid), among others.
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. Extended through December 14. J.H.
A Devil Inside This dark, satiric comedy involves multiple severed feet, a son trying to avenge his father’s murder, laundromats and Russian literature. There are so many bizarre, overlapping coincidences and freakish story turns that if you stacked them up, they’d be taller than a high-rise building. Director Gabriel Montoya puts a surprising amount of razzle-dazzle into this low-budget production, which features good performances by young actors Galen Howard, Stephanie Altholz and Michael Claudio, among others. A
ctor’s Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$14. 1616 Del Paso Boulevard, (916) 925-6579. Through December 14. 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.
Ithaka Calling This debut play by 23-year-old playwright P. Joshua Laskey traces young Kate through a dramatic evening in which she must confront her marriage, her past, her future and an old boyfriend. Laskey brings up some interesting issues. He also hits the pitfalls of many first-time playwrights: two-dimensional characters, too many issues and dialogue that merely sets up important statements and speeches. But we applaud the fact Laskey actually has written and produced a full-length play and has demonstrated he has the chutzpah and perseverance to see it to the stage.
Geery Theater, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $12. 2130 L Street, (916) 225-2277. Through December 7. P.R.
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 problems with awkward scene transitions, 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; $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. 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.