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 Christmas Carol This adaptation captures both the dismal plight of London’s poor and the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge from a miserable old coot to the keeper of the Christmas spirit. It’s a ghost story helped along by creeping fog and vibrating spirit voices. The cast is a talented group, but David Silberman’s performance as Scrooge makes the production.
Foothill Theatre Company; 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with special performances December 22, 23, 24, 29 and 30; $17-$21. Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City. (530) 265-8587. Through December 30. P.R.
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.
Actor’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.
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.
This One Night Buck Busfield’s latest holiday play has the strong potential to become his best effort yet. It combines sharp comic writing and poignant situations. Busfield also has created a credible black female character. The show is very well cast, with strong performances. However, at just more than an hour, the script (and the show) needs fleshing out. As is, the transformation of the lead character (an old man, played well by Harold Smith) is as likely to confuse as to satisfy the viewer. However, like Busfield’s previous holiday shows, this is a work in progress. The show you see may reflect upgrades from the version our reviewer saw opening night.
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 2:30 p.m. Sunday; $17.50-$21.50. 2711 B Street. (916) 443-5300. Through January 4. J.H.
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.