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. The miracle is witnessing an experimental theater production that lacks pretension and cynicism. The show lasts one hour.
The Space, 8 p.m. Saturday, $10-$13. 2509 R Street, (916) 737-2304. Through February 28. P.R.
Around the World in 80 Days This production of Jules Verne’s classic adventure tale is imaginative, creative and enjoyable. Even more impressive, the play is done without props, scenery or a large cast. Five actors portray more than 30 characters.
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; $17.50-$21.50. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Extended through March 21. P.R.
Far Away and The Farewells For its eighth and final production in Sacramento, Vista Players offers this handsome double bill. First is Caryl Churchill’s funny and scary dystopia Far Away. It’s full of dark doings by moonlight and an internecine war between factions of humans and animal species. Then comes The Farewells, written by Vista’s artistic director Aram Kouyoumdjian, which examines the stresses of life on two well-established couples, one gay and one straight. Both halves of the program display the careful preparation, thoughtful production and high literary values that have marked Vista’s shows during the past five years.
Actor’s Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with a special show on February 26 at 8 p.m.; $12-$14. 1616 Del Paso Boulevard. (916) 375-2670. Through February 28. J.H.
A Single Woman This new play, offered by Sacramento’s California Stage and the Nevada Shakespeare Company, profiles the long and eventful life of Jeanette Rankin, who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1916, representing Montana (before women got the vote in most states). Rankin’s story is told in retrograde while actress Jeanmarie Simpson (as Rankin, in a wonderful performance) prepares dinner rolls and lemonade onstage. Rankin’s life—as a pacifist, a feminist, a friend of labor and more—offers overflowing opportunities for dramatic moments in this compact, 90-minute show. At
California Stage; 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; $10-$12. 1725 25th Street (at R Street), (916) 451-5822. Through February 28. J.H.
Slow Dance on the Killing Ground This small, low-budget production takes on William Hanley’s long (two intermissions), serious play from the early 1960s. It’s a three-character chess game of ideas, set in the dead of night, touching on prejudice, prostitution, abortion, Nazism and education. Director Vada Russell and actors William Powers, Michael Turner and Jamie Kale don’t hit the bull’s-eye every time, but they come close enough to bring this powerful, dark script to life.
Celebration Arts, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $10-$12 weekends and $6 Thursday. 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787. Through March 13. J.H.
Still Life with Iris Iris is a happy youngster in the land of Nocturno, where the residents scurry around at night to create the daytime world. One day, Iris is chosen as “the perfect child” and sent to the Island of the Great Goods, where they collect one of every perfect specimen. Eventually, Iris learns life lessons about the joy of imperfection. The cast is full of fun and vigor, and the dialogue has heart and humor (with enough asides to keep the older crowd amused).
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 March 21. P.R.