A…My Name Will Always Be Alice Studio Theatre revives last year’s production of this all-women revue that touches on the angst of womanhood—both tragic and comic angst—as sung to basic piano tunes and acted out in funny skits. This show tones down the bitterness of the Studio Theatre’s long-running Six Women with Brain Death (now in its eighth year) and ups the triumphs. It also includes more “women on the fringe”—singles, single moms, divorcées and widows. That said, there is little diversity explored. If you don’t fall into the white, middle-class, over-30, heterosexual range, you might not find much with which to align yourself. But even if you can’t relate, you’ll be entertained.
Studio Theatre, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$19. 1028 R Street, (916) 446-2668. Through May 16. P.R.
Arranged Marriage Arranged Marriage is lovely. It’s also joyful, funny, exquisite, sad and thought-provoking. This world-premiere play looks at the arranged marriage of a young woman from India and her eventual immigration to the United States. Lead actress Shahnaz Shroff delivers a heartfelt, moving performance as young Sumita. This intimate piece presented by two main actresses and a four-person dance ensemble shares Indian ceremonies, customs, costumes, myths, music and dance. There is an abruptness in the second half that stops the flow of the story, but it’s forgivable considering the overall winning nature of the production.
Sacramento Theatre Company; 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; $16-$32. 1419 H Street, (916) 443-6722. Extended through May 9. P.R.
Around the World in 80 Days Phileas Fogg has 80 days to go around the globe. B Street Theatre has two hours to capture Fogg’s amazing and colorful journey on stage. Both succeed brilliantly. 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. It’s hard to determine who’s having more fun—the talented cast or the appreciative audience.
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 April 4. P.R.
Give ’Em Hell, Harry! Local actor Joe Larrea revives this popular one-man show, which enjoyed a long run in Sacramento. Larrea is a solid choice to portray former president Harry Truman, in terms of both looks and temperament. This show covers Truman’s run-ins with Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and some rascally Ku Klux Klansmen back in his native Missouri, and delves into Truman’s feelings about inheriting the presidency from Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Larrea’s warm, winning performance as the candid Truman is a welcome contrast to some recent (and current) occupants of the Oval Office who have a lot more difficulty telling the unvarnished truth.
Motherlode Performing Arts Company; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday; $16-$22. Veterans Memorial Building, 130 Placerville Drive in Placerville. (530) 672-3322. Through March 28. J.H.
Mother Courage and Her Children Everything about this play is a challenge, for both the actors and the audience. It’s a translated German play by complex playwright Bertolt Brecht, it’s an epic story, and it runs two-and-a-half hours in length. The play, set in the wartime 1600s, follows Mother Courage and her war-supply wagon. To Mother Courage, a profiteer with allegiances to no one, war is a chance for business. There are impressive and ambitious goals in this student-heavy production, but the long, complex play overwhelms the good intentions.
City Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with special matinees on March 25, 26 and 27 at 2 p.m.; $15-$20. Sacramento City College, 3835 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 558-2228. Through March 27. P.R.
Starlight Express Starlight Express thrived in specially designed theaters in London and Germany, which sent the actors (all of whom are on skates) zooming into the hall on custom-built ramps. But for this tour, the action is confined to the stage, which is too small for the big sequences. Instead, we get 3-D video projections (yawn). Andrew Lloyd Webber’s songs are uninspired, and the lyrics are dull (“Freight is great!”). Aside from a few good one-liners, this show has little to recommend it. Think of it as Roller Derby, the Musical! For Kids!
Sacramento Community Center Theatre; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Friday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $20-$65. 1301 L Street, (916) 264-5181. 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 family, community, diversity and 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.
Woody Guthrie’s American Song Legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie is pure Americana. More than 25 of his songs are the central point of this handsome and heartfelt musical. The audience witnesses not only Guthrie’s admiration of the downtrodden people he embraced, but also his anger and frustration about the unfair treatment they received. There’s little dialogue. It’s more of a hootenanny than a play, with the audience singing and clapping along. It could use more of a story line, but it’s fun, thought-provoking and engaging.
Foothill Theatre Company; 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $11-$23. 401 Broad Street in Nevada City. (530) 265-8587. Through April 11. P.R.