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.
Boston Marriage Playwright David Mamet revisits the America of the late 1800s in this comedy of outrageous duplicity and cool manipulation. Boston Marriage deals with same-sex relationships and dubious moral situations that were off-limits on the stage in that era. Characters include a mistress kept by a wealthy businessman, her longtime female friend (who is bent on seducing an underage girl) and a simpleminded Scottish maid. The dialogue is very funny at times, as mistress (Amy Resnick) and friend (Jamie Jones) make—and defend—their very selfish deals. But there’s not a lot of story to support the verbal fireworks, Resnick bites off a few too many words in her numerous speeches, and the atmosphere is hampered by an inconsistency between the costumes (1800s) and the music (modern pop).
B Street Theatre; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. 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. Through May 23. J.H.
Jar the Floor Celebration Arts revives last spring’s production of this African-American comedy. Four generations of women—and a visiting Jewish girlfriend—gather for the matriarch’s 90th birthday. They discuss their dreams and goals, sexual satisfaction and men (do women really need them?). They also debate who’s been selfish and who’s made sacrifices as mother or daughter. Each woman represents a different era and attitudes, sometimes in obvious ways, but the cast and director (Linda Goodrich) make a strong case for Cheryl West’s script.
Celebration Arts; 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $10-$12 ($6 on Thursday). 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787. Through May 2. J.H.
Jesus Christ Superstar This family-friendly production has a lot of heart and soul. Though considered scandalous when it first came out, this musical now comes across as quaint. Compared with Mel Gibson’s graphic take, it’s the “less blood and more love” version of the Scriptures. That said, seeing Jesus Christ Superstar as dinner theater is a bit disconcerting, with a large crucifix and a suffering Jesus looming over diners.
Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre; 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday (with dinner at 6 p.m.), and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (with brunch at 1 p.m.); $39 for show and meal, or $20 for show only. 12401 Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, (916) 985-6361. Through May 23. P.R.
Ragtime The Woodland Opera House, built in 1895, hosts this panoramic American musical set between 1904 and 1912. The lives of wealthy whites, poor Harlem blacks and struggling European Jewish immigrants (none of whom would know each other under ordinary circumstances) are woven together by fate. Director Jeff Kean mobilizes a huge cast to create some beautiful visuals, including the funeral scene at the end of the first half. And you’ll get goose bumps as you realize that 100 years ago, people very much like the characters on stage were sitting in this historic theater’s aisles. Alas, the singing in this community show doesn’t always get the lyrics across to the audience—and the lyrics are critical in this story-driven musical. Even so, this is a big show with a lot to say.
Woodland Opera House; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $10-$18. 340 Second Street in Woodland, (530) 666-9617. Through May 2. J.H.