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.
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.
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. 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, 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.
The Boxcar Children This is a fun and very amusing adaptation of a popular children’s-book series about the adventures of four Depression-era orphans. It’s a quick trip—just two half-hour acts. This makes the plot a bit choppy, but the end result is an entertaining story about plucky, enterprising kids who just want to stay together as a family. Great period additions include 1930s songs, a movie-organ soundtrack, handsome costumes, and Laurel- and Hardy-like sidekicks.
Children’s Theatre of California; 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday; $15-$20. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through May 30. P.R.
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. 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.
Shades of Brown Shades of Brown gives us a listen to Oscar Brown Jr., a Chicago-born R&B and jazz composer. Twenty-one of Brown’s songs are presented by a multitalented singing trio backed by a tight trio of musicians. Brown’s songs are classy and sassy, and so is the resulting show. There is no dialogue, but most of the songs are stories in themselves. All that’s missing in this classy nightclub act are candlelit tables and cocktail service.
Chautauqua Playhouse; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. at matinees on May 2 and 9; $11-$12. 5325 Engle Road in Carmichael, (916) 489-7529. May 15. P.R.
When It Goes Haywire In rural present-day Utah, we meet several unusual characters, including a latter-day cowboy, a kooky old veteran who’s chasing Butch Cassidy, an angry punk longing to leave town and a ragged drifter. At the center is a bold, sexually curious 16-year-old girl. Quirky happenings, physical attraction and the very real possibility that someone could get seriously hurt are wild cards in this odd but strangely memorable story. It won’t suit everyone’s taste, but it’s well worth seeing if you’re looking for something different.
Foothill Theatre Company; 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$23. Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street in Nevada City; (530) 265-8587. Through May 16. J.H.