And to All a Good Night Buck Busfield has revived one his best holiday plays (first mounted at the B Street Theatre in 1997), and it’s even funnier the second time around. The play has hardly changed, but the times we live in have shifted. The self-important character of pastor Calvin Ridges has transformed from a do-gooder liberal into a compassionate conservative (played this time by Michael Stevenson, who’s excellent). There’s good give-and-take between actors Kurt Johnson and Dave Pierini as a pair of hapless thieves on Christmas Eve, and there’s an all-too-rare appearance by wise old Mitch Agruss as that fellow who shows up on the 25th.
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; $20-$25. Additional shows are at 2 p.m. on November 24 and December 1, 8 and 22; and at 7 p.m. on November 28, December 19 and 26, and January 2. No performances on Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Day. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through January 2. J.H.
Fiddler on the Roof Runaway Stage’s Bob Baxter was born to play Tevye, the gruff-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside father of five marriageable girls. He captures both the charm and the frustration of a poor Russian dairyman who faces the change of traditions in his family, his village and his country. All the familiar songs are here, including “Tradition,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset.” As usual with this community playhouse, there are stronger, more-seasoned performers alongside less-polished performers. However, all possess an obvious love for the show. It’s a nice touch to present this production that celebrates the Jewish religion right before Hanukkah. But you’d better hurry; it only runs for one more weekend.
24th Street Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $10-$16. 2791 24th Street, (916) 207-1226. Through November 28. P.R.
Pageant The Studio Theatre pays homage to cheesy, tacky beauty pageants. Watch “giddy girls” compete to be Miss Glamouresse in this over-the-top pageant complete with bathing-suit, evening-gown and talent competitions. We also get an over-earnest emcee, back-stabbing antics, questionable talents, and judges who are picked from the audience. The twist is that all the contestants are men portraying women, which makes it fun. The cast embraces the concept with endless enthusiasm and energy. However, the musical never really lives up to its potential, with mild, safe and silly humor. What saves it is the good-hearted intention of both the endearing, multitalented cast and the animated audience.
Studio Theatre; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $16-$21. 1028 R Street, (916) 446-2668. Through December 19. P.R.
The Vagina Monologues This play with the gutsy title takes a taboo subject matter—a basic body part of every woman—and makes it acceptable to talk about. For this production by SacActors.com, three talented actresses trade off monologues in front of deep-red velvet panels. The performances examine not only the word, but also the body part, and all the shame, power, fear and beauty that vagina owners carry with them. The play is funny, sad, angry, empowering and, most of all, great fodder for after-show conversations.
Geery Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12.50-$14.50. 2130 L Street, (916) 451-4152. Through December 19. P.R.