And to All a Good Night Buck Busfield has revived one of 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; 8 p.m. Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $20-$25. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through January 9. J.H.
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. 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.
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. Extended through January 16. 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 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. Extended through February 27. P.R.
A Year with Frog and Toad This sparkling little musical—ostensibly for kids, but with broader appeal—features the two actors SN&R recognized in the recent Best of Sacramento issue for “Best theatrical performances by big men.” Rick Kleber and Peter Story strike up quite a buddy relationship while going swimming, baking cookies, raking leaves and sledding. It’s excellent material. The script (based on a well-known children’s book) and Broadway-style score were Tony nominees in 2003. Director Greg Alexander and choreographer Jackie Schultz keep things bright, brisk and bouncy. Look for Jeff Asch as the snail with the mail who “puts the go in escargot.”
Children’s Theatre of California; 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $15 for children and $20 for adults. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through January 9. J.H.