Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day The Children’s Theatre of California has gone “back to the book” again, with another show based on a slim volume many parents have read aloud to their kids. It’s about a kid named Alexander, who’s having a day when everything goes wrong. Director Buck Busfield taps his reliable stable of actors (Rick Kleber, et al.), musical arranger Noah Agruss, and costumer Nancy Pipkin. Visiting actor Paul Wyatt is lots of fun in the title role, but the episodic story doesn’t really have a climax. And the songs, while pleasant, don’t stay with you. It’s a nice show—especially for younger kids—but it’s not quite as marvelous for adults as, say, CTC’s earlier A Year with Frog and Toad.
Children’s Theatre of California; 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $15-$20. B Street Theatre, 2711 B Street; (916) 443-5300. Through June 5. J.H.
Bad Dates Haley is a single mom. She’s attractive, well-dressed and smart, and she runs a great little restaurant. The only thing she needs to make her life complete is romance. But every time she goes out on a date, the guy turns out to be a loser. This makes for a story that’s easy to anticipate, but actress Deborah O’Brien makes the most of the opportunity. While primping and changing in and out of multiple fashionable outfits, she gives a winning performance in this 90-minute monologue.
Delta King Theatre; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; $42-$49 for dinner and show, or $8-$20 for show only. 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, (916) 995-5464. Through May 1. J.H.
Mrs. California River Stage returns to its beginnings with this 10th-anniversary production of the company’s first show. It’s a comedy with social implications, set in the 1950s, but, unlike most ’50s comedies, this one doesn’t have a teenager in sight. It’s about four married women – some of whom had real jobs during World War II and enjoyed working – who are now competing in a mindless pageant that rates them on their ability to make meatloaf and iron their husbands’ dress shirts. It’s the sort of show we’ve come to expect from River Stage: It’s smart and entertaining, and it gets you thinking about who we were and who we are now. Good comic performances by the ensemble cast are well-managed by guest director Vada Russell.
River Stage; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $13-$15. Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Parkway, (916) 691-7364. Through May 8. J.H.
Nunsense This 20th-anniversary production offers the lighthearted, laugh-oriented entertainment that’s made Nunsense (and its sequels) a dinner-theater franchise and netted millions in ticket sales through the decades. It’s got corny jokes, dancing nuns, puppeteer nuns, singing nuns, punning nuns, nuns who imitate Groucho Marx and Ed Sullivan – you get the idea. Musically, it’s a hodgepodge of everything from the blues to Nashville and from gospel to the Andrews Sisters. As the press release observes, “It’s a vacation without the baggage.” It not high art, and it won’t tax your IQ in the least, but if you don’t catch yourself smiling at least a few times, you probably ought to check your pulse.
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.; $37-$43 for meal and show, or $21 for show only. 12401 Folsom Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, (916) 985-6361. Through May 1. J.H.
Southern Baptist Sissies These “sissies” are Baptist boys from Texas. They’re attracted to other boys and realize they’re at risk of rejection from family and church. The play opens in comic mode with dialogue that makes fun of fundamentalism counterbalanced by giddy gay-bar scenes. But things get serious as the boys reach adulthood and are torn between being who they really are or the people they’re expected to be. The production has ungainly moments (in addition to provocative scenes that may offend religious conservatives). But it comes into its own in the final hour and is quite impressive as it crosses the finish line. The music by Roy Semerdjian is a fine addition.
Lambda Players Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with specials shows on May 22 at 2 p.m. and April 28 and May 12 at 8 p.m. Lambda Players Theatre, 2427 17th Street, (916) 444-8229. Through May 22. J.H.
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; $14.50-$17.50. 2130 L Street, (916) 451-4152. Extended through May 22. P.R.
Waiting for Godot You’ve doubtless heard of the famously famous play Waiting for Godot, but have you ever seen it? If not, consider this production by the Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento, which features seasoned local veterans Ed Claudio and Dan Harlan as sad, hopeless Vladimir and Estragon. The two stand by a dead tree in a landscape that looks like the “end of time” and wait for … (check the title of the play, eh?). The cast also features Michael Claudio as the hapless quasi-slave, Lucky, and Mark Heckman as the overbearing Pozzo. This production is all about the acting – otherwise, it’s low-tech and modestly produced. But if you’ve never taken the time to experience Samuel Beckett’s great tragicomedy, this small-scale staging makes a good introduction.
Actor’s Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$14. 1616 Del Paso Boulevard, (916) 925-6579. Extended through May 15. J.H.