As Things Remain Melissa has come to America determined to find the answers to questions that have plagued her ever since she was a small child. Why did my father send us away? Who was he? Melissa discovers that the answers to all of her questions may be locked in an old trunk her father had kept. To her dismay, the trunk is now in the possession of her lovelorn neighbor, who is more interested in getting her to have dinner with him than in revealing the contents of the old trunk. As Things Remain is the B Street’s seventh world-premiere holiday comedy, following in the theater’s tradition of presenting original works during the holiday season. (Written by B Street cofounder and producing director Buck Busfield, As Things Remain is the sixth original play penned for the B Street holiday presentations.) It is unfortunate, however, that this season’s efforts fall short with awkwardly incomplete scenes, forced plot points and underdeveloped, clichéd characters. Actress Josephine Hall delivers a delightful performance that is perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this production. Greg Alexander, as James, manages a nearly flawless and quite enjoyable performance. The character of Ginger, played by Anthony Shank, the electrician hired to rewire the inherited house, is sadly little more than poorly added comic relief, providing some laughs but mostly pointless distraction in an already muddled plot. As Things Remain is an enjoyable, romantic comedy with a plethora of potential and some truly inspired moments, but this production will need a few rewrites before it takes its place among Busfield’s better works. B Street Theatre, various times Tu-Su. $15.50-$19.50. 2711 B St. 443-5300. Through Jan. 7. M.B.C.
Six Women with Brain Death The longest-running theatrical production in Sacramento has seen more than 25 cast members, been through two divorces, a marriage and assorted high school and college graduations. Boasting more than 700 performances, the show is continuously updated and rewritten to keep its biting edge on current events and pop-culture punch lines. Reminiscent of Mad-TV and early Saturday Night Live, the 10 skits that make up the production don’t always seem to have any rhyme or reason, but people don’t seem to notice because they are rolling with laughter. Written predominantly from the female perspective, without attempting to make the expected in-your-face social statement or feminist standpoint, Six Women with Brain Death is a great show for men as well. The Studio Theatre, 8pm Th-Sa; 7pm Su. $15-$18. 1028 R St. 446-2668. Runs indefinitely. M.B.C.