The Big Bang The popular summer comedy returns for a fall run. Actors Greg Alexander and Dave Pierini not only portray everyone from Adam and Eve to Napoleon and Josephine in this 23-song musical, but they also use everyday items for costumes—grabbing curtains, vases and pillows for personal props. Everyone is skewered, no race or religion is spared, the double entendres fly, and the jokes are both naughty and groan-producing. It’s not for the thin-skinned, but it is for audiences looking for madcap mayhem and zany antics.
B Street Theatre; 7 p.m. Thursday through Friday, 4:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. Sunday; $22-$28. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through October 30. P.R.
Blood Wedding (Bodas de Sangre) The story in Federico García Lorca’s poetic tragedy is simple: On the day of her wedding, a young woman runs off with her ex-lover, whom everyone knew would cause trouble. They flee, with the furious bridegroom in pursuit. The ending is foretold from the first scene. What makes the play great is the language and imagery, like the knife that “barely fits the hand / but it slides in clean / through the astonished flesh / and stops there.” City Theatre’s production, with several student and inexperienced actors, doesn’t tap the full power of the script at first and only hits its stride at intermission. But from that point, it becomes a surging river. The ending is intense; several actors shed tears, and the audience was rapt. Credit savvy director Kim McCann for her nerve and vision.
City Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with 2 p.m. matinees on October 8 and 15; $7-$15. Art Court Theatre at Sacramento City College, 3825 Freeport Boulevard, (916) 558-5228, www.citytheatre.net. Through October 16. J.H.
The Cemetery Club This is a pleasant, lightweight comedy about a bunch of older New York Jewish widows who meet once a month at the cemetery to visit their husbands’ graves. The three reminisce about old times while kvetching about life, love and loneliness—dueling with clever repartee. This slice-of-life is inoffensive and funny but not very deep. Although the play debuted in 1990, it feels like a segment of The Golden Girls. It’s a fun diversion but, as they say in New York, no big whoop.
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $20. 1901 P Street, (916) 444-8209. Through October 8. P.R.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch This campy cult classic originated as a one-man off-Broadway musical; was subsequently made into a movie; and has spawned hordes of loyal, rabid Hed-heads. The fans know by heart the bitter story of Hedwig’s journey from an East Berlin childhood to his botched sex-change operation, his double-crossing young lover Tommy and his eventual re-emergence as the blond-wigged chanteuse. The show is presented as cabaret with an attitude—songs interspersed with stories. Local actor Kevin Leonard portrays Hedwig with sadness, sass and sensitivity. His Hedwig is angry, bitter, campy and wickedly funny—a sweet, sad survivor on her own road to empowerment.
Lambda Players Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (with some Thursday and Sunday productions), $10-$15. 2427 17th Street, (916) 444-8229. Through October 15. P.R.
The 2nd Annual Sacramento 2Page Play Festival This likeable, lighthearted program showcases seven of director Evan Nossoff’s SacActors.com students in 20 very short plays, which run the gamut from hilarious to forgettable. The show begins with a bang: Cell Phone Reminder, in which six actors commit battery on an “audience member” who hasn’t switched off his you-know-what. The show ends on a high note with Christophos Reeks, about a dad and a barfing, carsick infant, hilariously recast in the style of Greek tragedy. But many of the intervening playlets are one-note novelties, and the actors (while appealing and energetic) are variable in their ever-changing roles. In other words, this is a fun show if you’re in the neighborhood or have a friend in the cast, but it’s not the sort of major achievement that merits a long drive to see.
Geery Theater; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12.50-$14.50. 2130 L Street, (916) 452-4152. Through October 30. J.H.