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.
Born Yesterday River Stage’s season opener feels like a nostalgic trip through an old classic movie, with its long dressing gowns, elegant furniture, swirling cocktail glasses, silly dialogue and old-fashioned battle of the sexes. Playwright Garson Kanin’s 1946 political satire looks at cigar-chomping deal-makers but centers on Billie Dawn, the ditsy paramour of junk dealer Harry Brock, who one-ups Washington’s politicians, power brokers and lawyers. Christine Nicholson brings a weary sass and streetwise pathos to Billie Dawn while the always-on-the-mark Loren Taylor plays her foil.
River Stage; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$18. Cosumnes River College, 8410 Center Parkway, (916) 691-7364. Through November 13. P.R.
A Raisin in the Sun The Sacramento Theatre Company opens its new season with this rich, satisfying production of an American classic from the 1950s. It’s a drama about three generations of a black Chicago family, living in a cramped old apartment and contemplating a new house in the suburbs. The matriarch is newly widowed. Her son is frustrated with his job as a chauffer, and her daughter is the family’s first college student. The play includes a marriage proposal, a racially motivated business proposal, a drunken scene and more. If you know the 1961 film, you’re in for a treat, because this three-hour production includes scenes that were cut from the movie. The cast is strong, including a fine performance from the River City’s own Danielle Moné Thrower.
Sacramento Theatre Company; 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 12:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $22-$38. 1419 H Street, (916) 443-6722, www.sactheatre.org. Extended through November 6. J.H.
2nd Annual 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.
The Shape of Things Evelyn is an edgy art student. While trying to spray-paint a statue, she encounters Adam, a part-time museum guard so nerdy he’s not even geek-chic. This cute meeting of an Adam and an Eve results in an odd romantic match-up and a strangely evolving relationship, written by the unsettling contemporary playwright Neil LaBute. Director Jonathan Williams keeps the action taut with tension and suspense, resulting in a satisfying, surprising plot payoff.
Capital Stage; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $20-$24. The Delta King, 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, (916) 995-5464, www.capitalstagecompany.com. Extended through November 6. P.R.
Treasure Island The Children’s Theatre of California takes Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic adventure story about pirates and treasure and turns it into a musical, with several comic interludes. For our reviewer, the combination just didn’t succeed: A great character like Long John Silver can be charming and sinister at the same time, but it doesn’t really work when he tries to be funny, too. The songs by Noah Agruss, while attractive, don’t really advance the story or even fit in particularly well. However, kids might not mind these disparities as much as adults do. On the plus side, actor David Silberman is marvelous as a wounded buccaneer on the run in the opening scene, and the costumes and sets are lovely.
B Street Theatre; 7 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday; $15 for children and $20 for adults. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through October 30. J.H.