A Girl’s Guide to Chaos Good intentions go seriously awry at several levels here. Cynthia Heimel’s topical 1986 script about three single women—rife with punch lines about assertive feminism and sex on the first date—may have had some appeal 15 years ago, but it’s out of date and not very funny in 2001. The cast, including good local talent such as Janice Jones and Angela Yee, has trouble making you care whether these largely self-absorbed characters ever find the boyfriend of their dreams. The production also raises questions about the newly restored Jean Runyon Little Theatre in the Memorial Auditorium. The theatre looks lovely (California 1920s), and heaven knows we need more space for local groups. But the acoustics are dry (reportedly a problem before the theatre was mothballed in 1982), the stage is tiny and the wooden seats—while beautifully re-varnished—are kind of uncomfortable. 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday at Jean Runyon Little Theatre, Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St. Call (916) 452-7722. Through Feb. 24. $15. J.H.
Twilight, Los Angeles, 1992 An inspiring but very inconsistent production. A set of 26 first-person monologues describing the riots that followed the Rodney King verdict, this was originally a one-woman show in Los Angeles. Here it’s being staged with a cast of 18, opening the way for crowd scenes and chaos when the bullets fly. Taken together, the monologues—coming from gang members, firemen, housewives, politicians and shopkeepers representing different ages and races—create an awesome mosaic of a city torn open by racial tension, economic stratification and a police force that applies the law differently if you’re young, male and black. About a dozen of the community actors give strong performances that are filled with conviction and urgency. However, a few have trouble with their lines, and the show is also marred by sloppy lighting cues. But even with its flaws, this show packs a dramatic, real-life punch that you won’t find in some of the romantic comedies around town. 8 p.m. Thursday–Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday at Celebration Arts, 4469 D St. Call (916) 455-2787. Through March 10. $12. J.H.