Mahalia When actress Elise Reese is singing (in her role as the great gospel singer Mahalia Jackson), this show is a joy. And music makes up about half the show. But when Reese stops singing, and the show turns into a routinely written docudrama with actors who have a bit of trouble with their lines, the experience leaves something to be desired. We’ll give Mahalia a “good” rating overall—just keep in mind that you’re in for some ups and downs during this inconsistent show. See it to remember (or, if you’re young, experience for the first time) what a remarkable, enormously popular performer Jackson was during the 1950s and 1960s. Enjoy the gospel standards that she made her own, like “Elijah Rock” and “I Will Move On Up a Little Higher.”
Celebration Arts Theatre, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $8-$15. 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787. Extended through January 15. J.H.