Becoming Julia Morgan Architect Julia Morgan designed the remarkable, irrepressible visions of William Randolph Hearst at San Simeon, as well as more than 800 different projects throughout the state. California Stage co-commissioned playwright Belinda Taylor to dramatize the story of the first state-licensed woman architect. The challenge? Morgan was revealing in her work, but she built a concrete wall around her private life. Janis Stevens gives a subtle performance that captures this no-nonsense woman with small, constrained gestures and expressions. The script is a fascinating character portrait told in tight and compelling, imaginative scenes—though the second half needs tightening up.
California Stage; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $15-$19. 1723 25th Street, (916) 451-5822, www.calstage.org. Extended through February 12. P.R.
Relatively Speaking This British comedy, set in the 1960s, features two couples. One is young and contemplating matrimony; the other is middle-aged and a tad bored. But these four people have something in common. They don’t entirely trust their significant others, and they have a bit of difficulty telling all the truth, all the time. Director Peter Mohrmann deftly leads a seasoned cast through an escalating series of “harmless” white lies, with increasingly funny results. The script is also an early example of playwright Alan Ayckbourn’s talent for comic dialogue.
Capital Stage; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with an additional show at 7 p.m. February 14; $20-$24 for show only, and $44-$51 for dinner and show. Delta King, 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, (916) 995-5464, www.capitalstagecompany.com. Through March 5. J.H.
Safe at Home: The Jackie Robinson Story Jackie Robinson is the perfect subject matter for a thought-provoking yet entertaining children’s-theater offering. The story of the first black major-league baseball player speaks to history, to perseverance and to a singular passion. The basic story is interesting and conveys a love of baseball, and the lead performer gives a talented portrayal of Robinson. But the production is muddied with songs and perky dancing that distract from the plot, rather than propel it.
Children’s Theatre of California; 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, www.bstreettheatre.org. Through March 12. P.R.
A View from the Bridge This lesser-known but still powerful Arthur Miller play centers on Eddie Carbone, a Brooklyn longshoreman embittered by life and dealing with two new illegal-immigrant cousins from Italy. It’s an impressive offering by Big Idea Theatre. The company’s previous shows have been a mixed lot, both in subject matter and success, but this production showcases the theater’s ability to present thought-provoking material while offering up new local talent.
Big Idea Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with an additional show on February 9 at 7:30 p.m., $10-$14. Polish American Community Hall, 327 Main Street in Roseville, (916) 789-8477, www.bigideatheatre.com. Through February 11. P.R.
Wait Until Dark Wanna get scared? This 40th-anniversary production of a classic Broadway thriller (later a film) describes a deadly battle of strategy between a blind young woman and a ruthless killer. Young actress Kristine David is very good as the lead, and veteran performer Scott Devine is thoroughly chilling. All in all, it’s a handsome community production. Doug Keowen’s set equals what you’ll find in professional shows.
Woodland Opera House; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $10-$15. 340 Second Street in Woodland, (530) 666-9617, www.wohtheatre.org. Through February 12. J.H.
What He Left There are plenty of jokes and funny stories in Jack Gallagher’s new one-man show, but it’s really a memory play, and a very personal one at that. Gallagher reflects on growing up and on watching his parents grow old, his dad in particular. His father’s voice, recorded before his passing, figures into the show, and you can feel his presence in the theater. The show is directed with sensitivity and understated style by Buck Busfield, but it’s very much Gallagher’s project. He uses both his skills as a stand-up comedian and a degree of revealing sincerity you don’t always sense in performers.
B Street Theatre; 6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with some 2 p.m. Wednesday matinees; $20-$28. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300. Through March 5. J.H.
Yellow Fever Picture hard-boiled San Francisco detective Sam Spade as Japantown private investigator Sam Shikaze. Now sprinkle in some bilingual humor (quite funny if you understand a little Japanese), move the timeframe to the 1970s and turn the shadowy nemesis into a stealthy white-supremacist organization. You’ve got the major elements of Canadian writer Rick Shiomi’s smart script. This community production by InterACT (Interactive Contemporary Asian Theatre) is spirited if not polished. The acting’s sometimes uneven, and the story doesn’t flow as smoothly as it might.
The Space, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday with an additional show on February 12 at 3 p.m., $12-$14. 2509 R Street, (916) 267-7280, www.interact-theatre.com. Through February 12. J.H.