Stage Reviews

Brett Williams, Stephanie Gularte, Rodger Hoopman and Karen Pollard prove that they’ve got the perfect equation for a successful production of <span style=Proof.">

Brett Williams, Stephanie Gularte, Rodger Hoopman and Karen Pollard prove that they’ve got the perfect equation for a successful production of Proof.

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The Emperor’s New Clothes Comic actor David Pierini goes on a tear in this retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen classic, staged by the Children’s Theatre of California. Kids will enjoy Pierini’s wild costumes and goofy behavior (preening before a mirror or doodling with his hair). Adults also will get a kick out of his character’s selfish mannerisms. Local playwright Richard Hellesen wrote the adaptation, which plays off images from early Hollywood (including a homage to Harpo and Chico Marx, which probably will go over the heads of most youngsters). Director Anthony D’Juan keeps the story bopping along briskly.
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-$20. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300, Through May 21. J.H.

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Evangelize This one’s a comedy, with a message. The setting is a male-dominated Baptist church, where Sister Angela (attractive Dana Pope) decides its time to speak the Word. The audience knows right away that she’s going to stand in the pulpit; the fun stems from how she gets there. Yes, it’s a battle of the sexes—including schemes by men and women with their own agendas. Strong points include another noteworthy score by Charles Cooper, the powerful stage presence of actor William Miller (as the pastor), and good comic dialogue by playwright and director Lisa Tarrer Lacy.
Magic Circle Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $18-$20. At the Tower Theatre, 421 Vernon Street in Roseville, (916) 782-1777, Through April 22. J.H.

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Insides Out Katie Rubin’s a spunky survivor of multiple monkeys on her back, and she’s here to tell her tale. This 29-year-old local actress is presenting an engaging one-woman show about her many addictions: alcohol, food, sex, drugs and destructive lifestyles. Frankly, there is little new in this oft-told saga of a life out of control, but what makes the show so unique is the storytelling. Rubin narrates her life through the voices of conflicting internal characters who pull her in many directions, and the actress embodies each of these inner spirits while maintaining a linear story.
Sacramento Theatre Company; 12:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, with some Saturday matinees; $12-$32. Stage Two, 1419 H Street, (916) 443-6722, Through April 30. P.R.

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Juno and the Paycock This Sean O’Casey classic Irish play, written in 1922, has all the requisites of tragedy: poverty, politics, religion and drink. This impressive B Street production delivers O’Casey’s complex characters, lyrical language, sly wit and rumination on the politics of poverty—as well as memorable performances that resonate throughout the play and long afterward.
B Street Theatre; 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $23-$28. 2711 B Street, (916) 443-5300, Through May 21. P.R.

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Livin’ Fat This amiable comedy is as comfy as a favorite pair of old shoes, but the story’s also shopworn. We meet three generations of a poor black family living under one roof. When the grandson (a college grad working beneath his ability as a janitor because he can’t find a better job) picks up an overlooked wad of bills that falls next to his broom during a bank heist, the family faces a moral dilemma: Should it keep the much-needed cash? In this Celebration Arts production, there are several marvelous and quite funny moments. There are also scenes where actors s-t-r-e-t-c-h for lines, and the laughs are few and far between during the first half. All told, this friendly community show offers good-natured fun, but the level of execution leaves room for improvement.
Celebration Arts, 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $8-$15. 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787, Through April 29. J.H.

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Paloma Local writer Jack Deveny’s tragic script deals with a feud between two brothers. The setting is San Francisco’s Tenderloin, and the booze flows early and often. Deveny patterned his play after the tragedies of the ancient Greeks, with references to bad blood in the past, the warnings (ignored, of course) that trouble lies ahead, and a wrenching ending with a sense of inevitability that leaves an ache in your heart. There’s no single dominant performance, but director Vada Russell successfully locates the power and sadness in the final scenes.
California Stage; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$19. 1735 25th Street, (916) 451-5822, Through April 23. J.H.

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Proof Proof is primarily about mathematics, madness, death and complex personal relationships: father and daughter, sister and sister, teacher and student, and a sudden romance. With just four characters, this “small” Pulitzer Prize-winning drama is a very nearly ideal fit for Capital Stage’s Delta King Theatre. The casting (local professionals Stephanie Gularte and Rodger Hoopman with veteran community actors Karen Pollard and Brett Williams) is close to perfect. This is the best show, overall, in Sacramento this year to date.
Capital Stage; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $44-$51 for dinner and show, and $20-$24 for show only. Delta King, 1000 Front Street in Old Sacramento, (916) 995-5464. Through April 30. J.H.