… Butterfly … Sacramento writer Thomas Kelly’s introspective new play is a lyrical rooftop duet—with dance lessons—between two New Yorkers with immigrant roots. Fyvush is a 78-year-old European Jew, and Myung Sook is an 18-year-old Korean girl. Past wars have left deep scars on both. Kelly gradually reveals their memories with human sensitivity and an ironic awareness of change brought by passing time, especially in his writing for Fyvush. But despite deft direction from Maggie Upton, a monologue by Fyvush runs out of steam. Ting Sun (a good actress who recently played a middle-aged mom) is skinny but doesn’t entirely look like a teenager. Patrick Murphy, a veteran performer who recently settled here, is very good as Fyvush.
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; $22. 1901 P Street, (916) 444-8209. Through May 27. J.H.
Strange Sightings in the Great Southwest This lyrical, sometimes-poetic play is by and about women. It’s driven by the interpersonal conflicts and growing pains felt by two sisters (one prim, the other a sexpot, both hitting middle age) and a nearly adult daughter with a physical disability. They’re trying to work out the way they relate to each other, and to men. Each of these women also has an internal issue to overcome and, by the time you reach the play’s cathartic ending, all three manage to do so.
Foothill Theatre Company; 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $11-$26. Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street in Nevada City, (530) 265-8587, www.foothilltheatre.org. Through June 4. J.H.
The Sugar Bean Sisters The tale of the eccentric Nettles siblings is a broad comedy in every sense of the word. The lives of these eccentric “bachelor girls” living on the old family homestead are interrupted by a wayward showgirl named Videllia, a strange preacher, a reptile lady, outer-space visitors and other sundry stuff. This surreal story is a goofy romp through the Florida swamp with a winning cast, but the convoluted story ends up with more heart than substance.
The Studio Theatre; 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $20-$24. 1028 R Street, (916) 446-2668, www.thestudiotheatre.net. Through July 2. P.R.
Take Me Out Lambda Players stage the first local production of a script that made a splash in New York (2003 Tony Award for best play) but didn’t get picked up by larger local companies. It’s not hard to figure out why: The play deals with homophobia and racial tension in a major-league clubhouse after a star player comes out. In addition to dealing with hot button issues, Take Me Out also involves showers that work (a technical challenge, especially for a little group like Lambda) and naked guys (routine in a real locker room, but not often done on stage). Lambda’s modestly staged production could flow more smoothly, and some members of the cast handle their roles better than others. But this is an honest, heartfelt show, and well worth seeing. Kudos to Lambda for bringing this important script to a local stage.
Lambda Players; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with special shows at 2 p.m. on June 4 and 8 p.m. on June 7; $10-$15. 2427 17th Street; (916) 444-8229. Through June 17. J.H.
Tell Me on a Sunday This is a great showcase for a talented performer to show off her singing and acting chops, and that’s just what Alexandra Ralph does in this Andrew Lloyd Webber one-woman musical. This story of Emma, a British hat designer trying to make it in New York City, is told all in song and without dialogue. To succeed, one has to be an engaging performer with an impressive singing voice. Ralph delivers on both counts. Unfortunately, this is basically a string of songs about Emma’s string of men. We begin to wish Emma would spend as much time finding a life as she does finding, losing and pining for men.
Actor’s Theatre of Sacramento; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday; $12-$15, 1616 Del Paso Boulevard, (916) 925-6579, www.actinsac.com. Through June 11. P.R.