The Importance of Being Earnest City Theater’s current production of the Oscar Wilde gem, directed by Luther Hanson (Bite Me Cleopatra, Blood Brothers), is filled with a rich, clever humor seldom experienced in many productions of classic works. While the cast delivers a fun evening and an above-par performance, the production sometimes feels rushed. The real joy in this presentation comes from its peripheral characters, which in places all but steal the thunder from the leads. Visually, each scene takes on a fresh new look with a genuine period feel. While some may argue that classical theater is overdone in Sacramento, this production certainly proves the contrary. Sacramento City College Art Court Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $10. 3835 Freeport Blvd., 558-2228. Through May 19. M.B.C.
We Are Family Sex farce with a variation: A successful playwright, after several divorces, concludes that heterosexual relationships are an evolutionary dead end. He observes that his gay friends appear to be leading a better life (“they always seem to be going off on vacation”), so he rationally concludes that this is the way he should live as well. Awkward attempts at romance lead to some funny complications, and playwright Murray Schisgal (co-author of Tootsie) works in some barbed one-liners and comebackers. The opening scenes (with a faded tirade about aggressive feminists) and the last-minute ending (oddly sentimental and not particularly convincing) leave a bit to be desired. But the well-chosen cast meshes very well with the script during the rest of the show, and director Peggy Shannon keeps the jokes popping in sequence. Sacramento Theatre Company, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; matinees 12:30 p.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $10-$28. 1419 H St., 443-6722. Through May 13. J.H.