A Texas Romance
Directed by Miranda McClenaghan, Ellsworth Schave’s A Texas Romance could easily come off as just another stuffy high school-level play, Stephanie Gularte (Bite Me Cleopatra, Oleanna)—arguably one of the strongest young actresses in Sacramento theater—along with cast members Teresa Vuinovic (Romeo and Juliet, Gunfighter) and Sean Manwaring, a longtime musical-theater performer, breathe a fury of life into the production, making it a delight for audiences who want an evening of romantic entertainment. Delta King Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 1000 Front St., Old Sacramento. $14-$32. 995-5464. Through June 9. M.B.C.
While this World War II-themed production is little more than a series of songs from the golden age of swing music strung together with cheesy dialogue and jokes, it’s the lack of enthusiasm and uninspired performances that make the show lack the real spark it begs for. With incredible set design, a topnotch band and a talented crew, it’s a shame Swingtime Canteen just doesn’t seem to work. Garbeau’s Dinner Theatre, 6 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 11:30 a.m. Sunday. $15-$32. 12401 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova. 985-6361. Through June 24. M.B.C.
Women Who Steal
The B Street Busfields do it again with their newest offering from playwright Carter W. Lewis. Peggy, experiencing a midlife crisis, confronts the vixen who had an affair with her husband, then ends up on a nightlong quasi-Thelma and Louise-style adventure complete with guns, booze and a kidnapped man in the trunk of her Mercedes. This laugh-a-minute, black romantic-angst comedy continues a recent local trend—plays that give voice to the issues and lives of women and allow audiences to experience strong, well-written leading roles for female performers. Director John P. Lamb has assembled a stellar cast that breathes life into a play that could easily miss its mark. B Street Theatre, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday; 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $16.50-$20.50. 2711 B St. 443-5300. Through June 10. M.B.C.
This UC Davis production stands rather handsomely alongside recent productions by the (theoretically more professional) productions of the Sacramento Theatre Company and Foothill Theatre Company. Christopher Marlowe’s script (circa 1588) also outclasses anything seen in recent years at the B Street Theatre. Strong direction (by British veteran William Gaskill), smart costumes (by film designer Maggie Morgan) and up-to-the-task performances by grad student actors elevate this show to a level equal to, or higher than, what’s ordinarily on offer locally. Wyatt Pavilion, 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $6-$11. UC Davis. (530) 752-1915. Through June 3. J.H.