An Evening With John Wilkes Booth
William Voorhees is back in the one-man show he first presented about a year ago at the small, club-like Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre. It’s a full-length portrait of a complicated man—reared in theatrical tradition, envious of his more famous brother, and furiously angry at President Lincoln, who he blames for the destruction of the American South. It’s an intense and deliberately self-conscious performance—the script demands as much—but in this case, actor and role are well matched, and the swagger compliments the character. Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday (June 17). $13-$17. 1901 P St. 444-8209. Through June 30.
Those “in the know” say that middle-aged women are the most powerful demographic in terms of theater attendance—and if it’s true, this show could strike gold. For those who haven’t seen it elsewhere, Steel Magnolias is a sentimental comedy about six women in a beauty parlor in small town Louisiana … we’re talking big hair, gossip, lipstick and reflections on life. Three scenes of good-natured fun lead up to a multi-kleenex ending that involves smiling through the tears. It’s schmaltzy, but it works. Not all the Southern accents sound genuine, but the six local actresses do well (and Jan Ahders gets in one terrific dramatic speech). Delta King Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $14-$16, 1000 Front Street, Old Sacramento. (916) 995-5464. Through July 21.
Tales From the Beijing Opera
Actor-acrobats Zhou Xin-Lai and Merrianne Moore perform theatrical scenes to taped music in this show. The costumes are wonderful, and so is their acting, but some technical aspects of the show feel “home-made.” It’s a small show, about an hour long, geared toward the matinee crowd in Old Sacramento. But it’s fun nonetheless—think of it as a sort of theatrical equivalent to a lunch special. Eagle Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $8-$12. 111 I St., Old Sacramento. 441-4214. Through July 1.
A daring look at the differences separating three generations of an Irish family’s men in all of their flawed, raw beauty. Waking, written by award-winning Irish playwright Lin Coughlan and directed by Irish theater specialist and City College theater instructor Christine Nicholson, is a haunting tale containing classic drama mixed with a healthy dose of wit and human condition as only the Irish can tell it. A sure bet for an evening of good, solid entertainment. California Stage, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with varying Sunday matinees, $15. 1717 25th St. 705-0540. Through July 14.