Drinking Alone As ever with the B Street, this is a smartly executed show with a well-chosen, likeable cast. But this attractive talent is harnessed to a so-so script—in this case, the fourth offering at the B Street by Canadian writer Norm Foster, who’s got a knack for comic dialogue, but wouldn’t make anybody’s list of “10 Best Playwrights.” It’s a pleasant but unambitious show, with plot developments you can spot a mile off. The B Street Theater, which used to surprise us with edgier material, is resting a bit too comfortably on its laurels.
B Street Theatre , 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $16.50-$20.50. 2711 B St. (916) 443-5300. Through August 5; may be extended. J.H.
Resident Alien A light-hearted summer entertainment about a space alien busboy (with a penchant for junk food) who indulges in an earthly joy ride in rural Wisconsin. Good performances from the cast, smart direction from Sheldon Deckelbaum of UC Davis, and a handful of heartfelt quotes from serious works keep the otherwise tipsy script on an even keel.
Nevada Theatre , 7 p.m. Thursday; 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday; matinees 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $5-21, 410 Broad St., Nevada City. (888) 730-8587 or (530) 265-8587. Through August 19. J.H.
Shatterproof This is a very likeable but uneven effort that will leave some cheering and others puzzled. It’s not so much a play as a series of free-standing monologues and short meditations—all written and performed by Sacramento women—covering topics from child abuse to Barbie® to the solitary indulgence of an ice-cream habit. Some scenes are like rituals, others rely on farce and a few are icy tragedies. Occasionally the tongue-in-cheek humor gets tongue-tied. Recommended for the adventuresome, especially those with an interest in women’s issues; but those seeking easily absorbed entertainment may find it quirky.
Celebration Arts , 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $10-$12. 4469 D St. 445-2787. Through July 28. J.H.
Steel Magnolias If the recent heat wave brings the sultry South to mind, you can indulge the mood with Steel Magnolias, the durable (but still effective) comedy currently running at the Delta King Theatre. For those who haven’t seen it elsewhere, Steel Magnolias is a sentimental laugher about six women—mostly middle-aged—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 in the final scene).
Delta King Theatre , 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $14-$16, 1000 Front St., Old Sacramento, 995-5464. Through July 21. J.H.
Waking 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. M.B.C