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 Theater , 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.
A Festival of One Acts The Actor’s Workshop’s A Festival of One Acts is directed and performed, for the first time, entirely by members of the Workshop. The five one acts range from a farce-like spoof of the “Little Red Riding Hood” fairytale to the startlingly dramatic world debut of Small Talk, written by local playwright Peter Storey. With above-par performances from local actors Rick Snow, Mary Strong, Greta Gerwig and Actor’s Workshop regular Beth Edwards, the evening holds barely a dull moment; it’s great fun for those with both a taste for adventure and an offbeat sense of humor. But plan on a babysitter, as this show definitely isn’t for the kids. Actor’s Workshop, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $14, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., 925-6579. Through July 29. M.B.C.
How I Learned to Drive River Stage and Beyond the Proscenium Productions smack the bull’s-eye with this slick production of Paula Vogel’s dark comedy. The script (Pulitzer, ‘98) tackles a difficult topic: a sexually abusive relationship between a 50-year-old uncle and his teenage niece. Local actress Stephanie Gularte gives a breakthrough performance as the female lead, and Loren Taylor—a valued asset in many River Stage productions—has never been better than in this complex part. Frank Condon’s direction is remarkably good, Kim Simons’ costumes are snappy—just about everything clicks. Highly recommended. River Stage, 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $8-$14., Cosumnes River College, 801 Center Parkway, 691-7364. Through July 29. J.H.
Macbeth Director Luther Hanson plays up the witches and their supernatural interventions in this carefully planned production featuring a large cast of local actors. Actor Blair Leatherwood gathers momentum and speaks some of Shakespeare’s greatest speeches in the title role amidst bagpipes, blind ambition, betrayal and bloody vengance. Arrive early with a picnic basket for best lawn seating, and take a sweater for the late evening breeze. Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 21; also July 27, August 3 and 5., $8-$10.
William Land Park Amphitheatre . 558-2228. Through August 5. 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.
The Three Musketeers With a superb supporting cast as well as excellently placed leads, this show—directed by City College Theater instructor Kim McCann—delivers the high-quality production audiences have come to expect from the Sacramento Shakespeare Festival over the past 16 years. At times the plot seems to get lost within the three-hour production, but it always manages to weave its way back to an entertaining storyline. With its authentic period costumes and an innovative use of set and lighting, The Three Musketeers lends itself well to the outdoor theater. Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 20, and Sunday, July 22, also July 29 and August 4. $8-$10.
William Land Park Amphitheatre . 558-2228. Through August 4. M.B.C.