Stage Reviews

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The Chairman’s Wife Chairman Mao’s widow remembers her pre-revolutionary past, her previous romantic involvements and her marriage to the Great Helmsman in this memory play set in a Chinese prison. This small, rough-hewn community-based production by Interactive Asian Contemporary Theater has several weak components, but Lou Paman gives a convincing performance as a tough old lady who makes no apologies. (Paman alternates in the title role with Nela Reyes).
Broadway Playhouse, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday, $10-$12. 4010 El Camino Ave., 489-6880. Through August 19. J.H.

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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.

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Whodunnit Directed by Rodger McDonald, Whodunnit is a satiric comedy that pokes fun at the classical murder mysteries. While the production runs into less-than-adequate lighting choices, technical pluses of the production lie in Eileen Beaver’s well-made costuming choices and an eye-pleasing set design. The script also includes a slightly homophobic subplot that, unfortunately, is not played off well into the campiness of the production. Overall, though, Whodunnit is a delightful light comedy full of campy dialogue and characters as well as surprises and laughter that should provide an evening of fun for mystery lovers.
Garbeau’s Dinner Theater , 6 p.m. dinner shows Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and an 11 a.m. brunch Sunday, $27-$32. 12401 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova. 985-6361. Through Sept. 2. M.B.C.