Educating Rita Director Theresa Larkin does an outstanding job at capturing the more intricate subtext of this seemingly simple tale, wherein an abrasive, uneducated young British woman (Julia Brothers), returns to school against her husband’s wishes and comes under the tutelage of an aging, alcoholic professor (Anthony DeFonte), whom she inspires back to the living. While in early scenes Brothers’ performance feels like a stand-up routine, it serves to illuminate her blossoming later in the play.
Sacramento Theatre Company , evening performances 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday; matinees 12: 30 Thursday; 2 p.m. Saturday, Sunday, $16-$32. 1419 H St., 443-6722. Through October 21. M.B.C.
The Fantasticks A local revival of a venerable little musical, originally written as a summertime college production back in the days of President Eisenhower. It’s got one great song—“Try to Remember”—and some schoolboy humor involving Shakespeare and high-flown notions about bravery and romance. But some of the songs are thin, and this production, while sincere, doesn’t generate a lot of sparks.
Garbeau’s Dinner Theater , 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 12:30 p.m. Sunday, 12401 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova. $15-$32. 985-6361. Through October 28. J.H.
Six Women With Brain Death This very campy revue is Sacramento’s longest-running show, coming up on its fifth anniversary in October. It’s a series of skits and songs about midlife women with “expiring minds,” dealing with soap operas, high-school reunions, grocery shopping and getting away from the kids. While the show clearly tickles the funnybone of its core audience (females over 40), our critic found the appeal elusive and the humor generic. But then, he’s a middle-aged guy.
Studio Theatre , 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday, 1028 R St. $14-$18. 446-2668. Open-ended run. J.H.
Wonderful World This new comedy is a work in progress by Richard Dresser—and need we say it’s dark, given that he wrote it? The playwright sets out a simmering stew of suspicious siblings, manipulative behavior and rat-a-tat dialogue—played for laughs, mind you. It’s bright and brittle, oh-so-nasty and frequently quite funny. The production is well cast, including a welcome return by Elisabeth Nunziato, who’s been away from local stages for much too long.
B Street Theatre , 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday; 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday; matinee 2 p.m. Sunday, $16.50-$20.50. 2711 B St., 443-5300. Through November 18. J.H.