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.
Pensacola You could summarize this play by local writer David Matthew Barnes by saying it’s a comedy/drama involving Southern women discussing their lives, dreams, clothes and cosmetics (à la Steel Magnolias), expanded through Barnes’ addition of a wayward husband and a handsome boyfriend (who is Cuban). Barnes has engineered some amusing dialog, though he occasionally strays into TV sitcom-style setup and delivery of punch lines. The cast of six can barely fit on the tiny stage; Susan Madden is a scream as the man-hungry middle-aged neighbor Berniece, wearing a parade of outfits that would look tacky even in Las Vegas.
Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre , 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Oct. 21. 1901 P St. $17-$15. 444-8209. Through October 27. J.H.
Ravenscroft Don’t let the setting (an English country house) and the plot (a dead body at the bottom of the stairs) fool you. This whodunit possesses an above-average IQ for a show of its kind, combining clever dialog, numerous plot twists and a hint of haunting—after all, it is that time of year. Good acting from a cast that trained at local universities and the B Street apprentice program.
Delta King Theatre , 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. (on the riverboat in Old Sacramento), 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Sundays at 2 p.m. Dinner/show packages available; show-only tickets $16-$14. 995-5464. Through November 17. 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.
Wait Until Dark Foothill Theatre puts some real shivers into the Halloween season with this revival of the 1966 thriller (not a whodunit!) that pits a sadistic killer against a resourceful blind woman. Actor Fredrick Snyder is very creepy as the baddie, while Carolyn Howarth is credible and sympathetic as the housewife who is determined not to become a victim. Director Gary Wright ratchets up the suspense, notch by notch. Foothill Theatre Company, 7 p.m. Thursday, 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 401 Broad St., Nevada City. $5-$21. (888) 730-8587. Through October 28. 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.
You Can’t Take It With You Befuddled hilarity ensues when two families come together for dinner on the wrong night, brought together by a young couple in love—he from an upper class, uptight business family, she from a family of eccentrics. Kim McCann directs City Theatre’s production of this classic play by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman. Although the production falls a bit in the third act, it’s quirky and fun and has moments that will have audiences in stitches. Sacramento City College’s Art Court Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, 3835 Freeport Blvd., $10, 558-2228. Through October 27. M.B.C.