The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds Marigolds is more than a play about dysfunctional families in the Leave It to Beaver 1950s; it strikes at the core of the humanity in each character. The all-female cast is joined by a rabbit named Paw Puffs. Unlike the rabbit in Harvey, this bunny is quite real, and it gives a powerful, and believable, performance.
Celebration Arts Theatre , 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, $12. 4469 D St. 455-2787. Through November 10. M.B.C.
The Imaginary Invalid Frank Condon’s very funny adaptation of the classic comedy by Molière smoothly moves the action from 17th-century France to New Orleans circa 1912, giving the production a ragtime flavor and a hint of racial subtext. But the playwright’s shrewd observations of human nature are timeless—also quite hilarious. This great script is backed up by handsome sets and costumes, a large cast and solid direction, with an emphasis on physical comedy. It’s the funniest show in town, and a great antidote to the blues in the news.
River Stage , 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday, $8-$14. The Visual and Performing Arts Center at Cosumnes River College, 8401 Center Pkwy., 691-7364. Through November 18. 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 (on the riverboat in Old Sacramento). Dinner/show packages available; show-only tickets $14-$16. 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.
Studio Theatre , 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday, 1028 R St. $14-$18. 446-2668. Open-ended run. J.H.
Wild Indian This show generates some interesting sparks by rubbing four very different characters together. There’s Ishi, apparently the last survivor of Northern California’s Yahi tribe, who comes out of the hills near Oroville in 1911, and Prof. Alfred Kroeber, the prominent anthropologist who turns Ishi into a living exhibit at his museum in San Francisco. Also Kroeber’s assistant—a nascent suffragette—and a Chinese woman. You can hear echoes of the conflict between white settlers and native tribes, while World War I, with its horrific carnage and poison gas attacks, is slowly coming to a boil. This modestly mounted production has a broad perspective and a lot to say.
California Stage , 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $12-$14. 2509 R St. (by the light rail tracks). 691-7364. Through November 17. 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.
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.