Cinderella Back again this Christmas, this show belongs to evil, monumentally avaricious stepmother Mrs. Baden-Rotten (tall, deep-voiced actor Mark Brey, in an escalating series of outrageous outfits), with an assist from her incredibly spoiled daughters. Sacramento Theatre Company, 7 p.m. Tuesday; Wednesday Thursday, Friday, Saturday; 12:30 p.m. matinee Wednesday, Thursday; 2 p.m. matinee Saturday, Sunday, $10-$32. 1419 H St., 443-6722. Through December 30. J.H.
Dimetos Athol Fugard’s symbolic parable of engineering prowess and human failing, patterned after Greek tragedy, gets a vivid presentation in this small production. Thistle Dew Dessert Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, $13-$17. 1901 P St. 444-8209. Through December 8. J.H.
The Life and Death of Marilyn Monroe This out-of-season offering is a two-hour, kaliedoscopic phastasmagoria that overlays multiple Marilyns—up to eight at a time—alongside images from the ‘40s through the ‘60s. UC Davis Main Theatre, 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $7-$12. (530) 752-1915. Through December 9. J.H.
Quilters City Theatre’s latest offering—the much talked about yet rarely performed musical Quilters—is told entirely from a feminine standpoint. Unfortunately, not even top-quality performers, an experienced director and strong technical and lighting aspects are able to give Quilters the extra push it needs. While the show, performed in the round, includes a number of magical moments, it still falls flat in places, and several fine musical numbers get drowned out by a live band that spills over onto the stage. Sacramento City College Art Court Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. matinee Sunday, $10. 3835 Freeport Blvd. 558-2228. Through December 15. M.B.C.
The Seagull Chekhov’s “comedy” about actors and writers gets a good (if not great) presentation here. Several of the scenes involving the love affairs of writer Trigorin are both hilarious and devastatingly honest, and elsewhere you get that sense of parlor games and polite conversation overlaying deeper, personal issues. The show doesn’t consistently deliver at that high level of attainment, but the better portions—and the rare opportunity to see Chekhov staged locally—make this small production worth the effort to see. Actors Theatre, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $12-$14. 1616 Del Paso Blvd. 925-6579. Through December 9. J.H.
The Secret Garden This is a new, dramatic interpretation of the classic children’s book by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Director Carolyn Howarth draws on grim Victorian class distinctions, images of nature and regeneration, and even a bit of Hindu karma. Nevada Theatre, 7 p.m. Thursday, 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, $5-$20. 401 Broad St., Nevada City. (530) 265-8587 or (888) 730-8587. Through December 30. J.H.
The Shepherd’s Play
This community production is styled after 13th-century German Christmas plays. Joseph, Mary, three shepherds and domestic animals are played by members of the Short Center Repertory, which features actors with developmental disabilities. Also featured are singing and music for recorder quartet plus guitar. The show is to theater what the Special Olympics are to athletics—a conventional rating based on the usual criteria would be inappropriate. But there are several magical moments along the way. California Stage, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, with special performances in American Sign Language on December 8 and 15. $12-$14, or $25/family. 25th and R Sts., 451-5822. Through December 23. J.H.
Subject to Change (America: Revolution to Revelation) The production has few spoken words, no props, no fancy lighting and no music, other than a cappella vocals. Nevertheless, Doniel Soto brings to Sacramento something it has long been without: theater willing to take risks. Abandon Productions at The Space, 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, $10. 2509 R St., 737-2304. Through December 22. M.B.C.