The new choo choo revue
Celebration Arts—a group better known for producing serious plays on racial themes—goes in for a major change of pace with The All Night Strut, a sparkling, high-energy revue drawing on American music from the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s. The songs are classics—ranging from the up-tempo “Chattanooga Choo Choo” to the moody “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime.” There are several takes on love and romance, some funny, some smoldering and intense, and one that’s cautionary (“Minnie the Moocher”). There’s even a World War II medley (including “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”). Choreographers Elaine Gosine and James Wheatley use the songs as opportunities to tell little stories—Wheatley, in particular, demonstrates some spiffy moves—and one-man-band Winko Ljizz gets quite a workout on piano, trumpet, harmonica and percussion. The ensemble singing and solos from the nine-member cast are surprisingly good. And it’s a treat to see a show like this in a small venue like the Celebration Arts Theatre, where you’re close to the performers and no one uses (or needs) a microphone. 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays. Celebration Arts Theatre, 4469 D St., Sacramento. $12-$15. 455-2787.