Images Theatre Company opens "We Come From Greatness Legacy II," building on the success of its historically based show.
Written and directed by Lisa Lacy, the project's secret weapons are the classy compositions and musical direction by Charles Cooper and Bill Miller's majestic voice. Lynnis Woods-Mullins provides the choreography.
The production stages stories of African Americans from African kingdoms to the present day. The deep community-based cast includes Voress Franklin, Elaine Douglas, Derrick Miller, Ja'Net Wallace, Johnny Collins and Cesha Ellison.
Opening tonight and playing 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 p.m. Sundays through March 4 at the Guild Theater, 2828 35th St. (35th Street and Broadway), Sacramento. Tickets are $15-$20 and may be purchased at Underground Books, 2814 35th St., or www.imagestheater.org. For more information, call (916) 428-1441.
Classic old-school jazz musicians were really only worried about one thing their sound. Vocalist Beth Duncan is very much like that. You can hear the attention on her fine 2006 album "Orange Colored Sky."
Duncan has released a lovely new tune on her website, www.bethduncan. com; it's a samba called "Comes the Fall" written by Martine Tabilio. It's the title track from her new record, which will be released later this spring.
Duncan always has first-rate musicians on hand, and playing on the track are Steve Homan, Bill Douglass, Babatunde Lea, Mike McMullen and Jim Martinez. She'll debut some of the material live on Sunday at JB's Lounge inside the Red Lion Hotel, 1401 Arden Way.
Guests will include the young sensation Ray Anthony Trujillo on violin and tenor sax along with vocalist Keith Williams. The first set gets under way at 5 p.m., and the cost is $10, $5 for children ages 10 and younger. For reservations, call (916) 723-5517 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valentine's Day songbook
Pianist Jim Martinez and vocalist Laura Didier break away from their popular Doris Day tribute for a Valentine's Day performance called "Sweethearts and Steinway: Love Songs From the American Songbook."
Martinez has played with such notables as Lionel Hampton, the Stan Kenton Band and Christian McBride. He's also worked as pianist and musical director for Joan Rivers and Bob Newhart, and those combined memories ought to be their own show.
The songbook concerts are at 1 p.m. (that's right, Sun City, Jim's looking right at you) and 6 p.m. at Sherman Clay Pianos, 771 Pleasant Grove Blvd., Roseville. $15 for the concert; $25 for the concert, chocolate and wine. Call (916) 804-8370 for tickets.
A bright idea
Los Angeles-based playwright Kevin King's award-winning new play "Idea Man" gets the California Stage treatment with a new production opening Feb. 18.
The play tells the story of hardworking Al Carson, who has a creative mechanical mind and a messy personal life. When he drops a bright idea in the corporate suggestion box, all kinds of havoc ensue.
Loren Taylor, Eric Baldwin and Charlie Holliday lead the cast, with Penny Kline directing. At California Stage Theater, 2509 R St., Sacramento. The play opens Feb. 18 and runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays through March 17.
King is attending the premiere and will have a talk-back session with audience members after the show. Tickets are $15-20. Call (916) 451-5822, or go to www.calstage.org for other information.