B Street Theatre stalwart and associate producer Jerry Montoya along with his 11-year-old son, Malachi, have taken something of a "Wicked" route with their new adaptation of "Hansel and Gretel" for the B Street Family Series.
The Montoyas start with a witch who doesn't want to be a witch (the hugely entertaining Rick Kleber), add an unhappy goblin (the wonderfully eccentric Amy Kelly) and use these two for the back story.
Despite daily, pitiful letters, the Witches Council will not release Kleber's desperate witch from her duties. Similarly, Kelly's goblin has no recourse. So they find a spell that will help them. But they need a couple of children for the spell, which leads to the humble homestead of Hansel and Gretel as played by the reliable pair Brandon McCall and Brittni Barger.
Even though Kleber and Kelly cast a spell on the lonely father (Dave Pierini), they can't fatten up the children enough to make the recipe work.
John Lamb works as an effective puppet master here, deftly handling both the smart family dog and equally clever witch's cat.
Noah Agruss has written smart, catchy original music for the show, and the operatically trained Kleber in particular has a great time with the songs. Sarah Zemach directs. Public showings at 1 and 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets are $18-$27. For more information: (916) 443-5300 or go to www.bstreettheatre.org.
Based in Afro-Latin brass music, the always energetic B Side players will preview their new record, "Revolutionize," at Harlow's on Saturday night.
Founded by vocalist Karlos Paez, the band includes Victor Tapia, Luis Cuenca and saxophonist Reagan Branch, who plays locally with several mainstream jazz groups including Joe Mazzaferro's sextet and Anthony Coleman's Simplistic Big Band.
B Side has been pounding the rhythm for over 15 years, and the band is kicking off an extensive summer schedule. Known for its kinetic live shows, the group has shared stages with the likes of Ben Harper, the Wailers and War. Tickets are $12 for the 10 p.m. Saturday night show. Harlow's, 2708 J St., Sacramento. Call (916) 441-4693 or go to www.harlows.com for more information.
At the Geery Theatre is the new, original comic murder mystery "12" by Kayla Willett, directed by Eric Wood. The large ensemble cast includes Anthony Person, Brea Reilly, Hannah Gough, Alejandro Padilla and JP Nevans. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through June 2. It's for mature audiences. The Geery Theatre is at 2130 L St., Sacramento. For information email firstname.lastname@example.org.