Actor Jerry Lee branches out from his more well-scrubbed musical theater roles to an unusual one- person telling of "A Tale of Two Cities." Known for his work with New Helvetia Theatre ("They're Playing Our Song" and "[title of show]") and California Musical Theatre ("I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change"), Lee adds a different dimension with this new show.
In Everett Quinton's metatheater play-within-a-play telling of the famous Dickens novel, Lee plays an aspiring drag performer who finds a crying infant on his doorstep. In an effort to quiet the child, Lee's character resorts to enacting the Dickens novel and its gallery of larger-than-life characters, including the English lawyer Sydney Carton; French aristocrat Charles Darnay; Miss Lucy Mannette, The Marquis St. Evrémonde; and the infamous Madame Therese Defarge.
The Sacramento premiere plays only four nights. Pianist and composer Graham Sobelman performs original music for the show. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Jan. 4, 5, and 6 at the William J. Geery Theater, 2130 L St., Sacramento. Tickets are $20. Reservations available by calling (916) 749-6039. Not recommended for young children. Go to www.sacimpulse.com for more information.
'Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings'
The holiday version of the Plaids story (you know, the nice-guy quartet from the early '60s who die before they get their big break but return from the afterlife for one more chance at glory) has an altered plot and seasonal songs thrown in. Ryan Adame directs with musical direction by Chris Schlagel. At the Sutter Street Theatre, 717 Sutter St., Folsom. Performances at 8 p.m. today and Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, 9 p.m. New Year's Eve. Tickets $26-$30; additional charge for New Year's Eve. For information call (916) 353-1001 or go to sutterstreettheatre.com.
A Charlie Brown Christmas
The affable pianist Jim Martinez brings his solid Vince Guaraldi tribute to JB's Lounge this weekend with "Music From a Charlie Brown Christmas" on Sunday. The Vince Guaraldi Trio's 1965 album "A Charlie Brown Christmas" was originally released as the soundtrack to the CBS television special of the same name. It has become one of the most popular Christmas albums of all time with its jazzy versions of songs such as "O Tannenbaum," "My Little Drum" and "Christmas Time Is Here." One of the more famous tunes is the snappy "Linus and Lucy," which became the signature tune to introduce all the Charlie Brown television specials. It has been widely covered by artists like the late jazz pianist Dave Brubeck, the Dave Matthews Band and alternative rockers Built to Spill.
JB's Lounge is at 1401 Arden Way inside the Clarion Inn, formerly the Red Lion Inn. Showtime is 5 to 8 p.m. and the cost is $10, $5 kids for 10 and under. Call (916) 723-5517, email email@example.com for reservations or go to www.jimmartinez.com for more information.