When I saw the off-Broadway production of Rajiv Joseph's "Gruesome Playground Injuries" in 2011, the production was being overshadowed by another Joseph play. The prolific and highly regarded young writer was then a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his "A Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" starring Robin Williams. Readying for its Broadway premiere, that production was naturally pulling the media spotlight.
"Gruesome Playground Injuries," though, was a sadly beautiful play and a nearly perfect love story. And there are injuries of the gruesome playground variety and several others both physical and emotional. It's a strong, complex, occasionally slippery play to get a read on.
Resurrection Theatre, which is in its third incarnation in about as many years, presents "Injuries" as its first show of the 2013 season, with co-founder Margaret Morneau directing this Sacramento premiere. The two-person show, which moves back and forth through the lives of longtime friends Kayleen and Doug, stars Laura Kaya and Joshua Glenn Robertson. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Feb. 9 at the Wilkerson Theatre, 1723 25th St., Sacramento, in the California Stage complex at 25th and R streets. Tickets are $12-$15. Not suitable for children under 16. For tickets or more information, call (916) 223-9568 or go to www.resurrectiontheatre. com.
"HAIRitage," a collector's edition coffee-table book, recognizes the cultural significance of the African American neighborhood barbershop and focuses on Tahoe Park's Master Barber & Beauty Shop. Now celebrating its 60th anniversary, the shop opened in 1952 and was subsequently purchased by Earlie D. and Mary Brown in 1974.
The shop is still owned and operated by the family, with sons Marichal J. Brown and Rodney Earl Brown now operating the business. In addition to continuous informal barbershop discussions, Master Barber & Beauty has long hosted poetry, music and visual arts events.
The book features photography by Gerry "GOS" Simpson and essays and poems from the legendary Eugene Redmond and Charles Curtis Blackwell, among others. There is also a companion CD with music from the Steve Ghundi Trio, Anthony Coleman and Larry Ellis Jr. A free performance and book signing by the Brown family takes place at 6 p.m. Feb. 1 at Underground Books, 2814 35th St., Sacramento. For information, call (916) 457-8708 or (916) 737-3333.
Capital Stage and B Street Theatre like nothing better than staging dueling opening nights against each other. So they must be feeling really good about Saturday. Cap Stage opens "The North Plan," Jason Wells' dark comedy about political authority and the importance of dissent, with Peter Mohrmann directing a cast featuring the familiar Katie Rubin and William Elsman along with Alexandra Barthal, Cassidy Brown, Andrew Perez, and the too-little-seen Harry Harris.
For its B3 Series, B Street opens "Carapace" by David Mitchell Robinson, with Jerry Montoya directing David Pierini in the lead as a man trying to pull his life together and reunite with his daughter. The cast includes Stephanie Altholz and Greg Alexander.
Performances for "The North Plan" continue at 7 p.m. Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $22-$32. Opening-night tickets including reception after are $38. At Capital Stage, 2215 J St., Sacramento. For information, call (916) 995-5464 or go to www.capstage.org.
"Carapace" runs 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Thursdays; and 1 p.m. Sundays. $10 preview 7 p.m. today. At B Street Theatre B3 Stage, 2727 B St. Tickets: $23-$35. For information call (916) 443-5300, or go to www.bstreettheatre.org.
The theaters aren't blinking on their closing dates either, as both shows close Feb. 24.