Sacramento theater reboots this weekend with four new shows opening, including two Shakespearean comedies and two world premieres.
Ray Tatar's always socially conscious community theater California Stage gives writer Leslie David Perry's "Learning Spanish" its first outing. Perry's urban drama is set in the south Los Angeles neighborhood of Watts, a place that has long been the physical and cultural confluence of African American and Latino communities.
In this play staged at the Wilkerson Theater, a lonely night watchman forms a friendship with an abused woman despite their very different backgrounds. Tatar directs a cast that includes Gladys Imperio Acosta and Wayne Cook.
"Learning Spanish" opens today and runs through March 24 with performances at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. The Wilkerson Theater is in the R25 Arts Complex, 1725 25th St. in Sacramento. Tickets are $20 general, $15 for military, students, SARTA members, people under 12 years old and seniors. For information call (916) 451-5822 or go to www.calstage.org.
Friends or foes?
B Street Theater long ago earned its designation as the region's professional new works theater. The company remains extraordinarily willing to mount fresh work, and the brand-new "Robyn Is Happy" gives producing artistic director Buck Busfield his third world premiere in as many shows.
Playwright Michael Elyanow's comedy has three women navigating the turbulent currents of their changing friendships with a first-rate cast of Elisabeth Nunziato, Melinda Parrett and Amy Kelly. The show contains strong language and adult content.
It previews at 5 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday; opens at 7 p.m. Sunday, running through April 14. Showtimes are 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays; 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 5 and 9 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Sundays. On the B Street Theatre Mainstage, 2711 B St., Sacramento. Tickets are $23-$35, $5 student rush, $10 preview tickets. For information, call (916) 443-5300 or go to www.bstreettheatre.org.
Rude mechanical alert
With Carolyn Howarth as the sultry queen Titania and Matt K. Miller as the magically transformed Nick Bottom, one can happily anticipate a classic comic pas de deux at their meeting in Sacramento Theatre Company's production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream."
Christine Nicholson directs the most popular of all Shakespeare's plays though it's rarely seen in midwinter. On the STC Main Stage, 1419 H St. Opens 8 p.m. Saturday and runs through March 24. Showtimes: 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays; and 12:30 p.m. Thursdays. Tickets: $15-$38. For information, call (916) 443-6722 or go to www.sactheatre.org.
Director Benjamin T Ismail gives Big Idea Theatre's "As You Like It" an Occupy Sacramento vibe as he stages the comedy right here in River City. Talented community actress Jamie Kale seems a smart fit for clever and witty Rosalind, who cross-dresses through much of the Shakespearean play as the young man Ganymede. Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday and continues at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through March 30. Tickets are $14-$16. At Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento. For information call (916) 960-3036 or go to bigideatheatre.com.