Since Mark Twain published his "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 1876, the iconic boy from St. Petersburg, Mo., has captured imaginations everywhere. Starting with his famous fence-painting trick to "running away" with friends Huck Finn and Joe Harper and eventually getting rich, Tom Sawyer has been a much-loved and imitated character.
This summer, Main Street Theatre Works stages Laura Eason's adaptation of the novel at its outdoor venue, the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre in Jackson, with Colin Coate as Tom Sawyer, Carissa Meagher as Becky Thatcher and Matthew Taul as Tom's bestie Huck Finn. Susan McCandless directs the production, which runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through July 20. Tickets are $12-$17.50. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. The theater suggest you bring picnic dinners, wine, jackets (for cool summer evenings), a blanket, low-back chairs and mosquito repellent. Access to the amphitheater is from North Main Street. Parking is next to the Country Squire Motel at 1105 N. Main St., Jackson. Call (209) 295-4499 or go to www.mstw.org for information.
Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" famously details the lost dreams of the Wingfield family as brother and sister Tom and Laura fight the suffocating domination of their disillusioned mother. The writer, actor and satirist Ryan Landry has given the classic play's themes and characters a twist with his comedic mash-up, "The Plexiglass Menagerie." The story is now set in post-Katrina New Orleans, with the Wingfield family living in a FEMA trailer on Desolation Avenue in the lower Ninth Ward. Laura is still a shy young girl and her mother insistent on finding her a husband, but in Landry's world all is skewed (and much is cross-dressed). Some of the playwright's other shows are "Mildred Fierce," "Phantom of the Oprah," "All About Christmas Eve" and "Valet of the Dolls." "The Plexiglass Menagerie" stars Jerry Lee (who also directs) as Amanda, Logan Heller as Laura, and John Ross as Tom. Lee directs for SacImpulse Productions at the William J. Geery Theater, 2130 L St., Sacramento. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through July 27. Tickets available at www.sacimpulse.com. Reserved seats are $19.99 (online only), general admission is $23. "The Plexiglass Menagerie" is not recommended for young children.
The Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, always upstaged by the dramatic natural beauty of its venue, unveils "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Warren Edward Trepp Stage at Sand Harbor State Park this weekend. Producing artistic director Charles Fee directs the 1960s mod-influenced, rock 'n' roll-based, Carnaby Street-styled adaptation of Shakespeare's ever-popular comedy. Besides the hapless young lovers who get lost in the forest, there are the warring supernaturals Oberon and Titania, the mischievous Puck, and of course, the Rude Mechanicals featuring Bottom the Weaver's very own magical mystery tour. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays, through Aug. 25. Sand Harbor State Park, Incline Village, Nev. Tickets are $15-$85. For information, www.laketahoeshakespeare.com or call (800) 747-4697.
Call The Bee's Call The Bee's Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120. Follow him on Twitter @marcuscrowder.