Reviews are by Donald Munro; NR = not reviewed.
Brighton Beach Memoirs: The Selma Arts Center opens the nostalgic play by Neil Simon. (Opens Friday, Oct. 14)
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The Addams Family: Playhouse Merced presents the musical inspired by the TV show and comic classic. Through Oct. 30. (NR)
But Why Bump Off Barnaby?: Tulare’s Encore Theatre presents a farce about a man murdered at a family gathering. Through Oct. 22. (NR)
Camelot: The Good Company Players production at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater is a fine showcase for a classic, gorgeously melodic score that comes from a time when Broadway tunes still played on the radio. But the musical’s book (about Arthur, Guinevere, Lancelot and the Round Table) is creaky and old-school, and Elizabeth Fiester’s direction and the design of the show feels passive. Jeff Dinmore is a standout as Pellinore, the harumphing older acquaintance who moves into Arthur’s castle. Through Nov. 6.
The Phantom of the Opera: The reimagined national tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s long-running musical, complete with chandelier, has taken over the Saroyan Theatre for a two-weekend run. For those who waited all these years for the production to finally make it to Fresno, the production offers a take that satisfies the need for spectacle, even if it doesn’t quite achieve the opulence of the original. Katie Travis is an excellent Christine, and Jacquelynne Fontaine puts a fresh spin on the diva Carlotta. (Chris Mann, as the Phantom, excels vocally but doesn’t conjure the required chemistry.) The true standout player, however, is Paul Brown’s set design, whose main component is a huge, lurking silolike structure that suggests the tower of a medieval castle. As it slowly spins, scenic goodies are revealed, giving the production an extra oomph. Closes Sunday, Oct. 16.
The Rocky Horror Show: Porterville’s Barn Theatre presents the October favorite. Through Oct. 22. (NR)
Tartuffe: Visalia’s College of the Sequoias presents the play by Moliere. Chris Mangels directs. Closes Saturday, Oct. 15. (NR)
Witness for the Prosecution: In this Good Company Players production of the Agatha Christie classic at the 2nd Space Theatre, you’ll get an old-fashioned whodunit romp complete with stuffy English barristers (David Otero and Noel Adams) wearing wigs. They’re battling over the guilt of the amiable defendant (Alex Vaux in a nice performance) accused of killing an older woman he befriended. But where does his enigmatic German wife (Erica Riggs, mysterious and ambiguous) fit into this? Director Karan Johnson offers a brisk pace and a solid sense of courtroom intrigue, though the big “reveal” could have used more dramatic spark. Through Oct. 9.