Reviews are by Donald Munro; NR = not reviewed.
Camelot: Good Company Players opens the classic King Arthur musical tale at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. (Opens Thursday, Sept. 15.)
Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play: After a nuclear disaster wipes out the electrical grid, a theater troupe keeps episodes of “The Simpsons” alive for what’s left of civilization. The Selma Arts Center presents the central San Joaquin Valley premiere. (Opens Friday, Sept. 16.)
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee: With this bittersweet and knowing musical romp about a group of determined child spellers, StageWorks Fresno offers an inspired production anchored by a strong cast. Director Joel Abels knows exactly how to make this show work. Two standout performances: Taylor Abels, as the sweet and trembly Olive Ostrovsky, and Erik Olson, whose childlike effervescence as the young Leaf Coneybear lifts the show up with nostalgic glee. Closes Sunday, Sept. 18.
Rock of Ages: Playhouse Merced presents the jukebox musical based on the hits of Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and others. Through Sept. 25. (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.
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
The Vagina Monologues: Visalia Players opens the Eve Ensler show at the Ice House Theatre. (Opens Friday, Sept. 23.