Reviews are by Donald Munro; NR = not reviewed.
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang”: Children take a special car on a magical fantasy adventure in this Children’s Musical Theaterworks production. Through Dec. 11.
“A Christmas Story, the Musical”: Good Company Players brings back last year’s popular holiday title. Through Jan. 8.
“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”: Playhouse Merced offers the musical favorite. Through Dec. 11. (NR)
“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play”: Good Company Players hits all the right marks in its sweet and nostalgic holiday production, which manages to deliver a double dose of nostalgia: It offers a recap of the classic holiday movie, and it harkens back to the era of radio dramas, when actors’ voices and ingenious sound effects were all that were needed to make a story come to life. An excellent ensemble cast conjures up a multitude of memorable characters, and sound designer Kyle W. Jensen gets on an onstage chance to work his aural magic. Through Dec. 18.
“Passion Play: Part 1 and 2”: Fresno State presents Sara Ruhl’s darkly humorous play exploring how two eras attempt to stage the Passion of Christ. Through Dec. 10.
“Peter and the Starcatcher”: StageWorks Fresno opens Rick Elice’s innovatively staged play providing a backstory for the character Peter Pan. Through Dec. 18.
“The Wizard of Oz”: Reedley’s River City Theatre Company opens the musical classic. Through Dec. 18. (NR)
OPENING NEXT WEEK
“Elf: The Musical”: The national tour of the Broadway musical based on the Will Ferrell movie makes a stop at Saroyan Theatre. (Opens Wednesday, Dec. 14)