Reviews are by Donald Munro; NR = not reviewed.
“A Christmas Story, the Musical”: Good Company Players brings back last year’s popular holiday title. Through Jan. 8.
“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 (Max Debbas and Jennifer Goettsch have some stellar moments), and sound designer Kyle W. Jensen gets on an onstage chance to work his aural magic. Through Dec. 18.
“Peter and the Starcatcher”: There’s barely a moment in this innovatively staged and fiercely acted StageWorks Fresno production that doesn’t burst with frantic stage energy. Playwright Rick Elice peppers this prequel with pirates, puns, tricky dialogue, juvenile humor, a vaudevillian song-and-dance routine, lots of cross-dressing and plenty of allusions to the original “Peter Pan” tale. It’s all very clever and well done, with some standout performances (among them Terry Lewis as the foppish Pirate Black Stache and Kenzie Stafford as an endearing Molly, who tries to escape his clutches) and creative design. But the show risks getting overwhelmed by the theatrical razzle-dazzle and not delivering enough emotional resonance. Through Dec. 18.
“The Wizard of Oz”: Reedley’s River City Theatre Company presents the musical classic. Through Dec. 18. (NR)