Reviews are by Donald Munro; NR = not reviewed. For performance information, see calendar listings on Page 19.
9 to 5: Good Company Players opens the Broadway musical based on the popular 1980 movie at Roger Rocka’s Dinner Theater. (Opens Thursday, Jan. 14)
A Christmas Story: You won’t shoot your eye out with Good Company Players’ warm and invigorating musical version of the cult-classic movie. But you might hurt yourself laughing, especially if you’re a fan of the film. The nostalgic story of a plucky Midwestern boy who wants a new BB gun for Christmas is directed with emotional and logistical finesse by Emily Pessano and Robert Sanchez, who find clever ways to stage such iconic moments as the tongue-on-the-flagpole scene and sitting on Santa’s lap. The songs, by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, are sweet, and while the choreography on opening night was a little ragged, the show should settle into a crowd-pleasing run. Closes Sunday, Jan. 10.
Moonlight and Magnolias: The “mostly true story” about rewriting the screenplay of “Gone With the Wind” in five hilarious days continues its Good Company Players run at the 2nd Space Theatre. The goofy premise works for a while, thanks to Denise Graziani’s whip-fast direction and solid performances from Gordon Moore as screenwriter Ben Hecht and Eric Estep as director Victor Fleming. But the one-note hilarity is hard to sustain because of the wobbly script, and Henry Montelongo offered a too-blustery performance on opening night. Through Feb. 21.
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: Playhouse Merced presents the sturdy musical about your favorite Peanuts characters. Through Jan. 24. (NR)
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
Lullaby of Broadway: Reedley’s River City Theatre Company opens the musical revue. (Opens Friday, Jan. 22)
Ten Nights in a Bar Room: Porterville Barn Theater opens the 19th Century temperance melodrama demonizing the use of alcohol. (Opens Friday, Jan. 22)