Reviews are by Donald Munro; NR = not reviewed.
Deadwood Dick: Playhouse Merced opens a family melodrama about lily-pure maidens and black-hearted gamblers. (Opens Friday, April 8)
Little Women: Fresno Pacific University opens the musical based on Louisa May Alcott’s beloved book at Fresno Memorial Auditorium. (Opens Friday, April 8)
Psycho Night at the Paradise Lounge: Porterville’s Barn Theatre opens a comic mystery about four customers out to murder a lounge singer. (Opens Friday, April 8)
The Glass Menagerie: Amelia Ryan offers an excellent performance as a memorable Amanda Wingfield in this Good Company Players’ 2nd Space Theatre production of the Tennessee Williams classic memory play about a family living in 1937 St. Louis. Director J. Daniel Herring, at times using distinctive freeze-frame staging, weaves a freshness and subtlety throughout the production, drawing restraint and passion from his cast, including Alyssa Gaynor in an aching performance as Laura, the daughter who can’t even imagine small dreams being fulfilled. Through April 17. Highly recommended.
The Little Mermaid: The new Good Company Players production is a tsunami of visual fun that can make you feel as if you’re truly under the sea. Director Dan Pessano is able to latch onto the human aspect of the well-known story of a mermaid who longs to be human while still creating a stirring sensory experience. Emily Pessano is strong in the leading role of Ariel, with sweet vocals and just a hint of feminist backbone, and Brianne Janae Vogt delivers a memorable performance as Ursula the Sea Witch – all eight tentacles of her. But the real standouts are Ginger Kay Lewis-Reed’s ingenious costume design, Andrea Henrickson’s spiffy lighting design and David Pierce’s standout sets. Through May 15.
The Outgoing Tide: Nancy Holley directs a Visalia Players production of Bruce Graham’s dark comedy about a couple married 50 years.
Shake!: Oakhurst’s Golden Chain Theatre presents an original musical revue by Jennifer Piccolotti and James Mierkey featuring top songs from 1964.
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet: Theatre Ventoux opens two Shakespeare classics in alternating performances at the Fresno Soap Co. (Opens Thursday, April 14)