Artistic director Randy Anger has put together three short plays plus an original radio drama that run through Jan. 29 at the Martinez Campbell Theater.
Act I includes David Ives’ “Time Flies,” Robert Anderson’s “I’m Herbert” and Alice Gerstenberg’s “Fourteen.”
Following the short life of a May fly, Ives’ piece stars Jerry Motta and Sheila Morrison as two young May flies on a date. Bill Dietz portrays David Attenborough, who causes much of the flies’ distress.
Going in a completely different direction, “I’m Herbert” features an elderly memory-challenged couple attempting a conversation. Motta plays Herbert, and I am his wife Muriel.
Gerstenberg’s period play completes the act with Melynda Kiring, Erin Hurley and Motta (you might see a pattern here) setting up for a dinner party where the names and number of guests constantly changes much to the chagrin of the hostess.
Act II premieres “Murder One” by Anger. The radio murder mystery takes place in a theater in San Francisco in the 1930s and includes Hurley, Motta, Jaime Rich, Randy Wight and Keith Williams.
The theater is at 636 Ward St., Martinez. For tickets, go to www.campbelltheater.com.
A different take on Shakespeare
Ghostlight Theatre Ensemble, in collaboration with Pittsburg Theatre Company, presents the totally wacky “Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised)” in two locations.
The cast includes Kevin Coren, Casey Standridge and Amy Wadleigh. Helen Dixon directs, with Morgan Harrison and Emily Marshall as the very busy stagehands.
The fast-paced comedic romp through the Bard’s plays runs through Jan. 21 in Brentwood at the Veterans Memorial Building, 757 1st St. For tickets, go to www.pittsburgcommunitytheatre.org.
The energetic show then performs Feb. 24-26 at Steeltown Coffee and Tea, 695 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg. Go to www.ghostlightte.org/ for tickets.
A crumbling American dream seen through the eyes of an 11-year-old begins the new year for Center Rep. Trying to find a way to belong in a divided country, the child fixates on a red bike that represents all the possibilities the world has to offer.
“Red Bike,” Caridad Svich’s imaginative, highly choreographed story, runs Feb. 4-25 at Walnut Creek’s Lesher Center for the Arts, 1601 Civic Dr.
Set in an unnamed American town in economic decline, “Red Bike” takes the audience on a 90-minute ride as the child gains a new awareness of the local neighborhood.
The role of the genderless child can be played by one, two or three people. In Center Rep’s production, directed by Jeffrey Lo, actors Adrienne Kaori Walters and Amy Lizardo will play the child.
For tickets, call 925-943-7469 or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.
Pittsburg Theatre Company also takes up changing neighborhoods with its production of the Pulitzer Prize winning “Clybourne Park,” running Jan. 28-Feb. 5 at California Theatre, 351 Railroad Ave., Pittsburg.
Bruce Norris’ thought-provoking work ingeniously sets the action in 1959 in a residential neighborhood where white community leaders attempt to stop the sale of a home to a Black family.
In Act Two, the same house sets the stage for present-day action. Now, however, the house exists in a predominantly Black neighborhood where residents battle gentrification.
Directed by Gregory Brown, Pittsburg’s production features Jason Anthony, Bri Andrews, David Ghilardi, Kyle Jacques, Safira McGrew, Edward Natenburg and Natalie Tichenor.
For tickets, go to https://pittsburgcommunitytheatre.org/.
The Orinda Theatre welcomes Broadway’s Sam Gravitte, best known for his role as Fiyero in “Wicked.” Gravitte brings his 70-minute show to Orinda at 5 p.m. Jan. 29 as part of the “Live at the Orinda” concert series. For tickets, go to www.orindamovies.com.
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Sally Hogarty is well known around the Bay Area as a newspaper columnist, theatre critic and working actress. She is the editor of the Orinda News. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org