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The Play’s the Thing This Weekend

Deon Taylor, left, and Mardres Story are featured in James Baldwin's "The Amen Corner" at Celebration Arts.

Shakespeare said it: The play’s the thing. And this weekend, there are plenty of “things” to be enjoyed on local stages. This is the final weekend for many of these shows, so act quickly.

Celebration Arts has extended its production of James Baldwin’s “The Amen Corner” through this weekend. The play is about the spiritual leader of a small Harlem church who is forced to confront her past when her estranged husband shows up to reveal some dark, hidden truths about her. After the success of his 1953 novel “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” Baldwin tried his hand at playwriting with this 1954 drama. His next — and only other — play was “Blues for Mister Charlie” in 1964.

Performances of “The Amen Corner” will be at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $10 Thursday and $15 other days. Celebration Arts is at 4469 D St., Sacramento. For tickets or for more information, call (916) 455-2787 or go to celebrationarts.net.

At B Street, it appears God  has taken over — but not for much longer. Both “Hand to God” and “An Act of God” are closing.

Hand to God,”  in which a demonic puppet raises hell in a small-town church, is perhaps the most outrageous and outrageously profane play ever presented at B Street. But for those who can take its coarse language and strong sexual material, it can be both funny and rewarding. Ryan Borses gives a tour-de-force performance as the young man whose hand has a (dirty) mind of its own.

“Hand to God” plays on the Main Stage at 8 p.m. Friday, 9 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (final performance). Tickets are $34-$39.

In “An Act of God” on the B3 Stage, the Almighty comes down to Earth with some choice words about how we’ve twisted His words. With the help of a couple of angels, and an actor, He’s ready to amend some Commandments and whip us back into shape. The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, 8 p.m. Saturday, and various days and times July 25-29 (final performance).  Tickets are $31-$39.

B Street Theatre is at 2711 B St. For tickets or for more information, call (916) 443-5300 or go to bstreettheatre.org.

Capital Stage brings down the curtain Sunday on its wildly successful “Bad Jews.”  This comedy dissects the dysfunctional relationships among the not-very-friendly and not-very-religious young adults who gather the night after their grandfather’s funeral to fight for possession of a family heirloom. After sold-out performances and added shows, it’s time for the bickering to end.

The final four performances are at 8 p.m. Friday,  2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $28-$40. Capital Stage is at 2215 J St. For tickets or for more information, go to capstage.org or call (916) 995-5464.

Photo courtesy of Celebration Arts

About the author

Jim Carnes

Jim Carnes has masters degrees in English and journalism and is a former National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow in popular culture at Stanford University. He has covered Sacramento arts and entertainment for more than 20 years. He currently writes about and reviews theater, dance, music and events in the Sacramento area.

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