TRUE WEST —
This is an extremely demanding show that calls for performers who can combine humor and menace and generate excitement from start to finish. Steven Adkins and Sean Trew aren't yet up to the challenge, though they have their moments. Under Michael Lynch's direction, this production is heavy on slapstick antics but neglects the darker undertones.
Through March 16 at Cabaret West, Modesto Junior College West Campus, off Blue Gum Avenue. $8-$10. 575-6776.
THE MIRACLE WORKER — ½
A tale of determination, strength and bravery in the face of incredible odds starring Turlock 12-year-old Leah Bateman. The Tony Award-winning drama tells the moving real-life story of how poor Irish immigrant Annie Sullivan taught deaf-blind girl Helen Keller to communicate in 1880s Alabama.
Through March 16 at the Fallon House, Columbia State Historic Park, Columbia. $15-$28, 532-3120 or www.sierrarep.org.
WOODY GUTHRIE'S AMERICAN SONG —
This spirited, uplifting musical tells the story of legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie's life in his own words. Featuring such songs as "This Land is Your Land," "Bound for Glory" and "Do Re Mi," the show has an inviting, informal feel, as if a bunch of friends have gathered for a musical jam session.
Through March 23 at Stage 3 Theatre, 208 S. Green St., Sonora. $12-$18; 536-1778 or www.stage3.org.
THE KING AND I —
This delightful Rodgers & Hammerstein musical about cross-cultural understanding will have you whistling a happy tune as you leave the theater. Featuring gorgeous, exotic costumes and sets, the show centers on a British widow who travels to Siam in the 1860s to teach the king's children.
Through April 6 at Sierra Repertory Theatre, 13891 Mono Way, Sonora. $15-$28; 532-3120 or www.sierrarep.org.