Calling a show "Danville's best cabaret-style entertainment" might seem like faint praise, considering that Danville isn't exactly known for its cabaret scene. And the performance venue, Victoria's Hair on Stage, isn't exactly a smoky underground club. In fact, by day it's a huge, well-lit, full-service hair salon in a strip mall. But Wigged Out! -- the thirteenth annual episode in the series that gave us last year's riotous Reel Blondes: The Bald and the Beautiful -- promises to be just as madcap, raunchy, and entertaining as anything you're likely to see in Contra Costa County, or indeed the entire East Bay. This year's show promises visits from "unreasonable facsimiles" of the Governator, Britney Spears, Dr. Phil, Frank Sinatra, Ricky Martin, and Shrek, among others, loosely woven into a story that has something to do with the Mob. If last year's show is any indication, the operative word is definitely "loose"; there's usually the thinnest tissue of a narrative holding together the glitzy dance numbers, bad puns, and astonishing costumes (this year, look out for Marie Aqua-Net in her massive powdered wig and the usual cast of oversize boxes, cans, and junk-food products). But who needs narrative when there are giant dancing Doritos -- not to mention access to a wine and beer bar?
Of special interest are the return of Victoria's veterans Robert Menezes and Paula Wujek. Last year Menezes did a hilarious Tom-Jones-as-big-bad-wolf while Wujek did a hilarious pretty-much-everything; the latter headed up a crack team of dancers who legitimized such silliness as scantily clad pirate lasses, tap-dancing Mama bin Ladens, and hip-hopping leprechauns. Wujek has a rubber face and mile-high legs; she's both a funny lady and a very good sport. Make sure to get there early to get a drink, a good seat, and a chance to ogle the costumes from years past that line the ceiling.
Wigged Out! runs Saturday nights through June 25, 2005. Shows are at 8 p.m. until the end of the year, then at 7 and 9 p.m. in 2005. Call 925-855-SHOW for tickets. Victoria's Hair on Stage is at 520 San Ramon Valley Boulevard, Danville. -- Lisa Drostova
"There is no single face in nature, because every eye that looks upon it, sees it from its own angle," wrote Zora Neale Hurston in her 1942 memoir, Dust Tracks on a Road. "So every man's spice-box seasons his own food." Two years later, she left her script for the play Polk County at the US Copyright Office, where it didn't see the light of day again until it was unearthed in the Library of Congress in 1997. Now the Berkeley Repertory Theatre will give the West Coast its first taste of this particular spice-box when the blues musical hits the Roda Stage, complete with live band accompaniment. Shows this week are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 7 p.m. $44-$60, BerkeleyRep.org -- Stefanie Kalem
Leave it to choreographer Michael Smuin to tart up the holiday season -- yes, it's that time again -- with lots of camp and circumstance. For this year's edition of The Christmas Ballet, his annual yuletide stocking stuffer for dance fans, playing Friday and Saturday at Walnut Creek's Lesher Center for the Arts, Smuin has cleaned out the multicultural attic. You get Irish (to music by the Chieftains). You get Cajun. You get "The Cool Christmas" and its stroll down showbiz memory lane (Jimmy Durante meets Michael Jackson). Also Bach, Handel, Mozart, and tunes by the SFJAZZ All-Star High School Ensemble. $20.50-$50. SmuinBallet.org -- Kelly Vance
Why sit at home and wait for NBC to show It's a Wonderful Life when you can see a flesh-and-blood production in Walnut Creek? Weekends through December 19, Contra Costa Christian Theatre presents the holiday classic that's sure to warm even the most ossified cynic -- after all, cynics think about suicide all the time, don't they? Al Anderson directs the stage version at Del Valle Theatre, starring Keith Barlow as the befuddled George Bailey and Shannon Zeig as his beloved Mary. Friday and Saturday shows at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. Visit Geocities.com/CCChristianTheatre for particulars. -- Stefanie Kalem
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