Plagued by a lack of electricity, casting changes and myriad obstacles, the Orinda Starlight Village Players have certainly shown their tenacity.

When nearby construction shut down power to the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater, director Geotty Chapple made due with minimal power provided by extension cords to nearby buildings.

Given ongoing delays in restoring power, the company postponed its second show, "The Thurber Carnival" until early August. When the new dates made it difficult to cast the show, the company called upon longtime Starlight regular and playwright Bill Chessman to bring his popular radio shows to the venue.

And, so, with a "show must go on" attitude, Starlight, in conjunction with Under the Sun Studios, presents a series of old-fashioned radio dramas complete with live and recorded sound effects. Each performance features two different short dramas.

At 8:30 p.m. Aug. 9-10, "You Only Eat Twice" introduces Special Agent 0037 as he battles the evil Dr. V.B. Morbid, aided by the beautiful ex-KGB physical trainer, Natasha Nikarovha.

In true radio drama style, the second show deals with space aliens and monsters as Professor Fujinorimaki tries to save the world from mysterious flesh-melting objects in "Space Monster-Rama."

"Crazy Mike's Place," a dark ghost story, and the humorous "Instant Radio" take place at 8:30 p.m. Aug. 16-17, and at 4 p.m. Aug. 18.


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The final presentation features "Does It Bother You When I ...?" This story about a naive young intern's terrifying excursions into a researcher's mysterious experiments is coupled with "Seven Fingers and Three Toes of Death," an adventurous romp into a dangerous underworld of lost idols and martial arts.

For more information and tickets, call 925-528-9225 or go to www.orsvp.org.

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    Before moving onto Starlight's outdoor venue, Under the Sun Studios presents "Hairy Palms." The story about a hand model bitten by a dog who starts growing way too much hair takes place at 8 p.m. Aug 2-3, and at 2 p.m. Aug. 4, at Under the Sun Studios, 2956 Treat Blvd., Ste. B, in Concord.

    "I've been very fortunate to get great casts and this one is no exception," says writer/director Bill Chessman.

    Tickets, priced at $10, are available at the door or in advance at http://hairypalms.eventbrite.com.

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    The Lamplighters bring Gilbert and Sullivan's beloved tale of fairies and bumbling political rulers to the Lesher Center with "Iolanthe."

    The story of the British House of Lords conflict with a feisty band of fairies takes place at 8 p.m. Aug 2-3; and at 2 p.m. Aug. 3-4. For tickets, call 925-943-SHOW (925-943-7469) or go to www.lesherartscenter.org.

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    Diablo Theatre company's STARS 2000 Teen Theatre presents "Legally Blonde, The Musical" through Aug. 4, at the Diablo Valley College Performing Arts Center, 321 Golf Club Road, Pleasant Hill.

    A perfect show for teens, the story follows shopaholic Elle Woods as she puts down her shopping bags, hits the books and heads to Harvard Law School to win back her boyfriend. Along the way, the pink dressing former homecoming queen learns that she has more than enough smarts to hold her own with or without a boyfriend in tow.

    "We have a great cast of young adults and a terrific staff as well as talented dogs," says associate producer Ellen Smith.

    For tickets, call 925-324-7359 or go to www.diablotheatre.org.

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    Also in the young audiences category, the Walnut Acres Children's Theater presents "Summer Magic," an hourlong production of scenes from such Disney favorites as "Beauty and the Beast," "Mary Poppins" and "High School Musical."

    Directed by Judy Ryken, Lee Oller and Joni Cote, performances are at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 1; and at 2 p.m. Aug. 2, at Walnut Acres Elementary School's Multiuse Room (Wiget Drive at Blackstone Drive).

    Tickets are $8 and are available at the door before each performance.

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    For those of you enthralled with the book series "Fifty Shades of Grey," hopefully you had the chance to see your favorite characters in the flesh (lots of flesh!) at the Marines Memorial Theatre this past week.

    While not a replica of the books by any stretch, this musical parody's cartoonish characters bump and grind their way through the outlandish score, well performed by the three-piece band and the nine cast members.

    On opening night of "50 Shades! The Musical," the theater was filled with people, mostly woman, who were obvious fans of the book and who didn't mind the liberties taken with their beloved characters. They especially enjoyed when one of the characters said, "This is real life. It isn't a book. If it was, it would be terrible."