Disappearing bodies, peeping toms and a very handy handyman make for lots of laughs in Billy Van Zandt and Jane Milmore's "Wrong Window."
The seldom-performed spoof on Alfred Hitchcock's thrillers is well written with lots of references to the master's films plus physical comedy to keep the audience entertained.
Nicely directed by Jill Gelster and Mya Guitron, the Orinda Starlight Village Players' production runs through Aug. 23, at the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater, 28 Orinda Way in Orinda.
The convoluted plot involves a New York couple who enjoys checking out their neighbors activities via binoculars.
While peeking out the window one night, they catch a husband and wife in an adjacent apartment having a violent fight. The next morning, the wife turns up missing, and the couple goes on a mission to discover what happened.
As the plot thickens, other neighbors as well as the police become involved. The creative set adds to the fun as it features one apartment in the front of the stage and another apartment in the back of the stage glimpsed through a large picture window. The actors cleverly move furniture to switch the apartments around, adding to the confusion and fun.
While the Starlight production would benefit by a quicker pacing, it's still lots of fun.
If you go, bring warm clothing and try and sit in the middle of the amphitheater for the best view. Shows are at 8:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Aug. 23, with a performance at 4 p.m. Sunday Aug. 17, and at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21. Call 925-528-9225.
Terrence McNally couldn't have written a more sympathetic criminal than Frank Abagnale Jr. in "Catch Me If You Can."
Based on a true story, Abagnale Jr. is the product of a broken home and a father with questionable parenting skills.
Leaving home in his midteens, he poses as a Pan Am pilot, doctor and more, and manages to pass millions in bad checks all by his 19th birthday.
But, he's such a sweet kid, that you can't help but hope he can outrun the FBI agents on his trail.
Made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, the story is now a delightful musical premiering in the Bay Area at Woodminster Amphitheater, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road in Oakland.
Directed by Joel Schlader with music direction by Ben Prince, knockout choreography by Christina Lazo, and an amazing number of period perfect costumes by Lisa Danz, this production features a solid cast led by Nikita Burshteyn as Abagnale, Jr. who has the acting, singing and dancing chops to make this demanding role his own.
Special kudos go to the talented dancers and to Taylor Chalker, who as Abagnale Jr.'s love interest, brings the house down with her gospel-inspired "Fly, Fly Away."
"Catch Me If You Can" continues at 8 p.m. Aug. 14-17.
Go early and enjoy a picnic and gorgeous views. Call 510-531-9597 or go to www.woodminster.com for tickets.
Help out the Clayton Theatre Company and enjoy a good meal at the same time.
From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 19, Ed's Mudville Grill in Clayton will donate 20 percent of all pretax receipts to the company.
To get a flier, which needs to be presented when dining, go to www.claytontheatrecompany.com.
Contact Sally Hogarty at firstname.lastname@example.org.