Take a trip up a giant beanstalk and into a world of music, comedy and magic as East Bay Children's Theatre brings a new version of the classic fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk" to Lafayette's Town Hall Theatre.

The cast of characters includes an overworked and underpaid Golden Goose and a diminutive Giant with an enormous Napoleon complex. Ron Lytle has written a new script and score for the show directed by Sue Ellen Nelsen.

The show has been on tour through area elementary schools but will have a public performance March 30 at 2 p.m. at the Town Hall Theatre, 3535 School St. in Lafayette.

For tickets, go to www.ebctonline.org.

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    Onstage Theatre is auditioning for "Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont" on March 23 and 24 at 7 p.m.

    One actor is needed for De Rougemont, as are five or six ensemble members. Performances are May 16-June 1 at the company's Martinez theater; Randall Nott directs.

    For more information, email Helen Means at xgertiex@aol.com.

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    If you happened to see Role Players Ensemble's production of "Anna Christie," you would remember John Hale's powerful performance as Anna's father Chris.

    If you happen to see Piedmont Oakland Rep's current production of "Other People's Money," you can see his equally powerful performance as Lawrence Garfield.


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    Playing through April 12, the show takes place at Kehillah Community Synagogue, 1300 Grand Ave., near the Piedmont/Oakland border.

    Expertly crafted with witty dialogue and seamless shifts from one location to another, Sterner's comedy explores the high-stakes maneuvers of making money for investors rather than products for consumers.

    Hale plays the Wall Street corporate raider attempting to take over a small family-owned company, break it up and sell off the various parts with little regard to its 1,200 employees.

    Directed by John McMullen, the five-person cast certainly captures their various characters, but some would benefit by picking up the pace.

    Karly Shea as the young lawyer who attempts to save the company from the clutches of "Larry the Liquidator," as Garfield is known, has no problem going head-to-head with Hale.

    Keith Jefferds, who plays the company owner, also does a fine job confronting his nemesis.

    Such tunes as Madonna's "Material Girl" set the tone for the play while Rob Bradshaw's minimal set keeps the action flowing as actors finish one scene while walking into the next. Cell phones the size of door stops add a nice '80s touch.

    "Other People's Money" plays Thursdays at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. through April 12 at the Kehillah Community Synagogue.

    Call Brown Paper Tickets at 800-838-3006 or go to www.pidemontoaklandrep.org for reservations.

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    You know you're in for a riotous evening from the notes of the opening song as Berkeley Repertory presents "Accidental Death of an Anarchist."

    Dario Fo's explosive political farce opened this past weekend at the Roda Theatre, 2015 Addison St. in Berkeley and runs through April 20.

    Directed by Christopher Bayes and co-produced with Yale Repertory, the show features a remarkable six-person cast (Liam Craig, Steven Epp, Renata Friedman, Allen Gilmore, Eugene Ma and Jesse Perez) plus two versatile musicians (Aaron Halva and Travis Hendrix).

    A local favorite, Epp utilizes his impressive comic arsenal as the Maniac, who manages to convince the bumbling police that he is a judge and encourages them to tell him how a suspected anarchist fell out of a fourth-floor police station window.

    It's commedia dell'arte at its best as Epp and his fellow cast members create outrageous characters with split-second comedic timing.

    For tickets, call 510-647-2949 or go to www.berkeleyrep-org.

    Contact Sally Hogarty at sallyhogarty@gmail.com.