Theater Listings:August 13 - 19, 2014
Stage listings are compiled by Guardian staff. Performance times may change; call venues to confirm. Reviewers are Robert Avila, Rita Felciano, and Nicole Gluckstern. Submit items for the listings at email@example.com.
Killing My Lobster Goes Radio Active Z Below, 470 Florida, SF; www.killingmylobster.com. $10-20. Opens Wed/13, 8pm. Runs Wed-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 23. Killing My Lobster performs a live radio comedy.
Motown the Musical Orpheum Theatre, 1192 Market, SF; www.shnsf.com. $45-210. Opens Fri/15, 8pm. Runs Tue-Sat, 8pm (also Wed and Sat, 2pm); Sun, 2pm (also Sun/17, 7:30pm). Through Sept 28. Over 40 hits ("My Girl," "Ain't No Mountain High Enough") pack this tale of Motown founder Barry Gordy's career in the music biz.
Fetch Clay, Make Man Marin Theatre Company, 397 Miller, Mill Valley; www.marintheatre.org. $35-58. Previews Thu/14-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 7pm. Opens Tue/19, 8pm. Runs Tue-Sat, 8pm; Wed, 7:30pm; Sun, 2 and 7pm. Through Sept 7. Marin Theatre Company performs the West Coast premiere of Will Power's historical drama.
An Ideal Husband Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Belle, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. $12-35. Previews Fri/15 and Sun/17, 8pm. Runs in repertory Fri-Sun through Sept 27; visit website for specific performance dates and times. Marin Shakespeare Company performs Oscar Wilde's witty tale.
Moonlight and Magnolias Dragon Theatre, 2120 Broadway, Redwood City; www.dragonproductions.net. $10-30. Previews Thu/14, 8pm. Opens Fri/15, 8pm. Runs Thu-Sat, 8pm; Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 7. Dragon Productions presents Ron Hutchinson's behind-the-scenes drama about the filming of Gone With the Wind.
Each and Every Thing Marsh San Francisco Main Stage, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org. $20-50. Thu-Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm (starting Sept 6, Sat shows at 5); Sun, 2pm. Extended through Oct 4. The latest solo show from celebrated writer-performer Dan Hoyle (Tings Dey Happen, The Real Americans) winds a more random course than usual across the country and abroad but then that's the idea — or at least Hoyle warns us, right after an opening encounter with a touchy young white supremacist, that the trip he's taking us on is a subtle one. Displaying again his exceptional gifts as a writer and protean performer, Hoyle deftly embodies a set of real-life encounters as a means of exploring the primacy and predicament of face-to-face communication in the age of Facebook. With the help of director Charlie Varon (who co-developed the piece with Hoyle and Maureen Towey), this comes across in an entertaining and swift-flowing 75-minute act that includes a witty rap about "phone zombies" and a Dylan-esque screed at a digital detox center. But the purported subject of connection, or lack there of, in our gadget-bound and atomized society is neither very original nor very deeply explored — nor is it necessarily very provocative in a theater, before an audience already primed for the live encounter. Far more interesting and central here is Hoyle's relationship with his old college buddy Pratim, an Indian American in post-9/11 America whose words are filled with laid-back wisdom and wry humor. Also intriguing is the passing glimpse of early family life in the Hoyle household with Dan's celebrated artist father, and working-class socialist, Geoff Hoyle. These relationships, rather than the sketches of strangers (albeit very graceful ones), seem the worthier subjects to mine for truth and meaning. Indeed, there's a line spoken by Pratim that could sum up the essence of Hoyle's particular art: "It's so much better," he says, "when you find yourself in other people than when you just find yourself." Hoyle's real frontier could end up being much more personal terrain, much closer to home. (Avila)
Foodies! The Musical Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.foodiesthemusical.com. $32-34. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. AWAT Productions presents Morris Bobrow's musical comedy revue all about food.
From Red to Black ACT Costume Shop, 1119 Market, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $7.50-20. Wed-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 30. San Francisco Playhouse performs Rhett Rossi's detective drama as part of its Sandbox Series.
The Habit of Art Eureka Theatre, 215 Jackson, SF; www.therhino.org. $15-25. Wed-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm). Through Aug 23. Theatre Rhinoceros presents the return engagement of Alan Bennett's "very British comedy" about a meeting between Benjamin Britten, W.H. Auden, and other figures from throughout time, including their future biographer.
Into the Woods San Francisco Playhouse, 450 Post, SF; www.sfplayhouse.org. $20-120. Tue-Thu, 7pm; Fri-Sat, 8pm (also Sat, 3pm); Sun, 2pm. Through Sept 6. SF Playhouse performs Stephen Sondheim's fractured fairy-tale musical.
Millicent Scowlworthy Thick House Theatre, 1695 18th St, SF; www.99stockproductions.org. $20. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 30. 99 Stock Productions presents Rob Handel's spooky tale that cautions against burying tragic events in the past.
Noises Off! Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter, SF; www.sheltontheater.org. $38. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Oct 25. Shelton Theater performs Michael Frayn's outrageous backstage comedy.
O Best Beloved This week: Precita Park, 3200 Folsom, SF; www.obestbeloved.org. Sat/16, 2pm. Free (donations accepted). Also Sun/17, 5pm, Centennial Park, 5353 Sunol, Pleasanton. Through Sept 13 at various NorCal venues. Idiot String's Joan Howard and Rebecca Longworth bring their SF Fringe Festival hit, an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's Just-So Stories, to local public spaces aboard a mobile stage.
Patterns Dennis Gallagher Arts Pavilion (in the French American International High School), 66 Page, SF; www.thenewstage.com. $30. Wed/13-Sat/16, 8pm. The New Stage's premiere of company founder Amy Munz's solo work is one of the more intelligent and sophisticated debuts (by both a new company and a young artist) in recent memory. It's an ambitious and notably subtle, serious, unsentimental exploration of love, in which a dynamic Munz — on a wide bare stage bounded on three sides by her own wonderfully evocative three-channel video-scape — plays several characters, and three in particular: Amot, Abigail, and Ava, whose stories are slyly interwoven. Amot, the principal focus across two discrete acts, is a young woman raised by her widowed father in his butcher shop, who later falls in love with a young man. But her story, like that of the other young women, comes to us in a form more like the stream of consciousness, fractured and expansive in the disjuncture and interplay between Munz's ardently committed performance and the shrewd audio and visual environment surrounding the audience — a manufactured landscape of memory, desire, and role-playing in which to some extent the audience is free to find its own way and discover its own truths. Part two further integrates the voices of the other young women, Abigail and Ava, forming a mesh of narratives and associations stimulating in their intellectual, visual, and aural juxtapositions. This is a work that demands a kind of letting go, but also invites full participation of the viewer's imagination, as the rich mise-en-scène and Munz's intense, unflinching performance unfold with unexpected abundance. (Avila)
Pleiades Phoenix Theatre, 414 Mason, Sixth Flr, SF; http://pleiadessf.wordpress.com. $20-25. Thu-Sat, 8pm. Through Aug 30. Marissa Skudlarek's world premiere reimagines the Greek myth of the seven Pleiades sisters as a story about Baby Boomers in their youth.
The Ripple Effect This week: Glen Park, Bosworth and O'Shaughnessy, SF; www.sfmt.org. Free (donations accepted). Sat/16, 2pm. Also Sun/17, 2pm, Washington Square Park, Columbus at Union, SF. Through Sept 1 at various NorCal venues. The veteran San Francisco Mime Troupe stays current by skewering San Francisco's ever-dividing economy; think rising rents, tech-bus protests, and (natch) Glassholes.
The Scion Marsh San Francisco, 1062 Valencia, SF; www.themarsh.org.$30-100. Sat, 5pm. Through Aug 23. Brian Copeland's hit solo show, "a tale of privilege, murder, and sausage," returns to the Marsh.
Shit & Champagne Rebel, 1772 Market, SF; shitandchampagne.eventbrite.com. $25. Fri-Sat, 8pm. Open-ended. D'Arcy Drollinger is Champagne White, bodacious blond innocent with a wicked left hook in this cross-dressing '70s-style white-sploitation flick, played out live on Rebel's intimate but action-packed barroom stage. Written by Drollinger and co-directed with Laurie Bushman (with high-flying choreography by John Paolillo, Drollinger, and Matthew Martin), this high-octane camp send-up of a favored formula comes dependably stocked with stock characters and delightfully protracted by a convoluted plot (involving, among other things, a certain street drug that's triggered an epidemic of poopy pants) — all of it played to the hilt by an excellent cast that includes Martin as Dixie Stampede, an evil corporate dominatrix at the head of some sinister front for world domination called Mal*Wart; Alex Brown as Detective Jack Hammer, rough-hewn cop on the case and ambivalent love interest; Rotimi Agbabiaka as Sergio, gay Puerto Rican impresario and confidante; Steven Lemay as Brandy, high-end calf model and Champagne's (much) beloved roommate; and Nancy French as Rod, Champagne's doomed fiancé. Sprawling often literally across two buxom acts, the show maintains admirable consistency: The energy never flags and the brow stays decidedly low. (Avila)
Show Down! Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy, SF; www.thunderbirdtheatre.com. $15-25. Thu/14-Sat/16, 8pm. Thunderbird Theatre performs an original comedy, set amid a war against technology at the last all-live TV station left in the United States.
Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind Boxcar Theatre, 505 Natoma, SF; www.sfneofuturists.com. $11-16. Fri-Sat, 9pm. Ongoing. The Neo-Futurists perform Greg Allen's spontaneous, ever-changing show that crams 30 plays into 60 minutes.
Catch Me If You Can Woodminster Amphitheater, Joaquin Miller Park, 3300 Joaquin Miller, Oakl; www.woodminster.com. $18-59. Thu/14-Sun/17, 8pm. Woodminster Summer Musicals presents the musical based on the film about notorious con artist Frank Abagnale, Jr.
Cops and Robbers Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allison, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-100. Previews Fri/15, 8pm. Opens Sat/16, 8pm. Runs Fri, 8pm; Sat, 8:30pm. Through Sept 13. Hip-hop artist and law enforcement officer Jinho "The Piper" Ferreira performs his 17-character solo show.
Dracula Inquest Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, Berk; www.centralworks.org. $15-28. Thu/14-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 5pm. Central Works performs Gary Graves' mystery inspired by the Bram Stoker vampire classic.
Old Money Barn Theatre, 30 Sir Francis Drake, Ross; www.rossvalleyplayers.com. $10-26. Thu/14, 7:30pm; Fri/15-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 2pm. Ross Valley Players performs Wendy Wasserstein's New York City-set comedy.
Romeo and Juliet Forest Meadows Amphitheater, 890 Belle, Dominican University of California, San Rafael; www.marinshakespeare.org. $12-35. Runs in repertory Fri-Sun through Sept 28; visit website for specific performance dates and times. Marin Shakespeare continues its 25th season with the Bard's timeless tragedy.
Semi-Famous: Hollywood Hell Tales from the Middle Marsh Berkeley Main Stage, 2120 Allison, Berk; www.themarsh.org. $20-100. Sat, 5pm; Sun, 7pm. Through Sept 7. Don Reed's new solo show shares tales from his career in entertainment.
The Taming of the Shrew Sequoia High School grounds, 1201 Brewster, Redwood City; www.sfshakes.org. Free. Sat, 7:30pm; Sun, 4pm. This location and schedule through Aug 24. Continues through Sept 21 at various Bay Area venues. Free Shakespeare in the Park presents this take on the Bard's barb-filled romance.
"TheatreWorks New Works Festival" Lucie Stern Theatre, 1305 Middlefield, Palo Alto; www.theatreworks.org. $19. Wed/13-Sun/17, 8pm (also Sat/16-Sun/17, noon and 4pm) . TheatreWorks presents this festival of staged readings of in-development plays and musicals.
12th Night Ashby Stage, 1901 Ashby, Berk; www.shotgunplayers.org. $20-35. Wed/13-Thu/14, 7pm; Fri/15-Sat/16, 8pm; Sun/17, 5pm. Shotgun Players take a fresh approach to the Shakespeare classic, using folk music and other twists.
Yayne Abeba Punch Line Comedy Club, 444 Battery, SF; www.punchlinecomedyclub.com. Tue/19, 8pm. $15. The comedian performs with guests Ronn Vigh, Kaseem Bentley, and Yuri Kagan.
"BATS Summer Improv Festival" Bayfront Theater, B350 Fort Mason, SF; www.improv.org. Through Sept 20. $20. This week: "Spontaneous Broadway," Fri/15, 8pm; "SF vs LA Theatresports," Sat/16, 8pm.
Caroline Lugo and Carolé Acuña's Ballet Flamenco Peña Pachamama, 1630 Powell, SF; www.carolinalugo.com. Aug 24, 30, Sept 6, 13, 21, 28, Oct 4, 11, 18, 26, 6:30pm. $15-19. Flamenco performance by the mother-daughter dance company, featuring live musicians.
"Dash: Improv in a Flash" Un-Scripted Theater Company, 533 Sutter, Second Flr, SF; www.un-scripted.com. Sat, 10pm. Through Aug 30. $15. A late-night, free-form improv show with Un-Scripted Theater Company.
"Decades Apart: Reflections of Three Gay Men" Exit Theatre, 156 Eddy, SF; www.theexit.org. Thu/14-Sat/16, 8pm. $25. Gay men living in 1970s SF, 1980s NYC, and 1990s LA are the characters in Rick Pulos' multimedia solo performance piece.
"Desi Comedy Fest" Cobb's Comedy Club, 915 Columbus, SF; www.desicomedyfest.com. Wed/13, 8pm. $15. Also Thu/14, 8pm, Washington Inn, 495 10th St, Oakl; Fri/15, 8pm, Sunnyvale Community Center Theater, 550 E. Remington, Sunnyvale; and Sat/16, 8pm, Vito's Express, 4060 Grafton, Dublin. Showcase of South Asian comedians, including Abhay Nadkarni, Samson Koletkar, Dhaya Lakshminarayanan, Imran G, and more.
"Dream Queens Revue" Aunt Charlie's Lounge, 133 Turk, SF; www.dreamqueensrevue.com. Wed/13, 9:30pm. Free. Drag with Collette LeGrande, Ruby Slippers, Sophilya Leggz, Bobby Ashton, and more.
Feinstein's at the Nikko 222 Mason, SF; www.feinsteinssf.com. This week: "Broadway Bingo," Wed/13, 7pm. "I Heart the '80s," nostalgic tunes from Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and others, starring Tony Vincent and Jessica Phillips, Thu/14-Fri/15, 8pm; Sat/16-Sun/17, 7pm, $35-50.
Justin Harrison, Kabir Singh, Chunk 99.7, Josh Waldron FAME Venue, 443 Broadway, SF; http://famevenue.com. Fri/15, 8pm. $20-35. Stand-up comedy showcase.
"Love and Laughter" Society Cabaret, Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter, SF; http://darlenepopovic.com. Fri/15-Sat/16, 8pm. $25-45. Cabaret chanteuse Darlene Popovic performs her latest show.
"Magic at the Rex" Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter, SF; www.magicattherex.com. Sat, 8pm. Ongoing. $25. Magic and mystery with Adam Sachs and mentalist Sebastian Boswell III.
"Merola Grand Finale" War Memorial Opera House, 301 Van Ness, SF; www.merola.org. Sat/16, 7:30pm. $25-45. The Merola Opera Program's Summer Festival concludes with this concert of works by Mozart, Handel, Strauss, and others.
"Music Moves Festival" ODC Theater, 3153 17th St, SF; www.odctheater.org. Through Aug 24, most performances at 8pm. $25-45. Diverse performances celebrating the relationship between music and dance, with Bandelion, Kate Weare Company, San Jose Taiko, and more.
"Out of Line Improv" Stage Werx, 446 Valencia, SF; outoflineimprov.brownpapertickets.com. Sat, 10:30pm. Ongoing. $12. A new, completely improvised show every week.
"Outrageous Adult Sing-Along Show" Martuni's, 4 Valencia, SF; (415) 241-0205. Sat/16, 7pm; Sun/17, 4pm. $20. Sing show tunes, TV themes, mash-ups, and more with host Matt Yee.
"People in Plazas" Various locations, SF; www.peopleinplazas.org. Through Oct 3. Free. Lunchtime concerts in various downtown locations showcasing jazz, world, funk, and other styles of music.
"The Pirates of Penzance" Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 700 Howard, SF; www.lamplighters.org. Thu/14-Sat/16, 8pm (also Sat/16, 2pm); Sun/17, 2pm. $20-59. Also Aug 23-24, 2pm (also Aug 23, 8pm), Bankhead Theatre, 2400 First St, Livermore. Lamplighters Music Theatre performs the Gilbert & Sullivan classic.
"San Francisco Comedy College" Purple Onion at Kells, 530 Jackson, SF; www.purpleonionatkells.com. Ongoing. $5-15. "New Talent Show," Wed-Thu, 7; "Purple Onion All-Stars," Wed-Thu, 8:15; "The Later Show," Wed-Thu, 10. Check website for Fri-Sat shows and schedule updates.
"San Francisco Drag King Contest" SOMArts Cultural Center, 934 Brannan, SF; www.sfdragkingcontest.com. Sat/16, 9pm. $25. Drag kings compete at this 19th annual "studliest competition in the world," co-hosted by Sister Roma and Fudgie Frottage. Proceeds benefit PAWS — Pets Are Wonderful Support.
San Francisco Son Jarocho Festival Brava Theater Center, 2781 24th St, SF; www.brava.org. Sat/16, 7:30pm. $20-25. Folkloric music from Southern Mexico with Joel Cruz Castellanos y Sonos de Tuxtlas and others. Visit website for additional concerts and workshops.
"Terminator Too: Judgment Play" and "Point Break LIVE!" DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, SF; www.dnalounge.com. Sept 5, Oct 3, Nov 7, and Dec 5, Terminator at 7:30pm; Break at 11pm. $20-50. The raucous, interactive staged recreations of two of 1991's greatest action films return to the DNA Lounge.
"Till Death Do Us Party" DNA Lounge, 375 11th St, SF; www.dnalounge.com. Tue/19, 9pm. $22.50-40. RuPaul's Drag Race star Adore Delano performs with her live band.
"Trapeze 13: Double-Bubble Bottom-Rockin' Anniversary" Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell, SF; www.rickshawstop.com. Fri/15, 9pm. $15-20. Celebrate this "equal parts Weimar cabaret and wild speakeasy rave" with live music, burlesque performances, and more.
"Yerba Buena Gardens Festival" Yerba Buena Gardens, 760 Howard, SF; www.ybgfestival.org. Through Oct 26. Free. This week: Encuentro de Jaraneros, Thu/14, 12:30pm; "The Unique Derique," hip clowning, Thu/15, 11am and 12:15pm; Jerry González and the Fort Apache Band, Sat/16, 1pm; "Brazil in the Gardens" with Paula Santoro, Sun/17, 1pm; "Poetic Tuesday," Tue/19, 12:30pm.
"Knights of Revery" Flight Deck, 1540 Broadway, Oakl; www.eventbrite.com/e/knights-of-revery-laughter-dreams-august-8-9-10-15-16-tickets-12259096287. Fri//15-Sat/16, 8pm. $20. Variety show starring Sir Psycho and Sir Pomp, who "travel with you between the realms of the conscious and unconscious, between fact and fiction, between here and now, between our creamy peanut butter and your smooth jelly."
"MarshJam Improv Comedy Show" Marsh Berkeley, 2120 Allston, Berk; www.themarsh.org. Fri, 8pm. Ongoing. $10. Improv comedy with local legends and drop-in guests. *